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Thread: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

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    Default On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    I may be left with only mechanical removal but I already tried heat from propane torch...too slow/smoky, tried "Goof Off" and while it works...it will gas anyone in the house (I tried a small test patch (8X8 inches)...big mistake and now it stinks all over the house...prolly explosive too…no flames about)
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Careful with some of the backing from Vinyl/linoleum floors. Some of it was asbestos - kinda gray looking paper. I had good luck with spraying the remainder with water and using a 4" razor scraper to get the stuff up.
    "Anyone who says they like portaging is either a liar or crazy."
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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    this stuff was put down in the 80's and I understand that asbestos was not used by then
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Well, the kitchen floor that I took up was in a house built in '79. Supposedly, the use of asbestos backing was banned in '78, but I was told that product with the asbestos lingered in stock for several years thereafter.

    Just lookin' out for your health!
    "Anyone who says they like portaging is either a liar or crazy."
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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    I'll be careful...this house was already checked for the stuff by some government agency...found it in the original floors but they're gone...(was upstairs)
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Depends what you intend to do next as to how much you need to remove.

    Don't forget that you may strike compatability issues if you are using another adhesive over it.

    If that floor was professionally installed in this country (as a great deal of it was) - it would have been laid on Masonite underlay - generally 3' x 4' sheets. The easy way is to rip that up - deal with the staples - then start again.

    I worked for Armstrong in the 70's and 90's - during the transition from asbestos to cellulose fibres - and yes it was still around in the 80's. It should not be sanded. It isn't just you - its your neighbours kids etc that you have to consider.

    The best method of removal if it isn't on Masonite underlay - eg if it is on concrete, is to wet it and scrape it - try a cheap spade - sharpen it even.
    Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Soften it up with WD 40 and then scrape while applying heat from a heat gun. No torch.
    The Reverend

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Quote Originally Posted by Memphis Mike View Post
    Soften it up with WD 40 and then scrape while applying heat from a heat gun. No torch.
    WD40 is basically kerosene IIRC - I'd be wary of spraying the floor with oil based products - as I said, depends what you want to do next.....
    Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bigfella View Post
    WD40 is basically kerosene IIRC - I'd be wary of spraying the floor with oil based products - as I said, depends what you want to do next.....

    I'm not going to argue the point, but that will get it up. Phillip didn't mention what was under the old linoleum. If it's wood, it will darken it at first and then wear off.
    Last edited by Memphis Mike; 11-17-2008 at 09:29 PM.
    The Reverend

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    it's on concrete...I'm planning on cermic tile next
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    wet it (water) - scrape it
    Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bigfella View Post
    wet it (water) - scrape it
    I kinda thought that would be what happened...I need knee pads!
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Bigfella gave some good advice in regards to the spade. I scraped a concrete shop floor with a sharpened straight shovel and it saved my back and knees. It allows you use to your legs as well as your arms.

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Yep - if you can get that, and want to use a light tool, fine. A $15 cheap Chinese spade (flat shovel) will have a bit more weight to it - but hey.... I only spent 10 years at Armstrong, what would I know?
    Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    The scraper from the hardware looks like a decent tool. The edge may need sharpening after a bit of scraping on concrete .

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Whatever. The shovel works well.

    edit: Sorry Pila, the "whatever" is for PG above, not you.

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    What exactly did you do for Armstrong , install , or sell flooring?

    Most sale-men don't know $hit about what they sell , they just say" Oh ya , that will be easy / no problem". When really they don't have a friggin clue. YMMV , you may be "the one sales guy" who knows something.

    But IF you use a shovel to scrape flooring up I highly doubt it.

    Shaking head , snicking.
    I used to train installers - among other things. It used to amuse me how many "professional" installers knew better ways of doing things than the manufacturers - "better" adhesives, etc.... Those that used to just use a floor sander are pretty much all dead now.

    Yes Paul - if Phillip can get hold of a heavy floor scraper at a reasonable price - by all means, grab it. I wouldn't bother driving the 40km round trip that it would take me to get one - I'd go the 1/2km to the big box and get what I described.
    Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    I own one of those scrapers, used it today in fact. Great tools, changeable blades, razor sharp. Best method is to scrape a few times, turn it over, scrape a few times, turn it over, and so on. The blade lasts longer that way. Also, if you're putting down tile, don't worry about getting every little speck up. Our general method is to get up most (90%) of the linoleum backing, then soak the floor with warm water for a half hour and scrape again. If the water doesn't make it come up, it can stay. Also, look into possibly using an anti-fracture membrane on the cement before you tile. Redgard is a decent one, can be bought for $40/gallon at HD. Also Phil, I'm going to PM you a good forum for your tile questions. All pros there, extremely knowledgeable and helpful.
    Robert

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Water is what got the same stuff off our concrete kitchen and bathroom floor. This was combined with the concrete polishers grinding it with their big diamond grinder thing. The concrete polisher guys tried a full range of chemicals/solvents on it before they gave up- saying it was too hard to get off and would not finish the job they had quoted for- I convinced them to try water and in no time they were making a fine slurry of a mess getting it off (the red oxide concrete helped by making a bright red muddy mess).

    Obviously, if you are going to scrape it off, do yourself a favour and let it soak in for a long time- like an old crusty baking dish. Might have to cover it with plastic or something while it soaks.
    Sounds not like fun. Good luck.
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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Steven is working on making a slick like the one in WB mag from an old truck spring. I would use something like that or and Ice scraper with a long handle. If you want it to go real quick rent a floor sander and blast it off.

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bigfella View Post
    I used to train installers - among other things. It used to amuse me how many "professional" installers knew better ways of doing things than the manufacturers - "better" adhesives, etc.... Those that used to just use a floor sander are pretty much all dead now.

    Yes Paul - if Phillip can get hold of a heavy floor scraper at a reasonable price - by all means, grab it. I wouldn't bother driving the 40km round trip that it would take me to get one - I'd go the 1/2km to the big box and get what I described.

    already have a heavy (weighted) scraper...I'm a mason...remember? I've not sharpened it though...it has a removable blade. It is used to knock mortar spills off concrete floors but the paper stuffr seems to ignore it...I thought about using some sort of razor like scraper but hadn't gotton that far yet
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    The one in the photo Paul Girouard posted is what you want. It has a 8" wide removable razor, and they are extremely sharp. Blades are fairly cheap. Wear eye protection though, the blades are thin and can chip. Floor sanders are a bit overkill unless it's a huge room. The mess they make is tremendous, and the dust isn't exactly healthy for you.
    Robert

    "Theirs is the curse of the Gypsy blood..."

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    The stuff on my floor was a little gummy, so simply gunked up even the coarsest grit on the floor sander. Thus in the end, a good soaking with water, and then wet grinding it with the diamond blade grinder got it off. Even wet grinding it was messy as hell.

    Personally, I would do a range of test patches- water with soap, water with a mild acid, and whatever else you can concoct, to see what gets into the 'glue' the best.
    One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    You gotta be careful with soap, WD-40, and solvents. Cement is very porous and will suck that stuff right up, then prevent the tile mortar from sticking. Acid is overkill, but probably effective. The best low-grade acid for cement is vinegar. As I said before, whatever the water doesn't loosen, can stay. If soaking it won't break it loose, then it won't come loose later, so you can tile over it.
    Robert

    "Theirs is the curse of the Gypsy blood..."

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Quote Originally Posted by rddrappo View Post
    You gotta be careful with soap, WD-40, and solvents. Cement is very porous and will suck that stuff right up, then prevent the tile mortar from sticking. Acid is overkill, but probably effective. The best low-grade acid for cement is vinegar. As I said before, whatever the water doesn't loosen, can stay. If soaking it won't break it loose, then it won't come loose later, so you can tile over it.
    I'm inclined to see it that way too...don't need to get compulsive about it
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Maybe a stupid idea but maybe a grill stone would work.

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Quote Originally Posted by Tylerdurden View Post
    Maybe a stupid idea but maybe a grill stone would work.
    too hard to use in the first place and will undoubtably gum up the stone too
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    I think I've got the next step figured out...the knife-like scrapers and water...I won't be doing it for a while as I have other things to work on first
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Well, I was going to suggest he do it with a supply of 1,000 disposable scalpels....
    Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Since this thread started, I've had to scrape two floors already, and have to do another one tomorrow. Guess I needed the practice!
    Robert

    "Theirs is the curse of the Gypsy blood..."

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Get over it - the guy asked for advice - he got practical advice. Your practical advice was to ignore asbestos. That borders on criminal btw.
    Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  32. #32
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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    This thread is amusing.
    The Reverend

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Yeah - he gets more than his vowels twisted
    Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  34. #34
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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    there's nothing wrong with making your own tools...to be dependant on "factory" made tools is not much toward being a craftsman...

    I could lay brick with a shingle for a trowell but it'd be slower...the brick would be laid just as well though

    special made tools is a financial decison and not a matter of "doing it right"
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    I used to remove/install commercial flooring. Corridors worth in hospitals and such over concrete and this was the only way we could make money at it.



    You can rent one relatively cheap at around 50-60.00/day. It will get right up to the walls and under the toe kick of cabinets. I have remove VA, VC tiles as well with it, even those installed with that wonderful cutback adhesive from hell. You still have to get some spots with the razor scraper but when it is little islands of the backing it is alot easier. Just like a lawnmower with the hand scraper, taking a half or quarter width at a time with the edge instead of head on into it. I preferred the smaller scraper because of the angle of attack down low with an arc approach instead of straight lines.
    Last edited by pipefitter; 11-20-2008 at 12:14 AM.

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    If it were on wood, I could see using a special made razor scraper, but its on concrete, how long before the razor scraper is just as dull as an unsharpened shovel? Just wondering.

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Girouard View Post
    Your right Phillip , we should all go back 100 years in tool technology, you go first.

    How about a sharp rock tied to a stick with twine?

    Yeah - I forgot it was an American job. I guess a 7.4 litre V8 should be enough to power that tile remover eh?
    Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    He could rent a jackhammer and just remove the whole floor. Pour a new one.

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    Default Re: On removing the paper-like backing left from tearing linoleum from floors

    Quote Originally Posted by PatCox View Post
    If it were on wood, I could see using a special made razor scraper, but its on concrete, how long before the razor scraper is just as dull as an unsharpened shovel? Just wondering.
    Actually the scrapers suck on wood. They tend to bite into the wood like a chisel. A dull blade is preferable there. On concrete, you turn the scraper over every few strokes to keep the blade sharp. I removed a linoleum over concrete floor today, about ten years old, roughly 24 square feet, used one blade and took about 15 minutes. Linoleum is usually over nice, smooth concrete, not like a sidewalk. It's not too hard on the blades.
    Robert

    "Theirs is the curse of the Gypsy blood..."

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