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Baldrick63 07-15-2012 09:26 AM

Removing old adhesive for new self-sticks?
Hi all.

My kitchen has 5/8" plywood sub floor, 5/8" plywood underlayment, linoleum tile, luan, and finally vinyl tile.

I'd like to take it down to the underlayment and install something like the Ceramica self-sticks.

The problem is, after removing the linoleum, there's a black adhesive that looks almost like a thin asphalt layer. It comes up pretty good with GooGone, but it leaves a black greasy residue that I know the new tile won't adhere to.

I'd rather not put new underlayment down for height reasons. What would be the best way to prep the plywood for tile? Should I use a solvent to get up what I can and then sand until I hit clean plywood? Or is there a primer that would work? If I had to go with new underlayment, what's the thinnest stuff that would work?

Any ideas would be great!


joecaption 07-15-2012 09:45 AM

You would be far better off removing that whole layer of laun.
Any peel and stick needs a perfectly flat clean surface.

Is that Ceramica a peel and stick tile?
If so please do not install it. Most peel and stick tend to shrink so gaps open up, there a pain to install because they stick so fast so it's near impossible to keep a straight line, look around on this site and almost any DIY site and see all the people trying to get rid of it because it's failing.

A quality sheet linolium, laminite that looks like tile or even glue down 12 X 12 tiles would hold up far better.

Baldrick63 07-15-2012 09:48 AM

After doing some research, I guess I've got what's called cut-back adhesive.

Perhaps I'd be best off by removing everything down to the cut-back and putting the thinnest underlayment down.


joecaption 07-15-2012 09:50 AM

1/4 sanded underlayment rated plywood, NOT LAUN!

Baldrick63 07-15-2012 10:25 AM


Originally Posted by joecaption (Post 966122)
You would be far better off removing that whole layer of laun.
Any peel and stick needs a perfectly flat clean surface.

Sorry for the misunderstanding. The old luan is definitely going. I've got old tile on both sides of the luan. Underneath the bottom tile is the cut-back whick sits on the 5/8" plywood underlayment.

Trafficmaster Ceramica is the newer vinyl tile that can be put down with spacers and grouted. See it here:

I can't find out too much on the stuff - maybe since it's pretty new. I sure looks nice though - not to mention cheaper than other options.

joecaption 07-15-2012 11:10 AM

Not going to like it, the grout will not hold up. Been there tryed a product like it.
My local HD and all the installers I deal with refuse to install it.
If you looking for a simple to install floor that looks like tile concider a laminite that looks like tile.
Easy to install, will go right over the old cut back if you can get most of it off with a razor floor scraper.
I've done several floors with it and have had no issues or call backs.
It will even have what looks like grout lines.
I had some left over from a job and installed it in my own bathroom 5 years ago and it still looks like new. I never would suggest anyone use laminite in a bathroom, but ha, it was free so I thought I'd try it.

rusty baker 07-15-2012 01:01 PM

Remember too, the cutback will most likely contain asbestos.

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