Lift linoleum before putting hardware on kitchen floor

Q. I'd like to place Bruce Cumberland hardwood blocks with adhesive back on my kitchen floor which is now covered with linoleum. The linoleum is neither cracked nor chipped but has been waxed regularly. How can I treat the linoleum so the adhesive will stick to it? Christine Hein Wilmington, Del.

A. Please do not attempt to apply the wood parquet flooring over the linoleum! It is an unacceptable surface for the new flooring, the manufacturer declares.

To install this Self-Stik wood flooring correctly, remove the existing linoleum. Then sand or scrape the wood subfloor to remove the old adhesive, varnish, paint, shellac, and wax. Level high spots. Avoid sanding subsurfaces made with asbestos.

Per Bruce's directions, apply the wood blocks to a smooth, sound substrate.

If the subfloor is concrete, remove any grease or oil spots. Level high spots with a terrazzo grinder or carborundum stone. Fill low areas with a good-quality latex concrete patching mix, per labeled directions.

Note: If the concrete floor is in contact with the ground, a 6 mil. polyethylene vapor barrier is required between the earth and the concrete slab, but this obviously would not be possible now.

When laying the blocks, allow at least 1/2-inch space for expansion around the perimeter of the room. Cover the 1/2-inch differential with base shoe, quarter round, or baseboard. Replace metal strips at doors but maintain the 1/2 -inch expansion space there, too.

For other specifics, write the manufacturer, Bruce Hardwood Floors. Ask for its Form IV-20.0 (5-79) entitled ''How to Install Bruce Self Stik Cumberland II Oak Parquet.'' The address is 4255 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, Texas 75234.

What's your home-building or upkeep problem? Forrest M. Holly, a former West Coast builder now living in Arizona, has been answering such questions in this column for the past 17 years. Send questions to the Real Estate Editor, The Christian Science Monitor, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115m

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