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DiegoJames 07-11-2012 10:31 PM

Armstrong Alterna heavy tiles in bathroom
I already purchased Alternal 16x16 heavy weight vinyl(?) flooring tiles for my bathroom renovation. I'll be replacing the subflooring and underlayment. Through reading DIY threads on flooring I find that vinyl tiles are not the best choice for bathroom because moisture can get through the cracks. The tiles I purchased are heavy weight, nice quality tiles, but of course there will still seams between every tile. I was not planning on grouting these tiles. This product is straight cut and designed to abut flush if not grouting. There is no recommended seam filler when not grouting.

Did I make a mistake in choosing Alternal tiles for the bathroom? Would it be better if I grouted regarding potential moisture problems? Should I take them back and see if the store will let me trade them in for some high quality sheet vinyl? For those who say stick with the Alterna, what underlayment(s) should I use for best moisture protection?

Thanks for feedback.


Armstrong Floor 07-12-2012 12:55 PM

Armstrong Response to Alterna Tile Question
Thank you for purchasing Armstrong Alterna flooring. Alterna tile is recommended for every room in the house, but your concerns about a bathroom are legitimate. Any tile flooring will have seams and that does give moisture the ability to get under the flooring should there be a lot of standing water. A properly leveled and smooth subfloor will help to minimize this concern because it will allow the tiles to be butt tight together, but it will not completely eliminate the concern. It should be noted, however, that the Alterna recommended adhesive is highly water resistant which will greatly reduce the impact towards bond. Regardless, the most effective install of Alterna in a bathroom would be to use grout.

Kim with Armstrong Flooring

DiegoJames 07-12-2012 09:11 PM

thanks for info Kim
Hi Kim @Armstrong:
I appreciate your info. I was going to the tiles without the grout, but will do the grouting as this will be better against moisture over time as you say. The Alterna will also be going on freshly new installed subflooring and new, smooth underlayment wood panels, so it should be a good installment. Thanks again.

DiegoJames 07-12-2012 11:23 PM

drilling through Alterna
Hi Kim:
I have a question about installing the Alterna. I'll be putting a freestanding clawfoot tub on brass coasters on the floor. My plan is to have the plumber come in after the tub is standing where I want it on the finished floor. I'll then have the plumber drill all the holes directly through the Alterna and the subflooring to put the plumbing through from connections below the floor (conveniently, the ceiling in the room downstairs underneath the bathroom is gutt and removed so all the plumbing is exposed and drilling from beneath or above will be easy.

So my question is: Is drilling through the Alterna after it is installed the recommended method or an suitable way of creating the cutouts for the plumbing?


Armstrong Floor 07-13-2012 11:37 AM

Armstrong Response to Alterna Tile Question
Hi James! Thank you for your response. It would be acceptable to drill through the Alterna once it is installed, provided you keep 2 things in mind. First, I would recommend drilling down through the tiles because drilling up from below might cause the tiles to pop off the subfloor. Second, I would recommend that you use a silicon caulk to seal the material once the tubing is installed.

I hope this helps.

Kim with Armstrong Flooring

DiegoJames 07-13-2012 11:42 AM

Thanks Kim.
Thanks Kim.

Armstrong Floor 07-13-2012 12:30 PM

Armstrong Response to Alterna Tile Question
You're welcome! Good luck!

DiegoJames 07-30-2012 08:19 AM

Doing Alterna floor installation in two sections
Hi Kim:

I have another question about the Alterna floor tile installation. Plumber wants the tub in the bathroom before I install the floor and he will "stub" in the plumbing. Then I will have to move the tub out and do the floor and then bring the tub back in for plumber to do final connections. This is my question:

Is it acceptable for me to leave the tub in the bathroom and do the Alterna tile installation in two sections? I would move tub to one side, install Alterna, then set tub on the new tiles and then complete the rest of the installation.

-Thanks for your input.


oh'mike 07-30-2012 08:54 AM

Underlayment and tile are installed after the tub is installed---tile and underlayment does not go under the tub--

Use a hardwood underlayment like 'Multi-Ply'---do not use luan ply--it does not use waterproof glue and will delaminate if water ever reaches it---

DiegoJames 07-30-2012 09:32 AM

Misresponse, misread of original.
oh'Mike: This is a free standing clawfoot tub. The entire floor, sub, underlayment AND finished floor goes under the tub.

oh'mike 07-30-2012 09:36 AM

Sorry--I missed that part---Thank you---

One more suggestion--after the underlaylent is installed---roll on a thin coat of Henrys Bond enhanser--

It is a thin,watery primer that is used to make the pear and stick tiles stick well to the underlayment--

The Armstrong rep will jump in if I am wrong---but it does work well---

Armstrong Floor 07-30-2012 10:08 AM

Hi! Here's what our customer service group says: The tile can certainly be installed in sections, but we recommend putting down a piece of plywood before placing the tub directly on the tile so the newly installed tiles which wonít be covered by the tub are not damaged. Also, wait for the adhesive to be set up for at least 24 hours before laying the tub on top just to be sure there is no tile shifting.

Regarding the Henry Bond Enhancer: we havenít tested this enhancer with our adhesives, so we donít know how it will work. You may want to check with Henry Bond for their recommendation.


oh'mike 07-30-2012 10:42 AM

Kim--does Armstrong make a product like that?

DiegoJames 07-30-2012 12:19 PM

follow ups, thanks!
thank you oh'Mike and Kim:

Thanks for the feedback.

I will surely wait at least 24 hours before putting the tub back on the new tile floor. I also have purchased "claw tub coasters." They are heavy cast brass coasters to go under the legs of the tub so they do no damage the floor!

I'll check out the Henry pre tile primer. They are not peal and stick tiles though so there will be a substantially more.....substantial glueing process going on here. Nonetheless, I'll look up the Henry product.



Armstrong Floor 07-30-2012 12:49 PM

James - you're right. oh'Mike - Henry Bond Enhancer is a primer for self-stick tile floors. Armstrong does manufacture the S-185 Floor Primer for self-stick tiles; however, we do not recommend the S-185 in this situation because Alterna is not a self-stick tile.


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