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Unread 09-17-2015, 04:29 PM   #1
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Help with restaurant kitchen floor (warning:gross floor pic)

Hello! My husband and I own a small restaurant and we had 6x6 quarry tile put in a ~250sqft space of our shop before we opened 6 years ago. The people completely took advantage of us not knowing anything about tiling at the time and they installed it right over the vinyl/linoleum tiles that were already down (and charged us $5500 for this hack job). Not even two years after we opened, the tile started to crack and embarrassingly we have not had the time or money to re-do the floor or fix it. Well, now it's gotten so bad we have to fix it:
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We don't have the physical time to tear up and re-do the floor (we can't afford to close for several days) so I'm trying to figure out the best way to go about patching this. I understand that patching is not a long term solution, but we just need a quick fix that will get us through until we can do it right.

Can we pull up the cracked tile then cut sections of the floor underneath then patch with ply and backer board to bring it even with the existing non-cracked tile? Is that just asking for problems to have the floor in pieces like that? Important to note, we spray clean the floor, scrub, then shop-vac the tiles 2x/day so it does get exposed to water. Any ideas would be so very appreciated.
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Unread 09-17-2015, 06:04 PM   #2
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Oh my. I'm sorry you were taken advantage of and I certainly understand the pressures of not having the time or money to repair your floor. There is no good solution for patching what is there, your subfloor isn't up to the task of holding up tiles without letting them crack as is obvious from the pictures. In a few years, you'll be right back to the same situation and you will have breached the vinyl which is currently acting as something of a water barrier so your floor will rot out (even faster) from below. You may be better off removing the remaining tiles and buffing the vinyl if it's in decent shape so you at least have a serviceable floor even if it's ugly. Down the road, you'll want to remove the vinyl, assess the subfloor, correct any deflection problems, and install quarry tile with an epoxy grout made for commercial kitchens like our Kerapoxy IEG-CQ. Good luck with your floor and your business!

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Unread 09-17-2015, 06:58 PM   #3
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Just to clarify, what is the subfloor underneath?

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Unread 09-17-2015, 07:51 PM   #4
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Thank you Dan. Your reply is helpful and very appreciated. Tearing up the tiles is proving much more difficult than just popping them off and is ripping up the vinyl underneath

Kman- we are not sure what the subfloor is underneath. Under the vinyl is ply, but we don't know the thickness or even if there is additional layers under that.
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Unread 09-18-2015, 09:01 PM   #5
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You're not going to able to salvage that. Anything you do is going to waste your money, you need to pull it all and redo it. With all the cracked tile there's a lot of movement, some may be bad installation, but you need to find out what your subfloor is, that needs to be corrected before any more tile is set ..

I would imagine you'll need to reinforce the joists and possibly add another layer of subflooring depending on what you find .. there's no easy fix for what you have there.

Of course I may be wrong ..
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Unread 09-20-2015, 09:36 AM   #6
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What everybody else said. I have done several quick fix for a restaurant friend of mine. No matter how you do it or what method you try. Once that grease penetrates the substrate you will not be able to bond tile to it until the substrate is grease free. With wood you will have to remove it. With concrete they steam clean and bead blast
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Unread 09-20-2015, 02:44 PM   #7
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Maybe in this case, the fastest and cheapest solution would be to remove the old tile, clean-up and patch-up the plywood, then put down commercial-grade sheet vinyl flooring.
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Unread 12-20-2015, 08:29 AM   #8
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I do a lot of restaurant tile repairs, unfortunate I see this all of the time. My guess is that tiling over the vinyl wasn't the only problem. How solid is the actual floor, some floors are not strong enough for tile (without improving thickness and support). As mentioned it may be best to for with vinyl.
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