What to do with 1000 sqft of Thickset?!?!?!


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Old 01-06-15, 08:39 PM
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What to do with 1000 sqft of Thickset?!?!?!

I recently purchased a 3bed 2bath 1600 sqft home. The three bedrooms are carpeted and the rest of the house was floored with a porcelain or ceramic tile. My wife and I want to replace it with laminate.

When we removed the tiles we discovered a 1 inch thickset of plaster covering hardy boards in some spots and gravel sheets in others. It is painstaking to get up. I spent a day using a cement grinder and got next to nowhere, and another few hours with a demo hammer which also takes forever and is painfully difficult. To make matters worse, once we get to the kitchen all of the counters are layed on top of the tile, meaning we will have to surgically remove the plaster (I've discovered demo hammers aren't the best tool for that).

My question is should I...

A) continue stripping the floor down to the boards no matter how hard or long it takes,
B) lay cement on top of the mess, use a self leveler and put the laminate on top of that, or
C) some other option I haven't thought of (PLEASE!!!).

I am no expert in this field so lay responses would be appreciated. Additionally, I have been quoted on average $5 a sqft to have it removed and have no room in my budget to do that, so while I accept that this would be the smartest approach it is not available to me.

Thank you for any advice you can give.
 
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Old 01-07-15, 03:03 AM
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Welcome to the forums! You are going through all this work to put down laminate?? Bless your heart! It may help us to give you better advice if we could see what you see. Post a few pictures of what you have encountered if possible. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 01-07-15, 04:09 AM
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It also helps if you have the correct bit for your demo hammer. Not going to say it will be any easier, but it will speed things up a bit. I mostly use a tile bit on my Hilti demo hammer. I also tend to have to sharpen the bit from time to time when it dulls out or loses its edge. Its hard work, mess work and there really is no way to make it go any faster. Set a box fan in the window blowing out and crack a window on the other side of the house for fresh air. Most of the dust can be directed outside that way. You probably will want to add 3/4" OSB (advantech) to the floor once you get the tile out to stiffen things up for your new floor.

As Larry eluded, for a few bucks more, take a hard look at a floating engineered floor. Its more stable, is real wood and you will be happier in the long run.
 
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Old 01-07-15, 10:41 AM
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Too late for you, but other posters might want to know, you can use SLC to level out ceramic and then install laminate or engineered on top.
 
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Old 01-07-15, 02:56 PM
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Name:  thickvsfloorboard.jpg
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Here are a few pictures of what the floor looks like. I hope this works.
 
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Old 01-07-15, 03:04 PM
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That is not a thickset mud bed, it is cement board. You would be better off with a large iron bar and try to pry between the screws You will have to break it up to isolate the fasteners and then pull or unscrew each one. It doesn't appear to be set in a mortar bed so you should be able to pop it out.
 
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Old 01-07-15, 03:10 PM
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I agree. It looks like Durock. With the exception of hitting screws, it should pop up with a good flat bar or scraper.

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Old 01-07-15, 03:13 PM
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Feel bad for you.
Not one thing that was done there was done properly from what I can see in those pictures.
If those are screws holding that board in place it's going to be a whole lot faster to remove if you used an impact driver to remove the screws first.
 
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Old 01-07-15, 04:25 PM
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Joe, in a perfect world, all the screw heads would present themselves. Real world, is that they are filled with mortar and you have to dig to find them. Better in my opionion to bust them out to find and then deal. Last tear out I did had a lot of water damage, so the screw they used (improperly) were all rusted, so finding them was easy.
 
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Old 01-07-15, 08:14 PM
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thanks to everyone for the help. This has been a great experience.
 
 

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