Removing vinyl flooring
If you are removing vinyl flooring from a wood subfloor, you don’t want to get it too wet as it can cause issues with the wood. If, however, the vinyl flooring was laid over concrete, you can soak a 2×2 foot area of the flooring with warm water for about 5 minutes before scraping it up, which helps ease the process tremendously! Heat about 1/3 cup of water in a microwave or on a stove top until it’s too hot to touch, but not boiling and pour this over the area you will be removing. Use a paint scraper to dig underneath the vinyl and then elbow grease to pull it up.
To remove vinyl flooring from a wood subfloor, you may want to try one of the following three methods:
Warm Damp Towel: While you do not want to soak the wooden subfloor, you can lay a warm, damp towel over the flooring to soften in before pulling up the vinyl.
Electric Heat Gun: Some people choose to use heat guns to soften/steam the flooring’s adhesive, making it easier to remove. Heat guns can be rented from most home improvement stores, but are also not particularly expensive. I’ve seen hair dryers recommended in a pinch, but truthfully these are not as effective.
Iron and Towel: You can lay a towel over the vinyl flooring and run a regular clothes iron over it to heat the flooring and the adhesive making them easier to pull up. You will want to use a cheap iron you don’t mind ruining, and the towel will also need to be trashed afterwards.
Alternatively, some people just pull up the vinyl flooring without any pre-work. It is doable, especially if the vinyl is already peeling and the adhesive has broken down overtime, but a little pre-work to soften the vinyl will make the job significantly easier. Whichever method you choose, keep in mind that this process is going to take some time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end! To get an idea of the method you want to use to scrape up the vinyl, take a look at this video.