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Unread 05-15-2020, 09:05 PM   #1
jcorral2
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Bathroom Floor - WHAT THE HELL DO I DO NOW

HEADS UP --- i over think things and my posts are sometimes long because my thought process is long, and with that said,

I just joined the Forum and I have a question regarding something I am sure has been posted a thousand times but here it goes.

-> Warning LONG POST

*TOPIC

-Hardieback Boards
-Thinset
-Liquid Nails
-Vinyl on Hardieback

... my plumber who also does tape and float, floors and other things was going to put a new toilet in my small bathroom but we noticed some of the flooring around the toilet area was rotten out so I had him just put entire new floor of plywood instead of cutting the section out especially since the bathroom is small.

... my original plan was to use peel and stick vinyl squares, and he brought up maybe putting hardibacker on the floor.

... I didn't know what that was so I did some research and went ahead and okayed putting it on.

... now for some reason I did not continue to research (i should have) and i didn't know about the recommended thin set layer between the subfloor and the HardieBacker ... and my guy used Liquid Nails and hardibacker screws because he said he's done that before with no issue.

... but i didn't realize is that you can't use peal stick vinyl squares on top of HardieBacker boards.
* (unless there's a way? )

... so then I thought maybe I should just go ahead and use ceramic tile from this point forward since I have seen some of his ceramic bathroom floor work and looks pretty good.

... but then he tells me that it IS possible to use peel and stick vinyl squares on top of the hardibacker board by FIRST applying and spreading vinyl tile Adhesive on top of the hardibacker board and then apply the squares.

-> So my questions are:

1. is it really possible to use peel & stick vinyl squares or any vinyl on top of HardieBacker board especially if you're going to use a vinyl tile adhesive first?

2. What about the issue of him using Liquid Nails between plywood and Hardieback instead of the recommended thinset?

and most importantly since I don't have the money to tear it off and start all over and since the new floor and the HardieBacker boards are already in place (and actually looks and feels solid)

-> what is your advice to do from this point forward?

Seems my only choices are

1. Try the peel and stick vinyl using vinyl adhesive on top and see what happens.

2. Go with ceramic tile

3. or ????

... am i over thinking this, probably ????

I feel like I am at a point of no return so

What The Hell Do i Do Now ????

#Help
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Unread 05-15-2020, 09:24 PM   #2
smifwal
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Choices

#1 vinyl of any kind is normally installed over luan(or something similar) it is to give a smooth surface because any imperfections in the layer below will telegraph through the vinyl. So the Hardie backer board will need to be embossed so it is smooth.

I hate installing peal and stick, they don't always stick, so a full spread with give you a good stick

#2 no unless you take up the Hardie backer and thinset it down, it is possible that you could salvage the Hardie.

#3 pick a flooring that you want and install it to the manufacturer's specs. That will give the best chance of a long lasting floor. ( The full spread is not necessarily in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations, bit vinyl and vinyl glues play well together).
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Unread 05-15-2020, 10:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcorral2
... my plumber who also does tape and float, floors and other things was going to put a new toilet in my small bathroom but we noticed some of the flooring around the toilet area was rotten out so I had him just put entire new floor of plywood instead of cutting the section out especially since the bathroom is small.
I'm no fan of burying rot damage. I'd want to know more before I plowed ahead with anything.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jcorral2
... now for some reason I did not continue to research (i should have) and i didn't know about the recommended thin set layer between the subfloor and the HardieBacker
For tile, it is not a recommendation, it's a requirement. But don't blame yourself. The installer is supposed to know what they are doing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jcorral2
... and my guy used Liquid Nails and hardibacker screws because he said he's done that before with no issue.
Uggg! "I've never had an issue" is the single-most tiring "reason" I've ever heard within the construction industry. Every day, certain installers all over the country tell unsuspecting homeowners this very lame excuse because they either don't know what they are doing is wrong, or are trying to bully a customer into accepting their poor performance work because they know many customers: don't know enough to ask good questions, understand when they should second-guess something, or simply don't like confrontation.

I will not disguise that I have little patience for professionals who do not read, nor follow manufacturer's instructions. This use of Liquid Nails is an automatic failure for tile. If you install tile over what you currently have, you are doing the equivalent of begging for the tile to crack. It would be perfectly within your right to ask the professional to redo the incorrectly installed Hardibacker. If they can't do that, it would be within your right to ask them to remove the incorrectly installed Hardibacker, clean away the Liquid Nails and not charge you a cent for any of the work related to the Hardbacker.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jcorral2
1. is it really possible to use peel & stick vinyl squares or any vinyl on top of HardieBacker board especially if you're going to use a vinyl tile adhesive first?
It would be. But the Hardibacker wasn't installed properly. It has inappropriate material under it, it's spaced improperly, and it's not fastened properly. This is a boo-boo. You shouldn't have to fix anything. The installer made a mistake and should fix it on their dime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcorral2
2. What about the issue of him using Liquid Nails between plywood and Hardieback instead of the recommended thinset?
This is a big failure on their part. You have no option to tile at this point. Could you get away with vinyl at this point? You probably could for a certain amount of time. But why impose a short life-span to your job because a professional you paid made a mistake? Nevermind that...get them to redo the improper work on their dime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcorral2
and most importantly since I don't have the money to tear it off and start all over and since the new floor and the HardieBacker boards are already in place (and actually looks and feels solid)
I would ask for this to be redone properly at the installer's expense. It's not that hard to read and follow install instructions and it's on their shoulders to provide at least a minimally acceptable level of work. And the work performed is below that level.

Sorry for what sounds a bit harsh. But I'd rather not beat around the bush.

P.S. Is that 1/2" thick Hardibacker board? If it is, do you need the extra height of 1/2" board instead of a much more commonly used 1/4" board?
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Unread 05-16-2020, 01:03 PM   #4
jadnashua
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Another observation...the screw pattern used does not seem to follow the manufacturer's instructions, either.

The REQUIRED thinset underneath the backer is there not so much to hold it down (the screws do that), but to ensure there's 100% coverage underneath it. There's almost no way to get 100% coverage with something like Liquid Nails, especially when there's not the minimum screws...and no, it's too late to add more as the adhesive is not rigid.
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Unread 05-16-2020, 03:37 PM   #5
Davy
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What the others said. Not trying to be harsh but you have a plumber installing Hardiboard and he can't even do that right but you continue listening to him. You need to pull it up and start over. The Hardi doesn't add any strength to the floor, it's all in the plywood.
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Unread 05-16-2020, 05:10 PM   #6
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It's really not the end of the world, and you should be fine. He did things wrong/unconventionally, but it's again, not the end of the world. Don't let him do the vinyl adhesive, though. In fact, just give him the money for the Hardie and floor/etc, but don't use him anymore, finish the rest yourself.

It's not ideal to stick stick on vinyl to Hardiebacker, but I don't see a reason why it wouldn't work, you can stick stick on tiles to concrete without issues, you just need to use a primer. They sell a primer which is basically just a light sealer/glue at Home Depot/Lowes/etc. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Henry-33...2056/202046165 You just paint it on with a paint roller. Hardiebacker is not cement, but I think the properties would be similar enough, on concrete you use it thinned down, so I'd follow the concrete directions on the primer. Your only other issue is the seams between the boards. On a tile install they're filled with thinset with mesh tape. In your case, I'd use a product like Henry 547 feather patch/skim coat over the joints between the boards, with no tape. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddQU6HeVIcg This product here should be at Home Depot for like $15 or something, and you can just a big putty knife/drywall taping knife to push it into the cracks, and make sure you feather it smooth and don't leave big lumps in the floor. If you feel very industrious/care a lot, you can in fact skim coat the entire floor to smooth it out perfectly with this stuff, that would be ideal.

The other thing you need to do with peel and stick vinyl install is use a floor roller. Ideally the 100lb ones are best for large installs, but one with rubber rollers and a place to put your foot down would be fine for a small bathroom or closet area, just keep rolling and rolling until you hear no more air coming out and the tiles feel well bonded, this takes more time/effort than you'd expect.

I think if you filled in the cracks with Feather Finish, used the primer, and rolled it, despite the install being wrong, you'd be in a better position than 90% of stick on tile floor installs, where people are just plopping them down onto the subfloor usually with carpet glue/etc still on it and/or not cleaned at all, and then wondering why they're coming up and sound terrible to walk on. (Most I've seen.) Ideally for a wood subfloor you'd install with luan, not Hardiebacker, fill the gaps between luan sheets with Feather Finish, and then prime, and install stick on tile and roll it. It actually is a product that takes a lot of prep and work, but is sold as sort of disposable and easy.

The other thing too, to salvage it would just be using a floating vinyl floor, too. That would be more secure and more by the book for this scenario. Fill the gaps with the 547/some sort of feather finish/patch product first, and you'd be fine.

While yes it's not ideal, in your case, I don't think "Tear it out and start over" is the right thing. It is wrong, and for your install ceramic tile would probably be a bad idea doing it the way he did without thinsetting the board down, but I think it's overkill to tear it out if you use stick on tiles, as stick on tiles imo are sort of disposable anyway. The wear surface will wear out anyway, even if the install is done perfectly. They only have 3 or 5 year commercial use warranties anyway. So it's a disposable product not meant to last 30-40 years like ceramic tile.

Just don't let him use the VCT adhesive, as that's definitely wrong and the stick on adhesive and the VCT adhesive aren't really longterm compatible, and it's even more kinda nutty cowboy engineering people do out of ignorance/their friend told them a while back/etc/etc. Again it's up to you, what the above posters said is technically right, it should in theory all be torn out and redone, but to me sacrificing $100 in materials plus 4-5 hours labor for $30 in stick on tiles seems a little assinine, especially since even if they do fail it's easy to fix (peel tile up with putty knife/scraper, put new one in, roll, vs jackhammers for tile demolition) and the product itself is disposable anyway.
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Unread 05-17-2020, 11:50 PM   #7
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You could do vinyl plank over the hardie.
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Unread 05-17-2020, 11:57 PM   #8
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Also, I would make sure to do your due diligence about what work your plumber is doing for you. Pics, references, etc. It very may well exist, but I would be surprised a properly licensed plumber is licensed in all the other areas you listed (if required there) and actually proficient at them. In my experience (limited to my area obviously), licensed plumbers do just plumbing (and often HVAC) and make a good living at it. They aren’t a jack of all trades.
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