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Be sure the tile is not laced with asbestos.
Use a long handled floor tile scraper that you can but from a home center for $30. But, be careful not to gouge the hardwood flooring underneath.
Now, the black stuff is the problem. I have used many chemicals on this stuff without any luck. Sanding is not, I repeat NOT the solution, it only gums up the paper and makes tar.
I vaguely remember a post in the far past that someone eluded to a chemical that would cut this tar or black stuff.
Hang on and let's see if someone has the answer.
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