Vinyl Tile: The Cheap Removal Method

floor tile that says vinyl tile the cheap removal method


My husband and I have temporarily acquired a house. It is actually my husband’s grandmother’s house. My mother in law is the landlord so we are “renting” it for extremely cheap. It is a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house in a quiet cove. It would be a beautiful house, except the previous tenant was using it for a recording studio and I don’t think they ever cleaned it in the 2 years they were living here. They never told my mother in law the condition of the house, or the damage they had caused to it.

Fast forward to now. They have been removed and we are living in it. It is a disaster. It looks like an abandoned trap house, but my husband and I have been working tirelessly to get it looking halfway decent. We had to start with demolishing all of the broken and torn up remnants of a neglected house. That began with getting all of the filth out of the house that they had left behind. It took an entire month to remove all sign of the life they led here.

The first thing we did to get rid of the nastiness of the house was to remove the peeling and torn vinyl tile from the living room, den (now a playroom), and kitchen. It took me and my best friend two weeks to peel up and remove the tiles. We suffered slowly scraping and peeling them up. Boy, we sure had no clue what we were doing. After two weeks of scraping the tiles up with a scraper and pulling them up by hand, we learned how to do it the easy way.

Buy a couple of bottles of Goo Gone and spray around and under the tiles as much as possible. Let the goo gone sit for a few minutes. Once the Goo Gone has set in, the tiles should just peel right up. If they are still being difficult in some spots, you can go ahead and use the scraper.

Another easy way to pull up tiles is by buying a heat gun. They are relatively inexpensive at Home Depot or Lowes (around $20). The great thing about heat guns is they have many uses. To pull tiles up with a heat gun, you want to have it set to whatever the instructions suggest. Then point the heat gun at the tile and run it over the tile in a sweeping motion a few inches away from the tile. Make sure not to let it stay in one spot too long. It does get extremely hot and can catch your house on fire if not used properly. You can also remove wall paper using heat guns. (Like I said, multi-purposeful!)

Those are the two cheapest and easiest ways of removing vinyl flooring without sitting on your butt for two weeks scrapping them by hand. I hope this will help someone else out. I was totally clueless when I began and had no idea a heat gun could be used on vinyl flooring.

Once you have the tile up, some adhesive may still be on the floor. You can rent a buffer from Lowes (but the one in our area cost us $170 for 4 hours). It is the quickest way to get the rest of the adhesive up, but it is also the most expensive. The cheapest and easiest way is by spraying that Goo Gone, waiting a few minutes, and scraping it up with a scraper. It may take a few hours of scraping, depending on how much is left. A few hours definitely beats being out $200! I will take scrapers and knee pads for $100, Alex. (Sorry for the lame Jeopardy reference, I couldn’t help it.)

Once all the adhesive is up, just mop the floor to get rid of any residue from the spray and you’ll be ready to apply your new floors when the other floor dries!