Here's something I've done 3x. Two of the times it worked wonderfully. The third time it didn't work.
Starting in one corner, lay heavy duty aluminum foil down (about an 18" square piece). Set an electric iron to the highest temp and run it over the foil to soften the adhesive. Just do a small area (1' x1') and try to work a steel putty knife under the adhesive once the iron has warmed it.
Interesting idea, I guess its worth a try. I'm in the same boat as you, bev454. Have linoleum flooring in my kitchen and nook and need to scrape it all up so I can install ceramic tiling. My house is on a slab and was built in 1978. The top shiny plastic-like layer came off with ease but the gray/white middle layer and glue remained. I've been using a 5" wide scraper blade thus far and I've done about half of the kitchen. It is VERY time consuming but seems to be the only thing that works.
I had about half a gallon of leftover wall paper remover that I poured over the whole floor, let it soak in for about a day until dry and it did absolutely NOTHING to make it come up any easier. Whatever glue they used on this sure is some good stuff. I thought about using some kind of solvent like paint thinner to loosen the glue, anyone tried this or know of a similar product?
Fein tools makes an oscillating tool with a scraper attachment. Has anyone tried this? Harbor Freight makes a knock-off that you can get for like $35. Thought about going get one. Other than that, I'll just keep on scraping, hopefully I'll be done by the end of the month.
The hardware and big box stores sell strong adhesive remover in gallon-size cans. It might be a little pricey. I saw some last week and I think it was $24 for a container of it.
Emperor, you might want to post a question about your floor in the 'Flooring' forum. If you're laying ceramic tile, you might have to put plywood down anyway. I'm not sure, but even when you have all the linoleum pulled up, the subfloor still may not be clean enough to lay tile. Just a thought. I'd hate to see you go to all that work for nothing. Good luck.
Linoleum was used until sheet vinyl came into mass production. True linoleum usually contains asbestos and should be left in place. Asbestos products where in use up to 1974. What most people refer to as linoleum today is actually vinyl.
As far as removal goes a floor scrapper and a lot of elbow grease will remove most of it. Most of the time it is only glued in sections. If you are going to try heat to release it by a heat gun (Home Depot/ Lowes for $20-$40) and a good taping knife. Most likely you will have to sand or grind some spots down (use caution).
Normally when laying tile on a sub floor you can scuff and prime (with adhesive primer not paint primer) the vinyl and then simply install your underlayment (I prefer 1/4" James Hardee Board but to each their own) in a bed of thin set mortar (I mix the thin set with admix for better adhesion) and fasten according to manufacture directions. You will want to use a 1/2" notch trowel for this step.
I have the Dremel brand oscillating tool like the Fein tool. Recently I had the opportunity to see if this tool would work like the Fein tool on the TV commercial to remove old linoleum/vinyl sheet flooring someone was removing. NOT! I don't believe the Fein tool on the TV commercial would have removed this darn stuff either. It was as bev 454 described, the top just peeled away from the gray colored material and then it was something really tuff. Now, the scraper blade on the Dremel tool did scrape away this material, but not like the TV commercial, and I did not have JoAnn to help me either . The Dremel tool tends to run somewhat warm when used extensively as I found out, but performed well, it just didn't scrape this stuff up easily. IT WAS easier and faster than using a stiff putty knife or had scraper for sure, but as I said the tool gets warm. I actually saw some floor guys get this stuff up, which was over plywood, with a side grinder and some type of disc a couple of years back. It was fast but sure made quite a mess in the room. The guy told me the secret was to keep it dry and just grind away at it, then clean up well. Just my 2¢ worth, David
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