Removing ceramic tile and installing hardwood

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  #1  
Old 11-12-00, 12:54 PM
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I know, I know... I read a bunch of posts here that tell you over and over again that it's too much work and aggravation to try to remove ceramic tile from a concrete floor. BUT, it's too late for me... I'm already committed (or maybe that's "should be committed"). I can do the grunt work of busting up and removing the tile, but what (if anything) can I do to remove (or smooth) the thinset underneath the tile to prepare the floor for a peel-n-stick hardwood plank?? Any suggestions other than "go back in time and don't do that" would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
 
  #2  
Old 11-13-00, 01:47 PM
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Tom:

I won't tell you that it's too much work, as it seems you're prepared for it. The thinset material always seems to be the toughie, unless the floor was installed badly.

Have I mentioned, cover everything before you start? Everything including yourself and everything around you as that fine dust will finds it's way into places you wouldn't imagine. Kitchen cabinets as well.

Condsidering you are going to be using a peel and stick hardwood...wait! Have you bought the material yet? How much tile are you removing? That subfloor has to be very clean for a peel and stick to work and I'd suggest renting an electric jackammer for quicker removal. BUT, here come the buts. But, you may gouge into the slab and those areas will need to be filled with a good patching compound like Maipai. Never could spell that easy name.

Have I mentioned cover everything? Wear long sleeved shirts and pants as well, along with goggles. That stuff goes everywhere! IO may have more buts, but I gotta go. I can't say enough about personal safety though.

 
  #3  
Old 11-13-00, 05:21 PM
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You've probably given yourself the worst job as Ken Says! Vinyl will mirror anything beneath it so you MUST be VERY smooth before you install the vinyl. I doubt very much that you are going to level\smooth out your floor sufficiently well to adhere the peel/n/stick vinyl to it and end up with a decent looking floor. Sorry but that's my opinion.
 
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Old 11-19-00, 08:45 AM
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Thanks for the feedback! I got the tile up and I smoothed out the thinset as best I could (I scrapped and I use an orbital sander). You sure were right about the dust! I intend to spread a layer of thinset (or something??) over the entire surface to try and get a smooth plane to install the hardwood over. I haven't bought the hardwood yet. If I don't get the peel and stick, what would you recommend as an alternative hardwood over the thinset? I'm looking for a pre-finished hardwood plank that's easy to install. The peel n' stick stuff looks perfect for the job, but I am concerned with how well it'll work in my situation. Would a floating floor be better?
Thanks!
 
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Old 11-19-00, 01:35 PM
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Tom:

I gotta felling you'll regret using the peel and stick as you'll never get a sound subfloor if you plan to create that smooth plane you mention. Chances are great that while trying to do this you will inadvertinely create high and low spots, which will cause failure in this type of flooring application.

I vote for an engineered floating floor in this case and near total removal of the thinset. Some of the better and thicker underlayments will absorb a few remaining LOW areas of thinset. I'd suggest a floating floor made by Harris-Tarkett as one to look at. There are others but this is one I feel most confident in, and the finish warranties are right up there with the finer manufacturers.

 
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Old 11-19-00, 02:03 PM
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I should've provided more information on manufacturers. The last time I worked with Award's floating engineered floors I was surprised how easy it was to work with.

I don't know if you have a Lowe's near you but they do sell a Harris-Tarkett line that's also easy to work with. Whatever you decide, I'd pay close attention to the "wear layer" or the veneer thickness on the top, as some are too thin to completely refinish.

Be careful out there in consumer land and please don't let price dictate your decision. I've seen far too many disappointed people coming to internet flooring forums asking why this failed and why this and that. Most of the time it boils down to the product selected and it's great price.

Check out the resource guide at floorboards.com for a handful of great stuff.

 
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Old 11-20-00, 04:05 PM
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Ken,
Thanks for the response. I'll look into the Harris-Tarkett line. Unfortunately, we don't yet have a Lowes here (but their building one). I've already used a prodcut from Home Depot called Quick Level that I poured over the thinset to try to get a smooth surface (this stuff claims to seek it's own level with little smoothing). I used a grouting tool to force it between the thinset ridges and covered the whole area about an eighth of an inch. It seem to do a pretty good job. However, in bright light, I can see some slight variations in the surface. I really didn't think it would be that much of a problem. I can't imagine what it would take to remove the thinset without doing significant damage to the slab. A builder friend of mine suggested going ahead with the peel and stick stuff and handling any problems later on by ejecting glue through the surface of any loose spots (should they appear). What do you think? Also, do you think a floating floor over this leveling compound would work better? Thanks for you help!
Tom
 
 

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