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Unread 06-09-2005, 10:33 AM   #1
jschulenberg
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Removing Kitchen Tiles & Health concerns to pregnant wife and toddler

Great site! I am in the process of removing vinyl tile to replace with ceramic tile in my kitchen. I removed the vinyl tile to reveal tiled OSB. Removed that to reveal black rubbery substance covering more vinyl tile. This vinyl tile is stuck to the floor with a black tar adhesive. Is it necessary to remove the rubbery substance before putting down a layer of thinset and then cementitious backer unit? I'd guess that it would be preferable to remove of the rubbery substance as it is compressible. Any suggestions as to product to accomplish this task?

Then once this is accomplished, is it necessary to remove the tiles and black adhesive, or just use a thinset designed to be put over the tar adhesive and screw down the backer board? Also, the house was built in 1969 and I am sure that the tiles over the plywood are most likely asbestos. They do not want to come off easily. Using a hammer and a mini crowbar only scrapes off an inch at a time.

My major concern is that I have a pregnant wife and a toddler. Because of all the loose and broken nails on the floor as well as all the black rubbery stuff on the floor, everyone has to wear shoes, but now the rubbery stuff is being tracked all over the house. Is this stuff harmful to them? Should I have them leave the house when I'm removing the rest of the tiles?

Many thanks.
Joe
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Unread 06-09-2005, 02:09 PM   #2
Steven Hauser
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Hi Joe,

Sure are a lot of layers for such a young home.

If you are concerned that you have asbestos fibers, then I suggest getting some of the glue and material to a lab to evaluate. (As a whole, don't grind or scrape in to small particles that can be moved by air.)

My position is this, You have too much to lose. Get professionals involved. Yes, go ahead and get the wife and toddler out for precautionary purposes.
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Unread 06-09-2005, 02:27 PM   #3
John Bridge
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Hello Joe, Welcome aboard.

Don't know what the rubbery stuff is, but it has to go for sure. You could leave the tile and the black tar adhesive (which is called "cutback"). That is if your remaining subfloor is strong enough for a tile installation. How thick is the plywood subfloor that will remain, and have you checked out your joist structure to make sure that is compatible with a ceramic tile installation?
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Unread 06-09-2005, 08:45 PM   #4
jschulenberg
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Subfloor - Hello Pandora

Thanks for the quick reply.

1) I'll scrape the black rubbery stuff, apply the thinset on top of the apparent asbestos tile. The previous floor installer scraped the asbestos tile in the portion under the refrigerator, about a 3 x 3 ft area. Do you think the combination of the thinset and the CBU will compensate for the unevenness between the scraped and unscraped tile?

I assumed the lowest layer of tile was asbestos because it was installed in 1969 and is held with incredible tenacity by the cutback. For piece of mind I'm planning on calling an asbestos testing company tomorrow to check. The tiles in question are 12inx12in and very hard when you tap them. At first I thought they might be ceramic till I noticed they were so thin. Can anyone say based on that description yeah, or nay as to whether they are asbestos or do they need to be tested?

2) The joists are 16" oc. The unsupported beam is length is 62.5 inches. The beams are 2 x 9s.

From the top, beneath the tile & cutback: 3/4" plywood, 1/2" plywood for conduit, 1/2" plywood.

Without consulting a building code or TCA handbook, it seems that this is a pretty solid surface. Once the rubbery material is removed the plan is to thinset, cbu, check for level, use SLC if necessary, and lay tiles.... sound cool?
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Unread 06-10-2005, 05:27 PM   #5
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Should be fine, Joe. I'll bet tiles do contain asbestos, but it doesn't matter. There is no danger unless the fibers get airborne, and that's not going to happen.
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Unread 06-17-2005, 02:54 PM   #6
jschulenberg
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moving right along

Thanks for your advice.

Put Durock down last night. Used Hardibacker screws instead of Durock. The screws did not countersink very well. If I obtain 1 5/8" hot dipped galvanized roofing nails or 1 1/4" Durock Brand wood screws, how long before it's too late to re-screw. Or, will it make much of a difference. That is, Durock screws won't countersink well either?

Most of the floor appears solid but at one corner of the Durock there's some deflection of the board when I step on it.

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