How to Remove and Replace Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is a great option for homeowners. It’s low maintenance and ideal for areas that experience high levels of moisture — such as kitchens and bathrooms. However, vinyl can easily become worn and tattered. When this happens, it’s time to remove your old vinyl flooring and replace it.

In this guide, we give you step by step instructions for removing and replacing old vinyl floors.

Tools You’ll Need

● Flat pry bar

● Hammer or mallet

● Utility knife

● Heat gun or adhesive remover

● Work gloves

● Wood block

Step 1: Remove Baseboard Trim

Sometimes the baseboards are installed over the vinyl. In this case, remove the baseboards in order to remove the vinyl flooring. To do this, place a wood block a few inches above the baseboard. Next, place the wide end of the pry bar where the baseboard meets the wall. With a mallet or hammer, gently tap the top of the pry bar to force it under the trim. Then, slowly pry the trim away.

Tip: If you want to reuse the trim, mark the back of the trim with its location for easier reinstallation.

Step 2: Start in the Center of the Room

Oftentimes, when vinyl flooring is installed, only a 6-inch perimeter is glued down. This means the center of the vinyl flooring stays loose. Therefore, it’s best to start working in the middle of the room.

Use a utility knife to make a cut straight down the middle of your floor — 8 inches away from the walls. Be sure to keep your cuts parallel to the walls.

Step 3: Cut Flooring into Strips

Make narrow cuts that are about 12 inches apart. Cutting small strips will make removing the vinyl easier. Once cut, gently lift the vinyl until you reach adhesive near the perimeter. Use a scraper to loosen the vinyl from the adhesive. If you’re having a hard time pulling off the vinyl, use a pry bar and hammer to chisel away at the adhesive.

As you chip away at the old adhesive, use your other hand to peel back the vinyl. Be sure that you are removing the full thickness of the flooring and not the vinyl sheet.

Step 4: Remove Remaining Adhesive

If there is still adhesive on the subfloor, you have a few options for removing it.

Heat Gun:

A heat gun can be useful in removing adhesive that is difficult to scrape off. Turn the heat gun on the lowest setting. Hold the gun over the adhesive until it becomes soft enough to remove.

Adhesive Remover:

Another way to remove old adhesive is with an adhesive remover. Apply an even coat of adhesive remover with a brush until the glue softens and becomes easier to remove.

Step 5: Apply New Vinyl Flooring

Ensure that the vinyl sheet is straight, then use a straight edge to trim it along the walls. Once the vinyl is trimmed and in position, begin applying the adhesive. Be sure to start in the center of the room and work in sections. Use a rolling pin or floor roller to secure the bond between the vinyl and the adhesive.
After the flooring is installed, leave the adhesive to dry for several hours before placing the molding or trim.

Need Help With Your Flooring Needs?

Although installing vinyl flooring is fairly easy for beginners, there’s a lot of room for error. Not to mention, removing vinyl flooring on your own External link opens in new tab or windowmay be dangerous. That’s why we recommend consulting with flooring professionals. Our team at Atlanta Floor One specializes in delivering stellar External link opens in new tab or windowflooring installation.


Ready to beautify your home’s flooring? External link opens in new tab or windowSchedule a free estimate today! Or call 404-578-0926