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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any tips for removing adhesive from hardwood floors? I just pulled up carpet and vinyl that's who knows how old from a bedroom in my house. The vinyl left behind a paper backing and the adhesive.

I did have some luck testing with steam and scraping, but if there is a better way, I'm open to trying it. Steam and scraping takes forever!

I'm a little concerned about using steam, since it may be pushing the adhesive further into the pores of the wood, but since there is already some kind of finish on it, it may not be that big of a deal. Planning on sanding and refinishing afterwards anyway.
 

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Sanding will gum up the paper too quick to be effective.
Depends on whether the adhesive is water based, or solvent based. Water based will sand off with 24 grit paper. Solvent based is gonna need to be removed first with an adhesive remover.
 

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Put denatured alcohol in a garden sprayer, wet the floor down pretty good and then cover it with painters plastic. Then walk away for a while. Sooner or later, the adhesive will emulsify under the plastic. Then just peel the plastic back a little at a time and scrape the goop off. Keeping it covered is the key. Otherwise it will evaporate and you'll be back to square one.
 

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I'd rather throw a $100 into the bid for extra paper and not introduce any chemicals into the equation. Faster, No fumes, no mess, no worries that the stain/and or finish will have a reaction to the stripping products.
I agree with that. Chemicals just create issues...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
May have to try just sanding. I'll test a spot with the Rotex to see how the glue reacts. If it seems to work, I'll go pick up the drum sander. Thanks AR.
 

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Walk On Wood said:
Quit playing with solutions like "try" and get yourself a Diamabrush. If you don't know what that is, find out.
I've seen them at Home Depot rentals, probably not all carry them, I was quite surprised when I saw them , trying to rival my equipment.
 

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I suggested new floor because its old adhesive under vinyl so its most likely black tar mastic aka asbestos. If the vinyl is pre 78 pretty good chance the adhesive contains asbestos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Metro M & L said:
I suggested new floor because its old adhesive under vinyl so its most likely black tar mastic aka asbestos. If the vinyl is pre 78 pretty good chance the adhesive contains asbestos.
I was worried about this as well, but it doesn't seem to be the case. This stuff is looks more clear, and is hard as a rock. The hardwoods that are beneath are finished, so the vinyl was installed sometime later. I tried sanding a small spot as a test, and it looks like it will come off rather easy with a drum sander. Thanks Artesian Remodel!
 

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I google the house, and if it looks like the floor could contain asbestos I offer to send it in for testing. Costs 100 bucks and takes three days. I recently had one that I was certain was asbestos because of the age and black backing but it came back negative, so you never know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Turns out it was water based. Sanded off real easy! I put a wet rag on it for a few minutes, and could actually scrape it off, but that would have been a bit time consuming. 36 grit ripped it right off! Thanks everybody for the advice.
 

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Turns out it was water based. Sanded off real easy! I put a wet rag on it for a few minutes, and could actually scrape it off, but that would have been a bit time consuming. 36 grit ripped it right off! Thanks everybody for the advice.

When assessing these type situations, I usually take my pocket knife or a paint scraper & scrape at it. If it pulls off easy & isn't sticky, it's water base & will sand right off. Glad that's the situation you encountered. Because the alternative, isn't pretty.:censored:
 

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I suggested new floor because its old adhesive under vinyl so its most likely black tar mastic aka asbestos. If the vinyl is pre 78 pretty good chance the adhesive contains asbestos.
No, we never spread cutback over a hardwood floor that I can recall. The cutback is kerosene based and that wouldn't work well with some kinds of existing finishes on a hardwood. You COULD theoretically strip/sand off all the existing finish but the clear thin spreads, latex multi-purpose or black thin spread which is also not asbestos or petroleum based would have been the first choices.

In a house over wood to lay vinyl we'd use multi-purpose to lay VAT or VCT we'd have used thin spread.

I agree with the advise to use mechanical rather than chemical means to remove the adhesive if that's at all possible. Using ANY chemical/solvent adhesive removers is risky business. But if I were to take that risk I like the idea of denatured alcohol and plastic.

--------really depends on the value of the existing wood and how important it is to the customer to preserve it intact.
 
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