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Unread 03-10-2020, 08:00 PM   #1
amodoko
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Another "Can I Tile Over Vinyl/Linoleum" Question

Got a small bathroom that I would like to change the floors in. The floors are really old and I believe the floors are rolled vinyl that is glued down to a concrete subfloor, but I'm not sure how to tell if the floors are linoleum or vinyl. The place was built in 1950.

I tried removing the stuff, and it is really glued down securely. I barely got any of it removed, as you can see from the photos.

Can I just tile over this stuff and have a long-lasting installation? Or do I really need to rip up the old vinyl/linoleum?

And since the place was built in 1950, can I just wear gloves and a respirator to avoid any risk of possible asbestos?


Thanks in advance for your time
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Unread 03-10-2020, 08:39 PM   #2
PC7060
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Hi AM,

Since you know this question has been asked often before is should come as no surprise when I say keep working and scrape that stuff off!!!

I’ve had good luck getting vinyl and such off concrete using a tool like this scraper for $25. Sharpen the edge with a grinder and it will work even better. If you’ve got access to a Rotary Hammer, you can get special chisel blade that will make short work of the floor.

https://www.acehardware.com/departme...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

IMO, the asbestos risk associated with small jobs like this has been so overblown and I really wouldn’t sweat it. The amount of exposure will be minimal but wearing a N95 mask isn’t bad just to minimize dust exposure. That of course is predicated on your ability to find such a mask in any store given the current conditions.

I always like watching “this old house” and have developed a theory that asbestos risk must be increase exponentially in cold snowy places. TOH will show people working on removing old glue down tile floor in Boston or thereabouts, suited up like they are going into a meth lab while in a another episode a 1700s Savanah house gut will be handle by guys in shorts without even the most basic PPE such as gloves and eye protection.

Friendly rant over now.

Now stop goofing off and get back to scraping!!!

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Unread 03-10-2020, 09:20 PM   #3
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What PC said.

We're already familiar with this floor, are we not, AM? And it's not concrete slab on grade, right?

I'm thinking we need to get you combined with your previous thread on this bathroom so we can get a look at your floor structure. Unless you want to post your photos again.
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Unread 03-10-2020, 10:17 PM   #4
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Thanks guys! Much appreciated for the responses. I figured I would have to scrape it off from what I had already read on this forum, but wanted to ask since I had gotten some conflicting information elsewhere about what was okay and what wasn't. But anyways, I will go ahead and scrape it off. I do have a heat gun and a multi-tool that I think will help make the scraping go quicker too.

And CX, you are absolutely correct! Great memory This is the same floor from the shower install thread. I didn't put this question on that thread since the other thread was just regarding shower installation stuff, and this question was just about tiling a regular floor. I am actually taking a break from the shower install since I ran into some minor issues with it and want to wait till I'm more in the mood for that project again. So I figured I'd do something that should be easier, like tiling this ugly floor lol.

I'll attach some photos of my floor structure right here if that makes it easier for everyone. I'm not sure what my floor is called, I just knew it was concrete. But here are some photos right now
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Unread 03-11-2020, 05:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
I'm not sure what my floor is called
Looks like a lighter weight version of a commercial building floor system. Is this a condo building?
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Unread 03-11-2020, 11:52 AM   #6
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Yes sir! You are correct. Two story condo it is
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Unread 03-11-2020, 12:00 PM   #7
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Good thing you got the ground floor!
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Unread 03-11-2020, 12:20 PM   #8
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Could it be gypcrete or a similar product? How easy is it to scratch? Gypcrete is essentially gypsum, and if so, will require some special prep prior to installing tile.
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Unread 03-11-2020, 12:58 PM   #9
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And whatever it is it looks awfully thin. And I can't tell what it might have been poured over.

I have no idea how to evaluate those joists, and do we know the spacing between the joists?

What I can conclude, AM, is that there might be a good reason they had vinyl flooring on that floor.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-11-2020, 06:17 PM   #10
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From the under picture, it looks like it was poured over corrugated sheet welded to the metal trusses.
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Unread 03-11-2020, 07:44 PM   #11
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Well, that's clearly from the viewpoint of much gooder eyes than I brought to the game.
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Unread 03-11-2020, 08:45 PM   #12
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It is definitely very hard material, can only break it with a sledgehammer or a rotary hammer drill. I just figured it was concrete. If it helps at all, the kitchen floor in my condo is tiled so I figured it was safe to tile over the same floor type in the bathroom since my condo is just one floor. But if you guys think this floor isn't able to be tiled over even after scraping off the vinyl, please let me know. Or if you need some other information from me, I'd be happy to try to get it before proceeding further. Thanks again for the help
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Unread 03-11-2020, 09:30 PM   #13
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What I'm thinking is that I've really got no idea at all whether that's a good candidate for tile, AM. I've never seen anything quite like what you've got there and I've seen a lot of different kinds of concrete work, including many pumped concrete floors in high rise buildings.

If you've got ceramic tile over the same construction elsewhere that's held up, you've already exceeded my experience base.
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Unread 03-12-2020, 08:48 PM   #14
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Thanks for the clarification CX. Yes, the tiled floor in the kitchen has held up wonderfully so I would think this one should be no different. I think what I'll end up doing is just finish scraping off the old vinyl and just tile over it like one would do for a normal concrete floor. It is a very small bathroom so I'm not too worried about it. I might ask a few more questions once I remove all the old vinyl and before I tile the floor if you all don't mind. Thanks again for everyone's responses.
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Unread 03-12-2020, 09:09 PM   #15
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Scraping that tightly bonded vinyl is not likely to leave you with a suitable surface for tile without some mechanical abrasion, AM. Angle grinder and cup wheel would likely be my first choice.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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