Vinyl Tile Removal - HELP !!!!! [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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06-06-2001, 10:52 AM
My husband and I are remodelling our kitchen and hall, there is 14 year old vinyl tile to be removed. It was taking too long to chip off the old vinyl tile so we got some advice from Home Depot who told us we could just put a covering of Level Quik on over the vinyl...we did that but it doesn't seem to be bonding with the vinyl. There are some hairline cracks in the floor. Should we pour another layer over it or just roll up oursleeves and start removing the Level Quik AND the vinyl tiles.......

Any advice would be much appreciated.


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06-06-2001, 12:38 PM
Role up them sleeves!! I can't believe that HomeDepot would give such bad advice! The vinyl would,first of all,have to have an excellent bond to the floor itself with NO loose spots or voids.Second,it would need to be scarified to insure good adhesion for your new tile,if that is what you're installing.Alot depends on what you want to install,hardwood,pergo,new linoleum, Ceramic Tile, etc.

You need to check the integrity of the subfloor.Has it been wet and if so is there damage? Regardless of what you want to install the subfloor and supporting joists must be sound.

Did they tell you about the latex primer that you need to apply? Sounds like they just sold you the base product which without proper preparation,might as well be paint.

John, what is your take on this?

06-06-2001, 12:47 PM
We had actually resigned ourselves to the fact that we'd have to try and get the vinyl tile off and it was at a Home Depot tiliing clinic where the resident expert told us that we could just put the Level Quik over it. The floor was in very good shape - no peeling or loose spots. It is a cement floor (not sure what the exact specs are).

We were planning on installing slate tile and no mention of any primer we would need.

If we have to pull it all up then that's what we'll do - we're just frustrated that we got bad advice - we'll be more careful in the future.

Thanks for your help.


06-06-2001, 01:01 PM
Don't panic yet.Check back later and see what John has to say about it.He may know an easier way.That's good that it is on a slab.

Bud Cline
06-06-2001, 01:16 PM

There are (depending where you are) machines available at tool rental companies to remove this type tile. Rental companies would also have a manual tool called a "spud bar" that takes more elbow grease but works well. After removing the tile you would then have to scrape up all the adhesive you possibly can then see where you are.

WARNING: If your tile was installed 14 years ago it could contain asbestos, both the tile and the adhesive. 14 years is sort of a marginal thing as no-one knows how long asbestos containing tile supplies lasted after the product was outlawed. You would want to protect yourself in taking care not to get tile particles airborne then breathing the particles. Wear breathing protection. There are staunch believers that this asbestos product (if it is) should not be removed but encapsulated, so this one is your call.

Keep in mind your new tile installation will only be as good as the adhesive of your old tile if you encapsulate. Personally I would take it out.

Nothin's ever easy is it????

John Bridge
06-06-2001, 03:26 PM
"I can't believe that HomeDepot would give such bad advice!"

I believe it. And Tracy, I just love the way you say "resident expert."

I have to go along with the crew on this one. Take the vinyl out, along with the stuff the "expert" sold you. (I'd go back and slap him, if I were you.)

[You're telling me I can get in trouble for saying that? Inciting public misconduct? Assault?]

Skip my last remark, Tracy.

When you get down to the concrete, be sure to ask more questions.

Derek & Jacqui
06-06-2001, 06:05 PM
We were at HD this very day and happened to witness the sale of some tile and adhesive to an unsuspecting customer. Conversation went something like this - What kind of floor do you have? Answer -wooden. Then you will need this thinset. One expensive bag of thinset sold. Didn't ask the thickness of the wood, whether it was in good condition etc. We ached to jump in and explain to this poor unsuspecting soul that she may not have the correct materials but were in somewhat of a hurry and by then they were discussing grout colors.

I guess when the job goes wrong (DIY effort) she will blame herself for not doing it correctly.


Bud Cline
06-06-2001, 06:55 PM

I'm afraid I have witnessed such atrocities at the local Big Box and I kinda follow the customer away from the isle then say something.

If I'm in uniform they never challenge me and usually ask more questions, if I'm in street clothes they look at me like I'm crazy. If I don't happen to have a business card to give them then it's anybodies guess what they must think when they walk away.

Rob Z
06-06-2001, 08:47 PM
Someday, I'm going to write a book about all the butchery I've witnessed on the part of HD and HD Expo. My tile salesman used to moonlight at a HD for beer money, and it became a weekly event for him to call and report in the latest HD bit of stupidity.

Just one, I have to pass it along....

HD sold about 700 ft of Bruce hardwood with installation. The "installers" put down 5/8" and 3/4" plywood over the existing subfloor (no one knows why). Yes, that's 5/8" and 3/4" ply within the same layer.

Next, they started on opposite sides of the room and started laying floor coming towards each other.

Next, they managed to let the approaching strips of wood intersect at an angle in the middle of the floor.

Can anyone top that one?


Rob Z
06-06-2001, 08:54 PM

I would definately pull up the old vinyl tiles, with all precautions given to potential health concerns.

The one SLC that I have used with consistently good results is Custom's. I follow the directions EXACTLY and use the recommended primer.


Bud Cline
06-06-2001, 10:02 PM
No one can top that one,

I did hire a tile sub in Texas one time on a remodel that did the same thing in an eight by eight laundry room. He was to install 8" tile.

I met him on the job at 8am, we talked briefly, I satisfied myself he had done tile before and I went about my business.

Later that afternoon I returned to the job to find he had started from both sides of the room. He hadn't yet set the last row down the middle when he just rolled up and left according to one of my carpenters. Problem was the "leave out" down the middle measured a slick 6 inches. Later that evening when trying to reach him by phone I talked to his wife that said he had gone back to Kentucky and didn't know if he was coming back or not.

Anybody ever heard of a guy by the name of Clovis Mayfield?

Craig Meston
06-07-2001, 05:32 AM
i cant believe the crap that HD (and stores here just the same) get away with. experts is such a badly used term, some people actually are experts ( almost like me and john) and we give the advice that provides the best solution for a long lasting product. it makes my blood boil to hear of this crap at HD every day. anyway, thats my two cents worth. craig meston.

John Bridge
06-07-2001, 02:28 PM
Got a C. Mayfield on my payroll Talks like a Kentuckian, too. Hmm.

Hey Craig,

What are the names of you "big box" stores in Brisbane? Please don't tell me there are any named Outback Depot.

Bud Cline
06-07-2001, 03:57 PM

Ask Mr. Mayfield if he has ever worked or lived in/near Grapevine Texas. Wouldn't that be amazing?

John Bridge
06-07-2001, 05:15 PM
I'm sorry, Bud. I've never heard of Mayfield. Thought I was being funny.

I'll tell you what, though. I had a guy just like him one time, only the lines were merging. He had enough room for the pieces at one end of the room (a bank lobby), but they were getting tighter hot and heavy. I think he was about ready to start nipping off the edges when I arrived and shut the deal down. Tore it all out, of course.

Bud Cline
06-07-2001, 06:59 PM

It's probably just as well that you've never heard of Mayfield, and for a number of reasons. Besides that, "I still owe him money".

07-16-2004, 03:54 PM
I am also removing vinyl tile and man, its a bioch. So after 2 hrs of hacking i was wondering if there was an easier way. What good would heat do?

jay f
07-16-2004, 04:17 PM
Heat does work wonders, albeit slow. The fastest way to remove vinyl tile on concrete is a lot of work but will relieve many of your frustrations. If you know the secret, post it here. If not, please ask.:D

It's a hatchet, believe it or not;) .

John Bridge
07-16-2004, 04:19 PM
Good afternoon and welcome. :) Please give us a name we can pronounce. ;)

Did you notice this thread is three years old? :D

I've found that keeping the scraper sharp is about the best thing I can do when removing vinyl. Heat might help, but it might not.

Derek & Jacqui
07-16-2004, 05:59 PM
Many years ago in England gets a call to go look at a floor to see what can be done to save it. The builder was doing himself started in three different places. HERRING BONE:bang:

07-16-2004, 10:00 PM
Yeah, ive been it different putting tile there cause of the humidity? Kind of off topic being that the last post was on 2001, oops....

07-17-2004, 05:20 AM
Coop again (different computer, no password)

My latest Home Depot experience-

My wife picks out a grout color, and since I'm franticaly getting to that point of no return and really start tiling, I ask her to call and order it (not a stock color). I told her to go to Custom's website to use their materials calculator... She calls back a while later. She couldn't get online from her office, so she told the HD person that she needed enough grout for 400 sq. ft. They order her SEVEN 25lb bags of grout!!! They didn't ask her a thing- No tile size, spacing, nothing... Now I'm no tile man, but I know that's a lot of grout for 400 sq.ft... I guess they were assuming the industry standard 3 foot grout lines.

But we got it straightened out. (who wants to bet seven bags gets delievered?)


07-18-2004, 02:47 PM
You said vinyl tile, so I assume that it's not sheet goods.

Just did this yesterday. Looked at each other and gulped. Had the spud bar and scrapers. Gonna be a long day.

He says, wonder if our new, how-did-we-live-without-it hammer drill would work on this? Slab on grade. It had just completed the demo of the mud/lath tub surround in no time. Let's see.

In about 30 minutes, two vinyl laters gone from the bath and a 4x6 rectangle, one layer, gone from the kitchen. Then we used it to remove carpet tack strip. Also with no effort and in record time. This tool may replace my shop vac in my heart.

Know that they rent the Hilties at HD. Least here they do.


07-18-2004, 05:43 PM
Atta girl, Shelly! :D