How to Remove Old Linoleum Flooring

Linoleum flooring has been around for a long time and is pretty durable. This means that many homes have some old linoleum flooring somewhere in their home that they want to get rid of. To remove old linoleum flooring, you will need a utility knife, utility scraper, wallpaper steamer, and paint thinner or isopropyl alcohol. For the utility scraper, an oscillating multitool with scraper attachment will be helpful, but not necessary. Linoleum generally has two layers, and to properly remove it you’ll need to remove both layers – including the top layer of flooring material and the bottom layer which is mostly paper backing with adhesive. The bottom layer is the most difficult to remove, with the top flooring layer coming off fairly easily. Start with that top layer and come back to finish removing the bottom layer after. Start with your utility knife, scoring the linoleum carefully so that you don’t cut all the way through to the subfloor. Score the linoleum in 6-12 inch strips. If the linoleum is in a tile pattern, you can use the tile marks as a guide for where to score the linoleum. Work your utility scraper or oscillating tool underneath the score marks work up the top layer of linoleum. Keep working in small sections until you remove the entire top layer of linoleum flooring. Then, go back to start on the adhesive backing layer. This is where the wallpaper steamer comes into play. Steam the adhesive and work it loose from the floor using your utility scraper carefully at a 45-degree angle. Make sure not to gouge the subfloor when you’re working on this step. Keep working each section until all of the adhesive layer is gone. Paint thinner or isopropyl alcohol can help release the last stubborn bits of glue to completely remove it from the floor.