I removed old stick on tile from my bathroom and this is what my subfloor looks like.

enter image description here

All that white is the adhesive. From what I can tell so far there is no mold or rot. Is it work it to remove this old subfloor and replace it with a new one? Or should I just clean it up? I plan on putting simple square tiles down.

If I should clean it up, is there any hints or tips to clean a subfloor with this much adhesive and grime on it? Thank you!

  • What's under the white adhesive? To install ceramic tile, you're gonna need something solid underneath.
    – Paul Price
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 22:19
  • "Tiles", meaning laminate tiles? I'm assuming you're doing this without wanting to remove the vanity and toilet, yes? You have a lot of work ahead if you replace subfloor, including ensuring it's reasonably level with the subfloor under the tub. Do some elbow grease with some iso alcohol, clean up the glue, and stick down the new tiles.
    – stevieb
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 22:37
  • @stevieb I plan on removing everything from this bathroom, vanity, bathtub, toilet, everything.
    – Derek D
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 22:41
  • If you're to subfloor on top, you'll have to redo your baseboard and do some trim work. If not, you'll have to scrape and scrub. If everything is gone, depending on situation, you could carefully cut the current subfloor and replace it, but that's not often easy without experience as to not cut accidentally into floor joists. If you're going with vinyl tiling, one option may be to gut, lay down a 1/4" piece of ply, tile, then put back all of your stuff. Put some construction adhesive between the floor and new ply (1/8" bead every 4"), tile, replace fixtures.
    – stevieb
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 22:53

1 Answer 1


Replacing the subfloor will not be easy, it likely runs under the walls. You'll have to cut around the perimiter and the pry up the boards which are likely gluded down as well.

If you want the glue removed try a belt sander with a 40 grit paper or lower and see how well that removes the glue. You'll gum up a lot of belts, but the area is still small. Wear a dust mask.

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