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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Location: Laundry room
Problem: removing vinyl tile glue
Notes: Top layer was vinyl sheet glued down (approx 1995), and has been removed. Bottom layer is like commercial grade vinyl glue down tiles (1988). Each tile is taking me about 4 minutes to remove, and the glue is very very sticky. I've tried removing tiles faster using a heat gun and floor scraper, but the best way I've found is with a pry bar and slowly working the tile up. Many are breaking into 1" pieces. Vinyl needed to be removed to repair subfloor due to an old leak from prior owner not putting the washer drain all the way in.

What I need help with: The glue residue is extremely sticky and pretty low profile- my shoes get stuck to it, if I set a tile down on it the tile get reattached. I plan to put wood look interlocking (floating) vinyl planks down.
-Do I need to remove the current glue?
-How do I remove the current glue? I've tried covering an area with a very hot wash cloth and then scraping and that did nothing. I used a heat gun which softened the glue slightly but really not much improvement. I've tried cleaning the glue off my pry bar with "paintbrush cleaner" and that did about as much as the heat gun. Any tips?
 

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I've had good luck removing that sort of adhesive using citristrip, the paint stripper gel. 3-6 hours, or sometimes overnight.

Don't cover with plastic despite what the directions say. Should then scrape easily. Try a small test area first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update: Used Klean Strip adhesive remover from Home Depot (since they were out of Goo Gone.) Followed instructions, put plastic down, waited 25 minutes, and it scraped up with my floor scraper very easily! The downside is that this product is $28/gallon, and at the rate it's being used up I will need at least 2 gallons for a 15x8 room.
 

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Update: Used Klean Strip adhesive remover from Home Depot (since they were out of Goo Gone.) Followed instructions, put plastic down, waited 25 minutes, and it scraped up with my floor scraper very easily! The downside is that this product is $28/gallon, and at the rate it's being used up I will need at least 2 gallons for a 15x8 room.
Is that the one with methylene chloride in it? If so, you should avoid using it indoors, or even outdoors when possible.

Kleen Strip "Green" is safer but slower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The SDS says it's dichloromethane (methylene chloride) and methanol (methyl alcohol) and stoddard solvent. The bottle clearly states that using indoors is not recommended, but possible in larger room and only working a small area at a time and giving time in between areas to let the fumes dissipate. The room I'm working in is about 15' x 8', I opened two windows and put an exhaust fan in one of them, and only did 3 sections of 4x4 today, and will do some more. I set all gummy glue balls outside on cardboard to dry out as well as the plastic (which the bottle does not tell you what to do with the plastic when you're finished). Hoping I'm taking all the right precautions?

Since I have to buy another gallon tomorrow anyways, I'll give the Klean Strip Green a try if our store sells it. Thanks for the recommendation!
 

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Pro Flooring Installer
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I usually just sprinkle baby powder or corn starch on the adhesive. It will allow you to scrape it off.
 

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Tileguy
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When using certain solvents I recommend you also call the Paramedics and have the fire department on alert.

There are a few soy bean products that may work, but be careful with some of the above mentioned. In general solvents should not be used, dangerous, plus they soak into the floor creating a bond-breaker for the new flooring.

Rusty has the right idea but I always used white crack filler. (Dependable brand) This of course depends on the type of underlayment, in other words, if it's staying, and the underlayment specs for the new flooring.

However, in this case...... Remember vinyl tiles are usually not installed direct to the wooden subfloor, a 1/4" thick underlayment is what you should have and it should be removed. You should confirm that cuz that's what I see in pic #2. That looks like 5.5 mm luan ply.

Jaz
 
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