Your suggestions most welcome [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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02-28-2007, 10:45 PM
I'm preparing to gut my kitchen / den and will be installing a new floor in the process. I've explored most of the options but am still puzzled about what to do. The floor is currently a 1960 subfloor covered with tile with mastic underneath. I dread the thought of using chemicals to scrape off the mastic.

Laying ceramic tile directly over the existing floor is not an option since it would not adhere and would come up over a period of time. Placing DuRock underlayment over the existing tiles is not an option per my flooring contractor. I’m told the only solutions that I have at this point are to have a general contractor that is licensed in abatement rip the tile out, and then install Durock followed by ceramic.

Another option: install a floating engineered hardwood or laminate (either wood or tile look).

Someone suggested Edge Flooring - not an option after reading reviews of the product.

I don't want to replicate wood since I already have natural hardwood floors in the rest of the house. My first choice is ceramic or porcelain. Any thoughts on bamboo? Any suggestions or ideas most welcome.

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jay f
02-28-2007, 11:17 PM
If tile you are talking about the 12" vinyl tiles with the black glue underneath (cutback), and there is no 1/4" luan ply under the tiles, I would think a 1/2" plywood subfloor very well screwed down, with 1/4" CBU or ditra then tile would work, provided your structure passes the deflecto. :goodluck: :yummy:

03-01-2007, 10:03 AM

How about a first name?

It would be helpful to better understand your floor composition. I was first thinking you had ceramic tile, but I (and also Jay I think) questioned that when you brought up an abatement contractor - shouldn't be necessary unless you might have asbestos in your floor and black cutback adhesive suggests this.

I had a home with oak hardwood flooring throughout and vinyl in the kitchen. I hated the vinyl so I went with Jay's construction approach and tiled the kitchen. But then my wife complained constantly about sore feet. So I ripped it all out down to the same subfloor shared with the hardwood and installed oak hardwood in the kitchen, sanded and then and stained it to match the rest of the floor. It gave the kitchen a warm, richer look, eliminated the sore feet, and made the kitchen flow better with the rest of the house. The stain matched up great, too. If you like this idea but are concerned about stain match you could go with a different color or wood species entirely. I'm a big fan of hardwood in the kitchen and a common floor material throughout the main living space. To each is own.

03-05-2007, 03:08 PM
Thanks for the suggestions so far. I figured out how to attach a pic of flooring as it currently is. Is "cut back" the same thing as mastic?

Gary "fadedjeans"

jay f
03-05-2007, 11:20 PM
Yep, that's cutback. Cutback adhesive is an asphalt emulsion used to adhere vinyl/asbestos or vinyl composite tiles to the floor. As for is it asbestos, just looking at it I can't really tell, but without testing I would assume that it is (but always remember what happens when you assume!). Is it the same as mastic, no, it's worse. Mastic can many times be reemulsified with water, cutback cannot be reemulsified without solvents. Mastic bonds to surfaces, cutback penetrates and inhibits other things bonding. Cutback is messy stuff, in most cases cannot even be sold anymore, except in very precise circumstances.

03-06-2007, 02:53 AM
How about cork? That's what I am using in my kitchen because I didn't want to try and match the wood in the other rooms but it's still a nice natural product. It floats and clicks like laminate, doesn't require any underlay (most brands), and is easy on the feet. There are also many styles and colours available now some of which come presealed, others you seal after laying if they are in kitchens or bathrooms.

One thing I noticed was some brands being better than others when it comes to scratching and price so you need to shop around for the best product.

03-06-2007, 06:03 AM
Jay F -
Many thanks for your answers, very much appreciated. If I should be the one who removes the tiles since the flooring people with whom I'm working cannot by law, can backerboard be applied directly over the cutback, thus preparing it for ceramic tile? .... or, can I apply a floating flooring material directly over the tile. I really don't want to mess with chemicals if at all possible.

I very much appreciate your help in this matter!!!!

Gary :bang:

03-06-2007, 06:05 AM

Thanks for the suggestion on the cork. Since I have a dog I was to told to avoid it.

Any suggestions from anyone for a good floated flooring product if ceramic tile is no longer an option?

Thanks ahead of time

jay f
03-06-2007, 07:19 AM
Try and see what size of plywood the cutback is applied to. If it's not 1/4", cbu could be applied to the ply and tiled upon.

03-06-2007, 12:55 PM
One contractor told me it was 5/8 th inch plywood. Safe to assume 1/4 is too thin? What is CBU? Your advice most appreciated.


03-06-2007, 07:26 PM
CBU is cement board. Trade names are Durock, Hardibacker, Wonderboard ,etc..