5 Simple Steps to Remove Vinyl Flooring

Rose Morrison

Dec 5, 2022


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Vinyl flooring can be a great option for homeowners. It’s inexpensive — costing between $0.50 to $2 per square footage — and simple to install. However, if you’re ready for an upgrade, you’ll need to know how to remove the flooring first.

Sometimes, you can install your new floors over vinyl flooring. Yet if you wish to remove it, this is a DIY job that most homeowners can handle.

Follow these steps to help guide you through removing vinyl flooring.

1. Start by Clearing the Area

Before you start removing vinyl flooring, clearing the area of furniture is the most important first step. Doing so will give you access to the site for work.

In addition to clearing the room, you’ll also need to remove quarter-round trim and baseboards. You can use the flat end of the pry bar to remove these components gently.

Ensure you remove these pieces with caution, as you won’t want to cause damage when it’s time to reinstall them.

2. Start Cutting in the Middle

The easiest way to remove vinyl flooring is by starting in the middle. Vinyl floors only have glue around the edges. Therefore, beginning in the middle of the floor using a utility knife is best. 

Start by cutting in a straight line across the vinyl floor. It’s best to cut the vinyl into 12-inch strips to make the task of removing it more manageable.

When removing the strips, you may encounter resistance from the glue. You can use a 5-in-1 scraper tool to loosen and pry the rest of the strip off.

3. Remove Glued Sections

Once you remove the vinyl flooring, you might still have adhesive lodged on the subfloor. Consider using warm water and soap, then apply it to the glue. Allow time for the mixture to soak, so it’s soft enough.

Once you find the glue has softened, you can begin removing it with the flat end of a pry bar and chip it away. As soon as you’ve released most of it, you can scrape the rest using the scraper tool.

4. Dispose of the Old Flooring

After removing the vinyl floor, you can take the strips you’ve cut and fold them into an accordion style. Some flooring parts may require more force to snap them into a fold.

Depending on your area, you may be able to throw out the old floor in your household trash.

However, if this is unacceptable in your hometown, you can check the local ordinances on properly disposing of vinyl flooring. You may need to throw it out at a specialized waste disposal site for environmental purposes.

5. Clean Up the Area

After you’ve removed the vinyl floor, you can start sweeping the area with a broom or shop vac. Ensure you clean up all debris that litters the room. You want to be sure the zone you’re working on is ready for the installation of new flooring.

Remove Vinyl Flooring Successfully

Removing flooring may not always be an easy task. However, these steps are simple to follow — making it a great starter DIY project for homeowners.

Ensure you have all the supplies you need to remove the flooring. That way, you can make this project easy the first time around.

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