4 Ways to Remove Sticky Tile Glue From The Floor

Home renovation is a fun and addictive pastime that you can’t seem to get enough of if you’re anything like me.

However, when you are renovating a space, especially an older home, there will be hurdles that you run into, and one of these issues is peel-and-stick vinyl tiles.

They may be easy to install, but when you remove them, they leave behind a residue. So, how do you remove sticky tile glue from the floor?

The four cleaners I recommend for removing sticky tile residue are home cleaner or degreaser, floor stripper, water displacement lubricant, and acetone.

If you get your hands on the suitable remover, you should be able to get that stubborn stickiness off your floor in no time!

This article is going to explain what peel-and-stick tiles are and four different ways to get rid of their sticky tile residue.

Gomestic Fact: Peel-and-stick vinyl tiles can be fixed to any floor, counter, or wall surface as long as it is clean.

What are Peel and Stick Tiles?

Vinyl peel-and-stick tiles first hit the shelves in 1969, and they experienced a massive boom in popularity throughout the 70s. This is why it is common to find peel-and-stick vinyl tiles if you are working with an older home.

However, peel-and-stick tiles have been having a resurgence recently due to the popularity of DIY projects across social media. These new vinyl tiles are easy to stick on and remove again, which makes them very popular with renters who want to put their own mark on a temporary home.

The beauty of these tiles is that they are lightweight and easy to apply for a really affordable price. They are also available in a myriad of patterns and finishes that mimic expensive materials like marble or wood.

The one downside to these tiles is the issue we are discussing today, and that’s the sticky glue residue.

To stay in place and not shift as people walk over them, these peel-and-stick tiles need to have a strong glue that allows them to be lifted off again with a scraper. This is great while you’re using them, but it becomes a pain when it comes time to remove them.

But never fear; I am here to give you some easy ways to get rid of this sticky glue so your surface is clean and ready for its new finish.

4 Ways to Remove Sticky Tile Glue From the Floor

There are two reasons why you will need to remove sticky tile glue from your floor.

First, you need to remove the glue so you can have a clear base to fix the new flooring to.

Secondly, you will need to remove it when you are moving out of a rental. As I discussed above, peel-and-stick tiles make decorating rentals easy because you can just peel them off when the lease is up. However, you will need to get rid of the residue left behind.

When using these techniques, I recommend wearing gloves, as some of these substances can be harmful when they make contact with the skin. I also suggest washing your hand thoroughly after you’ve finished.

Here are four easy ways to remove sticky tile glue:

Home Cleaner or Degreaser

If these are newer tiles and they have weaker glue, you may get away with using a home cleaner or a degreaser that you might use for your oven. Spray the cleaner liberally across the surface before using a paper towel to wipe it away.

This is always my first choice, but if this isn’t good enough, then you can try one of the following three cleaners.

Floor Stripper

Mixing instructions will vary from brand to brand, so follow the mixing instructions on the label before placing the floor stripper in a spray bottle.

Spray the whole area with the floor stripper and give it some time to work. Scrape off the majority of the glue with a scraper. To get the last little bits, wrap your scraper in a cloth and scrape off the rest.

Thoroughly dry the area.

Water Displacement Lubricant

Water displacement lubricant is ideal for removing peel-and-stick tiles from plywood.

Spray the lubricant directly from the can onto the sticky areas. Let it sit for a while like the others before using a 5-in-1 tool or a paint scraper to get the glue off.

The lubricant will stop the glue from being sticky, which will make it easier to remove.


Acetone is a super quick and affordable way to get rid of this stubborn glue.

You will only need a small amount, so I recommend buying regular 100% acetone nail polish remover from the drugstore.

Apply the acetone using a cotton bud and allow it to sit and work its magic. Wipe off with a paper towel and rinse the area with clean water to remove the residue.

Gomestic Fact: Peel-and-stick tiles can last up to 25 years if they are well-maintained and installed.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the easiest way to remove peel-and-stick tiles from the floor?

Before you need to worry about the glue residue, you need to remove the tiles themselves.

In my opinion, the best way to remove these tiles is to heat them briefly with a hair drier and then pry them up using a paint scraper. Start from the joins and wiggle to get the scraper under the tile, and keep working at it until it pops up.

Does vinegar remove floor adhesive?

Cleaners featuring vinegar are an alternative to more powerful synthetic removers. However, it only works on weaker adhesives.

If you want to avoid buying another project and you have white vinegar on hand, then I don’t see a problem with trying this cleaner first to know if it is all you need.


Home renovation presents you with many issues but, after today, removing sticky tile glue should not be one of them.

The five removers I recommend for removing sticky tile glue are home cleaner or degreaser, floor stripper, water displacement lubricant, and acetone solvent.

I hope this advice leaves your floor residue free and ready for the next step in your renovation plan.

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