Is there a way to level my floor without removing everything on it.


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Old 01-06-14, 04:15 PM
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Is there a way to level my floor without removing everything on it.

Hi I'm brand new to DIY.com but am excited to get some much needed advice. I am redoing a floor in my den for a playroom instead. I thought it would be as easy as pulling up the carpet and laying down the vinyl tile after a good cleaning, but I found really old vinyl tile underneath the carpet.

I'm wondering if I need to strip the floor down to the sub floor or if there is something that I can put down on top of the old vinyl that will level the floor and give me a good base to place the new vinyl tile.

I'm seeing other posts stating that I should use 1/4" plywood but could I put it on top of the old vinyl and if so what do I use to ensure that it's level.

All advice is welcome.

Thanks
 
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Old 01-06-14, 04:34 PM
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I don't know of anything that can go over the existing vinyl to level the floor and I hate luan (1/4" plywood) as an underlayment. Personally I'd go for broke and strip the floor down to concrete but If the vinyl tile is really old then there is the possibility it contains asbestos. And, unfortunately removing old vinyl squares can sometimes be really difficult. If they don't come up reasonably easy I'd spend the money for a half day rental of a powered scraper you can operate while standing.

How unlevel is the floor? Is it really bad enough to need leveling?
 
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Old 01-06-14, 05:07 PM
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Tell us exactly what vinyl tile you will be installing, that would be a start, there are 100's out there, zero us in closer. Second, tell us more about what condition the floor is in under the carpet. Most likely, you will have to put down a 1/4" underlayment grade plywood (not luan) and skim coat the seams. Vinyl has a nasty habit of letting you see any and all imperfections under the floor as they telescope through to the top.
 
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Old 01-06-14, 05:42 PM
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Thanks for your quick responses.

We planned on putting down the Luxury Vinyl Tile which I am reading needs an absolutely flat surface to be laid on. The floor itself is not that unlevel but the edges of most of the tiles are curling upward, there are a few spots where the tile is missing, and two spots with small holes down to the sub floor. The tile seems to have had something on it at some point because it's covered in old glue. Underneath the tile is some black something or other that is stuck to thin wood, which is on top of the sub floor, which is wood.
 
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Old 01-06-14, 06:00 PM
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That black stuff may be old cutback which in a lot of cases contains asbestos.
How about a picture of this floor.
I've used cheap peel and stick tiles to fill in missing tiles, stapled down any curled edges, filled and other flaws then went right over all of it with multiply 1/4 plywood and had no issues.
That plywood needs to be attached every 4" on the edges and from 6 to 8" in the field.
Fastest way to do it is with a pneumatic narrow crown staple gun.
I can do a whole sheet in about a min.
 
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Old 01-06-14, 06:26 PM
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Here's some pictures of the tile and black stuff. I'm having trouble with the others, I'll get them up as soon as I can.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 02:59 AM
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How old is your house? What size is the old tile? If I remember correctly most of the old asbestos tiles where 9" square instead of the modern standard of 12" square.

btw - welcome to the forums!
 
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Old 01-07-14, 05:04 AM
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Your best plan would be to remove that which is loose. Skim coat any voids with a quick drying cement based patching compound (Level Quick by Custom Building Products as an example) and then cover everything with 1/4" underlayment grade plywood (not luan). The way those tiles are curling you would have a virtual grid pattern showing through the LVT. Proper prep is key with this type of flooring. You will also have to skim the seam on the ply before laying the tile.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 05:46 AM
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The house was built in the 50s. I'm not sure if the den was an addition at the time it was built or later on, but it is outside of the main foundation above a crawl space. The tile is 9x9.

czizzi that sounds like what I envisioned I should do when I discovered the tile under the carpet. With the thought that these could be asbestos tiles I wouldn't want to tear them all up and I hear that removal is expensive.
 
 

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