Concrete floor and vinyl tiles? Recommended or No?

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  #1  
Old 07-24-05, 04:47 PM
laweddle
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Concrete floor and vinyl tiles? Recommended or No?

We have been very observant and belive that there is no moisture in the concrete.

It is a small floor space in a bathroom that needs flooring. Are vinyl tiles OK to use? It would probably be the easiest because it is a spall, cramped space with little room to work and I can just imagine trying to get a shhet of vinyl in there being a mess.

Edited to add that we have read many things, books, this site, etc. But we are new to home improvement and want to do it *right*. I just need a second opinion if this type of tile is OK or not. Thanks

Any thoughts???
 
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  #2  
Old 07-26-05, 08:14 AM
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I've done this in two rooms over the past two years. There are a couple things you need to watch for.

First, make sure the floor is absolutely dry. There are professional moisture meters available for this, but if you have a pretty good grip on that it's not necessary.

Second, make sure the floor is level. Smooth concrete is best. Generally, anything that got on the concrete doesn't want to stay there, so a good putty knife is usually sufficient to remove any solid residue. You may want to sand lightly on any rough spots if you're unsure. Once you're done with all that, clear any dust with tack cloth. Keep it with you, and go over every section of floor before you put down the tile.

That's really all there is to it. A dough roller can help cure the adhesive, since walking on it - usually inevitable as you're working on it - will often cause the tiles to shift slightly. If you're a perfectionist like me, you'll probably want to fill the 1/64" gaps between the tile with caulk. Before you do this, make sure that no caulk can get underneath the tile as it will affect the adhesive. Also, it's good to have a wet sponge handy to clean up the excess. After a few hours, use some type of adhesive remover (like Goo Gone) to clean up the seams.
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 07-30-05 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Quoting entire post is distracting and redundant!
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Old 07-27-05, 11:55 AM
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Wow, my same issue and it's a current thread!

I'm removing two layers of vinyl-esque flooring that's over the slab foundation in the downstairs bathroom. There's sheet vinyl on top of the concreate and then vinyl squares on top of the original vinyl. Ideally I want to lay new self-adhesive vinyl squares.

Moisture - I have no clue if this would be a problem. I prefer the vinyl tile squares, but how would they deal with moisture if I was having sheet vinyl put today?

If I scrape the old layers off and have that seemingly-awful dried adhesive clinging to the slab, should I use any chemical I can find to dissolve it OR should I apply leveling compound to build up the floor OR install backer board with a vapor barrier underneath? Heck, at this point, I'm tempted to try to prep the existing old vinyl and go over top of it. Thoughts on that? I was surprised to hear that you thought any non-concrete materials would want to come off easily, but I'll keep my hopes up!

I've *heard* that a way to minimize gaps in self-adhesive vinyl tile is to start at a wall, lay one row, and staple the edge at the wall to the floor (it will be covered with corner round anyway). For the next rows you will only be able to staple the pieces on the ends, but keep laying row by row (work away from the finished work) and stapling will get you a secure floor. Moderator, have you heard of this? Better lay those staples flat or else your cornerround won't sit flat!

Thanks,

Chris
 
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Old 07-27-05, 12:33 PM
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Vinyl tile today deals with moisture pretty well. The adhesives on the self-stick tiles (such as Armstrong) are pretty moisture resistant. That said, over a long period of time moisture in a concrete floor will cause the adhesive to fail.

As far as stains on the concrete, you shouldn't have much of a problem removing household stains like gum, old caulk, paint, tile grout, and whatever else might be bonded to your concrete floor. Concrete doesn't really bond well with anything, so a putty knife usually works. If not that, a small chisel is usually sufficient provided you take enough care not to damage the concrete. Finally, if none of that works (what do you have on floor?) an abrasive disc or belt sander will definitely remove it.

Your situation with underlayment depends a lot on the condition of the floor after removing the old flooring. Vinyl adhesive can run the gamut from painless to extremely painful to remove (usually painful, unfortunately). There are organic removers (citrus, soy, and other things) as well as harsh chemical solvents. After applying adhesive remover and letting it work, a putty knife or scraper will help get rid of the adhesive. I wouldn't recommend prepping the old vinyl unless the texture on the old tile is nonexistent. Even with embossing levelers, the old texture often telegraphs after a few years. Underlayment is always a good idea - wonderboard, Durock cement board, and the like are good choices. You'd probably need a power hammer for that, and I hope you don't have any pets if that's the case. (They use .22 caliber shells to drive the nails in.) Altogether, the problem with underlayment on concrete is that it's difficult to fasten.
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 07-30-05 at 08:09 PM. Reason: Quoting entire post is distracting & redundant!
  #5  
Old 07-27-05, 12:49 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

I don't know what kind of adhesive I would find but I'm just remembering my friend swearing up and down when he tried to remove 13-year-old original vinyl from his slab foundation prior to his tile job.

I would prefer to not deal with installing cement backer board on the floor if I'm only going to be using the inexpensive self-adhesive vinyl tile. If I were installing real tile then of course I would use it.

I'll be in the house for probably four more years so it's up in the air: 1) if there's even a moisture problem that would effect vinyl-over-slab-without-backer, and 2) if the moisture problem would come out within 4 years (after 4 it's the next owner's problem!)

Hm...why exactly would you not install the self-adhesive vinyl squares over existing vinyl? Is it that the surface is too glossy and therefore not a good surface for the new tiles to stick to? What if I lightly sanded the top of the existing vinyl squares to 'rough them up' for the adhesive of the new squares? I was considering doing it because the surface seems level and relatively smooth in most spots and it seems more favorable for adhesive than my concrete slab.

Thanks,

Chris
 
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Old 07-27-05, 12:55 PM
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The problem with installing vinyl over vinyl is with the texture of the old vinyl. Some tiles are embossed with patterns, as you know, and these patterns will show through vinyl tile placed over top of it as the new tile settles and gravity takes it toll. If your old vinyl is fairly smooth, then you shouldn't have a problem with it. I would recommend roughing it up, but only if it's really glossy should you have a problem. To be completely sure, I would rough it up, use some type of sealant (caulk or embossing leveler) to fill the seams in the existing floor, and then put down the new tile. If you're uncertain, it might help to stagger the seams. Chances are it doesn't matter since it's on concrete.
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 07-30-05 at 08:11 PM. Reason: Quote removed: Quoting entire post is distracting and redundant!
  #7  
Old 07-30-05, 08:18 PM
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Vinyl tile expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity. It is important to let the tiles set in room where they will be installed for at least 24 hours before installation.

Concrete will need to be clean and smooth with nothing on it that may interfere with adhesion. Any bumps or dips will show and cause uneven wear. Concrete must be dry. Holes & cracks need to be patched. High spots can be ground down with sander. Self-leveling compound can be used to fill the dips and make surface smooth.
 
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