Installing Vinyl Over Linoleum

Dear Natural Handyman,
I am tearing up old linoleum and replacing with new vinyl flooring. Do I need to get ALL the old glue off the floor if I am using a thick, high-quality new vinyl? If yes, what is best method?
SP from Indianapolis, IN

That is a question best answered by the company selling the vinyl. As a general rule, vinyl flooring will over time tend to show defects in the subfloor. However the "padded" vinyls are somewhat thicker and more forgiving.

I would suggest getting as much of the old adhesive as you can to get a fairly smooth surface. Though you can use paint remover to lift the glue, warming it with a heat gun and scraping it off is the least noxious method... just don't burn the glue by overheating it.

One thought, though... do you really need to remove the old linoleum? Generally speaking, if the old linoleum is mostly in good shape and stuck firmly, you can install new vinyl right over it. Any loose seams or small defects can be cut out and filled with a leveling plaster, such as Level Best, before installing the new vinyl. Again, consult with the flooring supplier for the correct adhesive for this application.

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