How to Remove Bubbles in Linoleum

Claudia Henning

Linoleum flooring is a cost-conservative material, but proper installation is a must. Laying the floor too quickly or using excessive amounts of adhesive will lead to bubbles or blisters in the material. Moisture is the leading cause of bubbles in older linoleum flooring.

These are all easily fixed with the right tools and know-how. Weight is the single-most important tool in ensuring a good bond between the linoleum and subfloor. Many do-it-yourselfers find out the hard way that depending on human hands to smooth away air pockets is futile.

New Linoleum Installations

  1. Place a few heavy objects on the linoleum surface once it is set on the adhesive. This will keep it from moving out of place.

  2. Run a 100-pound floor roller over the linoleum. Start at the center and work out toward the edges. Let the floor dry for two or three hours.

  3. Run the floor roller over the linoleum again. This will help work out any gases that are building up from the adhesive.

  4. Monitor the floor as it dries over the next day or two. Run the floor roller over it again if it appears to bubble at all.

Older Linoleum Flooring

  1. Use the edge of a sharp utility knife to prick an opening in the center of the bubble. This will provide an escape for the trapped air.

  2. Run a rolling pin over the bubbled area. Once it has flattened, place a small dab of silicone caulk over the hole. Allow it an hour to dry.

  3. Make an X-shaped incision in the bubbled area if it swells up again. Use a small spoon to place floor adhesive on the underlayment through this opening.

  4. Run the rolling pin back over the area to flatten and adhere it to the subfloor. Fill the X-mark with silicone caulk and let it dry.

  5. Tip

    Patience is key to a good linoleum floor finish. Rushing through the job will end up costing more time in the end.


    You must weigh the linoleum flooring down before rolling out a new installation.