Return to the Flooring Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
How to remove black mastic from hardwood floor?

Posted by faline (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 26, 11 at 6:22

We're fixing up an older house in preparation for moving. After taking up the filthy carpet, we discovered that underneath are hardwood floors in 2 rooms which are covered with tile and black mastic. (I guess that's what it is?) How do I get the mastic or adhesive--whatever it is-- off without damaging the hardwood? (And yes, I'm aware of asbestos, it wasn't tested but we're taking proper precautions.)

I read online that boiling water will do it, but what would that do to the hardwood? Or do I need a citrus solvent (if so, brand recommendations?) or something else?

I really would like to save the hardwood if possible. I don't mind the rustic look and good thing because I can't refinish the floors right away.

Any tried and true advice would be MUCH appreciated. We're not living in the house yet but will be working there this weekend.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: How to remove black mastic from hardwood floor?

The adhesive may emulsify in the presence of hot water. If it is a hydrocarbon type, then the water will have no effect.

Be aware that any solvent you may use in your attempt to soften the adhesive will drive the adhesive deeper into the wood fibers.


 o
RE: How to remove black mastic from hardwood floor?

Use mineral spirits to soften the mastic and scrape off all that you can. You should be able to get enough off to then be able to sand the floors. That's when the asbestos concerns come into play.

Mineral spirits won't drive it into the grain.


 o
RE: How to remove black mastic from hardwood floor?

"Mineral spirits won't drive it into the grain."

Mineral spirits will easily carry the color deeper into the wood.


 o
RE: How to remove black mastic from hardwood floor?

What's your suggested solution, brickeyee?


 o
RE: How to remove black mastic from hardwood floor?

While we wait for brickeye's response, a solvent will drive the adhesive residue deeper into the wood, which will require a deeper sanding to get beneath the resulting stain.

Best way to handle this is to hire a professional who can remove this for you. If you insist on DIY, then slice off all you can with a sharp razor scraper and then be prepared to sand the rest of it off.


 o
RE: How to remove black mastic from hardwood floor?

If you have access to dry ice and good, thick gloves to protect your hands - you can place the dry ice on a small area of the mastic at a time to freeze it, then rap with a hammer to shatter the mastic, sweep it up, move on to the next spot. You will still have to use sand or use solvent to remove whatever remains.


 o
RE: How to remove black mastic from hardwood floor?

You need to have the mastic checked for asbestos content before trying dry removal methods.

Dry ice works sometimes, or just heavy sanding with a drum sander (and a lot of paper).

If you use anything liquid the material can move deeper into the wood, and WILL move into the cracks between the boards.

When you then sand the edges of every board can show staining.


 o
RE: How to remove black mastic from hardwood floor?

Finishing with any traditional solvent based stain or urethane will wick out remaining mastic from between the boards. I would only sand it or scrap it off.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Flooring Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here