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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

I believe these tiles have been stained by a pet. It looks like calcium deposit. When we try to wash it with water or add a fluid such as vinegar; so long as it gets wet, it seems to return to its normal colour.

Can anyone please identify what type of tiles these are? (Any tips for removal would also be appreciated, but an identification of the tiles would be great too!)

Not sure if it makes a difference, but the tiles feel very hard.

Thank you so much!
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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Thank you, ED! We're hoping to get it back to normal but I'm not sure how.
I fear that is well worn vinyl from many decades ago, and if it is wore, no amount of cleaning is going to improve it.

What room is this in, and was part of it covered by a rug, or mat of some kind?

How long have you been living there?

And have you seen that area in better shape?


ED
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I fear that is well worn vinyl from many decades ago, and if it is wore, no amount of cleaning is going to improve it.

What room is this in, and was part of it covered by a rug, or mat of some kind?

How long have you been living there?

And have you seen that area in better shape?


ED
Thank you again for your reply, ED! This is more or less in the living room in an apartment. I'm not sure when the tiles were installed, but it certainly was in place for over 10 years. It was covered by a cage (the bottom of the cage was a PVC lined canvas), although the discoloration does seem to emanate beyond where the cage was. At the same time, you can see a rectangular outline.

I can't recall if it's ever been in better shape, but I believe it has.
 

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Thank you again for your reply, ED! This is more or less in the living room in an apartment. I'm not sure when the tiles were installed, but it certainly was in place for over 10 years. It was covered by a cage (the bottom of the cage was a PVC lined canvas), although the discoloration does seem to emanate beyond where the cage was. At the same time, you can see a rectangular outline.

I can't recall if it's ever been in better shape, but I believe it has.
Was the bad area under the cage, or around the cage?

Maybe highly SUN faded.

ED
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Was the bad area under the cage, or around the cage?

Maybe highly SUN faded.

ED
Apparently, this was the progression:
1) Cage used to be on a rug larger than it. This would explain why the shape is larger than the cage. So the brown colour might have come from a rug.
2) After the rug was thrown out, the cage was on top of cardboard which was regularly replaced (maybe browning came from that too?). Eventually, maybe the pet urine may have seeped in and that might be what caused the white residue (I understand white suggests calcium) which disappears when wet.

I have attached two photos. The white discoloration seems to disappear when the tiles are wet, but the brown remains.

(Please don't mind the streak of light and the black shadow). Also, one was taken with, and another without flash.
 

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Old tiles might be asbestos containing and the mastic might be, too. Are they 9” squares or 12” squares? What time period were they installed? Sometimes a heat gun releases them.
 

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Is this an apartment building you own, or are you the renter?
If there all still stuck down good I would not waste my time removing them, I'd go right over them with strip vinyl or laminate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Is this an apartment building you own, or are you the renter?
If there all still stuck down good I would not waste my time removing them, I'd go right over them with strip vinyl or laminate.
The person I'm helping is the renter. Sorry, I'm totally new to this. What would strip vinyl or laminate do to it? Would it bring it to nearly the same condition?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Old tiles might be asbestos containing and the mastic might be, too. Are they 9” squares or 12” squares? What time period were they installed? Sometimes a heat gun releases them.
I couldn't find a ruler, but I compared it to a standard sized paper; it's definitely more than 9", so I'd say 12".

As to the time period, I'm not sure. The apartment is at least 100 years old.
 

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Those are VCT tiles, probably on a slab, and can stain. There seems to be a large gap between them which shouldn't be there. Removing them needs a heat gun, a scraper (basically a broom with a metal fin instead of bristles), or mechanized version of a scraper. You'd have to replace a lot of it and get the adhesive off too.

I wouldn't do anything to something they're renting, unless your friend puts something they can take with them, so:
- Floating sheet vinyl: It just lays down in a 12' roll and is attached via tape. About $.70-$1.00/sf, roll it up when they move.

Speak to the landlord. If a good renter, landlord may purchase new flooring. If your friend caused the problem, good luck. Maybe can negotiate landlord buys, you install:
- Peel and stick 12x12 tiles $.70-$1.50/sf easiest install, corners will come up
- Luxury vinyl planks $2.00-$4.00/sf vary from float, stickyback or glue down
- Laminate $.45-$3.00/sf floats, requires sawing and underlayment
 

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If I was renting, I would discuss with the landlord / manager, If I can do this and if they would offer a discount on the rent for a couple of months, before I did any improvements.

Most places charge a deposit, to tenants, for repairs after the tenant leaves.

ED
 

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Since you said they are very hard, almost brittle, that gives me a warning bell. And being from the 60's, makes it a warning buzzer. If you had said that the were 9" tiles, Robbie the Robot would be spinning and shouting, "Danger Will Robinson, Danger"

The reason being is that they would most likely be Asbestos floor tile. The 9" is the kicker. They could still be based on the other two warning signs so the best thing to do is nothing. Just leave them be.

As long as you don't disturb Asbestos, it is fine. However, when you start to remove it, that is when you have dangerous conditions that can happen. The little fibers can break free and really cause serious health issues.

If it were my house, I would just put a primer on them, lay down a 1/4" CBU and then put another floor covering over it. Or go wit 1/2" plywood (Use construction adhesive for the plywood and thinset for the CBU)
 
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