Reclaimed Parquet Flooring - removing the bitumen?

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by HoolaTallulah, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. HoolaTallulah

    HoolaTallulah New Member

    I have asked around regards to this and received mixed advice, so I was wondering if anyone here could help out...?

    I have 72 sq metres of pitch pine parquet (reclaimed), each block has a pretty thick layer of bitumen on the underside.

    Is it completely necessary to remove every last bit of bitumen? And what is the best (and fastest) way to remove the bitumen?

    Also, once the bitumen is removed, it is advisable to lay it with bitumen? Or is there an alternative?

    Thanks in advance for any help! :)
  2. HoolaTallulah

    HoolaTallulah New Member

    Sorry, just re-read my post and realised it did not make a huge amount of sense, I meant to say is it possible to glue the floor with anything other than bitumen?

  3. Gmead

    Gmead New Member

    I feel for you. Ive been there. I dont think it necessary to clean off all bitumen if relaying with the same adhesive. With other adhesive it may be necessary to start with a clean surface. I tried using blow lamp to soften the bitumen but it was such a slow and dirty job that in the end they went into my wood stove!!
  4. JMH

    JMH New Member

    Yes to removing the old bitumen from old blocks. I found using a shave hook works well. It's very smelly but doesn't take too long. I usually manage about 50 blocks an hour, it's just mind numbingly boring.
    To re-lay the blocks I would use Laybond L16 if it's going onto a wooden subfloor. It's an solvent based adhesive that needs to be spread out with a small notched spreader (about 2mm). The floor cannot be walked on for 24hours.
    Alternatively you could use Laybond L17 if it's concrete or wood subfloor. With this product you dip the wood block into the adhesive the lay it on the sub floor. The floor willtake light traffic after only 3hours. More details can be found at along with the health and safety info.
    Which ever you use make sure that the subfloor is flat, if neccessary use ply wood or leveling compound to make it flat.
  5. Jamesjoannee

    Jamesjoannee New Member

    IMG_2180.PNG IMG_2179.PNG We used a company in Bradford, now in Manchester, to do ours. They collected the parquet (all we needed to do was bag it up) once cleaned they delivered it back to us. We had the bitumen removed and the tongue taken off as cleaning the tongue and groove was costly and after a long chat it made more sense to remove the tongue as it's not needed with the strength of today's adhesives. After spending hours and hours trying to clean them myself I gave it up as a bad job. Not the cheapest way of cleaning them, but by far the easiest and most professional way. I was delighted with the result. You can choose 3 bitumen removal services, plus various other services. These are the only company that will touch parquet with sticky bitumen on - ours even had concrete stuck to them.
    Cost us about £20 per square metre but saved us A fortune in fitting cost as the fitter wanted a daily rate to remove and some wouldt touch the job.
    You'll find that the modern adhesives that state you can use with bitumen backed blocks are not all they're made out to be. You can use this adhesive with reminants of bitumen, not a full block full of bitumen, otherwise they may loft (just like some Of our first floor did!!!
    Anyhow, sorry for ranting on, the company is Parquet Bitumen Removal
    And it's a lady who does this work. Amazing if you ask me.
  6. vivaro man

    vivaro man Active Member


    Wow, that service for cleaning parquet flooring is almost too good to believe but the proof is there. I would look at that option because like someone else said when I tried it I confess all my lovely oak bitumen covered flooring ended up on the workshop stove.

    If you do try to clean them yourselves do it outside. Don't be tempted to clean the parquet on your bench! The bitumen gets everywhere. Make up some method of holding the parquet tiles in a holder made from wood screwed down onto 18mm ply and attack them with a decorator's hook. I used petrol/diesel to soften the bitumen. I could clean 6 at a time but what a mess!
  7. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    What a boring, boring job, I found it easier to use a old draw knife to clean them,a couple of passes was all that was needed, once you clamp them firmly.
    And the bitumen gets everywhere, & where gloves.
    Astramax likes this.
  8. A 2006 post restarted on 1st of 2017.

    Is this going to be a competition?
  9. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    Was too early for to me to noticed the date.:oops:
  10. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    No! not with KIAB as he 'where's' gloves. ;):D
    Doall likes this.
  11. Sparkielev

    Sparkielev Screwfix Select

    She might still be scraping the bitumen
  12. sospan

    sospan Screwfix Select

    Easiest way to remove the bitumen and get the blocks the same size is to to use an old blade in a table saw. Just run the face side along the fence and just cut the wood below the bitumen line. A nice slice of bitumen falls to the left and a clean block come out the other side
  13. Welshdragon1

    Welshdragon1 Active Member

    This had to be
    KIAB likes this.

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