How to Remove Vinyl Tile Adhesive from old Ceramic Tiles?

organic_smallhomeMarch 19, 2008

We just discovered that beneath the old peel-and-stick vinyl tiles in our small 1930s bathroom is the original tile (ceramic?) floor. When I peel up a tile, however, there's all kinds of sticky gunk left on the surface of the original tile. Is there a secret to removing this stuff so that the original tiles aren't damaged? Something eco-friendly, preferably? Also, will original tiles need to be regrouted and reglazed? If any of this is possible/necessary, should I do it myself or hire a professional?

Thanks very much for any advice.

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I thought maybe pics would be helpful:

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 3:04AM
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Circus Peanut

I haven't had to do this myself, thankfully, but some folks seem to have had success using their infrared paint remover, which basically liquifies the gunk in order to scrape it off. The tool is pricey at $300 but rental is also possible.

The original tile looks worth it! Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: silent paint remover review

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 8:44AM
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Mineral spirtits, a plastic scraper like a windshield ice scraper, and a lot of towels.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 11:37AM
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Thanks for the feedback. :)

floorguy: Do you think these are ceramic tiles? Will the tile then need to be regrouted and resealed?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 12:55PM
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Get down there are try and scrape one with a sharp implement. If they are not ceramic, you will be able to easily cut or gouge the tile.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 4:26PM
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I am in the same boat. peel-and-stick tiles over linoleum (the pretty kind, similar to today's marmoleum). I was worried that any product I used to remove the adhesive would also etch the linoleum. I tried the real milk paint co.'s citrus solvent. Not only did it strip the adhesive without damaging the linoleum underneath, but it's safer than mineral spirits or paint thinner, the other things I was going to try if it didn't work. It's basically just orange oil. Pleasant smell, no noxious fumes. I still have to take care that the rags don't spontaneously combust, but I am very happy to have an easy solution.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 9:19AM
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