How to remove bitumen from floors
In an older home where parquet floor has been laid, when lifting the old parquet floor to install tiles you may find that the parquet blocks have been stuck down with bitumen. Although lifting the parquet blocks will be easy due to degradation of the bitumen, removing the bitumen before tiling can be a mission.
There are products on the shelf at your local Builders Warehouse that will aid in the removal of bitumen from floors. TFC Glue Remover is a product specially formulated to remove glue and bitumen from floors and walls. Glue Remover is normally used after vinyl and carpet tiles have been lifted off a floor, or where parquet floor has been removed.
Is it absolutely necessary to remove bitumen before tiling?
There are those who will say it is OK to tile over bitumen and those that say the bitumen must be removed prior to tiling. I would be interested to hear from any homeowners that left the bitumen on the floor and tiled over this. However, it is recommended that bitumen be removed before applying tile adhesive to ensure a proper bond between floor - adhesive - and tile. By using a bitumen remover you cut down on the time spent preparing the floor. These products assist in dissolving bitumen, making it easy to scrape off rather than spend hours trying to sand or scrape away any bitumen products.
How do I strip bitumen from floors?
While the product is water soluble, always wear protective gloves and clothing. Take care not to apply to surfaces that need to be protected. Do not allow contact with skin, eyes, nose or mouth.
After testing apply the solution to a workable area. Allow 3 – 5 minutes for the solution to break down the dirt. Do not allow the solution to dry out. Using a paint scraper remove as much paint or glue as possible. Scrub as necessary in order to remove any residues and add fresh clean water while continuing to scrub.