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Unread 02-02-2005, 10:51 PM   #1
Jenn
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Porcelain tile over 35 year old slab

Hi everyone,

It's been a while since I was last here and now it's time for a new job to begin. I have two questions.

Question 1:

We got an estimate today for tiling our entry, family room and kitchen floors (one continuous area). This is from the same guy who did a really nice job on our kitchen countertop.

Anyway, we are on a slab, above grade. The slab does have some cracks in it and is currently covered with carpet (with old linoleum under that).

My husband asked him what type of moisture barrier he uses under the tile in these conditions, and he said that on a slab this old he would just lay plastic over the cracks but wouldn't cover the entire area.

This seems to contradict what I've read but he's very experienced and was recommended by the tile store, and he did a terrific job on our kitchen countertop, so I am inclined to trust him with this.

We live in southern California (earthquake country) and he's done a lot of jobs around here.

But should we be worried?


Question 2: We are going to remove the carpet and linoleum ourselves to save labor charges. What is the best way to remove the glue on the slab beneath the linoleum? What type of tool and/or solution should we use?

Thanks,
Jen
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Unread 02-03-2005, 12:20 AM   #2
Mike2
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Jen, a 4" razor floor scraper with a long handle using some water to keep the dust down is probably your best bet to remove that adhesive. Do the best you can, taking it all the way down to just a stain is ideal. A good quality modified thinset approved for use over cutback adhesive will work just fine to set the tiles.

Ask your tile guy more about this "plastic" he intends to use. It actually might be a lot more that just plastic, like a crack isolation membrane, but ask the question then get back to us.
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Unread 02-03-2005, 06:40 PM   #3
Jenn
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Thanks Mike.

How do we know if he'll use the right thinset? I hate to ask too many questions like we're interrogating him...

My husband corrected me... it isn't plastic he'll lay down over the cracks, it's that thick brownish paper like what the tiler used beneath the countertop. The color is similar to a brown grocery store bag, but it is thicker.

Hope this helps...

Jen
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Unread 02-04-2005, 02:25 PM   #4
Jenn
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Just trying to keep this from falling off the page....
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Unread 02-06-2005, 12:03 AM   #5
Jenn
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Mike, still waiting for your answer...
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Unread 02-06-2005, 07:07 AM   #6
Rd Tile
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I would find out exactly what this product is, if it isn't an approved membrane, don't let him continue, how many cracks in this floor and are they even with one another on both sides, any of them higher than the other?

Might be a good idea to install a membrane over the whole slab, if cracking is a problem in your area.



It's Sunday, Mike's day off, he's sleeping.
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Unread 02-06-2005, 07:15 AM   #7
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Sorry Jenn, didn't pick up on this/your last question until this morning. But you did good - if no response to an outstanding question, just bump it up with a reply to git our attention. It's easy for them to get lost and roll off page 1 with all the new posts coming in.

We need to know more about this "plastic" business to comment further on what is the right thinset to use. Also need to know more about the tile you plan to lay, ceramic/porcelain, natural stone, size, etc. It could very well be that several different types of thinset should be used but we don't know enough about this install yet to guide you down the thinset path.

Last edited by Mike2; 02-06-2005 at 07:56 AM. Reason: typo
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Unread 02-06-2005, 07:53 AM   #8
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Actually Rich I got up early this Sunday to hit the boards. Overtime pay not so good around here on the weekends so decided to pewt in a few hours today for more of that unpaid vacation time. I see you're rackin up that comp. time too.

Stoner's been busy this am too but I think he's just sucking up to the boss.
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Unread 02-06-2005, 10:29 AM   #9
Dragonfire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenn
Thanks Mike.

How do we know if he'll use the right thinset? I hate to ask too many questions like we're interrogating him...

My husband corrected me... it isn't plastic he'll lay down over the cracks, it's that thick brownish paper like what the tiler used beneath the countertop. The color is similar to a brown grocery store bag, but it is thicker.

Hope this helps...

Jen
Sounds like Aquabar, that the building craft paper typically used on mortar based countertops. It's also used a lot for isolation membranes on tract housing by builders, though I am not a fan of it. It works for small movement in slabs and if the paper is secured down with an oil based sheet vinyl mastic, the problem is VOC rules now have all the oil based sheet mastics phased out. The fauilures I have seen have been when the builders have used a acrylic based mastic to set down the aquabar. Then tile is thinsettsed directly to it.


If you linoleum is really old, then it will been set with an oil based mastic, and these tended to be well set and can be a bear to remove ( both linoleum and mastic ). If it's semi old ( like withing 10 years or so ) chances are it will have been set with a acrylic based mastic and will be realitively easy to remove ( both linoleum and mastic ).

- Al -
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Unread 02-06-2005, 10:36 AM   #10
Jenn
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Mike, I'm glad I didn't violate any rules by bumping it up. I didn't know what else to do.

Anyway... my husband corrected me. It's not plastic, it's the heavy tan-colored paper the guy used in our kitchen countertop construction. I think it may be called Kraft paper? It's very thick, about the color of grocery store paper bags but thicker. When he built the kitchen countertop I think I remember my husband said the installer told him that was a moisture barrier.

The tile is 13" squares of porcelain. The brand is Monocibec, made in Italy. I think the color is "terra brown", a nice cinnamon color. Thickness is a little more than 1/4 inch.

RT Tile -- We will check the eveness of the cracks. It seems to me that a membrane should cover the entire floor. After all, what if another crack developes and there is no membrane to cover that? This guy said he would lay this paper just over the cracks. Doesn't seem enough to me -- but then I am not a professional so what do I know?

Hope this helps... thanks for coming back.

Jen
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Unread 02-06-2005, 10:41 AM   #11
Jenn
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Al -- thanks. Actually, the linoleum was easy to remove (so says Hubby who did it himself). He said it came up really easily. It was put down more than 30 years ago. This is a tract home. The glue is a different story -- it isn't coming up easily. Hubby bought a wide razor-like blade with a long handle and wore out his arm and shoulder on just a small area.

Do you think the kraft paper is OK on the countertop? Well I guess it's too late now... the countertop was done last year.

Thanks,
Jen
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Unread 02-06-2005, 10:48 AM   #12
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I can almost guarantee everyone around here will tell you to nix that kraft paper plan your installer has.

What to do with the cracks and/or type of membrane depends upon the answer to RD's question. Especially important is if there has been vertical movement in the slab, one side of a crack being higher than the other. Check it out, get back to us and Bump it if necessary Jenn.

Happy Sunday to you BTW.
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Unread 02-06-2005, 11:00 AM   #13
Jenn
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Thanks Mike.

I just pulled back the carpet and checked about a 3-foot length of one of the cracks. There is slightly more than 1/8" horizontal separation and about as much vertical change on one side. The vertical change seems more like 1/16" but could be closer to 1/8" but I don't think it is more than that.

In addition there are some small pieces of broken slab here and there sitting at the edge of the crack... that could have happened when the linoleum was being taken up, I don't know.

Wall-to-wall carpet is starting to seem very appealing all of a sudden...

You know, when we had our bathroom floors tiled about 10 years ago I didn't do any research. We just hired a good guy and he did the job. I have no idea if there were cracks on those floors and what he laid for a membrane, I didn't know enough to ask. The floors have held up very well. We called that same guy last year for the kitchen countertop and he didn't return our calls after two tries...

Jen
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Unread 02-06-2005, 11:03 AM   #14
Dragonfire
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You can use a small propane torch with a wide fan nozzle to heat up the glue and soften it up, this will make scraping it off easier.

The paper ( if it is aquabar, as it's an asphalt emulsiuon impregnated building paper ) on the countertops is fine.

- Al -
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Unread 02-06-2005, 11:19 AM   #15
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why not fiberglass mesh tape?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike2
I can almost guarantee everyone around here will tell you to nix that kraft paper plan your installer has.

What to do with the cracks and/or type of membrane depends upon the answer to RD's question. Especially important is if there has been vertical movement in the slab, one side of a crack being higher than the other. Check it out, get back to us and Bump it if necessary Jenn.

Happy Sunday to you BTW.
I use on all concrete a fiberglass mesh tape on all cracks, and use MAPEI kerrabond and keralastic system you Will be ok with that, but the Mapei system is a little expensive , But I wouldnt install on concrete with out it!!!
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