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Unread 01-13-2020, 03:57 PM   #1
Dopey696
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Abandoned for ten years then had a flood. Help with gypcrete

Hello and thank you. I have a full remodel of a third floor condo that was abandoned for ten years and had a flood two years ago. It had emergency intervention when the flood happened due to damage to other units. All flooring was removed, holes drilled in the walls and the unit was dried properly (as far as I can tell). The problem I'm having is with the floors and proper reinstallation. I have never seen gypcrete before, but it seems that's what this floor has. It's in ok condition, a bit dusty and has small dimpled holes here and there and cracks at the edges where tackboards were installed, it originally had carpet and linoleum. I am doing ceramic tile and engineered wood flooring. I would like them to meet flush at the transitions. From the research I have done so far, due to adverse chemical interactions I can not tile directly to the gypcrete, and a product called Ditra keeps coming up as a primer/medium between the gypcrete and the thinset. Is this all I need to prepare a gypcrete floor? Am I missing anything or is there anything else I need to know before installation? I did tile for 6 years before an injury and have been out of the industry for nearly ten years now, so any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Unread 01-13-2020, 04:20 PM   #2
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Welcome, Michael.

I trust that since your floor to be tiled is on the third floor of your building it was not flooded. That would be correct?

While ceramic tile can be successfully installed over a suitable Gypcrete substrate, the tile installation product manufacturers are always gonna wanna know if your floor has sufficient compressive strength and was properly sealed/primed after curing. You're unlikely to know that, but if the floor was not flooded it's likely to meet the compressive requirement, but you don't know if it was ever primed as required for a ceramic tile installation. That would include the installation of the Ditra membrane, which is also bonded with thinset mortar.

I would recommend you chose a tile installation material manufacturer whose products are available to you and ask them for a recommendation of products/procedures for your proposed installation. And for their recommendation of patching materials for the holes in your Gypcrete. Every manufacturer of such products will have a way to do what you want done.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-13-2020, 05:13 PM   #3
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It was my unit that flooded. The toilet sprung a leak and flooded the unit, it subsequently flooded the second and first floor units. 4k damages to the first floor, approximately 10k damages to second floor and I have the third floor which has not been fixed yet, total water remediation bill for all three floors was 7k, totaling just under 21k so far. All this happened before we acquired the unit (through a will). I am now trying to get the unit livable and nice. I don't know how long it stayed flooded a day or two up to a week or so I imagine before someone noticed and an emergency was declared. The HOA company broke into the unit and immediately began water remediation and dried the unit with fans and whatever other tactics they had such as opening the walls and removing flooring until it was dry. The second floor has no ceiling, walls or floor, so they got it the worst. I am doing the repairs myself as much as possible and feel confident in my construction abilities when I know what I'm dealing with (ten years construction with 6 years of tile), but I've never dealt with gypcrete. I'm using LifeProof vinyl wood flooring and LifeProof branded ceramic tile. I don't know if it was sealed. It however does not look water damaged. It's dusty like concrete with 20 years of dirt and is not swelling or soft or anything The higher traffic areas look sanded a bit with few visible cracks.
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Unread 01-13-2020, 06:07 PM   #4
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Ah! Understand. I was thinking flood waters which rise up, to which I'm accustomed, rather than thems as flow down.

My advice about talking with a product manufacturer remains the same. Hopefully you can even get them to send a rep to assess your floor and make product recommendations.

If the floor is essentially un-damaged, they're likely to recommend a sealer or primer or both and then one of their thinset mortars. They'll almost certainly recommend their most expensive mortar, which may not really be necessary, but if you want them to stand behind the installation (witch they might actually do), you're gonna need to follow their recommendations to the letter.

A geographic location in your User Profile is always helpful.

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Unread 01-13-2020, 07:23 PM   #5
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Hey CX, thanks for the input. How would I go about finding a product manufacturer? Is there anything else that would have been used at that time? I've never dealt with this kinda stuff poured over the subfloor before.

The building was built in the early 80's the previous owner doesn't know and information is spotty due to his age (101). I have a contact with the HOA, but he doesn't know either.

Also I just joined earlier today so I'll add my location and stuff to the profile but I'm in California, outer northern bay area.
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Unread 01-13-2020, 09:39 PM   #6
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Not at all sure precisely what mighta been poured yonder in the Granola State ten years ago, Michael, but what you have looks, at a glance, like gypsum. Exact composition best guessed at by the tile installation product manufacturer who is gonna recommend his product to bond to it.

You have a gaggle of such product manufacturers out there and you'll just hafta find one convenient to your area. MAPEI, Laticrete, Custom Building Products, are the first to spring to mind. Custom is based in the LA area, the other two on the Right coast. And there may be others out there. Check with a local tile store and see whose products they sell and maybe ask them for the name of a product rep from that manufacturer.

Google might also be your friend.
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Unread 01-14-2020, 07:47 AM   #7
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I googled gupcrete,mit has geen arpund a long yime and surprisingly gets pretty good reviews. Very easy to install cuzbit goes down real soupy and self spreads. The article claimed the strength is the same as concrete. It does appear to be a topping material, needs to be poured on a subfloor. You might call a local concrete company and ask them who they would revommend yo come out and give an opinion. You could call a structural engineer, but they would probably want to charge for the visit.
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Unread 01-14-2020, 07:07 PM   #8
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Oh, boy, Ed...your dictating app isn’t doing you any favors.
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Unread 01-15-2020, 04:29 PM   #9
Fast eddie part deux
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Just following doctors orders. Pretty sure he said to take the juice of a fifth of tequila ...

Reminds me of a joke ...
Doctor is walking down the street, sees one of his patients, stops for a chat.
"Mr jones ... youre looking spry today ... partying and carrying on and such. Are you feeling ok?"
"Why sure doc, I'm following your instructions. You said to be cheerful and get a hot mamma."
"No mr jones, i said to be careful, you have a heart murmur."
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