possibly retiling 1960's houston ranch- typical floor construction? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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03-05-2007, 10:32 PM
I have a 1962 houston,tx ranch style house. The prior owners had removed the orginial laminate in the kitchen/ den (~~300sq. ft.) and installed blah sterile white 12" tiles. I am debating removing them versus just tiling over. The current tiles have been in the house ~8 years and show zero cracks/shifting/etc... 2 scenarios with differenent consequences/labor challenges:
1)tile over them-
-must sand floor to rough it up
-would have to slightly raise and reframe new door I put in the back door (about 1/4" -1/2" too low- but I have installed 3 new doors in the house so I have some experience
-will create a .25" transition to living room, and a .75" transition to hallway by bedrooms- too much??
-might have to remove prior moulding and raise it- been there done that also

2)rip it up and then retile
-obviously a lot of work- I have previously ripped up about 600-800sq. ft of tile at prior house so I realize the unfunness that this is
-will give me nice transitions, avoid redoing the door, eliminate the risk of underlying tile shifting, etc
-will give a nice flat surface to tile over

So I am favoring #1, but #2 does have it attractions (I don't like cutting corners). The main problem with #2 is that I am unsure if I can just rip the tile off the subfloor cleanly or if I will mess up the concrete beneath it. It appears the the 'true' concrete slab foundation is a few inches below the height of the tile (as evident by looking at the exterior of the house at doorways, and also looking at random areas throughout the house the hardwood floors are floated on top of a 2x4 that is ontop of the real slab- and this wood floor hieght is the same as the current tile so there is some increase in elevation above the base slab) so there is evidently some concrete/mud? raising the floor height- I can look under the dishwasher and at the transition areas and there does appear to be a smooth concrete surface that the current tile is layed under but I wouldn't imagine that this is the real slab so I am worried this would crumble if I jackhammered it? I did remove the tile in the small entryway (terrazzo tile) and the concrete beneath it seemed to be more of a mud mixture which crumbled somewhat easily-I just woudlnt' think they would put this subfloor in the whole kitchen and den

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03-06-2007, 12:08 PM
Done both much prefer the removal of tile. Running a dimond cup wheel even with a vac attachment is ardious and dangerous due to the dust created by this process

03-06-2007, 03:25 PM
interesting reply. I was honestly expecting most people to tell me to just tile over it. Is a diamond wheel grinder necessary? I was just envisioning using a 80 grit sand paper on a band sander?

03-08-2007, 06:51 PM
any other comments?
I do sort of like the idea of ripping the tile up, but am concerned the subfloor -concrete? won't last? Any insight into typical era construction?

03-08-2007, 07:01 PM
Hi there, gotta first name?

Its hard to say whats under the entire floor... Sounds like you could
have deckmud floating up a section and tile sitting on slab in another
by the way you describe it.
Your best bet always is to tear it out and start fresh. If its not
an option, take a grinder with a tile blade or grinding cup and score
the glaze on the tile. Use a modified thinset to set over the old tile.
Some concerns will be areas like your dishwasher, usually a pretty
tight fit, make sure you will be able to get it out if needed. Framed
in refridgerators and other height sensitive areas should be concidered.
If you have any low hanging doors they may need to be trimmed as
well as certain areas of carpet may need to be ramped to meet the
higher level of the new tile. Any loose or hollow tiles should be removed.

I would demo the existing tile and start from scratch. Best of luck. :usflag: