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Old 12-20-2009, 10:07 PM   #1
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VCT in basement

I am remodeling a basement in a 1950s house and currently there is the classic 9x9 (likely asbestos) tile down there. Affording an abatement team is unfortunately out of the question. Pulling the tiles up has been a challenge. The only way I feel ok pulling it up is with a wallpaper steamer. They come up in full pieces and it applies water to keep any dust down. It just takes forever. I have tried dry ice but it just shatters the tiles. Some of the tiles were damaged from flooding by a basement entrance and the edges were cracked from carpet tackstrips but about 75% remains in great shape. I would like to NOT remove the vast majority of the tile just damaged/loose ones and hope to lay VCT on top of it. I have tested and chosen a leveler that works well in small spots of the concrete but am wondering if I should lay a subfloor on top of the old tile or if I should just lay it straight on. The problem I have come upon is that most people suggest some sort of plywood subfloor that would not hold up long in a rare but inevitable flooding. Some plywood options would also be too tall. I would also prefer not to drill into the floor. Can someone please suggest any alternatives that I may not have thought of or come across?


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Old 12-21-2009, 05:50 AM   #2
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There is absolutely no reason to lay plywood. Use the proper adhesive and you can do right over what is there. Most will warn about adhesion. If there is wax on the current tile, strip it. Avoid sanding the tiles of course, though this is generally recommended to improve bond of the new adhesive. There are also products like these from Apac: that are designed to encapsulate and seal the old surface making it ready for a new application.


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Old 12-21-2009, 06:13 AM   #3
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Have you looked at the DriCore panels?
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:58 AM   #4
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poppameth: The apac product are interesting. I did not know anything like that was on the market. I will do more looking into that.

ccarlisle: I have looked into the dricore panels. While I do like the idea, the problem is they are close to an inch thick. Having two exterior doors in this basement and a tiled bath that is almost level with the existing floor makes me stray away from those.

Thanks to you both for your help. Any further suggestions are welcome.
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