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We removed a wooden dance floor that was glued to concrete with liquid nails. How do I remove the liquid nails that is all over the concrete floor? Has anyone had success with heat, mineral spirits or any other remover product?

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Sounds like a job for Liquid Prybar (tm)! –  Chris Cudmore Mar 19 '13 at 16:08
    
Thanks for your response, where do you purchase Liquid Prybar? –  Diana R Mar 19 '13 at 16:17
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Just a little joke. –  Chris Cudmore Mar 19 '13 at 16:19
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buy it where they sell liquid screwdriver. –  shirlock homes Mar 19 '13 at 16:36
    
what are you putting on the floor after taking the liquid nails off? –  DMoore Apr 15 '13 at 20:28

5 Answers 5

Removing glue from any surface is a thankless task. You will not be able to return the floor to an as-built state. You're going to have to cover it with something.

You're going to have to dissolve it and scrape it. And it's going to be a heck of job.

Some expert google-fu has yielded Baby Oil as a potential solvent. Other suggestions were mineral oil.

However, I think a better solution would be to get a floor sander with a grinding pad and sand it off. Remember to wear a dust mask.

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Most adhesives now are urethane based, so if one heats them up with a good hot air gun, they may soften so you can scrape most of it off. But the rest will have to be sanded for sure. –  shirlock homes Mar 19 '13 at 16:34
    
@shirlockhomes I'd post that as an answer. –  Chris Cudmore Mar 19 '13 at 16:36
    
@shirlockhomes I agree with you, but in the context of this answer: if there's a sure-fire way to gum-up and run through sanding pads quick it's with urethane glues. –  Matthew Mar 19 '13 at 17:40
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agree with the gum up sanding disks. That is why he needs to try to scrape up most of it first. –  shirlock homes Mar 19 '13 at 18:05

From the Liquid Nails faq:

How To Remove LIQUID NAILS Adhesive Products from Building Materials
In general, LIQUID NAILS construction adhesive and caulk products can be scraped off when they are softened either by:

  • Heating above 140°F with an electric heat gun or blow dryer
  • Coating the adhesive with petroleum jelly or mineral spirits for several hours to several days (NOTE: Mineral spirits are not recommended for tub surrounds, whether vinyl, plastic, painted or varnished.)
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Are we sure it's actually Liquid Nails? It could be generic construction adhesive. –  Chris Cudmore Mar 19 '13 at 18:50
    
If it's rubber based, solvent liquified construction adhesive, (which a good portion of the Liquid Nails line is), the above will also apply. Such products are made by GE, DAP, MDA. The OP will have to determine the composition. –  Fiasco Labs Mar 19 '13 at 21:39
    
I have also removed most of the above with chisel and hammer! –  DMoore Apr 15 '13 at 20:21
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If you melt the adhesive and it gets all gooey that is not a great scenario. I have tried this before. Wear latex gloves and know that whatever you are scraping with might be thrown away. Also note that you will probably not get everything off and instead of having your adhesive tracks you will now have thinner adhesive rivers. This may be OK if you are putting something over this to finish. It just depends. But if you are putting something over then why not chisel... Only time I say not to chisel this stuff off is if you are afraid of breaking material its attached to. –  DMoore Apr 16 '13 at 17:24

I've used Goof off professional for small areas, but its too toxic for a large area.

Diamond brush buffers will wear down the adhesive and even out the floor. They can be used wet to keep the dust cloud to a minimum. Mastic removal tool

This is available as a rental at a familiar big box store and is paired with a floor buffer. A shop vac and dust mask HIGHLY recommended.

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HerrBag has a tool for everything! Now I might not choose this answer but he shows me a new tool everyday. Also this would probably be best answer if you were finishing the concrete after taking the adhesive out. –  DMoore Apr 16 '13 at 17:26
    
I'll admit to being a tool <cough> enthusiast (my wife says obsessed (I say, check her shoe rack)). –  HerrBag Apr 17 '13 at 2:27

I had liquid nails all over my walls for my steps leading downstairs after I tore out the fake brick. I am more than sure that the above answers will work but I like free and I like hitting things.

Tools needed:
sharp chisel and hammer.
Time it took me to do entire stairs:
about 1 hour.

Procedure:
Just keep the chisel flat so it doesn't take out any chunks of concrete, wear gloves, goggles if you want, I found swinging down worked best. I also found that giving the chisel kind of a constant tap was more productive than killing it. Also they sell scrapers that you can hook up to your compressor if you have one.

Things not needed:
chemicals, gas mask, heating elements.

Benefits of doing it this way:

  • Wife won't yell at me for buying new tool
  • Wife won't yell at me about the dust
  • Wife won't yell at me about using chemicals in the house
  • House will not smell of dust and chemicals for a day.

Negatives of doing it this way:

  • Wife will yell at me because I left the scraps of liquid nails laying on the steps.
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I'm sorry for the delay but wanted to provide an update. When the dance floor was removed, there was a heavy amount of liquid nails covering about 500 sq ft. We had to remove it in order to lay new tile. We tried chipping it, which worked but took a lot of time. The best approach was purchasing a bottle of adhesive remover from Home Depot-- it's stated purpose is to remove the tacky adhesive from sub floors when re-tiling (think of pulling up peel and stick tiles, you must clean the floor prior to installing new tile or it just won't stick). This stuff worked wonders on it, softened it up and it could easily be scraped away. It took two bottles and cost $20.

Thanks all for your expertise, advice and comments!

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you should mark this or (one of the adhesive remover answers) as an "Accepted answer" –  HerrBag Jun 7 '13 at 15:10
    
What is the name of the adhesive remover, and is it in the flooring department? I've asked at Lowes and Home Depot. –  Carol Flanigan Jul 20 at 6:02

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