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Old 02-10-2014, 05:38 AM   #1
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New subfloor - slate tile disaster!!


We just finished removing about 600 sq ft of 1/2 inch thick slate tile from our living room, hallway, and kitchen. When we pulled it up, we discovered about 5 different types of flooring hidden underneath, including plywood, hardwood, linoleum, and even a small section of concrete. We tried everything to get all the mortar off to prep it for the new vinyl plank flooring we are putting down, but it's not all coming up.. Which subfloor it was sitting on definitely makes a difference on how easy it's coming up! We tried the big power chisel (Eddy machine) we rented from Home Depot, hand scraper, and I even tried a bit of mortar dissolver but it just made a mess. I don't want to try sanding it because we have a baby and I am concerned about the dust. So I think the only solution is a new subfloor over top of the whole darn thing.. How would I go about doing this? I'm worried it will be uneven because of the remaining mortar. Could I use spacers underneath to level the lower sections? Do I need to attach the new plywood to the joists underneath or just screw into the existing flooring?
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:21 AM   #2
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That is a tough one---sanding id not a good option any way---
I have used a rented floor buffer with carborundum stones on a concrete floor---but that would likely rib the plywood to shreds--

you may need to remove the damaged subfloor and replace---in any case you will need to add a layer of underlayment.

Pictures???
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:48 AM   #3
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Here's a bit of what we are dealing with. I think we could probably rip up parts of the old subfloor and lay new, except for the concrete section (self levelling compound over?) and I'm hesitant to rip up the linoleum to lay new subfloor because it looks old enough that asbestos could be an issue (we will need to test it) Also I don't know if we could remove just part of the subfloor in the kitchen? Since that's what the cabinets are sitting on so would we be compromising the support there if we were to cut around them? Pulling apart the kitchen cabinets is definitely not an option.
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New subfloor - slate tile disaster!!-image-957781615.jpg   New subfloor - slate tile disaster!!-image-863383357.jpg   New subfloor - slate tile disaster!!-image-3748315845.jpg  
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:17 PM   #4
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Karen,

You're gonna have ta remove everything above the subfloor and them install a proper underlayment TBD later.

What layer are we're looking at in the pics? WOW, someone installed slate over ply, not a good plan.

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Old 02-10-2014, 09:26 PM   #5
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Yikes... Yeah the tiles were pretty much popping off the plywood in some areas, part of the reason we are getting rid of them. It's a real mess. The pictures are of what we found just after ripping up the tiles, that's it. There was nothing between the tiles and the subfloor/previous flooring, other than the mortar.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:36 PM   #6
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You said;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen
When we pulled it up, we discovered about 5 different types of flooring hidden underneath, including plywood, hardwood, linoleum, and even a small section of concrete.
Tiles should never be installed on "the" subfloor. There must be another layer of ply or planks under this ply we're seeing, no? There better be.

The subfloor is the layer of wood that is attached to the joists. What's over the joists? Then what? Is there an open ceiling below? Send more pics.


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Old 02-10-2014, 10:03 PM   #7
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No open ceiling but there's holes from what looks to be old heat vents (that were tiles right over) and this is the only layer there is - attached right to the joists
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New subfloor - slate tile disaster!!-image-3574638518.jpg   New subfloor - slate tile disaster!!-image-1940125519.jpg   New subfloor - slate tile disaster!!-image-2335800896.jpg  

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Old 02-10-2014, 10:29 PM   #8
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Yikes! So this is the subfloor? No wonder it failed.

Do me a favor. Drill a small hole someplace and measure what you're standing on. Use a tape measure or nail or?

You need to removed anything that isn't wood from the subfloor and make is smooth and flat. You'll want to install an underlayment over the subfloor. I don't know how thick yet since I don't know the thickness of your subfloor. If the wood sub meets the concrete part in plane, you'll have to raise the concrete of course.

So, how thick is this subfloor? Are all the areas the same level and flat? Please list the different subfloors/underlayments. You said one area is hardwood. The hardwood is not on the joists, there's a subfloor under it. How thick are these two?

Who the heck installed the original floor?

OMG, they installed the slate over the plank subfloor.

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Last edited by JazMan; 02-10-2014 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:52 PM   #9
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Your mess looks similar to what we found in our kitchen....subfloor (diagnal 1x6's), 1/2" plywood, asphalt tiles, glued down carpet.

It was easier to start at one corner and just pull ALL of it out except for the subfloor.

Once it was out and cleaned up, we put down 3/4" T&G plywood.
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