Vinyl floor removal

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I want to take up the vinyl sheet floor in my downstairs bathroom. It is a concrete pad and the original floor from 30 years ago. Looks like it was spread with an adhesive and the sheet laid on top
Heat helps, but it is very time consuming. Heat gun does not really get hot enough. Any suggestions?
Ceramic tile will be going down in this remodel of the bathroom.
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Just a guess, one of those propane things used to kill weeds. Maybe you'd need to wear a mask, or oxygen?
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On 4/26/2014 12:56 PM, micky wrote:

If you will be putting down tile then you will need to have a pristine concrete surface for the thinset to stick to. What you probably need to do is rent a floor grinder for a half day. One of these will take off the vinyl remnants and adhesive and the top bit of concrete to eliminate the old adhesive which is clogging the pores so that the new surface has a chance of sticking properly. I've always used a heavy floor scraper to get most of the vinyl up beforehand but the grinder will probably not care what it is chewing through.
Oh, and you probably want to specify 'porcelain' tile over 'ceramic' -- much harder and the color goes straight through so that chips and damage won't show.
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On 4/26/2014 11:56 AM, micky wrote:

Yeah, oxygen and open flame. Real smart.
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On 4/26/2014 10:21 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I've heard of using dry ice. Embrittles adhesive making it easy to remove.
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On Saturday, April 26, 2014 1:24:52 PM UTC-4, Frank wrote:

I've never had to do this, but I'd take a look at Youtube. A lot of people have put all kinds of DIY videos on there and a lot of them are pretty good. I had to pull the inside door panel off a BMW X5 and a 5 min video there saved me a whole lot of time. The videos are really good for that kind of thing, seeing where the hidden fasteners are, what holds it on, etc. Only thing I wished I had paid more attention to was what the guy said about the airbag. Had to take that out and he mentioned that if you turn the ignition back on, you should put the airbag back on or it will set the warning light which will stay on for awhile. Since he said for awhile, I assumed it would eventually reset itself. Doh! It doesn't. Requires either a special code tool, different from the OBDII, or a trip to the dealer where if you're real lucky they might do it for free. Others have reported paying $100.
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On 4/26/2014 2:01 PM, trader_4 wrote:

Dry ice thing makes sense if adhesive is tacky. Cost and availability of dry ice could be a problem.
I see a lot of good you tube videos but also see a lot of crap. Older and less agile, I tend to get service work done that I used to do myself.
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Yuck. Sounds like no fun.
I don't know the answer, but I would probably try one of these bent scrapers (a favorite tool of mine that works for a lot of other uses like removing trim etc): http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-Allway-3-in-Bent-Extendable-Scraper-BS3HD/202251540 .
http://www.homedepot.com/p/QEP-3-in-Wide-Handheld-Chisel-Edge-Scraper-Stainless-Steel-62970Q/203191137 .
Plus, maybe the 4-inch scraper that someone else suggested.
And, I know that I would have to at least try using regular ice to see if cooling the glue and vinyl does make it easier to remove instead of heating it. I don't know that I would be able to figure out where to get dry ice or how to use it without giving myself frostbite, but it's an interesting idea.
After the vinyl is up, maybe some type of solvent would get most of the glue up, or maybe more ice and more scraping.
And then, maybe rent a hand-held concrete grinder at Home Depot or wherever to grind the residual glue surface so you would end up with a glue-free concrete surface for the thinset.
If you figure something out that works, or mostly works, let us know.
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Oren wrote:

It's not the adhesive , it's the backing material on the vinyl that has asbestos . But if this floor dates from the 80's it's probably not asbestos-reinforced . Still not a good idea to breath the dust though . On removal , the best way I found <was in the business for over 15 years> for small spaces like that is a 4" razor blade scraper . HD and Lowes both sell them at a reasonable price in the flooring dept .
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Ed Pawlowski;3227631 Wrote: > I want to take up the vinyl sheet floor in my downstairs bathroom. It

>

>

I've done this kind of work in at least 21 bathrooms, and I believe I have it down pat.
But, by "vinyl sheet floor", I presume you are talking about sheet vinyl with a vinyl wear layer and a white paper backing. The white paper gets glued down with a full spread adhesive.
Removing the sheet vinyl is a two or three step process, depending on how you do the job.
The first thing to do is remove the toilet and cut through the flooring around the floor flange. I prefer to use a plastic laminate knife (the kind with the one tungsten carbide tooth) for this job, and basically scrape my way through the flooring.
The next step is to remove the vinyl wear layer from the paper backing, and this is easiest done with the most common tool used by flooring installers, but which you hardly see anywhere except in the tool box of flooring installers, and that's a Roberts 10-510 Molding Lifter.
http://tradeunderlay.com/wp-content/uploads/Tack-lifter.jpg
Home Depot supposedly sells these in their flooring department, but if you phone any carpet retailer and ask their Installation Manager who sells flooring installation supplies in your area, the places they name off will certainly sell them. It's probably one of the most commonly used tools by flooring installers, but the only place you find them is in places where they sell flooring installation supplies.
Once you have the vinyl wear layer off, the next step is to remove the paper backing, and there are two ways to do that. You can use the QEP 4" flooring razor:
'QEP 4 in. Wide Razor Scraper and Stripper-62900Q at The Home Depot' (http://tinyurl.com/n4ef3gn )
but if you do, buy PLENTY of spare blades because you'll need them. The paper dulls the blades very quickly, AND it takes a bit of practice to get good at slicing the paper off the floor. Home Depot sells this tool in Canada as a wallpaper stripper, which is stupidity on stilts because it's so sharp that it would be difficult to remove wallpaper with it because it would just cut into the wallpaper or into the drywall beneath it.
You can do a bathroom with a small flooring razor like the one pictured above, but anyone that does a lot of this kind of work will buy a 20 inch long flooring razor made by either Crain or Gundlach. The 20 inch tools are built very much stronger than the small ones you buy at Home Depot.
The second way to get the paper off is to use a solvent like lacquer thinner. Use a sharp knife to remove some of the backing paper in a corner of the bathroom to expose the underlying glue, and then use various solvents to see what dissolves that glue. And, try using water too. In the 1950's Roberts made a flooring adhesive called Linogrip 55 which was just a water based paste. That paste would re-emulsify if it got wet, but flooring installers used it to glue down all kinds of flooring, including carpet and including in wet areas like bathrooms.
If water doesn't dissolve the glue, the best bet is to try lacquer thinner. If lacquer thinner dissolves the glue, then you get a ketchup or mustard bottle from any restaurant supply store and put your lacquer thinner in that. Now, use a razor knife to cut through the backing paper into 10 to 12 inch wide strips. Apply the lacquer thinner to the backing paper and immediately cover with wax paper or aluminum foil, and weigh the perimeter of the wax paper or foil down. The idea here is to prevent the lacquer thinner from evaporating from the floor. As long as it's covered with wax paper, the lacquer thinner will penetrate through the paper, so time is on your side here. Once the lacquer thinner reaches the paper/adhesive interface, it will dissolve the glue at that interface, and the paper will pull off the adhesive easily. Remove the paper, then apply more lacquer thinner and put the wax paper or foil down a second time, weighing down the perimeter of the wax paper or foil so the lacquer thinner doesn't evaporate. Then, when the underlying glue has been dissolved, pull the wax paper or foil up starting from one end, and scrape the adhesive off the floor with a putty knife.
Now, when you say that the heat from a heat gun won't soften the glue, there's gotta be something wrong. Probably the second most common tool used by flooring installers to get old flooring adhesive off is a heat gun, and my own personal experience is that sufficient heat will remove any flooring adhesive.
If you do choose to use heat to soften the adhesive, wear a pair of insulated leather work gloves while scraping the glue off because the scraper will get pretty hot.
Anyhow, the two ways to remove the paper backing is by shaving it off with a 4 inch flooring razor, or by dissolving the glue with a solvent and using something to prevent that solvent from evaporating. As long as the solvent is prevented from evaporating, it will eventually migrate to the paper/adhesive interface, and once that happens removing the paper is easy, but a little messy. Turn on the bathroom ceiling fan to provide plenty of ventilation, and if you start daydreaming too much, it's time for a breath of fresh air outside.
And, the two ways of removing the adhesive are with a solvent and with heat.
Hope this helps.
--
nestork


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concrete just keep it damp and it can't dust, so you are safe even IF it has asbestos. Just bag it wet for disposal.
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On Sat, 26 Apr 2014 23:06:13 +0200, nestork

or wool clothing. And don't operate light switches or run any device with a brush type motor.
If he peals the wear surface off first, the heat gun has a lot better chance of softening the glue and soft glue scrapes off easier than cold hard glue.
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wrote:

The scraping is not working very well, but heat helps. I'm going to try an iron and go bit by bit.
Yes, it is porcelain tile.
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On Sat, 26 Apr 2014 13:24:52 -0400, Frank

That has merit. I think a place in town may have some. At least they did a couple of years ago so I'll have to check.
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On Sat, 26 Apr 2014 14:47:20 -0400, Frank

Yes, my grandson is doing the actual physical labor.
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This is where the HF multifunction tool with a scraping blade excels. I did half of my floor with a manual scraper before I bought mine. The difference in effort is night and day. Got mine for less than $20.
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On 4/26/2014 7:33 PM, Robert Green wrote:

Hey I have one of those! I put an iron on it and that loosens it. Maybe the combination of the two will work.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Many thinset spec sheets say that they stick to "Vinyl composition tile, asphalt tile, linoleum or non-cushioned vinyl sheet goods (provided existing flooring is well-bonded to an approved substrate)".
http://www.tecskillset.com/tile-installation-products/step-2/tile-mortar.html#.U1y44qLldbw
I'm assuming yours isn't cushioned since I understand that's stuck down with tape.
And it sure does sound like it's "well-bonded"!
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On 4/27/2014 4:11 AM, Bob(but not THAT Bob) wrote:

That it is. I'll have to talk to my tile guy.
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<stuff snipped>

I kept soaking the blades in WD-40 to keep the gunk from building up. I had been using a section of rebar with a heavy-duty scraper lashed to the end but it was dreadfully slow going. Then I got the HF tool, strapped on the kneepads and finished what had been a weeks' long job in one day. If only I had that sucker when I stripped 50 year old wallpaper from the bathroom. That's the kind of job I think the Devil hands out to new arrivals in Hell.
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