Removing composition tiles
I had to refinish a kitchen floor covered with composition tiles, and the first order of business was to-pry off the old tiles. But the tiles were well adhered to the subfloor and tough to remove. Here’s how I solved the problem.
First I nailed together a simple plywood box with 12-in. inside dimensions, leaving the bottom open. Next I cut a hole in the top of the box to accept the nozzle of a hair dryer. As shown in the drawing, I put the box over a tile, turned on the dryer and let it heat up the tile for 30 seconds. This trick warmed up the tiles to the point where the glue began to soften while making the tiles pliable enough to lift off easily in one piece.
Ron Strong, Berkeley, CA