We have three rooms that have linoleum, which we'd like to tile. They all transition flush to 3/4" thick hardwood flooring at the same height, so I have to assume there is some kind of additional substrate under the linoleum???

Can this layer be removed, and does anyone have suggestions on how to remove it? I just need to know how much of a job I'm in for and that I have all the tools I'll need.

  • Depending on how old the house is, it could be anything from plywood/OSB underlayment to solid pine/oak boards underneath the linoleum. If it's individual boards, not sheet goods, there's probably some sort of felt/paper underneath it too in order to help smooth out the joints. – FreeMan Feb 7 at 19:36

Linoleum can be a total bear to remove in and of itself. If the substrate is screwed or nailed down then it shouldn't be too bad but if it's glued to the sub-floor then you're gonna have a bad time.

If I had to guess then there might very well be hardwood flooring beneath the linoleum which may have been sanded down to accommodate the linoleum's thickness. If this is the case then ripping up hardwood flooring isn't too difficult unless it was glue down.

As you can see, without knowing what your substrate is, it is impossible to know how big of a challenge you have ahead of you. There could be several linoleum layers for all we know.


Step #1: remove at least one piece of linoleum from an inconspicuous location such as a pantry or closet since you might decide F*** it after all

Step #2: take a picture of the substrate and edit it into your question

Step #3: you probably won't need someone here to tell you how difficult things are going to be as you'll have a general idea of what you are up against

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    Remove the piece in a closet just in case you decide the linoleum doesn't look so bad after all.. – JACK Feb 7 at 19:46
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    @JACK duly noted – MonkeyZeus Feb 7 at 19:48
  • The house is about 20 years old. The rooms with linoleum are appropriate (bathrooms, and the mud room) so i'm guessing it was planned this way rather than an after thought. Hopefully the substrate will be easy. I guess if nothing else, I can choose an updated linoleum patter and lay that down if I decide it isn't worth it. – slambeth Feb 7 at 19:58
  • @slambeth Your guess is better than mine since you live in the house, I do not. Have you ripped up a piece of linoleum yet? – MonkeyZeus Feb 7 at 20:07
  • @MonkeyZeus I'll give it a look when I get home. There are areas that are lifting up at the transitions, so I'll take a peek. Hopefully that means it'll all come up easy. – slambeth Feb 7 at 22:18

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