Remove or Seal Black Cutback Adhesive Before Floor Installation?


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Old 10-30-16, 08:33 PM
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Remove or Seal Black Cutback Adhesive Before Floor Installation?

Hi all,

First time post (certainly not the last!). My wife and I recently bought our first home, a house built in 1935, and we wanted to do a basic kitchen update before we moved. One thing has led to another, and it's now turning into a huge gut & replace.

Almost the entire house is wood flooring, but the kitchen had ceramic tile on top of a mesh/mortar base, and that was on top of 2 layers of what I think are linoleum sheets, on top of a layer of vinyl tiles, on top of plywood. You can probably guess that the kitchen floor was a significant step-up from the floors in the adjacent rooms! So we decided to remove all the flooring material down to the plywood and install hardwood floors -- something I've done before to modest success.

About halfway through this process I learned that it's very probable that our vinyl tiles and the black adhesive contain at least some level of asbestos (fortunately I was wearing a respirator the whole time). At this point, I've basically done all the removal work, so all that remains is the plywood with the black adhesive. What are my options at this point if I want to install hardwood floors on top (nailing not glueing)? Strategies I've come up with:

1) Install a new, thin (1/4") layer of plywood on top of the existing plywood.
2) Seal it with some sort of liquid sealer. I haven't really come across anything for this purpose yet though.
3) Remove it by wetting it and scraping it. I don't want to do this -- this seems very time and labor-consuming, and seems like it would just worsen exposure.
4) Cover it with a vapor barrier or some other sheeting.

Any suggestions?
 
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Old 10-31-16, 02:51 AM
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Welcome to the forums Jonathan!

How smooth/uneven is the sub floor now? If it's smooth enough to lay the hardwood I'd just tack down a layer of roofing felt and install the hardwood.
 
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Old 10-31-16, 02:56 AM
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Welcome to the forums! It will highly depend on how smooth the adhesive is in relation to the subflooring. If you have gobs of it in places, obviously it won't work. It needs to be reasonably smooth.

1) NO
2) Not sure it would be economically advisable since it isn't posing a threat unless it is in dust form.
3) You are right, unless it is not smooth.
4) Installing 15# felt is recommended anyway for your hardwood flooring, and will cover the adhesive adequately.

Remember, we can't see what you see, so if you want to post pictures of the adhesive issue, please do so. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 10-31-16, 05:16 AM
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How thick is the plywood subfloor? Adding 1/4" is not recommended for a nail down wood floor. You need a minimum of 5/8" plywood or 3/4" OSB flooring (not sheathing).
 
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Old 10-31-16, 07:41 AM
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The plywood subfloor is 3/4" if I remember right, and I forgot to mention that the plywood is actually on top of wood planks, which are resting on the joists. There's a crawlspace under that.

It's not a thick or particularly uneven layer of adhesive, and a lot of it came up with the vinyl tiles themselves, so it mostly looks streaky.

I haven't taken precise measurements of the plywood's evenness, but from eyeballing it, it all looks nice and flat. The edges of the plywood are all flush with each other, if that's any indication, although I suppose they could have sanded those edges down. Still, I don't see any obvious warping or sloping.

I'll take pictures next time I'm at the house. The roofing felt idea sounds promising, especially if I ought to be doing that for the hardwood anyways.

I appreciate the quick replies, thanks!
 
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Old 10-31-16, 01:55 PM
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3/4" plank plus 3/4" plywood is fine for nail down. Use 15# felt paper and lay your wood perpendicular to the floor joists. Pre-rack your boards if random length so you can stagger the joints sufficiently. If all boards are similar length, use a minimum 1/3rd lap from each row to prevent an "H" pattern of staggard joints.
 
 

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