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Old 08-23-2011, 02:37 PM   #1
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Another Knucklehead Considers Laying Tile Over Vinyl Flooring


BACKGROUND INFO: I'm laying ceramic tile in two bathrooms (43' square total). The house is 15 years old and the bathroom floors are concrete slab covered with embossed vinyl sheet flooring. I have no tiling experience but have researched online and called Mapei (who made the thinset that I had purchased based on sales associate's recommendation). Mapei suggested that I remove the vinyl and install on the concrete. I asked Mapei whether I could (not "should", I know that answer) install the tile over the vinyl. He gave me instructions for that as well.

THE ISSUE: I'm still on the fence about whether to install the tile over the vinyl or rip it up and install on the concrete. I want to make sure I know what steps are required for both methods so I can make an informed decision. And, of course, I will not put tile over the vinyl if it is cushioned or spot-glued.

QUESTION 1: How can I tell if my vinyl flooring is cushioned and/or spot-glued?
Note: The vinyl's pattern looks like 4x4 tile with shallow groves to simulate grout seams and pencil tip-sized craters on the "tile" to simulate stone imperfections. The floor has absolutely no give to it and no cracking or raised/bubbled areas.

QUESTION 2: Could you please take a look at my two options and let me know if I've got it right or am missing anything or taking any unnecessary/counter-productive step:

Alternative #1 - Install Tile Over Vinyl
1. Strip the vinyl with stripping chemical (to remove wax and gloss)
2. Neutralize stripping chemical
3. Apply Embossing Leveler (trowel)
4. Sand floor (rough grit)
5. Score floor with utility knife
Then I would use a Keraset/Keraply mixture as the adhesive

Alternative #2 - Remove Flooring and Install Tile On Concrete
1. Remove vinyl (cut with utility knife and use long-handled floor scraper)
2. Remove remaining glue (long-handled scraper/hot water)
3. Grind the concrete (any suggestions on the tool/machine to use?)
Then I would use Ultraflex 2 Thinset as the adhesive

Are these plans right? My main concern is that the adhesive adheres to the floor.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I've sort of Frankenstein-ed these plans together from various sites and Mapei.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 08-23-2011, 02:49 PM   #2
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Another Knucklehead Considers Laying Tile Over Vinyl Flooring


Poke around and peel up some of the vinyl to see if it is perimeter glued or spot glued or fully glued. How hard is that?

Why would you need embossing leveller for installing ceramic tile?

Which Mapei product did you buy?

You are making this way too difficult.

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I've sort of Frankenstein-ed these plans together from various sites and Mapei.
Do ya think?

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Old 08-23-2011, 03:47 PM   #3
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Thanks for responding! Here are my responses:

Poke around and peel up some of the vinyl to see if it is perimeter glued or spot glued or fully glued. How hard is that?

Not hard at all. I will do that. Thanks!

Why would you need embossing leveller for installing ceramic tile?

I thought I needed that so that the floor was perfectly level. Right now there are grooves that simulate grout between tiles in the vinyl flooring pattern. Please tell me I don't need to level that, because that would be great.

Which Mapei product did you buy?

I bought Ultraflex 2, which I will use if I opt to remove the flooring and install on the vinyl. But apparently it is not recommended for installing on vinyl. So if I chose to do that, the Mapei guy suggested I use a mixture of Keraset and Keraply. Is that right?

Again, thanks for the reply! I'm in the weeds here.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:19 PM   #4
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You are overthinking this my friend. Here's how we would tackle it: Try to get that vinyl out, but if it won't come out I wouldn't use a stripper or anything that harsh. Most likely you can get at least the shiny layer off.

Then, after you scrape it the best you can (don't need to kill yourself trying to get it perfect) double coat it with RedGuard (HOME DEPOT-Custom Building Products) or similar product. This is a crack resistant membrane and will slow the mortar down from drying too fast. Then, I would use TEC Superflex mortar (720 psi bond rating), but some would consider that overkill. Your Ultraflex 2 (420ish bond strength) should be fine as well. You don't need leveler or any other fancy doodads, ceramic is the most porous type of man made tile, and concrete is the most stable subfloor. You're golden
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:30 PM   #5
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I thought I needed that so that the floor was perfectly level.
Nope!

Quote:
Right now there are grooves that simulate grout between tiles in the vinyl flooring pattern.
Means nothing!

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Please tell me I don't need to level that,
You don't need to level that.

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I bought Ultraflex 2,
That'll work.

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the Mapei guy suggested I use a mixture of Keraset and Keraply.
That'll work better.

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I'm in the weeds here.
Only because you choose to be.

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double coat it with RedGuard
See no reason to do that.

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This is a crack resistant membrane and will slow the mortar down from drying too fast.
So is the vinyl.
So is the vinyl adhesive.
So is the vinyl felt backer.
Just don't try to climb around on the new tile anytime too soon.

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ceramic is the most porous type of man made tile
H-m-m-m-m! Porcelain is a ceramic tile and porcelain is the least porous and least absorbing tile found routinely today I'm thinkin'.

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I would use TEC Superflex mortar (720 psi bond rating), but some would consider that overkill.
I wouldn't.
What's the PSI Bond Rating of the Keraset/Keraply combination?
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:27 AM   #6
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Keraset/keraply bonds with ceramic at 400-600 psi. I think I'm going to try that. Thanks to you both for the advice!
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:48 AM   #7
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Another Knucklehead Considers Laying Tile Over Vinyl Flooring


if you leave the vinyl down and tile over it,you can change the tile in the future easy.I have removed tile over vinyl and it comes up easy.
the tool we use to grind concrete is a 7" angle grinder with a diamond disk cupped grinder wheel.real mess with dust or water going every where.to keep the dust down we have a 5 gallon bucket and tile sponge,one guy needs to squeeze water in front of the wheel to keep the slab wet while the other guy or gal grinds the glue up.
be shure to butter the back of the tile and the floor!
ps...we use a 5 1/2" angle grinder w/tile blade to cut out the door jamb and casing(creates smoke but does the job)or you can use a JAP saw.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post

H-m-m-m-m! Porcelain is a ceramic tile and porcelain is the least porous and least absorbing tile found routinely today I'm thinkin'.
Except there's that little detail of how hot it's baked at, resulting in dramatically different porosity among other key differences. That's like saying Catholics and Christians are the same. Just because porcelain is a MEMBER of the ceramic tile family doesn't mean it's ANYWHERE NEAR THE SAME!! I realize you're technically correct, categorically speaking, but people need to know these 2 aren't the same for all installation purposes. Splittin' hairs, bud...
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:40 PM   #9
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What tool do I use to scarify the flooring? I was thinking that I'd use a utility knife and just make a bunch of cuts.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:19 PM   #10
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Another Knucklehead Considers Laying Tile Over Vinyl Flooring


Quote:
QUESTION 1: How can I tell if my vinyl flooring is cushioned and/or spot-glued?
Note: The vinyl's pattern looks like 4x4 tile with shallow groves to simulate grout seams and pencil tip-sized craters on the "tile" to simulate stone imperfections.
That's a very good description of a cushioned sheet vinyl floor. Are there any seams? How wide is the vinyl?

No need for the embossing leveler, you're installing ceramic not vinyl.

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Old 08-25-2011, 08:26 PM   #11
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Another Knucklehead Considers Laying Tile Over Vinyl Flooring


Quote:
Except there's that little detail of how hot it's baked at, resulting in dramatically different porosity among other key differences. That's like saying Catholics and Christians are the same. Just because porcelain is a MEMBER of the ceramic tile family doesn't mean it's ANYWHERE NEAR THE SAME!! I realize you're technically correct, categorically speaking, but people need to know these 2 aren't the same for all installation purposes. Splittin' hairs, bud...
OH GOOD!!! Now you are my Mentor. That's just what I friggen need is another damned boss looking over my shoulder and criticising my every move and comment.
Generally people don't give a chit about all that crap.

I wouldn't call the porosity difference dramatic necessarily. Ceramic tiles across the board range from around 3% to 7% porosity while porcelain comes in at .5%... Assuming you are equating porosity to moisture absorption.

That's dramatic?
Now whose splittin' hairs?

Hey by the way My Mentor. My wife snagged the garden hose the other day with the riding mower and wrecked the plastic hose-hanger for the second time this summer. Should I replace the hanger with another plastic hanger or should I use a steel hanger next time around? Or...should I just replace my wife? What say you boss?

Last edited by Bud Cline; 08-25-2011 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:12 AM   #12
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Hey Bud,

[ My wife snagged the garden hose the other day with the riding mower and wrecked the plastic hose-hanger for the second time this summer. Should I replace the hanger with another plastic hanger or should I use a steel hanger next time around? Or...should I just replace my wife? What say you boss?[/quote]

Can I be first inline for a replacement???????? I promise I will not mow the lawn.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:49 AM   #13
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Woah...Are u off your meds or something? I'm just saying, it's confusing for people---"Hey honey, should we spend the extra money on the good mortar-it is porcelain tile...." says the wife. "No, that guy online said it's just a scam and it's really just ceramic, so buy the cheap stuff." WRONG!! Nuff said...No disrespect intended
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:14 PM   #14
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Hey Stoned,

Are you trying to teach Bud about tiles and how to? Forget it, you have no chance.

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Old 08-26-2011, 11:13 PM   #15
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Who u callin stoned? Oh wait, it is Friday night...

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