How Do I Remove Sticky Residue to Prepare Hardwood Floors to be Refinished?

Answered by Brett ~ January 17, 2012 ~ Comments

I have hard wood floors in our dining room to refinish, but the tricky part is that I have to first remove peel and stick laminate square tiles that were originally on top. There's a lot of glue residue that is not coming up, it's just a grey squishy mess going into the wood cracks and crevices. I have small children, so I am hesitant to use a very strong chemical. The space is about 10' x 12'. Any suggestions about how to best remove the damage to the wood floors?

Chris K. ~ Oklahoma City, OK

Brett Kulina

Chris, unfortunately many of the most effective glue removers are pretty harsh, some are even flammable and toxic, which means that lots of ventilation and care are required when you use them. Although I have never used a product called Foam Off, it is supposedly a more gentle adhesive remover that may help to lift off the old laminate glue from your hardwood floors prior to refinishing them.

If the adhesive that is on your floors is not fully hardened, then you should try to scrape off as much of it as possible before applying any adhesive removal product. It is also imperative that you test any adhesive removal products in a indiscreet area before using them on your entire floor, because some products may stain your wood floors, or worse yet cause the old glue to dissolve and soak into the pores of the wood (which will then cause problems during the refinishing process).

Your best option would be to contact the laminate manufacturer and ask them which adhesive remover is the most effective for their specific flooring product. If you have hired a contractor to refinish your home's hardwood floors, then you can ask them for some recommendations as well. Whatever you do, do not try to sand the sticky glue off, as it will only destroy your sanding disks and cause more of a mess.

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