How to remove flooring glue: Get Sticky adhesive away from vinyl and concrete (EASY Steps!)

Are you refurbishing the flooring or subfloor of your home? You are likely putting on new flooring for a room and removing the old flooring. So whether you are removing old vinyl flooring, installing laminate flooring, repairing hardwood floors, or removing the old carpet, the flooring glue always becomes an obstacle. You will be able to get rid of that stubborn flooring glue using the suggestions provided in this post.


Useful ways of removing any glue from any floor: vinyl and concrete

How to remove flooring glue from the subfloor?

If the floor is still sticky and you don’t want to remove the glue, you can use some powder to reduce the stickiness. This is not the best option though as removing the glue completely makes it look better.

Don’t want to cut off the subfloor while placing new boards? Then you only have the option of scratching off the glue to remove it completely from the floor. If you are happy with the DIY style of getting things done, you will be glad to put in the required labor. It will save you some money. Though scraping needs some time and effort on your part, you might not find doing it so difficult. 

Steps to scrape off the flooring glue:

  • First, using a utility knife, cut off the vinyl or linoleum floor covering into pieces. 
  • Second, you have to make those cut strips loosen up. You have to place a floor scraper or a putty knife under the floor covering. Take a hammer and tap on it.
  • Third, you need to remove those pieces off the floor by prying and pulling them off. So when you can see the old glue, you need to break it off with the help of a putty knife. But what if the glue is too stubborn? A heat gun becomes your weapon in loosening it up. There are also special scrapers that make this easier.
  • If you are renovating an old home where tar glue was used in the past, use hot water or mineral spirits to make the glute loosen up.

How to remove flooring glue from laminate or hardwood flooring?

You might think that stubborn glue needs the toughest cleaning solution to remove it. There are hordes of websites that offer so many tips that can leave you confused. But hopefully, the following tips are most probably all that you need to do to remove adhesive from laminate flooring:

Steps to remove glue from laminate flooring:

  • First, wet a clean cloth with a nail polish remover abundantly. If you don’t have nail polish remover at home, it is better to get acetone for getting the job done.
  • Next, rub the glue spots with the soaked cloth. But do not pour acetone directly on the glue. Otherwise, the glue might touch the floor, which you should try to avoid.
  • Now once the glue spots become properly damp, try wiping the spots away using the same cloth. If you are not successful at removing them even after 20 seconds, you can soak the cloth again. The idea is to put another layer of acetone on the glue spots.
  • Then you can scratch away the glue using a floor scraper or putty knife. Give light pressure while scraping.
  • Lastly, use a clean cloth to wipe away any residual substance.

But remember, you are using a tough cleaning solution. So you must be very careful while taking this approach. Otherwise, you probably will damage your floor. Although, this is almost a foolproof method of removing floor glue when alcohol or vinegar has failed. There is only a negligible percentage chance of this method not working. In which case, your last option is to go for commercial cleaners. 

How to remove flooring glue from a concrete floor?

Compared to other floor types, it is much easier to remove flooring glue from concrete floors. Yes, it will still require you to put in some effort. But you will be able to remove the adhesive using boiling water. Also, it is extremely unlikely that scraping will damage a concrete floor. 

Steps to remove flooring glue from concrete floor:

  • When you are ready to remove the vinyl flooring, take a carpet cutter or multitool. Then use it to cut the vinyl or linoleum into strips, and pull them up. This will make the glue spots visible. At this stage, if you are lucky, you might be able to pull off the glue. If not, proceed to the next step.
  • To remove the glue, you have to make it soft. Here’s when you will need dish soap and some boiling water. Pour both of these on the residual adhesive and let the adhesive soak them. 
  • Let it soak overnight and then try to remove it by scraping off the glue.

If you need to remove carpet glue from concrete, follow the same method. 

How to remove flooring glue from wooden flooring?

There is a lot of demand for wooden floors as they look good in bedrooms, drawing rooms, dining rooms, etc. It is easy to install a wooden floor, but you are very likely to spill wood glue during the installation process. And it is important to remove the glue as quickly as you can. 

Steps to remove wood glue from wooden floor:

  • A damp cloth is enough to wipe off the glue if it is still fresh. In addition to that, you can use some liquid dishwasher to the cloth. Alternatively, you can use other things like eucalyptus oil, vegetable oil, white vinegar, petroleum jelly, and lemon oil. Apply any one of them on the glue by soaking a paper towel with it first. After five minutes, try to peel off the glue.
  • If that didn’t work, it means the glue is thick, or you are dealing with a larger quantity of glue. Then you have to use heat to weaken the bond. You can easily do this step with your hair dryer.
  • Now try to peel off the glue. You can use a knife or scraper to remove the glue too.

How to remove flooring glue from floor tiles?

It is hard to remove or handle floor tiles, but it is not very difficult to remove tile adhesive. You can do it by using warm water. 

Steps to remove tile adhesive from tiles:

  • First, pour boiling water on the glue spot to soften the bond. 
  • After a few hours, remove the tile adhesive with the help of a paint scraper. Alternatively, you can put down strips of cloth soaked in hot water on the glue spots. Then you can scrape the glue off.

Removing adhesive from your subfloor can make it look nicer and easier to apply a new layer of flooring. There are several ways to do this and your approach should depend on the type of flooring and glue that has been used. In this article, we have outlined some options, from a power tool to a wet cloth. It can take some trial and error to find the right approach for your situation.

If you have to deal with squeaky floors, later on, you can use these tips.