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Old 01-08-2017, 12:09 PM   #1
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Laundry room flooring for uneven floor?


We have a lower level laundry area that had carpeting (ugh). We had a sewer backup and a remediation company came in and ripped all the carpet up. There was old vinyl tile underneath it, and the mastic under that tile has some asbestos. In ripping up the carpet, some of the old brittle vinyl tile broke off, so the floor surface is slightly uneven. But given the asbestos, I do not want to pull any tile up if I don't have to.

Looking for flooring suggestions/advice. The floor tile is only ~ 2mm or 1/16" thick, so that is the difference between the highest and lowest points, but it's uneven. There is also a slight slope toward the sewer cleanout drain on that side of the wall (seems level on the near side of the wall).

Photo below. Black area is the mastic, where the old tile has come up. The vacuum you can just slightly see behind the wall is sitting on top of the sewer drain. We only intend to have the tile go to the "black line" in the laundry area (roughly lined up from the vacuum/floor drain along the edge of the floormat to the bin with the blue top). Sorry that the floormats in front of the laundry machines make it harder to see the line of black mastic, and it's also harder to see because there was a carpet strip there, nailed into the concrete, so when that got ripped up, there's also a bunch of pits/holes (I'm assuming we can just fill these with something. The laundry machines will remain sitting directly on the concrete.
We're total novices at any construction related tasks, so feel free to talk to us like we're idiots who know absolutely nothing, because we don't.



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Old 01-08-2017, 02:05 PM   #2
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Re: Laundry room flooring for uneven floor?


Hi,

You'll want to remove those 1960's-1980's vinyl asbestos tiles. The asbestos is in its composition and will not 'leak out' or hurt you. You'd have to grind, sand and breathe the dust, (probably for many years) for it to hurt you eventually. But, do not grind or sand it, no need. If any doubts, mist with water to prevent dust if the tiles crumble for some odd reason. Double bag and dispose as your town recommends.

Now you've got a black floor that also contains some asbestos. Not the end of the world. Use a razor wallpaper scraper like this and cut off as much as possible until you see concrete. Again, mist if it's dried and starts to crumble, it shouldn't.

Now evaluate if the floor is flat enough for tile. (ceramic tiles right?) Use a long straight edge and report what you find. You'll need a floor that is flat within " in any 10' radius +-.

Jaz
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:19 PM   #3
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Re: Laundry room flooring for uneven floor?


We're not using ceramic tile. Looking for the easy/cheap option. The tile itself did not test hot, only the black mastic. So if the tile has to come up, ok, but I really don't want to scrape up the mastic, for a few reasons. I think it will be fairly difficult, and even if it's possible to do relatively safely, I have a 6 year old at home, and just don't want to mess with the idea of DIY asbestos removal with her around.

Isn't there some easier option, like glue on tiles or even sheet vinyl (I'd rather not do sheet, but if that's my only reasonable choice, I will)? I'm not looking for the best option, just one that will work to make this presentable for a minimum of expense and time.
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:50 PM   #4
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Re: Laundry room flooring for uneven floor?


Well.....plan B.

You need to remove the tiles regardless of what you do.

Once removed, if the floor and the cut-back adhesive is smooth enough, you can install dry-back vinyl composition tiles like the type you see at the Kroger store. Just plain old ⅛" commercial tiles. The big boxes have a few colors on the shelves for about .70 to .85 a ft. However, you'll want to find a glue that is compatible to this old black stuff, and chances are it'll also be a black cut-back or an emulsion. Pretty sure the boxes will not carry anything like that, so go to a real tile shop. Don't let the big box clerks convince you to use the latex white vct glue that dries clear when ready to set tiles. It will stick fine, but it'll take forever to set up before you can set the new tiles. Both are brush on/roll on or applied with fine notched trowel.

Not sure why you think it's dangerous for your child. Probably more harm to put her in a new car or buy new carpeting. Your furniture and cabinets may contain formaldehyde, The off-gasing I mean. But yes, I get what you're thinking.

Jaz

https://www.lowes.com/search?searchTerm=vct+tiles
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:53 PM   #5
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Re: Laundry room flooring for uneven floor?


see if you can find tiles that are the same as what came up. color style doesn't matter.
put them in. patch any divots/whatever. then get some "luxury vinyl" and put that on.

just how much service you get from this, idk = they may shift around some, or may not.
but, i bet it will do just what you want.

oh, get and use a hand roller on the new tiles.
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:55 PM   #6
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Re: Laundry room flooring for uneven floor?


this is the one i have and it works well.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-Exte...Roller/3030693
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:53 PM   #7
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Re: Laundry room flooring for uneven floor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
Not sure why you think it's dangerous for your child. Probably more harm to put her in a new car or buy new carpeting. Your furniture and cabinets may contain formaldehyde, The off-gasing I mean. But yes, I get what you're thinking.
I know it may not be rational, but one doesn't necessarily approach matters of small children's safety rationally, and one's wife doesn't either.
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Old 01-08-2017, 10:09 PM   #8
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Re: Laundry room flooring for uneven floor?


Yes, and why I ended as I did.

The lawyers have done a job on us all.

Jaz
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:07 AM   #9
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Re: Laundry room flooring for uneven floor?


Then just put something down that doesn't require the cutback adhesive (asphalt based adhesive) to be messed with. Buy some new vinyl tiles and glue or tape them down to fill the gaps and then cover with carpet or floating laminate flooring.
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:02 PM   #10
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Re: Laundry room flooring for uneven floor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarence
Buy some new vinyl tiles and glue or tape them down to fill the gaps and then cover with carpet or floating laminate flooring.
Carpeting or laminate huh...... I'm pretty sure the OP knows better than to install either of those. It's on a slab, probably below grade and there's a slope to the drain and a washer and dryer.

The easiest and cheapest will be VCT tiles. It would be an easy job for someone who has experience installing vinyl tiles. Some who haven't done it and don't trust the instructions on the adhesive, have been known to totally screw up the job.

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Old 01-09-2017, 04:38 PM   #11
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Re: Laundry room flooring for uneven floor?


It's slightly below grade (the lower level of a tri-level house); it's definitely not a basement.

There actually was carpet there before, though I never liked the idea because of all the potential for water (washer, water heater, sewer drain). If I was told that the only easy way to DIY was to lay carpet, I would lay carpet, but that is definitely not what I would like to do.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:15 PM   #12
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Re: Laundry room flooring for uneven floor?


That area is the last place for carpeting or laminate.

The best flooring would be ceramic, and cheap if you do it yourself. You could probably do it for as low as $2-3 a sq. ft.

VCT DIY under a buck.

Sheet goods with installation would cost more, not sure what the cost might be where you are. Also not confident how they'd glue it over the cutback. Go find a real flooring store and ask.

Jaz
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