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Unread 07-29-2005, 03:59 PM   #1
Crane
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ceramic tile over vinyl asbestos tile

I've been lurking from time to time but this is my first post. John, I successfully layed ceramic tiles in my bathroom with the help of your first book.

For my second tiling job, I was planning to lay ceramic tile in my entranceway. However, upon removing the carpet, there are vinyl tiles that were underneath. I assume they are asbestos. Upon discovering the vinyl tiles, my first thought was to tile over them as I am not going to remove them (we have a 2 year old living in the house). But after reading lots of related posts here, I think it is not a good idea. My second thought was to lay a floating linoleum floor. Before I purchase the linoleum (which is very expensive) , my husband is trying to convince me to lay a test ceramic tile to see if it adheres. He thought that if I lay one tile and leave it for about a week, then try to remove it. If I can't remove it, he thinks that I should just go ahead and do the rest of the floor.

My question is this. If I do lay a test tile and I can't remove it easily, would it be smart to then lay the rest of the floor? My thought is that if the test tile can't be easily removed now, and I do go ahead and set the rest of the floor, could the tiles possibly start coming up in say a year or two due to an insufficient bond?

Carol
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Unread 07-29-2005, 05:24 PM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
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You may be assuming too quickly that they are asbestos. I got a hankerin they aren't, but need more info to start getting clues. What size are the tiles? Also, how old is your house?


If the stuff reamains suspect, it is cheap and easy to take a small sample to the lab where they will positively identify it as asbestos or not asbestos. If its not, you are clear to rip it out and put plywood/backerboard as necessary.

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Unread 07-30-2005, 05:03 PM   #3
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The tiles are 9X9. The house was built sometime between 1949 and 1953 (the foundation says 1949, but the deed says 1953 and some other piece of paper work says a different date). Another clue is that I recently tiled my bathroom. When I pulled up the carpet (yes there was carpet in the bathroom) the concrete slab looked like it was painted black. And there were remnants of paper on the floor that I scraped off. A friend of mine looked at it and told me the black stuff was the adhesive for asbestos tiles.
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Unread 07-30-2005, 05:25 PM   #4
Rd Tile
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Those are asbestos tile and usually pop right off the floor when hit with a hammer, unless you do a full mud job over them, I would have them removed, if you are worried about airborne particles, keep a spray bottle on hand, mist them and keep the area wet while removing them, the cutback adhesive can stay, just chip up any thick spots, mask off any openings to the room with plastic.

Or have an abatement company remove them, but this will cost ya.
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Unread 07-30-2005, 11:02 PM   #5
Tool Guy - Kg
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Rd is right on. I am not a big believer in getting DIY'er to do their own removal of asbestos, but it certainly can be done. I'd call up your city and ask about safe removal and disposal. They will provide the info in detail. Some cities even have special vacuums meant for asbestos clean-up you can get for little or no money from them as a service to their citizens.
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Unread 07-31-2005, 11:46 AM   #6
Crane
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Thanks for the positive identification of the tiles. But like I said, I'm not going to remove them or have them removed. I personally think that encapsulating them is the safest way. I am just trying to figure out the best way to encapsulate them. The carpet did that job, however, it is white carpet. I must point out that this came with our house. Not only would I not put carpet in an entryway, I would never put white carpet anywhere. And after years of sloppy wet boots, that carpet is now really gross.

Rd, you mentioned a full mud job. So this can be done over these tiles? I hadn't thought about it. In fact, I just looked that option up in "Ceramic Tile Setting" and it says that floating mud can be applied thinner over a concrete slab as opposed to a wooden subfloor. This might work for me as I am working with a concrete slab. But the directions are not too clear to me. The directions for floating over a wooden subfloor say that if there is vinyl down on the floor, it can be left and it will act as a moisture barrier. It says to put lath right over the vinyl. However, the directions for floating over a concrete slab do not mention moisture barriers. And it says that lath is not necessary as the mud will stick to the concrete. So if I were to float mud, do I need to use lath?

I am lazy, but this does seem like the safest option for me. If there are any other options, please let me know.

Last edited by Crane; 07-31-2005 at 01:21 PM.
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Unread 07-31-2005, 01:10 PM   #7
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A mud base would be good but consider that it needs to be probably at least 3/4-1" thick (a little more is better), then add your tile. If this height is not a problem, it is probably your best solution. Otherwise, take the tile out. Depending on where the tile end, you may be able to cut around it, tear up the subfloor with the tile attached, and then put down new plywood. This would allow you the minimum height gain. If the tile don't go all the way to the wall after you remove the moulding, you could cut it out without going through a tile. My unprofessional opinion. Another way to try this is dry ice - the stuff gets very brittle, and it may just pop off the floor whole with a little persuasion.
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Unread 07-31-2005, 05:01 PM   #8
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Tar paper over the asbestos tile, then lay down wire lath, then mud the floor with no less than 1 1/4" of mud, 4 parts mason sand to 1 part portland cement, mixed till it just holds together in a ball, when laying it, if you decide to go this route, pack it down good, then screed it level and and flat, height might be an issue, not sure.

If the floor is flat now, I still would remove the tile and tile directly over the cutback adhesive with a modified thinset rated for this, ALOT less work.

How big an area are we talking about?
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Unread 07-31-2005, 05:54 PM   #9
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Welcome, Carol.

By now I bet you're pretty confused, so I'll try to add to it.

My position on asbestos tile removal is that it can be done quite safely and if done without creating dust poses no more harm than it was posing under your carpet or is posing now just laying there quietly. But that's your decision.

On the mud bed:

I think Jim missed the part where you said you have a concrete slab. No plywood replacement for you, of course.

There are two types of mud bed that can be used on a concrete foundation slab, bonded, or floating.

The bonded method is out for you if you don't remove the tiles, and the mud bed is unnecessary if you do remove the tiles.

That leaves the floating bed, which needs to be thicker than a bonded bed. You can cheat it down a little below the 1 1/4-inch, but Richie (Rd Tile) is correct about the standard thickness. You could use 6mil poly (or even 4mil) in lieu of the roofing felt if you want. Many mud guys make their mix a little leaner than his, also. More like five to one. Four to one will be stronger, but a little more difficult to work.

You'll have a serious consideration in dealing with the edges if you go this route.

Again, I don't think you need mud, I think you need a big dollop of tile-be-gone.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-31-2005, 07:42 PM   #10
Crane
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Thank you to everyone who replied. I am seriously greatful that you all have taken the time to help me out. I have to think about what I am going to do now. I have you guys telling me the correct way to do this job and then I have my husband saying, "come on just lay the tiles on the vinyl". I wish he would just stay out of it.

Rd Tile- The area to be tiled is small. It's an enclosed entryway that is about 28 square feet. I wouldn't suppose that because it's such a small area that I could just tile right over the vinyl could I? I'm only kidding.

I have a bad feeling that there are asbestos tiles throughout the whole house. So I need to really think about how I will deal with them in the future as well.

Thanks again everyone.
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Unread 07-31-2005, 08:10 PM   #11
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Carol, you probably don'want to hear this, but I agree with your husband, but on one condition, the vat's must be well adhered to the floor and I would use a wax stripper like Armstrong's New Beginning. Then I would lay the tile with Kerabond/Keralastic. I know it violates some of the rules but if it fails you are only out a few hours and maybe 100.00. Also if it fails, the vat will come up without too much difficulty. Then just follow the advice of the others and contact those you need to for proper removal and disposal. Good Luck
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Unread 07-31-2005, 08:52 PM   #12
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I would also agree with tilerik if I knew his/her name. Put us a name in your signature line, won't ya?

There's no law against taking a chance on a small installation in your own home, 'specially if it's gonna help keep the peace. No, it's not the correct method, we done already 'splained that. But it's a way, and you make up your own warranty, and accept your own failures, which are not at all unlikely with those old VCTs with old glue.

Use a really good modified thinset. Don't save money there, buy the high-dollar stuff. At least the VCTs will then come up with the ceramic tiles.

My opinion; worth price charged.


I have no eye-dee who posted the above and forged my signature.
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Unread 07-31-2005, 09:46 PM   #13
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Sorry, the name is Rick. I think I need to finally put in a quote and signature on all of them. I'll do it today,thanks, Rik
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Unread 07-31-2005, 09:55 PM   #14
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I'd have to think about this a while. I just might take a chance and pull up the vinyl and stick to the slab. Then it will last.

Wet the floor, keep the dust down. We used to tearout that stuff by the truck load and I'm still around, cough...cough.
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Unread 07-31-2005, 10:03 PM   #15
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Hey CX, How's this one sound? I like it and it's about time I did it
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