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Flooring nightmare - need help

2518 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  valsey
Hi
I have a big mess on my hands - hope someone here can help.

This is an old 1930's house, but the room I refer to must have been done more recently...maybe the 60's...?

I have what must have been a carport or garage at one point. The original owners enclosed it and put down some sort of leveling compound on top of the original concrete. I'm not sure what this is, but it's a red brick color and about 3/16" thick. On top of that they laid some sort of sheet vinyl / linoleum. Again - not sure.

I have an extremely tight budget and wood floors in the rest of the house so I thought that slate tiles would be a great way to go in this room...also have a wood burner in there so that would cover the need for a hearth as well.

I have tried to get the sheet flooring up and it's a nightmare. The top 'printed' layer has been removed but the backing and/or adhesive will not budge. Right now what I have is 1) the original slab exposed only where the original seems were - the leveling compound has chipped off in those areas. 2) some clean leveling compound and 3) the backing and or adhesive of the sheet flooring that will NOT come up. It's stuck super tight. I've tried scoring and soaking it and I can get some of it up with a sharp putty knife but it's super labor intensive.

The "contractor" helping me insists that I can just tile over all of it ...all three levels if it...by just using a thick layer of thinset with latex. I'm afraid that will not adhere to the vinyl and I also know that the slate is pretty fragile and might crack if it's set on an uneven floor. Am I nuts, or is he?

Not sure what to do. Do I get on my hands and knees with my knife and try to remove it all? I'd really rather not. Or is there a floor leveling product that will cover all three substrates and that I can also tile over? Also have thought about putting down durock, but he says that would be worse.

Sorry for such a long post - just want to describe it well. I'll try to post a picture if I can figure out how to.

I sure could use a budget friendly solution that I could do myself. HELP IS APPRECIATED!!! Thanks!






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I don't know enough to recommend anything, just wanted to alert you that the linoleum and or adhesive holding it down may contain asbestos. If you want it tested, you can take or mail a small sample to a testing lab. Costs $30-50 when I've done it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't know enough to recommend anything, just wanted to alert you that the linoleum and or adhesive holding it down may contain asbestos. If you want it tested, you can take or mail a small sample to a testing lab. Costs $30-50 when I've done it.
Thanks - it was my understanding that if you grind it, or somehow make it airborne, it's problematic. We are getting it up in strips. And we have wet down the area. Would that still be a problem?
 

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Thanks - it was my understanding that if you grind it, or somehow make it airborne, it's problematic. We are getting it up in strips. And we have wet down the area. Would that still be a problem?
Wear a respirator (rated for asbestos), and wet everything down really well. Also, close off other rooms and air vents to avoid dust and extra clean up. Finally, clean the entire room with a wet rag / sponge and you should be fine.
 

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I’m surprised the flooring guru’s haven’t chimed in.

What I would do assuming the floor has a flat plane is get up what you can then modified thinset, ¼” hardi backer, thinset and tile.

But I'm no floor pro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I’m surprised the flooring guru’s haven’t chimed in.

What I would do assuming the floor has a flat plane is get up what you can then modified thinset, ¼” hardi backer, thinset and tile.

But I'm no floor pro.
Really? Hardi backer? I assumed I could go directly to this concrete and leveling compound.

Floor Pros! Calling all Floor Pros!
 

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flooring pro here

The red stuff is a trowled on leveler. I have not seen it in years. It is hard as a rock. I think it was called level stone or something like that. Just leave it and wet the residue with water and use a 4 inch razor scrapper (get it in the flooring department at the home center) to scrape off as much as you can. Install Ditra membrane per manufacture instruction and install the slate floor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The red stuff is a trowled on leveler. I have not seen it in years. It is hard as a rock. I think it was called level stone or something like that. Just leave it and wet the residue with water and use a 4 inch razor scrapper (get it in the flooring department at the home center) to scrape off as much as you can. Install Ditra membrane per manufacture instruction and install the slate floor.
Whoo hoo! Thanks so much! I was wondering if I'd ever find out what that was.

I've been scraping for the last couple of days - it's fighting me every step of the way, but I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

What is Ditra membrane? And do I need to fill the areas where the leveler has chipped up? If so, with what? Concrete patch?

Thanks!
 

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Ditra is an uncoupling membrane used under tile and stone to isolate it from movement in the sub floor. It can be purchased at the Home Depot for about 85.00 per 54 sqft roll Florida price). You need to tput down latex modified thinset with an 1/8 inch v notched trowel, this should fill in any small divits in the concrete. Google Ditra and you will get the schulter (the manufacture) and they have good install advise and videos. Just be sure to use latex modified under the ditra and unmodified between it and the tile. Good luck.
 

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Modified thin set will work.....but Schluter does not recommend it over concrete, you should use a premium unmodified thin set. Also, 1/8" V trowel is not right. Schluter has changed their minds about 4 times and now they sell one just for Ditra. You can use 1/4" V, or a 5/16" V. May be hard to find, I used to cut larger V's in the 1/4x3/16 to make approx. 5/16" I now have the Ditra trowel however. It's 11/64x11/64 square notch.

Jaz
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm really on a tight budget. That will up the price another $350. I'll spend it if necessary. Is it necessary?

I got the impression it also acted as a water barrier as well. And it did seem damp under the sheet flooring when I pulled it up in spots.
 
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