Effectively Remove Rubber Floor Tiles

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  • 3-6 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-50
What You'll Need
Putty knife
Protective gloves
Soapy water
Adhesive removing solvents

Rubber floor tiles offer good flooring material for areas of the home that need extra sound insulation. These tiles also provide softer surfaces that absorb impact. When deciding to remove the rubber tiles in favor of environmentally friendly flooring materials, you have to deal with the adhesive underneath it.

Step 1 - Preparations

Remove any object that is on top of the rubber floor tiles. Clean chunks of debris and sweep dust on the top surface. Prepare all tools and materials as well. Choose solvent for adhesive removal. Solvents such as paint thinner, mineral spirits, lighter fluid, acetone, alcohol, and commercial adhesive removers can be used. However, when dealing with a wide area, make use of a stronger solvent to speed up the process.

Step 2 - Remove the Tiles

Wear protective gloves. Use a putty knife to detach the tile from the underlayment or subfloor. Start working from the corners and edges of the floor. Insert the flat end of the putty knife into the underside of the tile and loosen the adhesive. When a portion of the tile is removed, pull it up carefully with a pair of pliers while loosening the leftover adhesive with the knife. After detaching the tile, move to the next tile. Work from one edge going towards the opposite edge.

Step 3 - Prepare for Adhesive Removal

When working with solvent, provide sufficient ventilation inside the room by opening available windows and doors. Wear protective gloves and a respirator. Keep in mind that over exposure to fumes coming from toxic solvents can cause adverse effects health. Safety should be a primary concern.

Step 4 - Remove the Adhesive

Work one section at a time to keep things organized. Use a putty knife to scrape away large chunks of adhesive and leave the hard-to-scrape ones for the solvent to remove. To keep things safe, use warm soapy water when removing the leftover adhesive. Spread the warm soapy water over the floor and rub it with a rag.

Use mild solvent such as alcohol or acetone when soapy water is not effective. Spread the solvent over the adhesive one small section at a time and rub it with a rag. For better effectiveness, allow the solvent to sit for about ten minutes before rubbing it with a rag. Do not let the solvent dry.

Use stronger solvents only when milder solutions do not work. Choose whether to use mineral spirits, paint thinner, or other commercial adhesive removers. Apply a liberal amount the solvent over the affected surface. Let it sit for about ten minutes before rubbing the adhesive away. Ensure that every residue of the adhesive is removed before cleaning up the mess.

Step 5 - Clean Up the Residue

Wipe the solvent off the surface using soapy water. Wipe it dry afterwards with a clean dry cloth or a mop. Apply baking soda solution to neutralize the solvent if preferred. Clean the residue with a vacuum cleaner.