Vinyl floors are easy to lay – and almost as easy to remove. Depending on the age, condition and laying technique of the soil, however, there are a few things to consider. Learn below how best to remove your vinyl floor and dispose of the leftovers properly.

What’s important when removing vinyl floors

When a room is redesigned or renovated, this often includes the replacement of the floor covering.

Vinyl floors are relatively easy to remove themselves, provided that some important aspects are taken into account.

Laying technology

How laborious the removal of a vinyl floor is depends primarily on how it is laid.

Floating or loosely laid floor coverings are easier to remove than glued.

And it makes a difference whether it’s fully glued or self-adhesive vinyl.

Age and condition of the soil

The age and condition of the soil also play a role, as the materials and laying techniques used have changed over the years.

While vinyl floor adhesives used today are becoming more and more powerful and therefore harder to separate from the substrate, older coverings are usually already more worn and brittle, which makes them easier to tear/break when detached.

Particular care should be taken with vinyl floors (actually PVC floors)from the 1970s and 1980s: these can be asbestos-containing and should therefore only be removed with appropriate protective equipment.


Before starting disassembly, it is therefore important to determine the time from which the vinyl floor originates and how it is attached to the substrate.

Also a suitable work clothes as well as possibly necessary protective equipment (mouthguard, goggles, etc.) – and above all the right tool (cutter knife, spatula, etc.) should be prepared in advance.

Remove floating laid vinyl floor

Floating vinyl flooring is very easy to remove as it is not permanently connected to the substrate.

In the first – and at the same time most complex – work step, the socket strips (glued, nailed or screwed) are dismantled. After that, the removal of the soil can be started.

Relatively little effort is caused by vinyl planks with a click system. These can be easily removed series by row and – with due care – if necessary even reused.

If necessary, the footfall sound insulation and the vinyl floor ingestion surface are removed in a final step, provided that this is no longer needed for the new floor covering.

Remove glued vinyl flooring

It is a little more elaborate when removing glued vinyl flooring.

Although this can also be removed with relatively little effort, adhesive residues usually stick to the substrate, which must be additionally removed.

Divide the floor into individual pieces

If it is vinyl floor ingesis (actually PVC floor),the floor should be cut into even, narrow webs with a sharp knife or cutter.

If the vinyl consists of individual planks, it can be removed without any prior subdivision.

The individual elements can be easily grasped with a lever tool or spatula and lifted or detached with less effort.

Ideally, the peeling is started at the corners by pushing a spatula under the floor and removing the floor.

It can happen that the vinyl tears again and again and the spatula has to be reattached.

Persistent bonding can be loosened more easily by heating with a hair dryer, but also electric fillers or machine carpet strippers make the work much easier (in the DIY store/rental park request).

Special multi-milling machines can also be rented in DIY stores.

These are particularly suitable for particularly old coverings and multi-punched substrates, as they not only completely remove the vinyl floor and adhesive layer, but also work their way up to the solid support layer of the underbody.

Remove vinyl flooring from tiles

Often there is already a floor covering under the vinyl surface, which is to be uncovered again in the course of the renovation.

For example, if you want to remove a vinyl floor from tiles, a particularly careful approach is necessary in order not to damage it.

Eliminate adhesive layer

Once the vinyl floor is completely removed, in most cases an adhesive layer remains.

If a new covering is laid on it, it is sufficient to roughly remove the adhesive residues and then grind them off with a single-disc machine.

If a newly purchased vinyl floor is to be laid, the usual procedure is necessary to prepare the substrate.

However, if the vinyl has been removed to make the underlying floor visible, a thorough removal of the adhesive is not eliminated.

It works best with an electric spatula and a hot air hair dryer, which heats the adhesive residues.

Alternatively, the adhesive can also be moistened and scrubbed with burning spirit or a turpentine replacement solution.

Dispose of vinyl flooring

If the vinyl floor is successfully removed, the remaining remains raise a final crucial question: Where to dispose?

Since vinyl floors are made of artificially produced PVC, they must not be thrown into normal household waste, but must be disposed of properly.

Especially if it is an old asbestos-containing material.

Vinyl waste can either be delivered directly to material yards or taken away from bulky waste collection.

In both cases, it is advisable to contact the competent waste disposal company in good time in order to find any restrictions (size or quantity of vinyl residues) and to agree on an appointment for delivery or collection.

In addition, the respective waste reverberating company provides information on the costs of disposing of the vinyl floor.

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