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Vinyl Flooring: Removal Made Easy

A power scraper makes this task quick and easy

FH12DJA_REMVIN_02-2Family Handyman
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.

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How to remove vinyl tile: Power strip vinyl flooring

Photo 1: Score the vinyl flooring

Measure out 10 in. from the wall and score the vinyl flooring with a utility knife. Then repeat scoring every 10 in. all the way across the room.

Photo 2: Guide the machine down each strip

Steer the machine down the scored swath and let it do all the work. Let the stripped vinyl roll up in front of the scraper blade.

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.

For how to remove vinyl tile, 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).

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.

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).