How to Remove Sticky Tile Glue From a Floor

Updated March 23, 2017

Removing old glued down floor tiles is a challenging job. The adhesive used to secure tiles usually does a fantastic job of holding them in place. When you decide to upgrade to a newer style of floor covering you may find that removing the tiles is just part of the problem. Part of the glue often remains on the floor after tile removal creating an uneven surface. The uneven surface makes it difficult, if not impossible for you to lay your new floor covering. However there are ways to remove this stubborn glue.

Apply the adhesive remover to the glue covered area. Read all instructions on the label of your adhesive remover. Work in a small area for maximum efficiency. Allow the adhesive remover to penetrate the old adhesive according to the label instructions.

Scrape away the loose adhesive. Sweep up and safely dispose of the debris as instructed on the label of the adhesive remover.

Repeat the application of the adhesive remover as needed to remove the glue from the entire area. Scrape away any stubborn adhesive and dispose of it properly. Clean up all tools according to the instructions on the label of your adhesive remover.


Citrus and soy based adhesive removers are generally the least caustic options available. If this option is not working in your particular situation you may need to use a solvent-based adhesive remover.


Solvent-based removers produce dangerous fumes. Ventilate the area and follow all label instructions and cautions.

Things You'll Need

  • Citrus or soy-based adhesive remover
  • Hand scraper
  • Heavy rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles
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About the Author

Based near Kansas City, Mo., Sally Syak began freelance writing in 2010. Her articles appear on various websites, primarily focusing on home improvement, hobbies and business marketing. Syak is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science in occupational therapy at Pennsyvania Valley Community College.