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Dutchess_III's avatar

We're pulling up linoleum. What's the best way to get the felt backing up?

Asked by Dutchess_III (37488points) August 1st, 2010

Some of it comes up whole, really easily. However, those areas are immediately adjacent to areas that were already pulled by the lab we had. (Our kitchen floor was a wreck!) Some of the other felt is stuck, and gluey. Seems to me, the felt that’s dried out comes up the easiest. So, what’s up? How do we get it all dried out? Or perhaps will dampening release it? OR, can we lay our new linoleum over the old felt?

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19 Answers

AmWiser's avatar

From what I have experienced….lots of muscle power. Have fun:D

Dutchess_III's avatar

@perspicacious Where do I get steam? And what does steam do that dampening it down wouldn’t.

@AmWiser Well, we got that. Just looking for something a little easier, if there is a way.

perspicacious's avatar

You can rent a steam machine. I have a small one that I can use to clean things or loosen wall paper. Steam is much more effective than just wetting glue or paste. Maybe a friend has a machine you could borrow.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ll check….I don’t want to spend any money if I don’t have to. I’m tenacious and I have muscle power…..I’ll figure it out. I wonder if hold an iron over it and squirting steam would work….

perspicacious's avatar

I wouldn’t think so, Dutch.

lazydaisy's avatar

#1. make friends with a flooring guy

if #1 fails, try;

#2. get a professional scraper with a long handle

#3. borrow a heat gun

#4. have fun

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Heat. A heat gun or a steamer, as suggested above will help. It’s not just the moisture but the warmth that helps to loosen the gunk that sticks the backing to the floor.

And elbow grease. Scrape until you never want to scrape again… and then scrape some more.

lillycoyote's avatar

How old is it, the linoleum flooring? The more important question might be whether or not it contains asbestos.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@lillycoyote is right about the asbestos. Though it’s generally harmless in old floors because it is trapped in the tar, it’s best not to break up the linoleum or get too rough throwing it around just in case.

YARNLADY's avatar

The linoleum guy uses a floor scraper tool, and wears a mask and goggles. The one I saw being used was much bigger, more like a straight edge shovel. I have also seen large mechanical scrapers for rent in the tool rental section.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@lillycoyote 90’s….I CAN’T make friends with a flooring guy! I’m MARRIED!!!

I’ve used a floor scraper tool…just need to find someone who has an official one. Otherwise it’s gonna be me and a big mudding knife. It works but…...well, just call me Floor Scraper Tool. That should be a good pick up line, Lilly!

Thanks guys….I just wish I knew what made some of the felt come up easy as pie, and some of it stick. (......What is with “easy as pie”? Have you ever MADE pie from scratch??! It ain’t easy!!!)

lillycoyote's avatar

@Dutchess_III Sorry, as soon as I wrote my comment I thought, oh my god, how patronizing was that? Dutchess would not be tearing up her floor in such a carefree manner if there was asbestos in it, she’s smarter than that, I didn’t mean to insult you, but you’re old as dirt, like me and use words like “linoleum” which set off my alarm. You do understand that it’s not called “linoleum” anymore, don’t you? The “kids” have some other name for it altogether now. :-)

Dutchess_III's avatar

@lillycoyote You’re fine! But….what is the kid’s word for it? Or do I not want to know!

lazydaisy's avatar

@Dutchess_III I just said make friends with a flooring guy. sheesh.

I think those ‘crazy kids’ call it vinyl.

perspicacious's avatar

For the record, linoleum is still called linoleum and is usually only used in commercial applications today. Vinyl sheet flooring or tile is still used in homes. Linoleum and vinyl are not the same thing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How do you know the difference?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Aaaaand!! We have liftoff! With a little bit of knowledge about steam (thanks @perspicacious) and a little old fashioned Yankee Dutchess ingenuity, I think we got ‘er licked! It’s still a tedious process, but I’m taking a wet wash cloth, putting it down where the stuff is stuck, hold a hot iron on it for 10 seconds, scraping with a large spackling knife while it’s hot…...and it works! I figured that I’d better make sure that I have all of the loosed stuff up, and that I’m sure that what’s left is really stuck because I’ll bet if you steamed a place that was actually lose, it would stick it back down!

Well, my fingers are cramping and doing things I haven’t told them to do. Makes it difficult to type, so, gotta go!!

Thanks you guys~ Anybody wanna come over? BYOSK.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ok, people. The results are in. CARB CLEANER!! Hands down! You just want to be sure you have plenty of ventilation, unless you’re from the 70’s, then it’s like Old Home Week. Oh wow man

Things I have learned: Pull the linoleum up slowly. It’s tempting to macho it, to get the satisfaction you get when you can pull a huge bunch of it up at one time….but then you’re down to stuck-on felt and carb cleaner. It’s best to pull it up slowly and use the mudding knife to encourage it to release the glue. You have far less felt to clean up, which means you get to keep lots more brain cells.

Circle any divits you make AS you make them, so you can go back and fill in.

Might want to have a belt sander on hand, but in our case we’re doing OK with a hand sander.

Make a pattern of the floor using (TA DA!!!!) construction paper. We had a pro who lives in town come by to give us some hints. He really stressed the pattern part. However, he uses felt pattern “paper” for his work, which is $1.25 a yard. I don’t THANK so!! So we went on the hunt for something that would work. News paper is too flimsy, cardboard is too thick, because you have to roll the pattern up. Rick found the construction paper at WalMart, and there it was. Perfect.

You also have to have a large, very clean area to roll your vinyl out in order to set your pattern on it. You want to cut ½ inch outside your pattern. Our local pro offered us the space and use of his shop. (Small town, everybody knows everybody. I first met this guy back in the 90’s when I worked at CellOne. In fact, I had his number memorized because I was the one who picked it out for him….. 338–7777. (Not his real number, but like dat, you see.)

Also, I didn’t know this, but you can seam it where you need to, using a chemical seam that goes on TOP of the vinyl. Our vinyl is in a pattern of squares, like tile. We have two places where we’ll need to seam it. Pro said seam it where the “grout” lines are. Which, yeah. Of course. And the seam looks much better than the transition metal or wood.

Know what I just found out? You can save this page into your personal documents.

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