"How to lay tile over vinyl" by Ron Hazelton [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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11-01-2009, 08:30 AM
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11-01-2009, 08:37 AM
why ? it's just an advertisement for Lowe's.
you can do that with any sheet membrane like Noble CIS, NAC or ProtectoWrap or or cementboard.

I would say the skin stuff is about the same a using Kerdi or Noble TS as an underlayment

11-01-2009, 08:45 AM
What's next, a peel 'n stick mat for backsplashes? :D

With all due respect to Armen Tavy, any time you glue to an existing vinyl floor, no matter what fancy space aged adhesive/underlay system you use, the bond is only going to be as good as the original bond of vinyl to whatever underlayment was used.

How is that an advertisement for Lowe's Brian? :scratch:

11-01-2009, 08:55 AM
How is that an advertisement for Lowe'sGreg, guess you missed the obvious.
there all sold at Lowes, even the books.


11-01-2009, 09:34 AM
Really? When did Lowe's start carrying Custom Rapid Set?

11-01-2009, 09:53 AM
there not pushing rapid set. they are pushing his book and Tavy Skin...ohh boy!:bang:

plus you missed the text while looking at pictures only:

Next, standard thin-set cement is mixed up to a ketchup-like consistency.

Home Depot is also a sponsor at the bottom of the page.http://www.ronhazelton.com/archives/images/sponsor_hd.gif

go get some Coffee greg...lol

John Bridge
11-01-2009, 10:15 AM
You guys got off on a tangent. That doesn't happen around here very often. :D

Armen demonstated his system to me and a lot of others at Coverings in Chicago, and I have to admit that his is probably the best system out there ---- for gluing ceramic tiles to linoleum and vinyl. :)

But in addition to not knowing how well the vinyl is glued, you have to worry about the subfloor make-up. half-inch plywood will easily support a vinyl floor. How many here think it will support a tile installation? Let me see some hands. :D

11-01-2009, 10:15 AM
It's just too easy to push yer buttons Brian. :yeah:

Northwest Tile Guy
11-01-2009, 10:26 AM
Most vinyl jobs I see up here all have particle board for their underlayment which I really enjoy removing before I start tiling!

Houston Remodeler
11-01-2009, 10:36 AM
To test for vinyl adhesion use a suction cup, the kind used to move granite, mirrors, large tiles.....

11-01-2009, 10:40 AM
I would still use a better product like ProtectoWrap or NAC AFM

11-01-2009, 10:42 AM
I would still use a better product like ProtectoWrap or NAC AFM
Do they sell those at Lowe's? :stirpot:

11-01-2009, 10:51 AM
no, at real tile stores where I shop :lol1:

11-01-2009, 02:10 PM
Ripping out vinyls can be real tough. I'm working a tile install right now which I started Thursday with 3 layers of vinyl on a slab.

Ripping out five hours Thurs, four hrs Fri and I still didn't get it down to 100% cement, soaked it overnight too. I'm also using an Edco sabre power scraper which usually does a decent job but not this time. After all that labor and still not an ideal substrate, tiling directly over a vinyl (if the floor below is tile ready), begins to look more attractive.

The thin skin looks interesting but why not just tile directly to the vinyl? The high end thinsets seem to stick fine. Scott Crandall from USG dropped a line about a new Durock membrane here http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=78569

Looks like a Thin skin competitor, though I didn't see the specs, it looks pretty thin. That looks like it might work over a double layer plywood floor without adding much height. I like that, if it works. :)

11-01-2009, 05:00 PM
neither the Durock membrane or the thin skin act as a crack suppressant.

11-01-2009, 05:12 PM
Brian, Durock claims the membrane to be a crack isolation membrane when used with their adhesive.


I would like to see the product, might be of some use in my neck of the woods. :)

11-01-2009, 05:17 PM
Speed-flex. But first staple the bejesus out of the vinyl , and of course you need proper substrate for deflection. :D


11-01-2009, 05:18 PM
Durock tile membrane, does provide crack isolation for cracks up to 1/8", when installed with Durock tile membrane adhesive. As I said in the other post, Durock tile membrane can be and has been used successfully over fully bonded sheet vinyl and VAT, avoiding costly and time consuming tear-outs. However, the sub-floor must be designed to support ceramic tile--no 1/2", trampoline like sub-floors John referenced in one of the above posts.

11-01-2009, 05:18 PM
Matman- I'll send you a speed flex sample, no glue, peel and stick- flypaper.

Get it at Dal-tile from Wilder.


11-01-2009, 05:23 PM
Durock claims the membrane to be a crack isolation membrane when used with their adhesive. Durock tile membrane, does provide crack isolation for cracks up to 1/8", when installed with Durock tile membrane adhesive.thanks guys, good deal :tup2:

11-01-2009, 05:56 PM
Thanks Gueuze

Is speed flex Protecto wrap? I've used that before, good stuff long as you don't get caught up in it. I'm not really thinking about using it over a vinyl so much as I'm thinking about using it over a double ply floor.

The usual, 3/4T&G / 3/8 (fir), Lat 333/317 membrane :D tile, comes in about right to the adjoining HW. That assembly could be improved with the right product but its gotta be thin. Ditra is thin but it still jacks up the final floor about 3/16. That is not much to me but to some people you might think it was a mile.

Or just go single sheet.

11-01-2009, 06:02 PM
If you have porcelain and 360 deflection, a single sheet should do it. 333/317 on speed flex, you'll be below the hardwood, and then they're still not happy, lol.


11-01-2009, 06:03 PM
So how thick is the Durock membrane with the glue?


11-01-2009, 06:11 PM
Durock tile membrane is 0.022" thick--just a hair thicker when you add the adhesive. It's a little thicker than Kerdi, which I believe most here are familiar with.

11-01-2009, 06:14 PM
WOW!! that's thin! Hmmmmmm, another damn spec sheet I have to try and digest. What's the adhesive spread with, a roller?


11-01-2009, 06:20 PM
Single sheet plywood base is no problem Gueuze, plenty of height to work with. I'm talkin about two sheets of plywood then membrane/ tile.

Two sheets of ply under your tile still has more muscle than a single sheet and is a better stronger floor if you can keep the height down enough so it transitions well to the HW. Gotta have it for stone. More money too, but better IMHO

I don't know how thick it is.

11-01-2009, 06:23 PM
Now I know how thin. Thanks Scott. Thats thin.

.022 reads about two hundredths of an in, like a little over 40 sheets of it would be an in. thick?

11-01-2009, 06:43 PM
Im actually putting together a feature film on how to install tile over vinyl.Here are some "sneak" peeks.....

11-01-2009, 07:04 PM
gueuzeman: What's the adhesive spread with, a roller?

Durock tile membrane (DTM) adhesive can be spread with a roller (3/8" standard paint roller) or 1/16" trowel for smooth surfaces or 1/8" trowel for rough surfaces. Coverage rate is approximately 150 sq. ft. per gallon.

11-01-2009, 08:22 PM
WOW!! that's thin! Hmmmmmm, another damn spec sheet I have to try and digest.Well, when you get to be a pro it'll be easier for you to learn all this stuff. :D

That new membrane puts me in mind of what you'd have if you ripped the face off a sheet of Wedi board, Gueuze.

Scottish Tile and Stone
11-02-2009, 06:04 PM
Never once did they say anthing about making sure the vinyl is secured down and not cushioned back vinyl

Rd Tile
11-03-2009, 02:59 PM
I don't tile over vinyl, so I guess I can skip over this tread, too confusing for me.:D

01-30-2010, 04:47 PM
That's me - finally got to the point of laying down the DTM. Will post in my own thread with pictures, but I guess you pro tilers would be more interested in what I have to say five or ten years from now.
My application is a low-traffic slab basement bathroom. Ripped up the VAT, but not the vinyl. It's stuck down pretty well.
Seems like a good alternative to scraping vinyl.
Stay tuned if you're interested in pictures. I'm no pro and don't have a reputation to uphold, but I certainly don't like the expense and headache of having to redo something.
Mr. Crandall was kind enough to send me a sample, so it sounded like a pretty good deal.

Plain old 1980s vinyl - no cushion

Armen Tavy aka Spacerman
07-11-2010, 04:17 PM
In defense of my Thin-Skin product and my good name I submit the following. Any tile setter worth his salt would always check for maximum deflection L/360 before installing any tile floor over a substrate that was hidden from view by Vinyl, or any other floor covering, that is installed with an adhesive or mortar. We as professionals are aware that vinyl flooring is never installed over a single layer of wood sub flooring and a good assumption would be that there is at least a second layer of plywood or OSB over the first substrate that is directly over the floor joists and this second layer is rarely less than 1/4". 3/4" + 1/4" = 1". Since the minimum industry recommend thickness is 1 1/8" it does fall tad short of the recommended requirements. However, if deflection is checked, as it should be, and the maximum deflection of 1 inch in 30 lineal feet is observed, there are no issues with installing ceramic tile floor over any approved membrane substrate without any additional reinforcement.

However, we also know that a vinyl installer does not have the same issues with multiple fasteners under his installations as we do for ceramic tile, and I always advise customers to re-nail/screw the entire floor over any vinyl, etc. in an 8" grid pattern in the field and a minimum 6" spread along the perimeters and any other solid objects before installing "Thin-Skin". "Thin-Skin" is designed to be used when the surface one is tiling over is questionable for a proper bond using thin-set mortar, and in cases of concrete slabs, new or old, the mortar companies all have bonding disclaimers and in order to qualify for a "bond" complaint you must have scarified the concrete by "Shot Blasting", "Sanding" or "Grinding". Tiling over "solid" substrates other than properly scarified concrete is always a gamble, so products like mine, Schluter, Protecto Wrap, Nobel, Mapalastic, Red Guard, etc are "short cuts" that you are not compelled to use, but people want shortcuts, and for those customers, shortcuts that can work for a given time and are backed by their respective limited warranties, even though the industry standards are "stretched" a bit.

My warranty is at least 15 years and my only disclaimer is for wax residue, and if it lasts that long, and it should, it will probably last indefinitely. By the way, there has never been a registered "Thin-Skin" installation failure since it was introduced over 10 years ago, nor any claims against "Thin-Skin" for not doing what it is touted to do by yours truly. It is "TCA" Tested and it was passed, what more do the "skeptics" want??? Give me a break!!! Armen Tavy aka "Spacerman" and proud of it hides from no one, and always stands up straight.

scott anthony
07-11-2010, 04:58 PM
Armen please call me when you have created a glue/ membrane that does bleed through and creates an sticky unwalkable surface. We followed your instructions completely.
Recently we had a customer almost refuse to let us continue our installation due to the fumes created by this 007 stuff. We calmed them down sent them shopping and worked our arses off the get thin set skim coat over the surface to somewhat hide what odor was left, the odor remained over 24 hrs.
No worries on the customers though, when they seen completion it was all good.
But I cannot have these situations in residential work Armen, I do respect your knowledge and have personally met with you and spoke with you and admire your drive for creating better products, so it's nothing personal.

I notice in your warranty you claim only enough suppression for a hairline crack. If I want to use this in a new construction job in Florida our cracks tend to be 1/8". I find that hairline limit will loose me lots of sleep.
Spacer guy your on the right track in my opinion just not quite there for me yet. I did try several times with all same results.
Now I did use it on counter top install once and that was very acceptable.

07-11-2010, 05:29 PM
Ripping out vinyls can be real tough

I have never run into a vinyl floor out here that was glued down more than around the edges of the room and a few dabs here and there. I guess I have it easy.

07-11-2010, 07:12 PM
Lenny that's a perimeter bond not a fully bonded vinyl floor.

07-11-2010, 07:22 PM
I like it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy

07-12-2010, 01:20 AM
all this talk of warranties and performance grows wearisome . . .
all the assurance I need for a quality tile installation is an ancient
symbol of divination handed down from the tile gods themselves.

There are so many products and methods that work for the installation described, I don't see any particular advantage to armen's system.

That said, I like his spacers for fresh--setting
Plus, he's an Oregon guy so I have an irrational affinity for him.

anyway, as aforementioned If your unsure or apprehensive about
the effectiveness of thin skin or a armen . . .well, you have this.

rest easy my freinds

07-12-2010, 05:49 AM
I tiled over one vinyl floor and that is in my own house. About 350 sq ft of kitchen, dining, entry and hall. It's still down solid and it has been about 10 years. I know it was bonded well because I tried in several areas to take it up. I could have got it up of course but I was willing to chance it on my own floor. I won't chance it on someone elses floor though. On mine, I went over it with my floor machine using course sand paper and then wiped it down well with acetone to make sure all the wax was up. A good thinset will bond well.

I have taken up a lot of vinyl in the past. Sometimes the whole room will come up in one solid sheet and the next one comes up in 1 sq inch pieces and can take days to remove. Most have been on slabs. On plywood, it may be easier to take up the plywood and all and start over. One of those deals where you have to see which is the best way to go, can't tell till you get the tools out and get started. :)

07-12-2010, 09:33 AM
Alot of this debate depends on the type of vinyl thats down..some vinyls like the old low gloss inlaid floors I would have no reserves going over directly it it's down well...just cut out any bad spots..usually the edges and use a thinset with additive.

Now the high gloss roto vinyls the problem would be getting a good bond...and thats where I can see a use for tavy's product..it uses glue rather then thinset to bond..and I have used that blue glue for other floors and it is pretty good..of course tearing everything out is a better way but with asbestos concerns and with light residential why not..whats the difference in a thin vinyl and a tile slipsheet? if you can get a good bond to it..why not??

Then there is cushion vinyl...that would be bad to go over even with the tavy since it is a cushion.

Then there is perimeter glued vinyl..again needs to be lifted.

And then there is real linoleum..this can maybe go over and maybe not...depends on waxes used on it..how it's bonded etc..the age of it..it is made from linseed oil so it's not the best to bond to..but if old enough the oil's and waxes may be far gone and it might be rather porous.

Round my parts unless it is a perimeter floor most all vinyl have 1/4 luaun or plywood/halex under it. don't need smoothness as much with perimeter thats why those may not have an underlayment.
On vinyl over wood jobs im not seeing a use for thin skin since a cbu would be much better since it give support(yea,yea I know plz no one remind me that is does not give support according to so and so).

I just think that going over vinyl can be done succesfully if your going over the right kinda surface...problem is how can one say that without some folks going over the wrong stuff...you would have to really know your vinyl products and how they were installed to make that determination..most folks don't know the differences..safer to just tell them to remove it.