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timnc 03-26-2012 08:19 AM

Thinset removal & new flooring
I am new to this area of work, and have read several threads regarding this topic, but unable to find one related specifically to my situation. I removed tiling from the kitchen floor. I now have the remaining thinset/grout to deal with. Fortunately, the guy who laid the tile did a poor job and about 1/2 of the tile just lifted off. I have heard about the rental grinder/hammer to remove the remaining thinset, but my situation is that it was applied directly to plywood. Do you feel this powered grinder would also grind up the plywood? The posts I have read dealt with the thinset on concrete.

Setting: the kitchen floor is adjacent to hard wood flooring in the dining room and living room. I am undecided with vinyl peel and stick or since I have some floating wood floor left over from another project, just to go with that.

If I go with floating wood flooring (actually, laminate, right?), since a pad is going underneath, is it absolutely necessary to remove all the thinset or just focus on the parts that have noticeably high peaks on it? Your help and response is appreciated.

JetSwet 03-26-2012 08:29 AM

Yes if you Install laminate the floor has to be cleared of all thinset needs to be flat or it will push through the padding and make the floating floor pop up on you.

The tile installer might have mixed the thin set wrong or used the wrong kind and or used unsanded ply as well.

So grind and chisel the thin set completely off and you will be fine for laminate.

Blondesense 03-26-2012 11:47 AM


Originally Posted by timnc (Post 885669)
...but my situation is that it was applied directly to plywood.

Why not replace the plywood?

timnc 03-26-2012 05:49 PM

It seems that could be quite time consuming as the cabinets would have to be removed, and it would still result in some of the plywood having to be cut. That makes me nervous since I have not done that before and it actually involves removing a very foundational piece of wood, in my opinion. Additionally, that plywood is rather expensive per sheet nowadays. Thanks for your input though. It is appreciated as all options are considered.

Polapea 03-26-2012 07:05 PM

Start by chiseling off as much as possible. Use a hammer drill (hammer-only setting) and a tile chisel to knock the thinset off the wood. Keep the blade shallow so you don't dig into the wood and you should be fine.

Grinding it will work it will just take a fairly long time and create a massive amount of dust. You'll be able to tell when you get down to the wood so don't worry about that. I would highly suggest a respirator, not just a dust mask for this. Eye and ear protection is also worthwhile. Make sure you plastic off the work room very well.

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