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joe_cole5000 01-10-2010 12:51 PM

Should I remove the vinyl or not?
I have a 1960's home with a slab foundation. The rear of the house is a 40 X 11 room I am am in the process of rehabing. My plan for the flooring was to remove the carpet and pad and install 12 X 12 porcelain tile. (I should mention that this room was once an exterior, covered patio) Well when I removed the carpet and pad I found what might have been degrenerated indoor/outdoor carpet, (glue to vinyl). This dark gray/black material could just be some kind of pad, not sure. I began to scrap it off and found this website, with all the talk about asbestos I became concerned. My question is, could this pad material be dangerous and if so can it be removed safely or do I cover it with some kind of underlayment and tile on that? My concern regarding underlayment is the elevation change as the rest of the house is carpeted, or if i can remove this material,(which is very difficult to get up), do I go all the way to the concrete? there an easier way to remove this material,(dark pad stuff and vinyl) rental tool, heating technique, etc thats makes this job more user friendly, up till now I have been using a 14" scaper from home depot.
I have uploaded some pics in my album, hopefully some of this will make sense.
Thanks in advance
Worn out in Dallas

canyonbc 01-10-2010 02:02 PM

Hello Joe,

Welcome to the site. I am quite new my self and everyone here has been great and a great help.

I am not a floor guy, but I have seen something similar on slab foundations, does it almost feel paper like???

I maybe wrong, but is that not the paper type material installed under tile floors as a slip and earthquake resistant something along these lines???

Like I said I am not positive on that one, when my parents had there tile down a year or so ago, and I removed the installer told me it was something along the lines that wrote above. However I may have misintrupted him too.

About the asbetos, and I am not sure where exactly you are but a internet search may do it, is I believe some counties, colleges and other labs will test paint of flooring or some material you can take into them for a charge and let you know if there is asbetos or not.

If there is, I would imagine very specific crews would need to come in the city or county may want to get involved. or maybe you can cover it up but as you wrote there is the elevation change.

hope this helps.

joe_cole5000 01-10-2010 02:19 PM

Thanks for your reply, but no it does not seem like paper, more like a foam material. Due to the age of the home, (I don;t know when the floor was put down, asbestos is a concern. But still I wonder how to solve this if I gain 3/4 inch in height using underlayment???

Bud Cline 01-10-2010 03:18 PM

Where's the pictures?

What you describe would not contain asbestos but the pictures would be very helpful.

You won't need or want any underlayment if you are working with a concrete slab so there won't necessarily be a 3/4" rise in elevation either.

Need more information tho.:)

OK, found the pictures. That is nothing more than foam rubber backing - no asbestos. The best way to remove it is with a 3-4" razor blade scraper on an 18" handle (wallpaper scraper). It will come loose, but it depends on how course the concrete is and this being outdoors previously may make it a challenge. A very course wire brush/wheel such as the type used in welding and steel fabrication will also remove the rubber.

joe_cole5000 01-10-2010 05:48 PM

Asbestos is still a consideration
Thanks Bud, I had continued to search the website and it seems clear that the concensus is that if you has a slab, the best results come with tiling directly on the slab rather than on the vinyl, which is what I have under that cushion material your mentioned. Still I am faced with the consideration of asbestos in the vinyl. Can I safely remove this? What is the best way to do this? Keep in mind I have 400 sq ft. to clear.
I uploaded a pick of a small area I already removed, if that helps.
thanks again for helping. I have not figured how to insert a pic directly into this page, sorry.
btw, the concrete under the vinyl is smooth

Bud Cline 01-11-2010 05:57 PM

The remaining vinyl (linoleum) probably does contain some asbestos and so does the adhesive maybe. If you don't get the particles airborne there is little worry. Some suggest wetting the material as it is removed to keep any wild particles from flying around the room.

You can use a utility knife to make cuts in the material that will make it easier to peel and easier to manage. Try cutting some 12" wide strips, then scrape the material off the subfloor. You may find that the plasticized surface will separate from the backing. If this is the case, peel the top surface then use warm water to wet the remaining backer (felt) and scrape it off the substrate. The water will be a big help.:)

A 3-4 inch razor blade wallpaper type scraper works for this also. There are bigger scrapers that rarely work well and there are rental machines that also leave a lot to be desired. The 3-4" scraper has always been our tool of choice.

One more machine that is available is a rotary scraper that uses carbide teeth but they are costly to rent and you may have to buy the teeth.:)

I wish I had better news and a better means of removal but in this case there just isn't.

joe_cole5000 01-11-2010 07:44 PM

Now I know
Bud, thanks so much for your advise and your time. I can move ahead now knowing that it is what it is and I am not spending days working toward a goal I could have achieve in hours. This is the reality of DIY. If I wanted it done faster I should just shut up and pay. I would like you thanks you and all pro's on this site for you valuable time and insight.
Thanks again

Bud Cline 01-11-2010 07:56 PM

I won't tell you this is a fun thing to do and I won't say it is easy. It is however do-able and everyone I know in the flooring business goes after that stuff in this fashion. I will tell you that there is also a machine that you can ride on that scrapes this stuff off the floor but it of course isn't suitable for residential work this small.

For years hospitals have used a similar sheet product in operating rooms and labs and the like and that is where the ride-able machine comes in handy.:)

Ah-h-h-h, but I digress!:)

joe_cole5000 01-11-2010 08:11 PM

Once again, YOU DA MAN!

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