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Cleaning Up After a Glue-Down Floor Installation

On Tuesday we mentioned all of the different ways to install a hardwood or vinyl floor. There was the nail-down option that is popular among professionals who want your floor to last as long as possible, the DIY-friendly floating floor installation, and the ever-reliable glue-down method. All three options offer their own benefits and challenges, but today we wanted to hone in on the biggest challenge that comes with glueing your new floor into place; cleaning up.

Cleaning up after a glue-down floor installation can be a bit tricky for those who haven't installed too many floors before, but it is absolutely vital to do. You need to get rid of the excess glue that comes popping up through the spaces between floorboards or you'll end up with an ugly, uneven floor. The job needs to happen fast too, or else you'll end up with a job 10x harder than should be due to the glue hardening in place. Don't let that be you!

To begin, you must prepare yourself with the right tools. You can choose between using a hand scraper (inexpensive but labor-intensive), a reciprocating saw (compact and gets the job done fairly quick, but costs a little extra), and a power scraper (fastest, though most expensive option) to rid your floor of the majority of sticky gunk. The job will also require a squirt bottle, and floor stripper (can be substituted with acetone-based nail polish). These tools will soften the glue and give you the freedom to get rid it without harming your floors.

Next on the list is spraying down the exposed glue. Fill your water bottle with the floor stripper and carefully spray a small area of glue at a time. It's always a good idea to test how your floor/glue reacts to the solution in an inconspicuous spot before going to town on the rest of the room. If everything looks clear, feel free to proceed.

Let your solution sit for a few minutes to soften the glue. Then, moving horizontally, use your scraper of choice to remove the adhesive. Try not to press down on the scraper. Doing so could harm your floorboards. When you're finished with the job you'll want to use a damp cloth, or a full-on mop if you're feeling ambitious, to clear away any remaining flecks of glue.

And with that, you're done! Now you can enjoy a clean, even, beautiful floor!

Happy Flooring!

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