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dgeorge 10-08-2010 05:05 PM

Removing Linoleum to lay tile over cement floor - Need some advice
Hello all. New to the forum, but certainly not new to DIY projects. My latest project it a kitchen reno for my wife's stepmother. I have demoed everything and have started pulling up the old linoleum, which is a replacement layer. The original layer was removed and it looks like a levelling product was applied. However, when the newer linoleum was installed, it was not of course put under the cabinets. Those areas have the old linoleum. So, I am working with two different types of linoluem, two different adhesives, and at least one levelling product. I have spent two days on my knees with a heat gun, wet towels, release agents, and a scraper. I have gotten hal of the room scraped, but it is not level. My question is what can I use to restore a level surface on the floor? I have read that using luan or a similar produict is a no-no in this case. I am guessing I either need to get a new levelling product or perhaps the Schluter (sp?) system. Anyone else been down this road? How did you approach the problem. Sorry to be so long... Thanks!

BTW Great Forum!!!

JazMan 10-08-2010 09:39 PM

Hi George, welcome,

You can rent a "stripper" to remove sheet vinyl and other types of flooring. Looks like this.,r:17,s:0

You can also remove it with hand scrappers being sure to keep the materials damp so not to create dust. Old flooring and some adhesives may contain asbestos.

After the old flooring and the backing are in double plastic bags at the curb, you can use a SLC (self leveling cement) with proper primer and make the floor flat. Ask about that later cuz it's not as easy as it may sound.

From there it's easy. You're right about no plywood on concrete. Schluter's Ditra would be my choice if I wasn't going direct over the concrete.


dgeorge 10-09-2010 07:15 AM

Thanks JazMan! I think that might be just the tool I need. Hand scraping is for the birds! Looks like the local Home Depot has the stripper in their rental department as well. Hopefully this tool will cut through all of the various levels of adhesives and levelling compound right down to the cement. I'd like to get everything off and start with a fresh surface so that the ceramic tile job can last as long as possible.

JazMan 10-09-2010 06:44 PM

That's a good plan.:thumbsup:

Chances are you'll need to patch the concrete again to make the slab flat. Tile doesn't care about level, but is needs to be flat.

Get back here when you're ready for the next step.


dgeorge 10-12-2010 03:50 PM

Got the linoleum and glue off - What can I use to skim the slab??
Thanks again Jazman for the recommendation on the stripper. Worked like a charm, though I still had to scrape a lot of glue off by hand. In any event, I got all the glue off, but the slab has some gouges in it and some low spots. Also, I put a level on it and it is WAY off over an inch across 14 feet. So, local tile guy told me to use a self levelling compund. No problem, but I'm afriad if I do it will all be in the next room over 24 hours later. What can I use to make the floor "flat" enough to accept tile correctly, but not necessairly "level" from one side of the room to the other? Since the slab goes off into the adjacent dining room and hallsway, I do not want to create a big step up into the kitchen. Any tips to prepare the surface for tiling would be great. Thanks!!!

wnabcptrNH 10-12-2010 03:58 PM

You can flash patch the lower areas with an ardex product to fill in those low spots.

Bud Cline 10-12-2010 05:05 PM


You can flash patch the lower areas with an ardex product to fill in those low spots.
If you choose to 'patch only', be sure to use a Portland cement based patch. Don't use any patching product that contains gypsum.:)

dgeorge 10-12-2010 08:34 PM

Would this work as a patching compound?
Would this be suitable as a patching compound? It says Portland-cement based...


JazMan 10-12-2010 09:20 PM

OK, that is the right type of product. It's fine to fill low spots, but don't expect to be able to make the floor level. As you said trying to level it would create a step at the doorway someplace.

Use a long straight edge to determine what needs to be filled, and mark the spots. It's likely to take 2-3 attempts to get it close enough. Remember the floor needs to be flat within 1/4" in 10 ft. and 1/16" in 12" of the desired plane.

So is there still an adhesive residue or do you see just concrete all over? You might need a primer or scrape more. Use no chemicals to remove adhesive.


dgeorge 10-12-2010 09:33 PM

I've given up on the notion of it being completely level. The way the place was built, that's an impossibility. I just want to make the surface consistent or flat, which is different from level. I've gotten off about 95 percent of the adhesive using hot water and scraping. I just have a couple of stubborn spots left to scrape. Then I figured I would wash it down again with hot water to get off any remaining residue and find an appropriate primer. Given that the patch from HD would work, what type of primer should I buy? One of the ones that goes on before a levelling compound? Thanks!

dgeorge 10-23-2010 01:47 PM

Update to removing linoleum and prepping for tile.
after 4 days of scraping, I got all the glue off. I then put one a skim coat of a portland cement based flash patch (thicker in the low spots). Finished laying all the tiles this morning. Just grouting left. Looks great! Thanks to all that helped!!!!

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