Peel and stick vinyl tile is a very popular floor covering from yesteryear. Many homeowners want to get rid of their peel and stick flooring to update it with something else, such as ceramic tile or hardwood. Removing old peel and stick vinyl tiles is not a difficult task, but it takes some effort. First the tiles must be pulled up, and then you have the task of lifting the adhesive from the substrate.
Prior to attempting any work, have your tile tested for the presence of asbestos. If there is asbestos present, you will need to have the tile taken up by an expert in asbestos removal. Otherwise, you can proceed with the task yourself.
Shimmy a metal putty knife under an exposed edge of one of the vinyl tiles. Use a seesaw motion with the putty knife to pry the tile off the flooring underneath. Once the whole edge of the tile is lifted, insert a floor scraper underneath, and give a few good pushes to scrape the tile completely off the floor. Floor scrapers are generally thin metal pieces shaped like a wedge attached to a long or short handle.
Repeat the process of lifting an edge and inserting the floor scraper to lift all the tiles. If you are using a short-handled floor scraper, knee pads may help make the work less grueling. Dispose of the old tiles in a garbage bag.
Read the label on the citrus adhesive thoroughly to check for any specific application warnings and precautions. Citrus adhesive removers generally have low odor, and are very effective on tough adhesives like those used on peel and stick tiles. Apply the adhesive remover as the directions indicate.
Wait the amount of time indicated on the adhesive remover instructions, then scrape off the moistened adhesive with the floor scraper, and dispose in a garbage bag.
Fill a bucket with warm water, and rinse off the excess adhesive remover and residue. Mop to make sure the floor is clean.