Remove glue residue from floors

When removing or repairing parquet floors, vinyl tiles or flooring, or old carpets, you may be left with a sticky situation. We offer some tips on removing bitumen and contact adhesives from floors.


In the past, it was standard practice to install parquet flooring over a thick layer of bitumen. Bitumen was considered a decent waterproofing agent and barrier against moisture. Over time, the bitumen adhesive becomes brittle and parquet blocks start to come loose. It was also a common practice for rubber-backed (cheaper) carpeting to be glued onto the floor with contact adhesive, and this method was also used to install vinyl floor tiles and sheet flooring.

You can easily identify bitumen adhesive by its dark colour (black that fades over the years), whereas contact adhesive is far lighter in colour. Both adhesives can be difficult to remove. When removing parquet floor, or ripping out old carpets or vinyl flooring, there are a few methods to try to remove as much old adhesive as possible:

Before committing yourself to hard, manual labour, there are a couple of products on the shelf at your local Builders Warehouse that may make the task a little easier. Glue and Bitumen Removers are available in several brands, and these products are specifically formulated to remove bitumen and glue from sub-floors.

These solvent-based products are highly concentrated for the effective removing tar and adhesive and will cut down on intensive labour to scrap or chip away old bitumen or adhesive.