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Old 07-10-2009, 08:00 AM   #1
DRV
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House Renovations - Tile floors

Good morning everyone. New to the board and was hoping for some expert advice.

Purchased another house in desperate need of TLC. It has since been gutted.

My question/concern is, our kitchen and bathroom floors were tile, we pulled them up and airchisled off the excess floor. We are back down to the underlayment which is smooth but still has some mortor/thinset on it. (we tried to pull up the underlayment but was nearly impossilbe)

I plan to retile these areas, what should be done to prep these floors for the thinset and tile. Does the floor need to be sealed etc?

I'd prefer not to put another layer of underlayment on it as i alreay have a 1 " drop to the adjoining rooms.

I hope i've made this clear. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:41 AM   #2
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You need to get almost every speck of old thinset off the subfloor. Anything but a film should be scraped off.

The old subfloor does not need to be sealed. It does need to be inspected for deep surface damage (great areas where the top ply is missing, or where the material is rotted to the point you can easily poke a Craftsman screwdriver into it, etc.) If the existing subfloor is 3/4" and in decent shape, you don't need to do anything to it except install your underlayment. However, if you have the room, adding another layer of 3/8" or thicker plywood is not a bad thing to do.
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:23 AM   #3
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Thanks Bob....

thank Bob.

I do have some gouges in the floor and i would consider the surface to be clean to film of mortar. Im i in danger of the thinset not sticking to the surface?

thank you,

Doug
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:52 AM   #4
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If it were me, I'd use a 2" holesaw to drill out a core sample to figure out exactly what you have there. Having a 1" drop to adjacent rooms suggests quite a bit of buildup. Maybe you have a mudbed?
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:24 AM   #5
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this is what i have

origanial subfloor, plus 1/2" of undlay plus layer of vinal or lanolium plus another 1/2" of underlay which was used as backing for the tile which has since be removed.

the floor is sturdy and in good shape, my worry is that the thinset i intend to use for the new tiles will not adhere to the exsiting underlay
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:27 PM   #6
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What year was the house built?
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:32 AM   #7
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built in 1950's ish.

Is anyone able to answer my question about the new thinset and the old floor? Does anyone foresee any problems with doing this?
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:49 AM   #8
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I would not trust my new tile work to the topmost layer of underlayment. The layers of vinyl and lino are working against you. Instead, I'd remove everything down to the first layer of 1/2" plywood (not the bottom layer of subfloor), then install backerboard.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:33 AM   #9
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had hoped

that we could pull up the layers of underlay with no avail. took over an hour to pull up appox a 2 sf area. glued and screwed.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:06 PM   #10
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With all those layers in there, esp the lino - if it's giving you this much trouble to scrape down, might be your best bet is to get some sawz-all blades and cut out the entire flooring mess.

Chop it all clean around the perimeter of the room, pull it all up from the joists, and just re-subfloor w/ new sheets of something like Advantec.

I'm the first to admit I don't know jack about a lot of things, but it sounds like you're totally asking for trouble w/ putting more tile over the existing stuff. One could contemplate that the old tile (which you just removed) lasted for some time in this situation, but it's not entirely clear why you removed that (was it loose / damaged?). But now you've pulled a few sq ft of it all apart - it's probably too late too turn back / graft something suitable back in...
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Old 07-13-2009, 01:41 PM   #11
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that is how i attempted to pull up the underlayment

i set my saw to 1/2 inch depth and ran several paths down and try to pry up with little (2 square feet) accomplished.

So, i don't want to pull up anything. Period! I just would like to know if i can lay thinset over the existing underlay (fix the little area that i pulled out) and lay tile. WILL, the thinset adhere to my existing underlay that has a minor film of old morter from the previous tile?

THanks!
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Old 07-13-2009, 02:07 PM   #12
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Feeling your frustration - sounds like a lot of energy expended thus far on this w/ little tangible results. Maybe post some pix of the floor you're trying to bond to?

On the one hand, you have a surface that HAD tile on it, and therefore one could envision it holding tile again w/ few issues.

but...

since your core query seems to be "WILL the thinset adhere to my existing underlay..." what are your plans if the answer remains a resounding no? Or if you do try bonding a couple tiles and they fall right off? Seems options are to either keep building up or rip it all out to the joists and start over. Neither is easy to deal with, but IMO the latter (potentially) provides the better finish result.

Sorry if this feels like poking but that's an awful lot of buildup you are fighting with... Good luck, man!
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:36 AM   #13
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thanks guys

I am going to press my luck and tile over the existing. I've tried pull it up and its not coming so i don't want to screw with it any further.

ill let you know how i make out.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:36 AM   #14
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Good luck, Doug! Just ooc - what brought you to pull the tile that was there? just aesthetics? or was it failing / loose in some way?
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:47 AM   #15
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yes

aesthetics!. we've bought this house and essentially gutted it to modernize and make it ours. the tile seemed to have held up pretty well but when taking out walls, added new kitchen, baths, paint, trim etc, we thought it was right to change the floor now aswell.

Thanks again Ladies and Gents
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