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Unread 09-27-2021, 05:03 PM   #1
Mathman
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Tiling over vinyl flooring as crack isolation

My nieces are having a house built and I was just talking with them. They said the guy is putting down glued vinyl flooring and then will tile over that. Has anyone heard of this? Is this acceptable practice? Slab flooring in north west Florida.
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Unread 09-27-2021, 05:12 PM   #2
jadnashua
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Likely a really bad idea, especially if it's cushioned vinyl. While I haven't studies all of the various thinsets out there, I've not run across one that says it is allowed over vinyl.

THere are crack isolation membranes designed specifically for this that may be less expensive than paying for the vinyl and then tile on top. You're also relying on the adhesive holding the vinyl down...not a guarantee, especially if it gets wet.
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Unread 09-27-2021, 06:55 PM   #3
Mathman
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I am guessing it is cheap flooring because the installer said it is cheaper than the crack isolation stuff. They seem resigned to letting it happen and hoping the warranty will cover any failure.
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Unread 09-27-2021, 09:00 PM   #4
jadnashua
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Well, I did check one highly modified mortar, Laticrete 254, and it does say "properly prepared vinyl" is a suitable substrate. Their product sheet does not say exactly what "properly prepared vinyl" is, though, so you'd want to call their tech support. There may be others.

That thinset is pretty pricey, and throw in the cost of that and the vinyl, it still might come out less expensive to use a crack isolation membrane that is tested and certified for that use. Some things fail quickly, but some take awhile, so warranty may or may not apply.
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Unread 09-28-2021, 12:03 AM   #5
Tool Guy - Kg
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Oh, good grief. Not another one!

We like to communicate clearly around here. So, I don’t want to sugar-coat anything. I’m going to sound a bit harsh.

This is not an acceptable practice to industry standards, nor acceptable to any manufacturer’s methods.

Almost anything you install over a slab will last long enough to get past the warranty period. I don’t think there is any “hoping it will be covered”. The only responsible thing to do is to prevent this from being installed. Yes, I’m aggressive here in an attempt to thwart yet another low-quality tile install from occurring in Florida.

“Because it’s cheaper” can be a reason to make certain choices…but trying to be Scrooge McDuck attempting to save perhaps $0.50 per foot under an expensive tile floor that could otherwise have a life expectancy of easily 50+ years is being penny wise and thousands of dollars foolish. There are a lot of choices that are far better. If you want the lowest cost, there are liquid roll-on membranes. But be warned, they need to be installer per directions. And any installer using vinyl floor as a crack isolation membrane is probably unwilling to read and follow the short list of directions.

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Unread 10-03-2021, 08:25 AM   #6
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Definitely agree with previous posts. This is an absolutely terrible idea according to anything I know about tile. You need a stable substrate and vinyl flooring just is NOT designed for this job.

Is this guy just doing the tile or is he the GC? My two cents would be to fire him immediately and hire someone qualified. If he wants to do this, lord knows what other weird corners he wants to cut or mangle. There are a lot of places to go wrong in a tile installation, so even if they convince him to use a proper underlayment, his original plan makes his credibility highly suspect.
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Unread 10-03-2021, 09:53 AM   #7
Dave Gobis
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Long time practice, especially in FL, that doesn't work.
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Unread 10-09-2021, 09:29 PM   #8
orangewood
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Really?

That sounds like the kind of thing you'd find in a hastily and poorly "flipped" house. Not something I'd expect to see, or to be paying for, in new construction.
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Unread 10-09-2021, 09:41 PM   #9
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This was quite common circa late 80’s - early 90’s in new construction. It’s a roll of felt, if you peeled the shiny pattern of vinyl this is what your left with. Crack isolation was still finding its way so rolling out a couple thousand feet per home at the time it was thought it was the better solution for future movement. As Dave said it didn’t work then and still doesn’t. Cork was also big at the time.

I’m surprised it’s still being done this day in age with the proven product the market.
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Unread 10-10-2021, 12:54 AM   #10
Davy
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Like Jeff, I remember hearing about guys doing this in the early 80's before we knew what anti-fracture membranes were. On slabs that had cracks, Some guys were also putting down tar paper with mastic under it. Didn't work well at all.
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