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Old 10-04-2008, 10:29 AM   #1
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What is under the bathroom floor?


Good morning,
HELP!!
I just ripped up the linoleum in my upstairs bathroom, wanting to replace it with "Tivoli Tile", self stick vinyl tiles. The first layer of linoleum came up with no problem; now there is a paper-like layer that I am not sure whether to scrape up or not. Is it the backing of the first linoleum layer?

Beneath the paper-like layer is older linoleum (that has the consistency of a cracker!) and then the plywood subfloor.

I am not sure if I should scrape everything off, down to the subfloor or if I should buy some sort of material and place in the area where I've already scraped down to the subfloor (it's about a 16 inch x 6 inch rectangle), and lay the self-stick vinyl over that.

First-timer so suggestions welcome~
Thanks!

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Old 10-04-2008, 11:44 AM   #2
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What is under the bathroom floor?


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Originally Posted by kduroe View Post
Good morning,
HELP!!
I just ripped up the linoleum in my upstairs bathroom, wanting to replace it with "Tivoli Tile", self stick vinyl tiles. The first layer of linoleum came up with no problem; now there is a paper-like layer that I am not sure whether to scrape up or not. Is it the backing of the first linoleum layer?

Beneath the paper-like layer is older linoleum (that has the consistency of a cracker!) and then the plywood subfloor.

I am not sure if I should scrape everything off, down to the subfloor or if I should buy some sort of material and place in the area where I've already scraped down to the subfloor (it's about a 16 inch x 6 inch rectangle), and lay the self-stick vinyl over that.

First-timer so suggestions welcome~
Thanks!

Suggestions: Self stick tiles are HORRIBLE! I seriously recommend that you do not use them. Even with a completely properly prepared surface, I find I am never really happy with how the self stick tiles end up looking. They are not a good product. I purchased and installed nearly 700 sqft of a premium peel and stick Armstrong tile to use in my 2nd story rec room, despite immaculate surface prep, I still have issues where the adhesive is not holding well on a number of them.

There are a couple things you need to figure out. The way flooring works is that there is a sub floor, this is what sits right on top of the joists, you should leave this alone. Then there is underlayment, then there is everything else that people have attached to your floor over the years. Underlayment is pretty cheap. If it were me, the I would pull the underlayment out, pry it off of the sub floor with a hammer and flat bar. Then you will be left with just the sub floor, which may be planks or it may be sheets. Then what you install next depends on what kind of flooring you end up using. One of the most simple things to do is to install 1/4" underlayment on top of the sub floor. You can use A product called luan, it comes in 4'x8' sheets. You cut it to size, and put it down with a staple gun. If you have a compressor, you can just buy a small staple gun with about 3/4" to 1" inch staples from harbor freight for about $20. If you don't want to use a staple gun, I think you use use some nails to hold it down, maybe some short ring shanks. I would double check on this because I have never used anything other than staples.

Once this is done and installed, you want to buy some floor leveling compound in a bag or container, it is a powder. You mix it up and out it on with a flat spatula. To make sure it is all nice and level. You can use this to even out any gaps that you end up with in your underlayment.

Now that you have the floor properly prepared, you have been good options. You could use the peel and stick tiles if you really wanted to. However, I would suggest you look at other options;

1. Sheet laminate (vinyl), it can normally be laid in one continuous sheet and is 100% water proof. It is fairly reasonable and is a good choice for a bathroom.

2. Konecto Prestige Planks, A nice choice and very easy to install, works very well if installed properly. This is what is in my master bath. I installed Konecto Prestige, then I used several tubes of silicone around the edge of the room, then glued up cove base, so my bathroom floor area is basically 100% waterproof and flood proof. You can do this same thing with sheet vinyl as well. I do NOT recommend the konecto tiles or the other less expensive konecto planks.

3. Real tiles, these require a more complicated installation procedure, and require tile backer board. I am not as familiar with the proper install procedure for tiles as I am with other floors. There are several trick to getting this right (seaming the tile board, and sealing it up with a special compound, etc.) Real tiles are nice. If you go with this route, I would make sure you use the expensive grout that is stain proof. It is much much more expensive than regular grout, but worth it.

Those would be my top choices for a bathroom. I would stay away from laminate, none of it is really suitable for use in wet locations.

I realize it must seem kind of overwhelming right now, but given some time you can get it done!

Good Luck!

Jamie

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Old 10-04-2008, 03:33 PM   #3
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What is under the bathroom floor?


Jamie makes some great points. However I would recommend AC grade plywood instead of Luan.
I would install new 1/4 underlay over your existing floor and start new with it.
Much easier and time saving.
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:27 PM   #4
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What is under the bathroom floor?


Thank you very much for your responses!
I did end up with the floor patching/leveling compound for a few areas and used the self stick tiles. Initially, the tiles did not stick well to the compound so I had to use some glue but, so far, so good. Luckily, the bathroom does not get used much so I am hoping the tiles will not be much of a problem.

Thanks again and good luck with all your DIY projects!!

Last edited by kduroe; 10-06-2008 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:42 AM   #5
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What is under the bathroom floor?


I have a simular problem. I thought that I had sanded and leveled my kitchen and I laid the self sticking Armstrong tile, the best I could find at Home Depot. Problem...... the tiles move. Also the tiles cracked where the kitchen floor ends and what use to be the back porch begins. I had a construction builder add a family room onto the house. He put ply wood around the cement floor and I thought I sanded and patched the uneven job he did, but it is not done well enough. The tile is cracking where the cement joins the plywood. What do I do to correct this mess.?????
Gil
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:54 AM   #6
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What is under the bathroom floor?


Hi jamiedolan,

Great that is more help full ....
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Old 10-17-2008, 08:05 AM   #7
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What is under the bathroom floor?


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I have a simular problem. I thought that I had sanded and leveled my kitchen and I laid the self sticking Armstrong tile, the best I could find at Home Depot. Problem...... the tiles move. Also the tiles cracked where the kitchen floor ends and what use to be the back porch begins. I had a construction builder add a family room onto the house. He put ply wood around the cement floor and I thought I sanded and patched the uneven job he did, but it is not done well enough. The tile is cracking where the cement joins the plywood. What do I do to correct this mess.?????
Gil
Unfortunately the answer in most of these situations is to rip it all out and do it right. This means using a proper under-layment, over a proper sub floor. This also means NOT using peel and stick tiles. They are a poor solution in virtually any situation and I really can't think of anywhere I would recommend them for. Now if you can find the tiles that look like peel and stick, but are full spread glue down, and you know how to glue them down properly over a properly prepared floor, that is an entirely different story.


I would suggest you rip it all out and start over, start with correcting whatever problem caused the floor to be un-level. If you want help with this, please feel free to start a new thread, and post more information about your floor setup including photos of at all possible.

Jamie
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:57 AM   #8
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What is under the bathroom floor?


Thanks, I was afraid that would be the only recourse that I had. I quess I will have to lay another floor of thin plywood over the whole thing to get a smooth overall floor. I can not use a thick plywood because of all of the doors. This tiled floor circles into the whole kitchen/family room, bathroom in the middle Five doorways including the French door.
Then glue down the tile. I'm a woodworker, this is not my area. As you can see. lol Wish I had laid wood floor planks to begin with. I thought the tile would be the cheapest way to go. ha Gil
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:10 PM   #9
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What is under the bathroom floor?


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Thanks, I was afraid that would be the only recourse that I had. I quess I will have to lay another floor of thin plywood over the whole thing to get a smooth overall floor. I can not use a thick plywood because of all of the doors. This tiled floor circles into the whole kitchen/family room, bathroom in the middle Five doorways including the French door.
Then glue down the tile. I'm a woodworker, this is not my area. As you can see. lol Wish I had laid wood floor planks to begin with. I thought the tile would be the cheapest way to go. ha Gil
The peel and stick tiles are cheap, but now I find it offensive that the stores continue to sell these and even promote them. They can be found for prices that start around .13 cents a tile (sqft). No wonder they seem like such an attractive option.

I'll tell you the honest truth with my most recent (and final) experience with the peel and stick tiles. I installed them in my upstairs rec room. The floor was very well prepared. I used a Armstrong peel and stick that was considered there top of the line around a $1 a tile. I've seen shrinkage, and lifting on the tiles. - Needless to say, that was the last time I will use them. I hate to bash products publicly, but after multiple bad experiences with the peel and stick tiles that were installed per the manufactures directions...

I understand the height issue with flooring, this is common as old layers of floors are accumulated.

When there are multiple layers of old flooring, I would suggest when possible you strip the old flooring off down to the sub floor, then put down the proper underlayment for the type of flooring your going to be using.

I don't know without some more details, but you need to make sure you fix any underlying structural problems or you will have trouble no matter what kind of flooring you put down.

Jamie
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Old 10-17-2008, 08:15 PM   #10
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What is under the bathroom floor?


I think you are refering to kDUROE'S BATHROOM PROBLEM mine is a family room /kitchen problem ; simular in the fact we do not know what to do about the original floor ,to bring it up to a good surface without breaking the bank...hum I think that has already been done in our case...lol
It is not old underflooring problems, infact the flooring is fairly new it is the way the plywood floor was butted against the old cement floor [use to be the back porch] the plywood laid by a pro ???????????????/was not done evenly. AND even the old cement floor is rough and uneven. I sanded everything and it looked smooth untill we walked on the tile for a couple of days and it cracked all along the area where it butts together.[concrete and plywood]
I thought that I bought the most expensive line of the Armst.......... $1.89 on sale, and it is way too thin. Also the tile is walking away from the walls and the sink area. In other words I worked hard, and long and it looks terrible. Gil
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Old 10-19-2008, 12:53 PM   #11
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What is under the bathroom floor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilbert Fitzgerald View Post
I think you are refering to kDUROE'S BATHROOM PROBLEM mine is a family room /kitchen problem ; simular in the fact we do not know what to do about the original floor ,to bring it up to a good surface without breaking the bank...hum I think that has already been done in our case...lol
It is not old underflooring problems, infact the flooring is fairly new it is the way the plywood floor was butted against the old cement floor [use to be the back porch] the plywood laid by a pro ???????????????/was not done evenly. AND even the old cement floor is rough and uneven. I sanded everything and it looked smooth untill we walked on the tile for a couple of days and it cracked all along the area where it butts together.[concrete and plywood]
I thought that I bought the most expensive line of the Armst.......... $1.89 on sale, and it is way too thin. Also the tile is walking away from the walls and the sink area. In other words I worked hard, and long and it looks terrible. Gil
Well having stuff installed by a "pro" does not necessarily mean it was done correctly.

It sounds like your flooring has give to it for some reason. Is the entire floor concrete under the plywood?

How did he attach the plywood to the concrete?

Or is one room plywood and one room concrete and your just having the cracking near were the 2 rooms meet?

Jamie

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