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How do I remove vinyl tile adhesive? Answered

I am removing some cheap vinyl tile squares, but it leaves adhesive on the underneath floor, which I want to keep.  What can I use to dissolve, remove or clean the adhesive?


Goof-Off Pro Strength will remove the adhesive, but--it also took the pattern off the surface of the vinyl asbestos tile below. I don't want to get into removing VAT. De-Solv-It Contractor Strength will do the job, but takes a bit longer; best part is practically no odor. I am using it on old place-and-press tiles, applied by a previous owner probably 30 years ago.


4 years ago

I use mineral spirits ( or "Varsol") for removing almost any kind of adhesive gunk if it's not stuck on a porous surface. This is probably too late for you but maybe the next person to read this...

Yuck. I had to forcibly scrape it from some concrete once which was time consuming and painful. It also broke at least one scraper. Not sure you'll ever get it off without damaging the lower surface (What is the lower surface?). I used acetone to try and soften it but that could potentially damage some surfaces.

The proper way is to remove the sub flooring and lay down new.

Sub flooring makes sure you have a perfectly flat surface for tiles and other floor finishes.

If the floor is not perfect defects like cracks, bumps. and knot holes can show through the finish layer. This is very important if you plan on using vinyl flooring, the smallest speck can show through vinyl tiles and sheet.

If your floor doesn't have subflooring put subflooring in.


Lestoil might help with adhesive residue, but Goo Gone would probably be better (probably the US version of "D-Limonene" Steve talks about). Again a hot air gun will help. Might want to get a nice scraper depending on what the bottom surface is, but it would likely scratch.

Thanks! I'll try one or both and let you know which works best. I don't want to scratch up the underneath floor, but we'll see how it goes. Appreciate your help, and Steve's help, too.

I feel for you. Its AWFUL stuff to clean off !

Hot air gun works well, if you have the time/patience, and leaves a residue you can take off with a small amount of "D-Limonene", which is the citrus smelling cleaner you can get for taking labels off.