What is a Ride On Floor Scraper?

A ride on floor scraper is a flooring removal device that runs on batteries or propane.  Typically used on larger commercial projects, it can remove many types of flooring quickly, however, used in the wrong conditions it can cause catastrophic damage to concrete and surrounding objects.  Using this device also does ZERO to help flatten out of tolerance subfloors.  Removing flooring from wood subfloors is also impossible due to its enormous weight and the damage it would cause.

Consumers often wonder if it makes sense to hire a contractor with one of these machines to remove ceramic floor tiles, engineered wood flooring, sheet vinyl flooring, floor tile adhesive, including other materials, and what would be the potential consequences and results.

Direct link to the video above

The video below was made by Jack King of Arizona Home Floors and shows what he found when a customer called him about another local tile removal crew that used a ride on machine in their home.

The homeowner was going to be putting down engineered hardwood and had planned to get installers out there, but the floor was torn up from the ride on machine that he called Jack for advice.

The big advantage of these machines is that they work faster than what two people can do, but consider a tile removal machine such as these large and heavy pieces of equipment can have unintended consequences if used as a floor stripper or tile scraper over soft and/or over watered concrete slabs, including lived in or occupied spaces.

This is especially true the nicer the home, business, and the quality of contents they contain.

Many of these floor stripper machine contractors will claim their electric floor scrapers are 100% safe to use in all instances and produce dust free results under any condition, however, there are many online videos to show this is not always the case.

The fact is soft concrete slabs are damaged to some degree no matter the level of experience of the floor scraper machine operator.  The more firmly bonded a wood floor or tile floor installation is to a soft concrete slab, the more likely the concrete floor scraper will gouge and dig deeply into the subfloor, often causing very expensive floor preparation repairs after the floor removal machine contractor has been paid and is long gone.

Moreover, the softer the material removed such as slate floor tiles, Saltillo, and travertine, the dustier and messier the removal process will be when using these large, cumbersome and heavy electric scrapers.  In occupied residential homes, they can often become like a “bull in a china closet.”  Just watch some of the video footage from the links on this page to see this for yourself.

Videos of an electric wood floor stripper show visual proof of how destructive, dangerous, and explosive broken pieces can be when thrown from the scraper blade.  Even one of our local competitors who tout their hardwood floor stripper machine as safe to use has video footage of a large piece of wood flooring flying away dangerously.

Apparently, this qualifies as “safe?”  Situations such as this could cause extreme damage to walls, cabinets, windows, doors, and a trip to the hospital if a large piece were to somehow hit someone.  We have created a few videos to prove just how potentially dangerous and dusty it is when using these types of large, heavy flooring tools to demo tile floors, and other flooring materials in homes or businesses; especially when the conditions are not right for their proper use.

Some competitors may claim we have an “agenda” when we investigate their professed claims of safe and dust less removal, but we are simply reporting on what can actually happen in real life.  We are not trying to create fear.  On the contrary, knowledge takes away fear.  We hope only to educate consumers who are getting quotes, so they can make an informed choice as to which type of removal process would be the best for their situation.

Below: Video from Rob Hayton of Flooring Professionals, who can fix these issues.

A floor scraper rental used by someone who does not comprehend the necessity of having a hard concrete slab could do huge damage to the subfloors, surrounding cabinets, walls, where the consumer could find themselves needing thousands of dollars in repairs after the fact.  We expect these competitors to soon begin pulling their current videos and heavily edit them to show only the easiest and non-technical projects to consumers, however, older non-edited videos will show what really can happen under the wrong circumstances.

Here are some facts to be aware of when considering hiring a contractor who has a ride on wood floor scraper machine and promises dust free removal:

  • A ride on floor stripper does nothing to help flatten the floor.
  • A ride on floor tile removal machine does not remove all the contaminants, residual paint, adhesives or other substances that can cause bonding issues.
  • If they use a negative air machine, then their process is not dust free.
  • If they use plastic sheeting to wrap cabinets, windows and other areas, their process is not dust free.
  • If they use cardboard, plywood or other objects to try and protect walls, cabinets and glass (or worse even nothing at all) there could likely be dangerous pieces of debris flying in unknown and unpredictable directions.
  • If they pour water on the floor to control dust, this adds moisture into the concrete, and more so if the water is poured over a control or expansion joint where it can really soak in and get under the concrete slab.  This could be really bad news if you are trying to install a wood floor or luxury vinyl tile or plank since trapped moisture in the concrete can cause huge problems and void your warranties, not to mention the mess the wet sludge creates.

Consumer’s who have nice homes or businesses, and who are not doing full-gut remodels should exercise caution when hiring contractors with this type of equipment.  There could be huge hidden costs of using a Ride On Floor Scraper involved if things go wrong!

There is a better solution when it comes to working inside of lived in and occupied homes and businesses.  The DustRam® System was created to have the safest, most efficient and comprehensive of floor tile removal tools, such as floor sanders, hardwood floor scrapers, self-cleaning vacuums (PulseRam®) and other patented and patent-pending dust free floor removal tools on the market.

The DustRam® System is currently the world’s first and only patented dust free tile removal system of its kind, and as of July 2018, we have 6 issued patents with about 6 more pending.

Here are some reasons why the DustRam® System for removing tile is typically a better choice over using a contractor with a ride on floor stripper:

  • The subfloors will have noticeably less damage from our process.  Contractors who use their heavy electric machines over soft concrete can literally destroy your concrete subfloors, requiring very expensive repairs sometimes costing thousands of dollars before installation can proceed.
  • The subfloor will be flatter after the tile is removed than on the day the concrete was poured.  Here is a video of how our process removes hundreds of little high spots, where an electric ride on floor machine does nothing to promote a flatter floor
  • The subfloor will be clean of any contaminants, adhesives, sealers, waxes, coatings, and anything else that could cause bonding issues for future flooring installations.  A ride on floor machine CAN NOT remove the residual contaminates!
  • The DustRam® System is the absolute cleanest and safest method to remove the tile in occupied and lived in homes and businesses.  Negative air machines or plastic sheeting is not required to control dust.

There are many Certified DustRam Contractors throughout the country who have invested in these tools and are trained in their use who would be happy to talk with you further about your project.

Both contractors and homeowners are concerned about the dangers of getting toxic silica dust in their lungs, and with the new OSHA rules on silica dust exposure, the time has come for this outdated method of flooring removal to disappear.

Arizona Home Floors Contact Form

This form is for homeowners, new and existing, who have questions about a tile or flooring removal project. The more information we have about your home and the flooring you have, the more accurate we can be when giving an estimate on removal cost.
  • Your email address is for our own internal use only.
  • We need your address so we can look at the logictics of where you live and we may also be able to pull up important information about your home including square footage, year built and possible photos from an old listing.
  • Since there are many ways people find us, please let us know how you first heard about us.
  • A room photo is good, especially if you can take it in the corner
    Accepted file types: jpg, bmp, png, jpeg, jpeg, jfif, jpeg2000, exif, tiff, gif, ppm, pgm, pbm, pnm, pdf.
  • For this photo, try to take a photo of a few tiles while aiming down with your camera.
    Accepted file types: jpg, bmp, png, jpeg, jpeg, jfif, jpeg2000, exif, tiff, gif, ppm, pgm, pbm, pnm, pdf.
  • Use this box to add a message or questions for us. You can send us photos via the upload file link (SEE ABOVE). If you are looking on pricing, estimates and scheduling, please let us know what type(s) of flooring you are looking to get removed (ceramic, stone, wood, carpet) and what size the flooring is, such as 12 by 12 inches for tile or 6 by 36 for wood look tile. Thank you.