Home Garden

Asphalt Tile Removal

Asphalt tiles were a popular floor covering in many homes, since they were an inexpensive flooring product. However, over time, the adhesive loosens and the tiles begin to lift out of place. Even if there are no loose tiles, a home or business owner may want to remove the outdated asphalt tiles to replace the flooring with another option. Anne Field, an Extension Specialist with Michigan State University, suggests using a solvent to remove the adhesive.
  1. Remove Tiles

    • Removing the actual tiles is not too difficult. The tiles can be removed with a flat blade, such as a four-inch putty knife. Push the blade under the edge of the tiles and lift the tiles up and away from the floor. The tiles will break as you go, but with a bit of determination, you can complete this project. Warming the tiles is helpful to soften the adhesive holding them in position. Use a blow dryer on the highest setting to warm the tile before trying to lift it out of place. There are heating tools available, but there is a risk of causing a fire if you accidentally ignite the tile, the adhesive or the wood flooring or subfloor underneath the tile. After removing the tile, scrape as much of the tile adhesive off the floor as possible with a paint scraper or the edge of a putty knife.

    Remove Adhesive

    • The tile adhesive most commonly used with asphalt tile is an oil-based product. Solvents work to break down the adhesive for removal. Solvents are extremely flammable. Turn of all pilot lights or any sources of flame in the home before using a solvent to remove the adhesive. Work in a well-ventilated area with a fan in a window blowing out to remove the fumes associated with the solvent from the work area.

      Purchase a solvent that does not contain oil from a home improvement center or hardware store. Use a paintbrush to apply the solvent to the adhesive. Allow the solvent to remain on the adhesive for a few minutes; then use a putty knife to remove the softened adhesive, and place it in a trash bag. Remove as much of the adhesive as possible with this process, and then sand the floor to remove the remaining adhesive.

      Take the solvent-laden trash out as often as possible. Do not leave this in the home or office overnight. Take the precautions of working with a solvent seriously. It takes only a small spark at the wrong time to cause an explosion.