I had 4 layers of old linoleum on my porch. I was able to remove it easily and get back to the plywood, but the first layer of adhesive remains. It is fairly smooth but there are places where the adhesive clumped and I am worried about the peel and stick plank flooring not adhering to it.

What can I do, aside from buy a different flooring, which isn't possible, to remove the old adhesive enough that our new flooring will stick?

I was told that my best bet may be to lay another layer of plywood over top - is this my only option?

  • 2
    Your best bet would be to remove the extra adhesive. What have you tried so far? That will help save people time by not recommending the same things that haven't worked for you so far.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 11, 2021 at 14:07
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    Adding thin plywood/underlay is probably the best option. Glues/adhesives usually don't stick well to old adhesives as well has a clean bare floor. Choice comes to remove all or cover.
    – crip659
    Aug 11, 2021 at 14:15

2 Answers 2


Products with an adhesive backing work best on uniform substrate.


I was able to remove it easily and get back to the plywood, but the first layer of adhesive remains.

It sounds like the old adhesive has completely dried up so you can used a random orbital sander to sand down the high spots and make the entire subfloor more uniform. A belt sander could also be used but you'll have to be extra careful to not gouge the subfloor.

However, take precaution to ensure your old flooring and adhesive does not have asbestos.

Asbestos in adhesives

Asbestos in Vinyl products

Tacking down a thin, 1/8" or 1/4", layer of plywood is certainly the easiest and safest solution albeit might not be the most cost-effective.

You should still sand down at least the high spots or else the bulge will make itself quite visible over time through thin plywood like I suggested.


I would rent a plate-style flooring sander. It'll result in a much flatter final surface, and it'll be much quicker than a hand sander. They're not expensive to rent for a few hours.

Use a fairly fine grit. Don't use the crazy coarse stripping grits that they offer. I'd maybe do 80 or 100.

Once that's done look over the fasteners. You may have removed some heads in high areas. Add screws where necessary.

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