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Old 02-22-2018, 09:57 PM   #1
AnneB
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Old home kitchen floor project...

Hello! New to these parts, but hoping to get some advice on a kitchen floor project, just started today!

Our home is 1950's. My husband succeeded today in removing 2 layers of some sort of vinyl tiles. We're fairly certain the top layer is 90's (self sticking 12x12). The under layer was smaller and we are now left with the 'cutback adhesive' (yayyyy). After much searching on the ol' interweb, I found many solutions, but not seemingly for our exact situation.

I'm pretty sure we've concluded the adhesive needs to be 'encapsulated' using Ardex/Henry feather finish. (we assume it contains asbestos, so we don't really want to scrape it).

One of our bigger questions is this: The floor the adhesive is on appears to be plywood (it's very difficult to see). We would like to go with 12x12 porcelain tile. Do we need to put something more (say Wonderboard) over the Ardex/Henry? I guess that's the one thing I haven't been able to find out... Every one else using the feather finish was going over concrete (with the adhesive on it) or laying another vinyl product. We just need to know if the feather finish will stiffen the flooring, or would we have a problem with movement, i.e. cracking grout or tiles. The floor isn't 'mooshy' by any means, but you can feel it when some one walks past, close by.

And I suddenly realize this site seems to be mostly towards ceramic tile, sorry bout that. Hopefully, some one has some knowledge of porcelain as well.

Any help will be much appreciated.

Thanks, Anne
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Old 02-22-2018, 10:22 PM   #2
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Welcome, Anne.

First of all, Porcelain tile is ceramic tile, just a more dense and hotter fired version of same.

We'd need to know a good deal more about your floor structure to determine if it's suitable for a ceramic tile installation. To evaluate the joist structure you can plug your information into our Deflectometer in the dark blue bar above for an initial go/no-go reading.

Then you must determine the type and thickness of your subflooring. If you have no penetrations in the subfloor that allow you to measure it, you'll need to make one.

Do you have access to the bottom of your subfloor from below?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 02-22-2018, 10:22 PM   #3
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Cx beat me while typing and my response is basically the same...
Ceramic and porcelain go hand in hand so thats no problem.

Have you taken a second and used the deflecto calculator in the blue boxes above to evaluate your joist structure?

After that you will need to determine for sure what your subfloor is. Check the thickness, if it is Tounge and groove, and looking for stamping on the underside to see what you have.

Feather finish will not strengthen your floor, it is only a patching material used to flatten problem areas. If you use a leveler or patching compound you wont be able to use a cement board because you would have to install screws through the feather finish or leveler.

There are other products to get through the project without removing the cutback but you really need to check with the subfloor and joists before you go any farther.
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Old 02-22-2018, 10:37 PM   #4
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Thank you for the quick responses! And I'm sorry I'm such a dope! I really should have made the connection (ceramic/porcelain)...my mom makes porcelain dolls! DUH!

Anyway... I will have the hubby try to figure out the specs on the joists and the flooring. We see no seams, or lines to indicate it's hardwood, hence our reasoning it's plywood. There is a slight gap between stone steps and the subfloor, maybe he can pry it up a bit there to see. We have crawl space, but it's not easily accessed.

Again, thank you for the replies. I will post back tomorrow!

Anne
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:34 AM   #5
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Another important consideration, pickup an asbestos test kit. You can send a sample to a lab and get a definitive answer on potential health risk.
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:22 PM   #6
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Some thinsets allow use over cutback, but they assume that you've scraped off most of it and there's only a transparent hint of it left on the floor. It will essentially otherwise act as a bond breaker.

If your floor is flat (level is nice, but may not be required), you could then install a cement board product over it. All of them require thinset underneath, but the screws or nails are what actually hold it in place...the thinset just is there to fill voids. The thinset would encapsulate whatever was left on the floor.

Being from the 50's, asbestos is likely in the adhesive. It's not costly to test, though, then you'd know your options. You may not want to wait for the results, though.
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:37 PM   #7
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OK!

Deflection comes up at L/243. BUT, we have 2 layers of subfloor! 1.5" of tongue and groove planks, and a layer of 1/2" plywood.

The calculator doesn't seem to think ceramic would be okay... Any chance it could be shored up, or would it be okay?

Anne
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:45 PM   #8
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There are two components for deflection...
- along the joist (yours are deficient)
- in between the joists (yours is probably good)

Each one needs to be addressed separately...IOW, exceeding the requirement on one does not make the other pass.
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:55 PM   #9
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Okay... so what would be the option to shore the floor from underneath? And do the 2 layers count for anything?

Anne
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:17 PM   #10
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The 2 layers counts for the between joist deflection. The joists themselves are the lacking party here.
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:22 PM   #11
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OK!

Hubby went back under for another look and realized, they shored up under the front of the cabinets. So, technically, the span or length is really only 9'. Changes us to L/414. If he starts putting it down, and gets worried, he'll go under and shore it. He's very much a perfectionist (machinist) so we should be fine. REALLY appreciate the advice, and the Deflecto-later! That's what he was most concerned about (obviously), but wasn't sure how to figure it out.

Moving on, anyone have advice about the feather finish? Is the Henry good, so we can get it right away, or should I order the Ardex?
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Old 03-03-2018, 07:53 PM   #12
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Hey, I'm back!!

The project is going well. Right now, the hubby is 'sawing' between the tiles, preparing for grout.

As before, I've been 'learning' on the old inter-web, and now have two more concerns...

I saw a video, from a tile person (sounded British), talking about sealing porcelain before grouting it. According to him, people have had issues with the tiles 'absorbing' the color (of the grout), and it does not come off (because it becomes part of the tile). But, another site saying sealing before grout is NOT okay (they listed a slew of reasons). And in the end, I ended up on a forum where one tiler was talking about sealing everything he'd ever done, and the other guys in the forum saying he's crazy for sealing (because is starts peeling and such, creating an even bigger job to get it off)!

AHHHHHH! LOL I think we've decided to not seal it before hand, but what is the take on sealing it at all, in these parts?
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Old 03-04-2018, 12:22 PM   #13
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I wouldn't suggest normal tile

(removed advice about tile selection - Anne is already talking of sealing, tile already laid)
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