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STEPHENWANGEL 08-15-2007 03:03 PM

Porcelain tile over linoleum.
I want to put porcelain tile over an existing sheet floor. The floor is in good shape, and bonded securely to the luan underlayment. I'll be using a flexible membrane between the old and new floors. The tile shop suggested putting the membrane down with thinset. Will the thinset bond to the linoleum?

Krichton 08-15-2007 09:50 PM

No you need to screw down concrete boards onto the linoleum first and then you lay down the tile.

StevePM 08-15-2007 10:41 PM

In addition to the screws (mentioned by Krichton) I like to add construction adhesive -- keeps everything solid.

Ron6519 08-15-2007 10:52 PM

You can't just put down tile over this substrate. You need to make sure there is at least 1" of wood down under the concrete board. You might need to add a layer of plywood. When you install the concrete board(1/4"or 1/2") you thinset it to the plywood and use screws or roofing nails to mechanically attach it.
You need to make sure the joists are adequately sized for the job and you need to make sure the span isn't too big. Bounce in a tile floor will kill it.
If the sheet vinyl floor is too spongy due to the backing you need to remove it.
If this is a kitchen you will need to make sure you have enough clearance for the dishwasher to fit under the raised floor and the counter.

STEPHENWANGEL 08-16-2007 06:27 AM

Tile over membrane over lino
The responses are fine, thank you---> but they miss the point. The tile isn't going over the lino, it's the membrane. This is the second floor of an old house. The floor gives a little, and there isn't room to float the floor. I'll be using the membrane as a 'shock absorber' so I don't lose grout. So my question is... What's the best adhesive to put a flexible membrane over sound linoleum?

Any help is appreciated.

Mike Swearingen 08-16-2007 07:34 AM

I'm not a pro tile man, but if a floor "gives a little", that is nothing but a good way for grout and tile to crack.

Ron6519 08-16-2007 09:32 AM

I don't know what part of the explanation you don't understand.
Simply put, your stated plan for the floor prep will not work. An isolation membrane will not compensate for an inadequte subfloor and joist setup. You say linoleum. Is it truely that or is it sheet vinyl? There's a big difference. If it's a cushioned back sheet vinyl, you can't leave it on the floor. Not below the membrane and not above the membrane.

STEPHENWANGEL 08-16-2007 01:26 PM

Floor membrane
The floor membrane is cellular, and made to do exactly what I am saying it's supposed to do. In applications such as this, the membrane (which is 1/4" thick) is made to substitute for backer board where the floor has a slight 'bounce' . My only question here is the proper adhesive. The floor is a vinyl sheet floor with very little for a backer layer. It is sound, and adhering well to the floor beneath it. Much as this application defies conventional wisdom, The extruded membrane is the way to go. So, I'll ask the question again. What adhesive should I use to bond vinyl to vinyl?

Ron6519 08-16-2007 01:49 PM

You would follow the recommendations of the manufacturer of the membrane. If it's not included in the instructions, call them. This might not even be a recommended install. You might need to put something on top of the vinyl.

STEPHENWANGEL 08-16-2007 02:35 PM

The reason that I posted the question that the manufacturer has recommended this product for this application, but has recommended thinset as the adhesive over the vinyl. To me, that's a little iffy, so I'm using the chatroom to second guess the mfr.

ratherbefishin' 08-16-2007 10:51 PM

Steve, not sure which product you're looking at. If it's Ditra, rough up the vinyl surface with a sander and lay the membrane with latex portland cement mortar, then use unmodified thinset on top for the tiles. I'd guess it to be the same with other membranes.
Still, success is dependent on substrate. I'd have to know the distance between centers of the joists and thickness of the floor (not counting the vinyl) to be comfortable telling you if this will be a good substitute for backer board.

STEPHENWANGEL 08-17-2007 06:29 AM

As a matter of fact it is Ditra. The installation is a little 'off -label' But the retailer (who also is a qualified installer) assures me that if I scuff up the vinyl same as you suggest, that it will work fine. I was thinking at the very least, I should use an admix with the thinset.

As far as the joist spacing, they are 16 oc 2 x 8's. The floor hasn't got a lot of flex, but the house is in a constant state of flux. I'm more concerned with settling, than the floor flexing.

ratherbefishin' 08-17-2007 09:46 AM

Sounds good on the joists. Ditra calls for latex p.c. on the underside, unmodified on top. I believe that's to allow for movement of the substrate while maintaining rigidity at the surface. Unless you have fast or drastic settling, it should work well for you. Good luck!

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