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rjordan392 03-14-2009 10:23 AM

Need Advice From Old School Guys
I have a vinyl tiles that I put down on my kitchen floor four years ago. After about six months, I noticed that most of the seams were opening up. So I just let it go, until now. I believe the plywood underneath was not prepared properly. It was clean and smooth before I put tiles down.
I also believe I did not help matters by using water with cleaner and a deck brush to scrub the new tiles as I think water gets below the tiles and makes the plywood swell up, causing the seams to open up. Do you agree that this is a possible cause? What are the remedies?

If I have to start over and remove the plywood flooring (1/4 inch I think) then The only problem I see is that kick plate area on the base cabinets would be a difficult area to work on with any tool to cut the 1/4 inch pylwood right up to the base. So I need advice for this area too.

I think this flooring contains a lot of moisture and I would not mind ripping as much out as I can.
I believe that I should also seal the new plywood with the best sealer, rather then taking a chance and sand down and clean the old plywood.

I don't know if hardwood flooring is under the plywood but I do have 3/4 tongue & groove subfloor. So How to proceed and what materials from nails, adhesive and replacement flooring would you use?

Mudd 03-14-2009 01:27 PM

Self-stick squares can shift due to foot traffic and they can shrink a bit over time.

So, you've decided on new flooring.

Exactly what type of flooring will determine the next course of action.

Some types could conceivably be installed right over the existing floor.

So, decide that first.

If your new flooring needs to be glued down, don't seal plywood as this can affect glue bonding to it.

It's highly unlikely you'll need to rip out your plywood.

rjordan392 03-14-2009 03:13 PM

<Self-stick squares can shift due to foot traffic and they can shrink a bit over time.>

I did wonder about that also and dismissed it. I guess now I should re-consider what caused the gaps.

Ok, then I want to pull up the tiles and lay down new vinyl tiles. I think I should use perhaps a better quality tile and apply my own adhesive.

But first I need a recommended plan to reach success. I suppose after pulling the tiles, I 'll need some type of adhesive remover for whats remaining on the floor. The tile thats installed was purchased at Home depot and these were self stick.
I forgot to mention that the plywood was put down by another, many years ago and only felt clean to the touch. The house is over 55 years old and I don't know how many times vinyl tile was put down by the former owners.

Mudd 03-14-2009 05:27 PM

Self-stick tiles in general are prone to shifting and gapping.

Consider a sheet vinyl. Since it's all one piece, it can't gap.

As far as going back with new self-stick... it's not a bad idea to take up the existing. I'm assuming that there's nothing on the floor but the one layer of tiles that are there now. Most self-stick I've dealt with removing has come up pretty easily...

After removing the existing, skim-coat the floor with a portland-cement-based patching compound to cover the old adhesive residue. This will ensure a good bond.

Still, I'd be considering sheet vinyl instead.

rjordan392 03-14-2009 06:03 PM

But I do not think I could handle a one piece sheet of vinyl without it tearing.
My kitchen is only 7 foot wide by 15 foot long. I have a pantry cabinet and refrigerator on one side of the 7 foot width and the sink and cabinets on the other side. So there very little room in the middle to work.
I probally would need the services of a experience sheet man. But I rather do this job myself.
I worked with sheet before in a small bathroom and it was not an easy job.

Perhaps there are other materials I should consider like tongue and groove wood flooring etc. I would need something that does not mar like the vinyl does because I have to use a rotary scrubber with an abrasive pad to get the marks out of the existing tiles.

If there's no other material, then I guess I'll have to take a chance on the sheet vinyl. Does sheet vinyl come in good ,better and best? I would want to buy quality.

Mudd 03-14-2009 06:20 PM

You might be surprised...

Try getting a loose-lay vinyl like Mannington Sobella, Congoleum Airstep, Tarkett Fiberfloor, or Beauflor.

Loose lay products tend to be tougher and much harder to tear than the felt-backed vinyls.

Beauflor comes 16'4" wide so you could get a relatively small piece and not have a ton of leftover.

Vinyl isn't too tough to install if you just take your time and measure carefully. That size is small enough to roll it out in the garage or driveway and slice/dice it.

I like glueing loose-lay products because you can stretch a spot out by moving heavy things, like refrigerators into place (just like you can take saran wrap and stretch it over a bowl and stick your finger into the center of it and stretch one spot out).

After cutting it down and fitting it in loose, fold half of it back onto itself (so you have 15' x 3.5' floor exposed) and spread glue on the exposed floor, then put the vinyl back into it. Wrap a towel around a piece of wood and use it to make sure you get the vinyl firmly into the adhesive working from the middle to the outside perimeter.

Then flip the unglued half over the glued half and repeat the process.

rjordan392 03-14-2009 06:53 PM

Now all I need to do is decide to either hire this job out or do it myself.

rusty baker 03-14-2009 08:25 PM

Actually with some of the loose-lays, like IVC, you must let the adhesive dry before you lay the vinyl in to it.

Speedball 03-15-2009 06:27 PM

Thanks for the tip......It sounds as though a loose lay vinyl which is available around here "CAN" be glued.

jaros bros. 03-15-2009 07:03 PM

If you're really nervous about doing it, just get a piece of pattern paper and carefully cut it to exactly what you are going to have to do for the vinyl. You can even piece it together with the pattern paper and tape. Then unroll the vinyl on the floor and place it exactly where you want it. Then roll just half up and spread the adhesive and after it has flashed off, unroll the half you rolled up. Repeat the step and you will have a perfectly placed sheet of vinyl. It's really easy.

rjordan392 03-15-2009 10:15 PM

I decided to go for it and do it myself. Thanks for all the help.

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