Installing new vinyl tile over old mastic?


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Old 01-22-13, 12:14 PM
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Question Installing new vinyl tile over old mastic?

Is it acceptable to install new vinyl tile over old (black) mastic? The project is an old farmhouse where my parents now live. Both the existing tiles and the mastic probably have asbestos. I've talked with an abatement contractor about removing the tiles. However, does the mastic need to be removed before I install new tiles? I would prefer to install over the mastic, encapsulate it, and never have to worry about it again... but I want the new tiles to stick permanently, too. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,
Brad
 
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Old 01-22-13, 03:49 PM
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Brad, it is doubtful you will get any adhesion at all with the old mastic still in place. If the mastic has asbestos in it, then the abatement people should deal with it as well. They won't be able to come in and do half a job.
 
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Old 01-22-13, 05:11 PM
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After the tile are removed, you can skim coat over the old mastic with a embossing levelor. Its a product designed to smooth out the trowel marks from the old mastic so they won't "telegraph"thru to the new tile. It will also seal the old mastic. A embossing levelor is availible in many different brands, some are 2 part systems, liquid and a cement powder. Be sure to get a cement product and not a gypsum based floor patch.
 
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Old 02-04-13, 08:52 PM
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I agree with "a tile guy". the skim coat is your best bet to encapsulate the old mastic. If it is over an old wood floor an abatement contractor would have a hard time getting it up anyway. If you are not familar with skim coats check Ardex featherfinish or something similar.

Skim cout is not hard to do. It is however very hard to do well that is why a professional can make me look silly. However the one saving grace is that if you do a poor job of the skim coat you simply cost yourself more time, effort and sweat equity sanding it down (there will be dust). Once you have the skim coat on you will be sticking to it so your new glue should work very well. of course all of this is based upon the assumption that you are using a good glue.

You also said you want the tiles to stick permanently. Your definition of permanent may be different than mine. Done well you probably will not outlive a good installation. You might get sick of looking at it before it wears out.
 
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Old 02-05-13, 05:49 AM
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After a hard weekend of floor prep, I can honestly say the mastic is not going anywhere. Some tiles popped loose, but many others had to be chipped away one piece at a time. The bare floor was swept and vacuumed to remove all dirt & tile chips, and any loose mastic was scraped away. I used leveling compound to fill some sagging areas and large joints, but left the remaining floor as-is. I can't imagine installing ceramic or hardwood here.

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For an old farmhouse floor, it's a big improvement.

-Brad
 
 

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