Tile removal- HELP!- I found thick Set Mortar!!!

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  #1  
Old 11-02-03, 10:46 PM
smapple
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Tile removal- HELP!- I found thick Set Mortar!!!

I live in Austin Texas. We are preparing to put down the new Kahrs Woodlock flooring over concrete slab. First we have to remove the tiles. There are two types of tiles to come up. The thinnest tiles have thin-set mortar, and come up with a hammer. The other tiles are about 3/4 inch thick, and lead from the entry way to a sunken living room, and have been set on a thick set mortar. How they poured all these slab heights I do not know, as the area with that tile seems to be about 1.5 inches below the other slab, the thickness being made up with the mortar. The house was built in 1976. The thick set mortar seems to come up with the tile pieces each time I break one, and are making a mess of the edge that drops to the sunken living room. My questions are as follows:

1. What is the best wasy to get this tile up? The books say to use a small jack-hammer, so as not to spoil the foundation.

2. Once I get it up, how do I bring this section of the floor up to the level of the rest of the floor? And how do I handle the transition to the sunken living room? Should I just put in new mortar, and level it? If I put in a concrete-based product, how long woud I have to wait for it to cure before I put in the wood floor? Or, considering that, should I just float in a wood subfloor? My concern is that the concrete below the thick-set mortar may not be fininhed since they knew they were putting in thick-set mortar and tile.
3. Any hints from those who have tackled this before? The concrete on the foundation doesnot seem to be well finished on the edges, and is causing other problems around the perimeter of the sunken living room.

Help?!
Steve
 
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  #2  
Old 11-04-03, 05:10 AM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 5,074
You call me to do the floor prep and consult you with the finish installation!!

This is a service I offer to DIY clients here in Austin, so they can have the pleasure of saying, I installed this, with a big smile.

The mudbed you speak of is common, especially with a marble entryway.

The mudbed is usually the thickness of a 2x, or 1" deep, and is suppose to have sand in the mix.

E-mail me or call me @ 413-2180, if you need my services. I'm always willing to help.
 
  #3  
Old 11-04-03, 05:48 AM
smapple
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DIY Thick set mortar

Not to offend- but this is a DIY forum. I was asking for information on how to remove the flooring, not a solicitation. If I felt I could afford to pay for the work to be done, I wouldn't be posting on a DIY forum. As it stands, I have more time than money (though perhaps less sense). If you tell me how it is done, I might decide that is too much work, and look for a contractor (like yourself) to take the problem off my hands. However, I would first like to understand what kind of job is in front of me. It seems they rent all the equipment to remove it, I'm just mainly concerned about how to finish it once I do remove it, and it looks like a scab. What kind of materials are used? wht is the process? etc.
 
  #4  
Old 11-04-03, 12:16 PM
mjenna
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Steve,
I just purchased laminate flooring and your situation sounds a lot like mine. I also have a 70's house (1977) in Austin and the entry way tile is a huge, thick tile that goes into a sunken living room. Your post scared me, as I have not attempted to remove mine yet! What issues have you had? Have you gotten any of it up?
MJ
 
  #5  
Old 11-04-03, 03:20 PM
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I just have to say that I agree with you Smapple in that it may have sounded as if Carpets Done Wright is soliciting you however be reast assured I am sure that is not what he intended. He offers excellent advice on this forum and knowing his posts I think he just is offering his advice since he is local to you and can better explain that way and tell you what you are in for as opposed to writing everything down, as it sounds like you have quite an involved situation. However if his intention was to solicit you then you are correct, that should not take place here. Sorry I have no answers for you I just thought I would say a few good things about C.D.W. as he has given me excellent advice in the past. Best of luck with your situation.
 
  #6  
Old 11-04-03, 07:25 PM
smapple
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Apologies to CDW

My intent was not to degrade CDW. I have seen his postings on this forum, and he has done a lot to help others with his answers. I was just surprised by the answer. I'd guess this is a problem that is common, and many should hear the answer. SO, please accept my sincerest apology. I DO intend to do this myself, as I cannot afford the alternative. I may want to call CDW when I get ready to re-carpet the other three rooms, anyway (something we will not try to DIY).

This same thing happened to a friend of mine in Houston last year. He dug down about 3 inches with a rotohammer to get to the bottom of it, and then poured new cement over it to fill in. I'm wondering if that's the right approach (can't you just put in a filler or something?). The books say that if you pour concrete, you have to wait at least 2 months for it to cure before putting a hardwood floor over it. Guess it won't be done by Christmas for the annual family visit.

To answer mjenna- we are having some friends come over for a group thing we do at our church we call barnbuilders. We all get together once a month to do something at one of the group's house, then we do some at charity as well. I needed to size up the situation, so we took a hammer and prybar to one of the face tiles that goes down to the sunken floor. When we removed it, it brought a lot of material with it. Then I realized that I was in the same situation as my friend in Houston. When I saw his situation, I remember thinking "Bummer for you" (very selfish, I know). Anyway, as we sized up the whole of the situation, I noticed that the tile in the other areas was different height and thickness, and that the entry area was poured differently. Also, the edges of the cement pour don't seem to have been well finished when they took off the batter boards. Just very rough. It's going to be a re-build any way you look at it, so I'm just hoping that somebody knows some short cuts.

I suggest you find a non-conspicuous area to test a removal and see what you are dealing with. Did I mentione that they mortared a hand-rail into the surface as well?? I guess I'll have to see how they fixed it into the sunken area, as that should be concrete, not mortar. I don't have the courage to pull back the carpet and look.

Oh- and if you can afford it, I recommend you call CDW, and have them do this, it's not for the faint of heart. Any way you look at it, there's going to be a lot of dust, mess and rebuild to get it right.

I always wondered why that part of the floor sounded hollow when somebody walked on it in heels...
 
  #7  
Old 11-04-03, 07:43 PM
Harry M
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Check out this site . Enjoy www.ardex.com
 
  #8  
Old 11-05-03, 05:31 AM
mjenna
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Another option I have is to tile over this entry way and forgo the wood. Perhaps I should just tile right over it? The entry way is separated from all other parts of the house, so perhaps if I add an extra 1/2" or so to the height by putting down tile on top, no one will notice? Or is this a bad idea...
 
  #9  
Old 11-06-03, 07:34 PM
smapple
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I had hoped that somebody else was going to give you a reply. Anyway, here's my opinion. I would go ahead and tear it up. I've investigated the product that Harry M. recommends (ardex), and it seems to be rather solid. I haven't been able to get good prices on it yet. Somebody on the tile forum told me to dig it up and replace it with new deck mud. I don't think I'll do that.
I also have the problem that the tile that is in the entry way is not very even on its surface, so I'd at least need to put down a leveling layer to get it to specification to be able to put down a new surface of any kind. I don't know if you have this same problem. At any rate, I don't think you'd like the transitions from layer to layer if you just tiled over it. It would be rather obvious. I had a house with this once, and I tripped over it sopmetimes as I passed over it.
For me it's a no-brainer. As you come in the entry, there's a dining room to the right and an office to the left that both have mustard yellow carpet in them. It HAS to go. And then the kitchen and back hallway have two different types of tile in them. So, if you stand in the right spot, you can see three different types of tile, and mustard yellow carpet all in the same view. Ah- the 70's. The stuff in the kitchen stays, but the rest will be wood. I might even sell some of the light fixtures on e-bay when I'm done. They're really retro- stained glass and all. I won't begin to detail the rest.
 
  #10  
Old 11-07-03, 08:13 PM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 5,074
Hey smapple, No fair, you double posted in the ceramic forum too I thought I got deleted over there.

Rent a compact demolition hammer and both paddle and spike bits for it.

Try not to dig with it, just get under the edge and then try to go horizonal as much as possible. Try both style of bits to dee which works best.

You can find Adrex at C&C Wholesale, here in Austin. They also have straight edges, and straight screeds.

Pulling a string tight across the surface, will show you what and where, further floor prep is needed.

I personally don't think a self leveler is what you need, but I have not seen the scope of the project. A filler and skim coat may be all that is needed.
 
  #11  
Old 11-07-03, 11:13 PM
smapple
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My major concern is that the mud beneath the tile in the areas I have already removed seems to come out at varying depths with the tile. It's very brittle (the mud), and doesn't seem to have a lot of structural strength. I guess it seems to me like I need to remove all the mud. Isn't that the case? In which case I need to go as thick as it goes- and it looks to be about 1.5 inch. Of course, I still have to fugure out what to do about the rail that is mounted in the cement floor of the sunken part.
The other part that worries me is getting a good facia on the face that drops to the sunken living room. I guess I coud always design a face board into the re-fill process, and nail the front board to it, as well as the edging for the flooring.
 
  #12  
Old 11-08-03, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 5,074
Yes, along your step, use wood as a form board. One that is flat with the finish subfloor height you need. Then use the form board to screed off of to make the floor flat with the rest of your subfloor.

Yes it will pull chunks. Which can be filled and then screeded over.
 
  #13  
Old 11-08-03, 09:52 AM
smapple
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So, do you just leave the hills and valley and fill it all in with Ardex? That would make for a quick cure time, and reduce the total amount of ardex, but it seems it might be questionable from a structural standpoint.
 
  #14  
Old 11-08-03, 06:37 PM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, TX
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Thick pours will crack as the moisture leaves it.

Once the bigger holes you said were being made, get filled almost to the top, and let dry. You don't want a hump higher then the existing flat plane you are going off of. You want it just shy of it. So your screed coat of Ardex will fill over it as one big cap.

Then screed using a straight edge, the smaller hills and valleys.
 
  #15  
Old 11-09-03, 07:17 AM
smapple
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I guess what I was asking is: Do you use ardex for the entire fill process, or fill th efirst holes with mud, and then top off with ardex? IT seems if you ccan get away with just ardex, the cure time should be quicker, as it sets in 2 hours, thus allowing the second coat to be applied quickly- or are you also saying that you have to let the first coat FULLY cure (16+ hours)?
 
  #16  
Old 11-09-03, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 5,074
If the holes are deeper then the recommended thickness of the patch, it will crack and shrink, as moisture is released. You will always need 2 coats, a sceed coat and a finish coat, unless you self level the entire installation area, not just fill and patch where the mud bed is.
 
  #17  
Old 12-11-03, 08:58 PM
smapple
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I'm back again with more questions. After talking to the local tech rep for Ardex, he told me everything I wanted tyo do was just wrong. First he says that you can't use Ardex over deck mud- you have to go back to concrete. Then he says that it has to be primed in order to be solid. Lastly he guessed that if I wanted to do it over the mud the only thing I might use was something they make to go over gyp-crete. And it was only off teh record, and outside their warranty. I'm not worried about warranty- I'm worried about what works. What can you tell me??

I see three options- which one will work?:
1. remove all the mud, and pour new concrete over the existing slab to bring the level up. wait two months for it to cure. I don't like this option!!
2. Remove only the tile. fill in with a thin layer of new mud over the old mud. wait 72 hours for it to cure. Top with Ardex. Wait 72 more hours for it to cure. Do my flooring.
3. Remove only the tile. If the hills and valleys aren't too deep, fill in with Ardex, several coats spaced two hours apart for the individual cures, and wait 16 hours after the final cure before proceeding.

Which way will work??? These poor Ardex guys must have been invited in to remove too many hack jobs so they now protect their backs by recommending and warranting only butter-smooth surfaces of incredible strnegth that have been primed at $30 per gallon. To me that removes the attractiveness of Ardex.

Does anybody have enough experience with Ardex to tell me exactly how they've done it before with a similar surface? Oh, and by the way- CandC wants $45 per gallon for Ardex, and $30 per gallon for the primer. I'm tempted to just fill in with mud, and level it off.

Steve
 
  #18  
Old 12-12-03, 06:42 PM
Harry M
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I will give you 2 correct methods of laying your floor in your house correctly. Option 1 You must on all of these methods get to your concrete. I know you dont want to wait for curing time bet . You could level it with concrete. Option 2 once again get to the raw concrete and level off with K-15. It will go over concrete or wood with no problems with great compression strength. Gypcrete cracks to much for me .
 

Last edited by Harry M; 12-13-03 at 08:09 PM.
  #19  
Old 12-13-03, 08:04 PM
floorman
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you cannot pour the k-15 over the deck mud you need to remove entirely.
Get it down to the concrete get the primer and prime the floor
pour the aredx in sections or layers 'layers would be best allow to dry then prime again and pour again.
follow that until you get to the desired thickness

If you are pulling up chunks of this deck mud when pulling up the tile then integrity of the mud has been comprimised and needs to come out.

When pouring this ardex make a dam at the doorwaysto keep it where you want it,and not allow it run all over,i would pour no more than 1 1/2" at a time to keep from cracking,if this cracks it has failed and needs to be redone.

If you opt for the deck mud then back to us and we'll talk you through that as this is entirely different
 
  #20  
Old 12-16-03, 05:21 PM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 5,074
You are being way too crucial! This is a floating Kahrs finished floor we are talking about here.

Now if you were gluing to the surface, it would be an expensive and different matter.


I say cut a bag of Ardex SD-F with Flexbond thinset, adding the thinset after you mix the Adrex thoroughly. If you mix the thinset first, the mix tends to be sandy. Don't ask me why, but I have my theories.

Screed the floor and let set up, then topcoat / skimcoat the smooth with straight Ardex SD-F.

Let that sit for 2 - 7 days to cure out, and then install the Kahrs floor, over a double moisture barrier. poly & 15# felt.
 
  #21  
Old 02-22-04, 12:43 PM
smapple
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OK- I'm back for more on this story. Between othe obligations- kids, work, etc. it's taken a long time to get this done. Meanwhile, we live in a construction zone.
I removed the tile. It was a real pain. I rented something called a "pogo stick" from Home Depot. It is an air-chisel on the end of a tube. Works well. The tile came up relatively easily, then I had to get the mortar up. I had a hallway full of rubble, and a house full of dust, but I got the mud up. Now I face the dilema that's threatening our home sanity (arguments bound).
remaining problems:
1. What material to use to fill back in the area where I removed the mud. THis area has to be brought up to the level of the other rooms so that the wood flooring can be laid on a level surface. I have looked at Ardex, and like the dry times. However, it's is as expensive as gold. Can I mix it with something that will take up some of the space, and not devalue its qualities? Like aggregate, or sand, or what? Otherwise, I go with concrete, and I hate the idea of waiting on the curing of the surface for another 2 months. Does anybody have any suggestions that don't break the bank?
2. How to screed the surface against an inside wall. My wife thinks we lay forms within the concrete and against the walls. I don't like this method, as it puts wood inside the concrete, and reduces the solidity of the overall surface. Is this paranoid? Do I even need a surface to screed to, or is there some other secret I don't know about? Between the rooms, I can screed to the existing concrete level. It's just that down the hallways, there are only walls, and the surface must be within 1/8 inch over 8 feet to provide proper flooring underlayment. This means I need a pretty level concrete (or ardex, or whatever) surface. Any other ways of shortening the cure/ dry time for whatever surface I put down?
4. Since there's a drop-off from the entry way to the "sunken living room", I'm putting a 2X6 there to act as a screed surface, and to hold the new floorinf surface in place. ANy thoughts on the potential of that board bowing in the middle, and best ways of securing it against the existing porous/ poorly finished concrete vertical surface that faces the living room?
Thanks
Steve
 
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