How Do You Properly Use A Floor Scraper?

When tackling the arduous task of floor preparation, particularly the removal of tough adhesives, having the right tools and techniques at your disposal is crucial.

In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into the intricacies of floor preparation, focusing on mastering the use of a floor scraper for efficient and effective results.

If you’re wondering, “How do you properly use a floor scraper?” we’ve got your back.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional undertaking an extensive project or a DIY enthusiast venturing into home renovations, the following insights will guide you through the nuances of this essential process.


A well-prepared surface not only ensures the success of your project but also lays the groundwork for the longevity and durability of the final flooring or finish.

Thorough floor preparation serves as the blueprint for a successful project. It involves more than just removing existing materials; it’s about creating an ideal canvas for the new flooring or finish.

This process addresses potential issues such as uneven surfaces, cracks, or remnants of old adhesives, ensuring a flawless foundation for the next phase of your project.


Home renovations and commercial remodeling often involve the removal of tiles firmly fixed with various adhesives like thin-set mortars and mastic or epoxy-based substances. These adhesives are designed for durability, making their removal challenging and time-consuming.

Traditional methods of tile adhesive removal can be labor-intensive and inefficient. Manual scraping may not suffice for larger projects, and using chemicals poses additional challenges, such as fumes and potential damage to the substrate.


Floor scrapers come in various forms, each tailored to specific project requirements:

  • Electric floor scrapers

Manual scraping can be time-consuming and exhausting, especially for larger projects or tough adhesives. Electric floor scrapers emerge as powerful solutions, equipped with sturdy blades and motors. They efficiently lift tiles, reducing both time and labor. Their ergonomic design minimizes user fatigue, making them ideal for extensive projects.

  • Manual floor scrapers

Electric floor scrapers may lack precision for smaller areas or detailed work. Manual floor scrapers provide control and agility, allowing for precise work around edges or tight spaces. Their simple design and affordability make them valuable tools for DIY renovators.


The work doesn’t end with just scrapers. Removing residue and debris after scraping is also a critical step in the process. Usual tools for this phase include:

  • Adhesive remover chemicals

Adhesive residues can be stubborn, requiring additional assistance for softening and lifting. Adhesive remover chemicals aid in softening the adhesive, making it easier to scrape off. This is particularly useful when dealing with challenging adhesives. Incorporate adhesive remover chemicals to facilitate the removal of tough adhesives.

  • Industrial-grade vacuum cleaners

Cleanup before and after adhesive removal can be time-consuming and challenging. Industrial-grade vacuum cleaners play a crucial role in both pre- and post-removal cleanup. They handle heavy-duty cleaning, ensuring a clean and safe workspace.

  • Diamond grinding machines and concrete polishers

After tile removal, the floor’s surface may be rough and uneven. Diamond grinding machines level and smooth the floor, preparing it for new flooring or finishes. Concrete polishers give a polished finish to projects requiring a smooth, aesthetically pleasing surface.


Floor preparation, especially when it involves the removal of tiles and adhesive, requires the proper use of a floor scraper. Whether you’re a professional working on large projects or a DIY enthusiast, follow this step-by-step guide for efficient and effective floor scraping.

  • Assess the adhesive and tile type — Before diving into the floor scraping process, identify the type of adhesive and tiles you are dealing with. This assessment will help you choose the right tools and techniques for effective removal.
  • Gather the necessary safety gear — Safety should always be a priority. Before starting, ensure you are equipped with the necessary safety gear. This includes safety glasses, gloves, and ear protection. If working with chemicals, consider a mask for respiratory protection.
  • Prepare the workspace — Clear the workspace by removing any furniture or obstacles that might hinder the scraping process. Sweep or vacuum the floor to eliminate loose dirt, dust or debris.
  • Choose the right floor scraper — Select the appropriate floor scraper based on the project size and the adhesive’s nature. For larger projects or stubborn adhesives, electric floor scrapers are ideal. Manual floor scrapers offer more precision and control for smaller areas or intricate work.
  • Adjust the blade — If using a floor scraper with an adjustable blade, set it to the correct height. The blade should be just low enough to scrape off the adhesive without causing damage to the underlying surface.
  • Begin the scraping process — Start scraping the floor systematically. For electric floor scrapers, guide the machine over the surface, allowing the blades to lift off the tiles and adhesive. If using a manual scraper, apply steady pressure while moving the tool back and forth.
  • Be patient, you may need more than one pass — Typically, your first pass would remove most (if not all) of the material leaving small chunks of material and glue, mastic or Thinset. The company that makes your scraper likely has a line of blades that focuses on removing the material and a separate line that focuses on glue/thinset removal. This 2-step process still saves time (VS working by hand) and leads to a far cleaner floor.
  • Try to keep your workspace reasonably clear — Material that is coming up can pile up, hinder your ability to see the floor you’re scraping and even hinder traction if it isn’t addressed. Plan on having 1 operator and 1-2 people with brooms dedicated to proving your floor scraper with a clear path to work
  • Post-scraping cleanup — Thoroughly cleaning the floor once the material and adhesive are up will greatly assist the new material to bond. The reverse is also true, if the floor is not sufficiently cleaned, the glue that holds your new material down will bond to the dust and debris left behind making difficult or impossible to install a flat, level and durable floor.
  • Surface finishing (optional) — If your intention is to remove the material, and no new material is going to be installed, there are options to grind and polish the concrete slab. This is frequently used in industrial applications where durability is a top priority. This process requires highly specialized training and tools, if it is your goal, talk to a professional.
  • Specialty Equipment for large-scale projects — For extensive projects, especially in commercial settings, consider advanced equipment like Specialty Equipment’s Renegade Riding Scrapers or Walk-Behind Floor Scrapers. These machines are designed for efficiency, making large-scale tile removal quicker and more manageable.
  • Seek expert advice — If you encounter challenges or have specific requirements, don’t hesitate to seek expert advice. Specialty Equipment’s experienced team can provide tailored guidance and recommendations based on your project needs. We have years of experience using and repairing this equipment and would love to work through whatever goals you have.


Undertaking large-scale tile removal projects requires efficient and reliable equipment. Traditional methods may not suffice for extensive projects.

Specialty Equipment offers advanced floor scraper solutions like the Renegade Riding Scrapers and Walk-Behind Floor Scrapers, designed for large areas and ensures quick and effortless tile removal. Consider our floor scrapers for large-scale projects, maximizing efficiency and minimizing time and effort.

Specialty Equipment is your go-to destination for floor preparation, providing a comprehensive range of products and decades of industry expertise. Transform your tile removal experience today with top-notch customer service and quality equipment.

For more advice and information on our products, contact our experienced team today.