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Old 03-08-2011, 11:16 AM   #1
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Does this adhesive HAVE to come out before tile?


I'm about to start laying porcelain tile in my kitchen this Thursday. I'm taking time off of work so I'm sort of locked into doing it in this time frame of Thursday-Saturday.

I'm fairly concerned about the vinyl flooring adhesive still on the concrete slab of my house. I tried an angle grinder with a flap disc, but that went VERY slowly and the disc eventually got messed up such that it wouldn't stay tight on the grinder arbor. I also tried a flat gardening hoe with a razor edge on it, without much success.

Yesterday I purchased the thin-set mortar at Lowe's, and I figured I needed the "professional" grade stuff which supposedly adheres better... at the staggering price of $25 per 50 lb. bag (will need 4 bags for 200 s.f.). I'm wondering if that's even needed vs. the $10/50 lb. bag stuff. $100 for thin-set for 200 s.f. just seems ridiculous to me.

Here are a few pics. Should I be concerned about this adhesive? Perhaps renting a floor sander might make quick work of removing this stuff?

Here is some of the area I hit with the die grinder and flap disc. It worked pretty well at first, although it was slow going and created massive dust:




Another are I tried to get with the flap disc, this is where it started going downhill where the disc just spun freely on the grinder arbor.


Here I'm most concerned about the yellow glue areas around the door jambs and along that one outside door sill. The vinyl floor had a seam about 6" from that door sill, so the adhesive seems to be a bit different there.


And a view in the pantry area, with one spot I hit with the grinder, and another area where the glue seemed a bit thicker and was flaking off.


MOST of the glue is very thin and hard, such that scrapers have nothing to "bite" against to get it off. I will work to get the remaining vinyl paper and the thicker areas of glue off, but what about the other areas?

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Old 03-08-2011, 12:36 PM   #2
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Does this adhesive HAVE to come out before tile?


I am assuming this is a concrete slab floor...

Get yourself a good grinder with built in dust collection, and one of these:



You'll want to plastic/tarp off EVERYTHING.

Then go to work removing all excess glue and residue.

If the slab is in good condition, you could easily go over the slab with modified thinset (such as Laticrete 317 with a 333 admix).

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Old 03-08-2011, 02:20 PM   #3
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Does this adhesive HAVE to come out before tile?


Those diamond cup wheels go for $60 or more around here, and my angle grinder does not have built-in dust collection. I've already spent WAY more on this project than originally anticipated and I'm running out of money. I'd much rather rent a floor sander for a couple hours for $20-$30 if that will work.

Slab is in very good shape, no evidence of cracks that I have found, other than maybe a hairline one here or there.
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:37 PM   #4
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Does this adhesive HAVE to come out before tile?


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Those diamond cup wheels go for $60 or more around here, and my angle grinder does not have built-in dust collection. I've already spent WAY more on this project than originally anticipated and I'm running out of money. I'd much rather rent a floor sander for a couple hours for $20-$30 if that will work.

Slab is in very good shape, no evidence of cracks that I have found, other than maybe a hairline one here or there.
A floor sander won't work, you'll go thru sanding pads quicker than you care to imagine.
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:52 PM   #5
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Does this adhesive HAVE to come out before tile?


Aren't those diamond cup blades really for roughing up the actual concrete surface, or taking down surface imperfections in the concrete? I'm not trying to remove any concrete whatsoever, just the adhesive.

I found similar flap disc wheels at Wal Mart for less than 5 bucks, I may just go grab several of those and hit the spots that appear to have the most adhesive residue.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:32 PM   #6
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Does this adhesive HAVE to come out before tile?


There are flooring scraper you can rent to take off addhesive. It rotory and has little 1" 4 sided scrapers. In my area it rents for about $65 a day (Nu Way). It will take about 30 minutes to an hour to take up 300SF.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:40 PM   #7
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Does this adhesive HAVE to come out before tile?


Patrick let's backup for a minute.

Go throw some water on the floor and let it sit for thirty minutes and see what happens. If it turns white and milky you can easily remove it with a wallpaper scraper.

I will also tell you that you do not want to try to use the $10 thinset. If you think $25 for a bag of thinset is ridiculous then you certainly wouldn't want to use the $60 a bag stuff I use all the time.

You will need the $25 "modified thinset" for this and truthfully you should be using an even better thinset.

Try the water and check back here before you do anything else. All those sanders and grinders won't work so save your money, all they will do is gum-up the works.
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:43 PM   #8
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Does this adhesive HAVE to come out before tile?


Well you can see in the pics that the flap disc did work quite well for the short amount of time that it was actually working, before the middle of the disc gave out or whatever happened to cause it to not stay tight in between the arbor nuts/washers. It was dusty, yes, but there was no gummy residue or anything.

I will try the water and see what happens. I assume the adhesive would have to be water-soluble in order for it to soften when water is applied, correct?

And really I just can't believe the 50 lb bags of thinset only go 55-65 s.f. (according the bags I got) when using a 1/4x3/8x1/4 trowel. That makes this thinset around 50 cents a s.f. I want to say this is the most expensive stuff Lowe's had when I was there buying it yesterday. I didn't see anything more expensive.

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Old 03-08-2011, 08:22 PM   #9
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Does this adhesive HAVE to come out before tile?


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I assume the adhesive would have to be water-soluble in order for it to soften when water is applied, correct?
Correct. I'm basing my suspicion on the color I see in the photo. How old is that adhesive? Now days a lot of it is water based and has been for some time. It's worth a shot. If it was sanding into dust and not gumming up that also is an indication it may be water-based, or very very old.

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And really I just can't believe the 50 lb bags of thinset only go 55-65 s.f. (according the bags I got) when using a 1/4x3/8x1/4 trowel.
Actually it will usually go further than that but those makers want to sell product.

How big is the tile you are installing?
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:25 PM   #10
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Does this adhesive HAVE to come out before tile?


LOL omg I can't believe I didn't think of this before. I poured water on one area and waited a bit, came back and the stuff came right off with my fingernail! Here's a pic of scraping it off with a plastic scraper.



Before that I found my razor scraped on a shelf in the garage (forgot I had it) and went to town in another area. A good bit of paper and some of the adhesive did come up. Pic is horrible but you can see the piles of stuff. But I know what I'll be doing tomorrow - spraying water and scraping.

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Old 03-08-2011, 08:31 PM   #11
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Does this adhesive HAVE to come out before tile?


Use hot water.

I'll tell where to send my check later.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:40 PM   #12
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Does this adhesive HAVE to come out before tile?


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Correct. I'm basing my suspicion on the color I see in the photo. How old is that adhesive? Now days a lot of it is water based and has been for some time. It's worth a shot. If it was sanding into dust and not gumming up that also is an indication it may be water-based, or very very old.


Actually it will usually go further than that but those makers want to sell product.

How big is the tile you are installing?
Didn't see this before posting my last post. Yep it's definitely water based. The adhesive is about 9 years old. The tile is a 12x12 porcelain. I used the same 1/4x3/8x1/4 trowel with 12x12 ceramic in the master bathroom about 3 years ago with no problems at all.

*edit* when I did the bathroom I used Durabond D-50 flexible thinset mortar. My brother's company had the stuff in stock so he sold me a bag for like $10-$15. Not sure what it normally went for. I can't find any place selling it online so I think it's been discontinued or something. Any idea how good this stuff is and how it compares to the Mapei Ultraflex 2?

http://www.centraldi.com/Adhesive%20...D50%20Data.pdf

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Old 03-08-2011, 09:09 PM   #13
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Does this adhesive HAVE to come out before tile?


A lot has changed in the past three years. Supplies are up about 35% across the board but there is no inflation our government tells us.

Ultraflex 2 is an OK thinset, it's basically entry-level but it is all the public wants to pay for I guess.

Typically the spread-rate for thinset depends on the substrate and its condition and what the backside of the tile looks like. The trowel you have should produce more than 55-65 feet of coverage.
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:12 AM   #14
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Does this adhesive HAVE to come out before tile?


So if I use water to get up all the adhesive tomorrow (Wednesday) and then start laying tile Thursday, there won't be any issues with moisture, will there? I guess the thin-set itself obviously has moisture in it...
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:48 AM   #15
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Does this adhesive HAVE to come out before tile?


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So if I use water to get up all the adhesive tomorrow (Wednesday) and then start laying tile Thursday, there won't be any issues with moisture, will there? I guess the thin-set itself obviously has moisture in it...
Yup, zactly. Go for it.

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