A reader wrote in stating that they moved an oriental rug and found that the matting underneath was stuck to the VCT flooring. Now, they are looking for advice on how to fix the problem.

Based on the details provided, you should be able to remove the slip resistant matting which has bonded with the VCT. Please use caution, test an area first and then proceed one step at a time. First of all, this is 12” VCT (vinyl composite tile) that is approximately 20 plus years old and has been well maintained. You have experimented with different chemicals and scrapers to identify the optimum way of removing the matting which has bonded with the VCT over time. Fortunately, the VCT was scrubbed and recoated with several coats of water based finish before the matting was put down. It is very possible that the person who originally applied the finish did not allow the coats to cure thoroughly before putting down the sponge type mat and then by placing the rug over it, could have initiated the bonding process. If so, the good news is that the small dimples from the matting on the VCT is probably in the finish and not actually in the tiles themselves.

To test for this theory, remove the matting using the safest system you have determined. Then using a small amount of stripper solution on two tiles (one black and one white). Allow the stripper sufficient contact time (check label but should be approximately five minutes) while keeping it wet. Then using a small scrubby type pad (or donut from the green, blue or black buffing pad), gently scrub the area. If the finish comes up, rinse and allow the area to dry. Inspect carefully for both the dimples and for any glossy residue which is evidence of finish to remove. Once the floor has been stripped, rinsed and allowed to dry, it should have a dull (dimple free) appearance ready for matching coats of finish that was used on the rest of the exposed floors.

Unfortunately you may have to re-strip or scrub some of the exposed VCT in order to blend the appearance.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.