Remove Wood Flooring Adhesive from Concrete
LESLIE: James in Indiana is having a flooring situation. What’s going on?
JAMES: Well, I’m doing a remodeling and there’s – I’m going to call it a parquet wood flooring. They’re interlocking … they …
LESLIE: They’re little tiles.
JAMES: Besides the interlocking, they were actually glued to a concrete floor.
TOM: Ah, you see, oil and water don’t mix and neither do wood flooring and concrete. (laughing)
LESLIE: And concrete. That sounds terrible.
TOM: Yeah, usually the concrete is so hydroscopic, it holds so much moisture that it causes the floor to warp.
JAMES: Oh. Well, it doesn’t … it hasn’t done that …
JAMES: … but I want to take it all up.
JAMES: I’ve taken like a air chisel hammer type thing …
JAMES: … and I’ve been prying it up. But there’s still a lot of glue on the concrete.
TOM: I bet.
LESLIE: Well, they probably needed so much glue to overcome the moisture in the concrete to make it adhere.
TOM: What kind of finish floor do you want to put down?
JAMES: Well, what I want to do is put a subflooring down then I’m going to put oak on top of that.
TOM: Generally speaking, it’s still not a good idea to put wood flooring on top of concrete unless …
LESLIE: Unless it’s an engineered hardwood.
TOM: Yeah. Yeah. I think you might be … I think … there’s probably an easier way to do this. If you can get as much of that glue off as you can, to the point where it’s fairly smooth, engineered hardwoods go down on top of an underlayment that’s usually soft and cushy and will take up some of the … if there’s any roughness left from the glue. And then they lock together. Think of … think of hardwood plywood. That’s what engineered hardwood floors are. It’s like a laminated assembly of different hardwoods that go in angles that are 90 degrees opposed to each other. And when you do that, James, they become dimensionally stable and they won’t rot or twist or warp. And they’re pretty easy to put down because they lock together.
Now there are different densities of finishes that you can buy on that. You can buy a residential grade or a commercial grade. And there is a huge, I mean huge difference in durability between the different levels of finishes. So you need to pay close attention and buy the best finish you can afford if you want it to really last.
JAMES: Oh, OK. Now, do you have any suggestions of how to get this glue up?
TOM: Well, you know, there are some earth-friendly products that actually will work to remove adhesive that you might want to try. There is one that’s called Citrus King and the website for that is CitrusDepot.com. And they have an earth-friendly, non-toxic, biodegradable adhesive remover that might work for a situation like this.
LESLIE: Yeah, especially when you’re dealing with so much glue to get rid of.
TOM: Yeah, you don’t want to use a harsh chemical and that’s why I think something that’s a little … a little less toxic would probably be a good thing.