How to get rid of floor tile glue

Written by jessica jewell
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How to get rid of floor tile glue
In order to remodel a kitchen floor, you must completely remove the old tiles and the adhesive that secured them. (David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Tile glue, or tile adhesive, is comprised of various materials, depending on the type and location of the floor. Removing tile adhesive is a necessary step when remodelling or re-flooring. Unfortunately, due to its hard structure, tile glue can be difficult to simply scrape away. But with the proper application of a tile adhesive remover, you can soften the adhesive and remove it from the floor.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Protective gloves
  • Protective mask
  • Protective eyewear
  • Adhesive remover
  • Hand scraper
  • Paintbrush
  • Wet towel

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  1. 1

    Prepare the area to remove the adhesive. If possible, open windows in the room to increase the air circulation. Put on protective gloves, eyewear and even a face mask to limit the amount of exposure that you have to the solvents that soften the adhesive and the adhesive itself.

  2. 2

    Apply a thick layer or adhesive remover to the areas where the tile glue is visible. Apply the adhesive with paintbrush if it does not come in a tube that you can simply drag onto the glue. There are many adhesive removers available on the market. Select a traditional solvent adhesive remover or try a soy-based adhesive remover. Both are effective in softening old tile glue. Removers that contain citrus products are often less toxic than solvent-based removers.

  3. 3

    Wait for the adhesive remover to soften the glue. This could take several hours, but be patient because you want to be able to easily scrape away the glue.

  4. 4

    Scrape away the adhesive with a hand scraper.

  5. 5

    Wash the area with a clean wet towel and warm water to make sure that all of the glue has been removed. If there is still glue present on the tile, repeat the process.

Tips and warnings

  • Some adhesive removers can evaporate in direct sunlight. If you are using this type of adhesive remover, close your curtains or work when there is no sunlight in the room.
  • Do not work with solvent adhesive removers in a room without proper ventilation. Never use these types of removers near open fires, nor near children or domestic animals, as the solvents are often toxic.

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