How to remove tile glue from a concrete floor

Updated February 21, 2017

Tile glue is an adhesive that is required to install tiles onto a flooring foundation. Tiles are often laid onto concrete floors because concrete serves as a solid, stable walking surface. If you are removing existing floor tiles from a concrete surface, you will most likely encounter old glue residue, which can be effectively removed with the right solvent.

Boil some water in a small pot. Bring it to the concrete floor and pour it slowly over a section of the glue. Work with a manageable area to begin with, allowing the water to soak for 10-15 minutes.

Remove the majority of the tile glue with a long-handled scraper. The tool not only loosens the residue, but also eases the process by minimising the need to strain or crouch.

Put on a pair of rubber gloves and ventilate the worksite. Apply an adhesive remover to the remaining tile residue, following the manufacturer's instructions. Allow the solvent to take effect for the waiting period on the product label.

Scrape the remainder of the glue after it has softened. Use the long-handled scraper once again to lift the softened traces of glue, then sweep them aside with a push broom.

Dispose of the waste in trash bags. Mop the concrete surface with a soapy solution or household detergent. Leave the floor to air dry or help the process along with an electric fan.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Water
  • Long-handled scraper
  • Adhesive remover
  • Push broom
  • Trash bags
  • Mop
  • Detergent
  • Electric fan
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