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Old 06-02-2011, 11:09 AM   #1
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cut back / thin-set


Hello...considering the Allure Ultra flooring for Dining Room and Kitchen. After removing carpeting and tiles in DR I noticed the tiles were installed using cut-back...an oil based "glue" which is not removable in its entirety. I'm somewhat skeptical about the thin set in the kitchen as the glue responds to warm water easier than chemicals. I would like to place the Ultra flooring over both. The floors are level and smooth, trowel ridges in cutback can barely be felt, rooms square. In the DR, I have removed the carpet tack strips which left small holes against the wall as well as the "entry" between DR and kitchen. I was told by sales person at HD that nothing needed to be done with these holes and could lay Ultra flooring on top w/out problem. I guess the basic question is if I need/must do anything to the floor I'm installing the Ultra upon as long as it is completely clean and free of any grit, sand, dust, dry wall remnants, etc.? And, how in the world do you paint and install molding later w/out ruining the new flooring? Please advise and thank you.

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Old 06-03-2011, 05:58 AM   #2
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cut back / thin-set


Is this the new click together floor they have? You should be fine with the tackstrip holes so long as it's a floating install and not a glue down. Glue down would require minor patching. As for the cutback residue, I'd seal it with some sort of tack abatement product. Apac use to make one called Tac-Abate, but it's off the market now so far as I know. You take the chance on it being sticky and causing noise if you don't seal it. You can also powder it with floor patch to absorb the stickiness. My other concern would be if any of the solvent in the glue leaches into the new floor and discolors the vinyl. I'm not sure what your reference to thin-set is here. Maybe there is a type of Allure I haven't seen.

Paint your molding before installing, then touch it up after it's on the wall. Use a paint shield to keep paint off of the floor while touching up.

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Old 06-03-2011, 10:13 AM   #3
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Hey thanks, poppameth...

The cutback is from 1960...and the 8" asbestos tiles over it popped off intact pretty easily with a 4" putty knife, kinda like pancakes. I'm told nothing adheres to the cutback and the mortar used for ceramic tile (thin set?) will "rot out" from air pockets after a few years and the only thing holding the tile together would be the grout...then the tile floor has a "hollow sound" when tapped, and possibly break if something like a pot is dropped on it. I haven't attempted to remove any of the cutback as it is smooth and I can only faintly feel the ridges in the original laydown of 8" tiles. The salesman who spoke with Armstrong execs (they told him nothing can completely remove the cutback) said he wet sanded his floor but still had residue as the cutback "seeps" into the concrete and the mortar will still eventually "rot out". That's why I'm switching gears...first to wood laminate but changed to allure ultra because of wood laminate having a problem in wet areas, like kitchens. The ultra is the click/lock system, completely waterproof, and not the type with "glue tongues" as I've read too many complaints about chemical odors from that "model". The salesman told me I can lay it on the floor as is w/out treatment. I asked about an underlayment which he said might make the floor a little softer. Of course, I found info on the product and any underlayment would void the warranty... Most of the people I talk with don't know what cutback is...so when I ran into this allure ultra product, I thought it was the perfect answer until yesterday when I found this exchange on some site:

Question CAN THIS PRODUCT BE PLACED OVER BLACK TAR WITHOUT A SUB FLOOR? HAVE REMOVED CARPET AND FOUND BLACK TAR ADHESIVE UNDERNEATH

asked 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Anonymouson TrafficMaster Allure,

Wild Cherry Resilient Vinyl Plank Flooring

1 answerAnswersanswer 1

NO….that is most likely a cut back adhesive and will eventually migrate through the seams. You will need to install a new sub floor (plywood) over the “old” cut back adhesive.

answered 1 month, 1 week ago by AllurePro

Well, I'm not "sub-flooring" anything for appliance reasons plus I think I would end up having to "sub-floor" the entire house. I'm not quite sure how 50 year old cutback stuff could move up, detour around the tongue (and then back) and then up the seam, but what do I know? I thought this project would be fairly simple but this has become one major, probably very expensive, headache and I am utterly frustrated.
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:26 AM   #4
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cut back / thin-set


There are posters on here from time to time who work for the big boxes. They will give the wrong advice either out of ignorance or so they can sell more product. I have been installing for 40 years. I would not put any flooring for myself or a customer directly on cutback. Will it succeed, put directly on the cutback? It's possible. Will it fail? It's probable. The final choice has to be yours.
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:53 AM   #5
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cut back / thin-set


That's the best advice on decision, but what do you recommend for installing the Allure Ultra given my circumstances? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:58 PM   #6
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cut back / thin-set


Ceramic actually can be installed over cutback residue, which means you have to scrape it down to virtually nothing on top of the subfloor. The residue will be what remains in the surface of the floor, not on it. There are several thinsets that allow for this. I'd still avoid it if possible.

The problem with cutback is that it never completely cures. Even decades later it can still have a tacky feel, which will cause popping sound when a floor is laid directly over it. The oils in it can also discolor the vinyl and in the worse case, migrate through the seams if it is very pliable still.

Here is a little info from a Parabond patching compound that talks about requirements for skimming over cutback.
http://www.parabond.com/techdetail.php?prodRef=p9500

It's important to keep in mind that while there are plenty of patches that can bond to the cutback, they may not stop bleed through.

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