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Unread 09-22-2020, 07:37 PM   #1
06Speed6
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Tile Project, Many Questions!

Hello everyone!

Quick intro! My name is Luis, and I am a self declared do it your-selfer. I have always been very hands on and can usually get things figured out fairly quick.

I am going to tackle my first tile job in our home. We bought it three years ago and 4 areas have bamboo hard flooring. They weren't in the best condition when we bought the place and having two giant german shepherds living inside has not helped. We have decided to go with wood plank style tile. I measured everything and am looking at 740 square feet. The biggest areas are the living room and master bedroom. The bamboo is glued directly to the concrete. I have ordered a leveling system, the tile and have started demolition.

Here are the things I could really use some input on:
  1. The wood plank tile is a bit thicker than the flooring it will be put up against. It is going to be right next to areas of already existing tile. With a bit of the bamboo demolished, the new wood plank tile sits flush with the existing tile. After it is mortared I guess that will make the height difference of about 1/4 inch. What is the best way to address this height difference? I am inclined to make a transition with some accent tile and have it slightly sloped to match both tiles. Is that a thing? I have seen the wood transitions but am honestly not a fan.
  2. Does the pic look like mold to you guys? I am a bit concerned with what I am seeing under the bamboo. There are no leaks that I am aware of, and the bamboo floor is dry to the touch. I stopped when I saw that and am picking up my respirator to wear during the rest of the demolition.
  3. Any tips on removing the bamboo? I am using a crow bar and hammer right now. Thinking of scoring the wood to make removal of the first piece in a row easier. Otherwise it is not overly difficult to pry up the planks. Not fun, and time consuming, but doable.


Sorry for the wall of text, and thank you to everyone that made it to the end. Let me know what yall think or if yall need anymore input to make recommendations.
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Unread 09-22-2020, 08:37 PM   #2
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Welcome, Luis.

1. I've heard of folks trying to install floor tile on an angle to match adjacent flooring, but I've never tried it. Nor have I heard from anyone on this site who has done it and reported their success. Or failure.

I doubt you'll end up with a quarter-inch of bonding mortar under your new tiles, but I suppose you might. That could be a bit of a trip hazard. Could you slant that tile down at the transition edge and get close to a flush match? Maybe. But you'd have little or no bonding mortar under that edge and that would be an area where you'd want a good bond. Not sure I'd wanna try that.

2. Yeah, that could be some sort of black mold, I suppose.

Once you've removed the wood and scraped all that glue off the concrete, which you'll need to do, you might wanna do some rudimentary MVER (Moisture Vapor Emissions Rate) testing to see if you have areas where you were in fact collecting some moisture under your wood flooring.

3. A more mechanized means of crowbar-and-hammer would be helpful. A rotary hammer and wide chisel attachment would be my first choice, partly because I know it would work well and partially because I have one. You could buy one if you're a tool junkie, or I'm told you can rent them from some home centers.

There are smaller versions of floor scraping tools made for ceramic tile removal that could also serve well in your application.

Stand-up razor-type floor scrapers might be just what you need to remove the glue after the wood is gone, but you'll just hafta see how it goes.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-23-2020, 07:08 AM   #3
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CX,

Thank you for the advice.

I am currently using a Hammer drill in the hammer only setting. I picked up a 2" tile removing chisel and a scraper bit. The construction glue stuff comes off easily enough with the scraper bit, its just getting the first plank in a row off that is a bit of a fight.

I see your concern with no mortar on the side that I am trying to match to existing flooring. I was actually thinking of using a different 2"-4" wide accent tile that is the thickness of the existing tile flooring. This way I would be sure there is mortar holding everything right.

What trowel size would you recommend for 6" x 36" plank tile? Everything online has led me to believe I should be using a 1/2" trowel. That is how I figured my lippage would be 1/4" if I laid the plank tile right next to the existing.
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Unread 09-28-2020, 08:34 AM   #4
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Weekend Update

Started demo this past weekend. Have to be honest, this was pretty tough. Took me a little bit to get into a good rhythm. Ultimately I found that pre cutting each board to destroy the tongue and groove was my best bet. Then I hammered a small scraper underneath to begin lifting the planks, just enough to let me get a large crowbar underneath. Couple of sledge hammer hits to get it underneath and the entire plank could be worked up. Id say about 85-90 percent came up without splintering.

The adhesive was probably tougher than removing the planks. I need to find a better way for the other areas. This is only about 25 percent of the entire project.

How well do floor scrapers work on the adhesive? Would they be able to lift off planks too or should I stick to my current method?

For this area I still have more glue that I plan on hand scraping off. Then I need to fill in some spots where the planks and glue pulled up concrete. Have to do some research to figure out what to fill that with.
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Unread 09-28-2020, 09:32 AM   #5
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There are floor machines that would make the wood removal and the glue scraping a lot faster and easier, Louis, and you may find such at a rental facility. Would it be worth the hassle? I dunno, never used one, but they look pretty efficient in photos I've seen.

The floor you've completed looks pretty good. Can't tell about the surface from over here, though. Can't say if it might need some mechanical scarification before tiling. You might wanna sprinkle some water about and see if it soaks into the concrete readily.

You don't plan to remove the baseboards before tiling?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-28-2020, 07:30 PM   #6
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Hey CX.

Yep I plan on removing the baseboards before install. Whoever did the bamboo though didn't remove them when they installed, so haven't had to take them off just yet.

I still need to scrape some more of the glue off. Been using a 4" scraper with a razor type blade. Works ok, time consuming though.

What do you recommend to patch the chunks of concrete that got ripped off with the adhesive?

It also looks like I'll need to trim off a 1/4" strip from the existing tile. It was chipped underneath a piece of wood trim before, but since the wifey wants transition as shown below it's going to be visible now. I was looking at a small circular tile saw that runs with water. What is your preferred method of cutting existing that's already installed?


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Unread 09-28-2020, 09:32 PM   #7
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Be sure to do that water test on the cleaned concrete, Luis. Some of it looks pretty well sealed to my eye.

You'll end up with a square, sharp edge if you cut those existing tiles. Appears to me they have a slightly pillowed factory edge, so you might wanna consider that look against your mosaic border. Might be fine, but you wanna run that by Mrs. Luis before you decide.

Those little 4" hand-held wet saws can do what you need done, but there's a problem with some (all?) that they don't have a suitable foot for riding against a straight-edge when making long, straight cuts such as you have there. I haven't seen my Felker FHS-4 for years, but I'm thinking it had that problem. Don't think you can buy that one these days, anyway.

Cementitious patching materials can be found at your local home center. At Homer's, look for the Henry brand, but I don't recall the product number of any of them.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-29-2020, 05:15 PM   #8
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Did the water test. Something tells me this isn't what I want to see. I have scraped the entire floor with a 4" razor type scraper. Kept swapping and sharpening blades. Is this going to need some sanding or something else to remove what still looks like adhesive?

And yes, wife is aware of how that will make this edge sharp. All that means is now I have to trim off all the old tile at transitions so everything stays consistent! My biggest concern is scratching the existing tile and getting a straight cut. I cant avoid cutting it though because one of the tiles is chipped.
My plan so far is covering the foot of the saw with blue painters tape anywhere it rests on the tile. As for the straightness it is a bit long for a straight fixture, might have to free hand it, slow and steady.


Edit: Added a picture of water after about 10 or so mins
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Unread 10-02-2020, 12:48 PM   #9
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So what do ya'll think about how the concrete looks? Think its ready to start tiling or do I need to take a grinder to the surface?
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Unread 10-02-2020, 02:05 PM   #10
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If the concrete is absorbing the water, everywhere, and has no major bumps on it - meaning it's flat, you should be good to go.
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