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Vinyl Flooring: Removal Made Easy

Rent a power scraper to quickly and easily strip and remove vinyl flooring in bathrooms and kitchens. You'll avoid the sore hands, arms and back that comes from hand stripping.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Power strip vinyl flooring

I’ve removed vinyl flooring with a handheld floor scraper, and I’ve done it with a rental oscillating floor scraper machine. The handheld floor scraper technique took the better part of the day, and my back, palms and arms were sore for a week. For the next flooring removal job, I rented a power floor scraper. The entire job was over in less than 20 minutes, and I didn’t even break a sweat. The machine rents for about $40 for four hours.

Start by scoring the vinyl (Photo 1). Next, adjust the angle on the floor scraper until it pulls up vinyl without gouging the subfloor. Then turn it on and let ’er rip (Photo 2).

Ceramic tile blade on scraper

Ceramic tile blade on scraper

Use Power to Chip Out Floor Tile

Ordinary floor scraper blades won’t stand up to ceramic or porcelain tile. But some rental machines accept an optional tile chisel. If your rental store offers that feature, just remove the wide scraper blade, slide in the chisel attachment and secure it with the bolt and washer. Then fire it up and let the machine do the dirty work for you.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Straightedge
    • Utility knife

You'll also need a power floor scraper (rental).

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