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Unread 08-20-2020, 08:41 AM   #1
greenjp
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another Jeff's second bathroom remodel

Hello everybody. A few years ago I built a new shower and eventually remodeled our entire master bathroom with the forum's help. Now we're planning to redo another bathroom. Sideways pictures below. ~32 ft^2 floor space not including the shower.

For the shower I'm planning to tear it to the studs and replace the base with a Swan solid surface one (nominal dimensions the same as the Florestone fiberglass pan that's in there now), Wedi walls, and whatever tile the wife picks out.

This room is on the ground floor of the house which is on concrete, built in the late 90s. I did some exploratory surgery on the floor and it appears the current vinyl/linoleum is glued directly to the concrete. So I figure that's going to need to get prepped. We had the same floor in our master bath but it was attached to that skinny plywood and came up easily.

A few questions about prepping this floor for tile:
- Am I going to need an angle grinder and special disk (or something along those lines) for getting the slab clean of all the adhesive? Or is it possible to go over it with something (Mapei Eco Prim Grip?) that'll render it suitable for tiling? I have some StrataHeat mat leftover from the last job which I think I'd put down to tile over. Might heat it as well.
- Wife liked the look of a patterned "encaustic cement" tile for the floor. From what I gather aside from some sealing steps needed before grouting this can be installed like any other floor tiles? Any tips on mortar selection or anything else? Also seen several recommendations to use Flexcolor CQ, which I used in the other room so I'm comfortable with it.

Thanks!
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Unread 08-21-2020, 07:32 AM   #2
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Jeff

Get yourself a razor scraper to get that adhesive down to a residue and then apply the Eco Prim Grip. As far as mortar is concerned you'll want a polymer modified LHT mortar such as Ultraflex LFT to set your cement tiles. Always check with the tile manufacturer for sealer and grout recommendations for their products.
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Unread 08-21-2020, 09:33 AM   #3
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another Jeff question

Hello,
we don't recommend going over old adhesive. if its not bonded well it can detach and the ecoprim with it.
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Unread 08-21-2020, 02:35 PM   #4
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I had a similar situation with the concrete garage floor. Tried all sorts of things and just got tired and achy. Rented a Clark floor machine with a Diamabrush head from the orange box store and made quick work of it. Kicked up literally a garbage pail of dust. Something to consider, depending on the size of the floor. They also make a smaller head for an angle grinder.

Is the the ā€œJā€ thread? (Jeff, Joe, Jason).
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Unread 08-21-2020, 08:37 PM   #5
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When you get the vinyl pulled up, you may have a better picture of what you're up against. Often the adhesive is water soluble, and comes up with hot water and a scrub brush.

If the concrete is smooth enough, a razor scraper might work. You can make the scraping a little easier by pouring hot water on the glue and letting it set a few minutes before scraping.

Sometimes it's just a matter of trial and error, sometimes it's a matter of elbow grease, sometimes it's just slow, tedious work.

Sometimes it's all three.

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Unread 08-22-2020, 07:21 AM   #6
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Just like anything else, the prep work is very important. We always take up the adhesive even if we have to grind it off. You really want to stick to raw clean concrete whenever possible.

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Unread 08-22-2020, 11:41 AM   #7
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Thanks jents

Sounds like once everything is outta there I should get one of those Bully floor scrapers, go to town, and then see how it looks. That Clarke machine from HD looks like it'd take care of most of it in pretty short order. The floor is only 32 ft^2 but I'd just as soon spend the $50 or so and be done with it. Or maybe that's small enough that a HF grinder and diamond cup wheel would do the trick?
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Unread 08-22-2020, 03:00 PM   #8
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Jeff, years ago we used a floor machine with very course sand paper on just about every floor we tiled. It will do the trick but is dusty as is the cup wheel and grinder. We use the cup wheel these days with the vacuum shroud that helps with the dust.

Like Kevin said, with such a small area, it might be best to try the hot water and scraper. You can buy a 4 inch razor blade scraper at Home Depot (paint dept) and it will cut the adhesive but is pretty hard work.
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Unread 08-22-2020, 05:15 PM   #9
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I've got one of those 4" paint scrapers already so maybe I'll expand the surgery site and do a test scrape with the hot water. Of course it's always fun to get another tool even if it's a HF cheapie...
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Unread 08-22-2020, 08:00 PM   #10
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Don't know if it's worth the effort but I usually slide the rubber handle off the scraper and slide a 5 ft long piece of 3/4 ridged copper pipe over the short scraper pipe. Then slide the rubber handle over the end of the copper. May have to oil up the rubber handle a little but this will able you to stand up when scraping and add some leverage to the job.
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Unread 08-31-2020, 08:12 PM   #11
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Alright so I've got the shower base, door, and vanity on order and have the floor tiles in hand. A couple of questions:

- the tiles are encaustic cement from Floor and Decor. The boxes say "Moda Del Mar" but a search for that turns up nothing on the internet and there are no directions to be found on the box. While I was loading my cart an employee came by and asked if I'd ever used these. I said no and he said "there's one thing you need to know, they must be sealed before grouting". He also suggested an LFT mortar. So that matched what I'd researched.

I asked what he recommended and he said the 511 Impregnator. Miracle Sealants has a nice info page on care of encaustic cement tiles which verifies this but also seems to leave it up to the user to decide between the Impregnator and the Porous Plus. Any thoughts on whether the Porous Plus would be a worthy or necessary "upgrade"?

- Laticrete recommends putting down a layer of Hydroban board over concrete as an insulator if you're going to heat the floor. These tiles are thick suckers at 5/8" so I'm a bit concerned about how high all of this is going to stack up. I figure the 1/4" Hydroban board with a 1/2" trowel's worth of mortar underneath, then the 1/4" Strataheat mat, 1/2" trowel's worth of mortar, and then those 5/8" tiles will add up to about an inch and a half. I think that's going to put the floor almost an inch above the carpet in the adjacent hall. It looks like the Schluter Reno V profile with the little hinged ramp is available in sizes that'll work for these thick tiles with a ~1.5" long ramp. Still seems like that might be a bit much.

So I could either forgo the heating and get some regular Ditra or Stratamat (1/8" thick) and put that right on the concrete, use the Strataheat mat without the Hydroban board and save 1/2" or so and hope the heating works OK, or just use the Strataheat mat without the wire and save the money on the heating components. This is sort of a guest bathroom so I'm not really worried about the energy costs of running the system, but I want to be sure it'll warm the floor nicely. Thoughts?

- If I do elect to go with the Hydroban board under the Strataheat mat, I have a cheapskate question. The floor size and shape is such that I could cover the almost entire area with 2 of the 3'x5' Hydroban boards, aside from a 10"x34" portion that'll be entirely underneath the vanity . For that small section could I just use a double layer of Strataheat mat? I'd just as soon save the $50 or whatever that third Hydroban board is going to cost
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Unread 09-03-2020, 07:03 AM   #12
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Without some kind of thermal break you'll be using a lot of energy to warm the concrete, I'd have to guess that the floor will take probably twice as long to reach the target temp.

I know that Schluter offers a version of their heat mat with a thermal break, no idea if Laticrete does. I wonder if it would be possible to use Ditra Heat Duo with the Laticrete heat wire.
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Unread 09-10-2020, 04:43 PM   #13
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I was thinking about this a bit more and had another idea - any reason I couldn't put down a layer of Strataheat mat as the "thermal break" and then install a second layer for the wire & tiles? Probably not as effective as a foam board but better than nothing. I could use Laticrete's thermal mortar additive only on the upper layer which would promote the heat moving out and up rather than down.

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Unread 09-11-2020, 07:22 AM   #14
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Probably a question for Laticrete, Jeff.
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Unread 09-12-2020, 05:32 PM   #15
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Had a few hours today so I tackled removing the floor. Used a 4" paint scraper to get the vinyl off, then used a $20 Harbor Freight grinder, $30 HF diamond cup wheel, and one of those $25 Chinese dust shroud attachments for the shop vac from Amazon. Worked pretty well. I think this is what it's supposed to look like?

The concrete is nice with no cracks. There are a few divots and a quick check with a 4' straight edge suggests that I might have a bit of a high spot between the toilet and door, and/or that the area right by the door is a bit low. I'll wait until the vanity and toilet are out to check for sure. Figure use the grinder and/or Feather Finish to correct any of that.

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