Tile over linolium over terrazo?


Old 09-08-00, 08:08 AM
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My foyer has linolium, but in the closet off the foyer there is terrazo flooring. So i am thinking that under the linilium in the foyer is terrazo as well. Can i tile over the linolium, or should i remove it? Can i tile directly on the terrazo, or do i have to do something special?
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Old 09-08-00, 09:45 PM
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It's common for pros to install one flooring material over another. There are advantages and disadvantages to doing this. The advantage to the pro is that he gets paid to install flooring, and the faster he can install it, the more he gets paid, and installing the new flooring directly over the old flooring is the fastest way to do it. The disadvantage is that you're relying on the glue holding the old flooring down to keep it up for the anticipated life of the new flooring. If it doesn't, then your new flooring suffers a premature death.

Normally, they way you install one floor over another, such as linoleum over tile, would be to use a cement based floor leveler to fill in an texture, embossing or grout lines of the old floor to make a flat surface out of the old floor. That way, the texture, embossing or grout lines won't show through the new flooring material. Then you just install the new floor over that flat surface as you normally would. You can get gypsum based floor levelers, but they're not as popular because they're not as strong and offer no advantages other than they're easier to sand smooth.

However, where you're going to be installing ceramic tiles, you're not concerned that anything is going to show on the surface of the tiles, and the texture of the old floor doesn't really matter when the thin set the tiles are to be laid in will be troweled on with a 1/2 inch square notch trowel. So, when you're installing ceramic tiles over an old floor, most installers won't bother with floor levelers, but will simply add some glue to the thin set so it sticks to the old floor better and trowel the thin set directly over the old floor.

However, if you're going the other way, such as installing linoleum over tile, then you have to bother with the floor leveler. The Italian company Mapei is probably the largest producer of cement based floor levelers and ceramic tile thin sets in the world, and I use one of their floor levelers called "Planipatch". They also sell a recommended "additive" (pronounced "glue") that you mix with the Planipatch to get it to stick to hard to stick to surfaces, such as linoleum and floor tiles and such. Mapei publishes a chart that shows how to cover each kind of flooring material with Planipatch so you can lay a new floor over top. Basically, the gameplan is that if the floor is hard to stick to, you spread one coat of Planipatch mixed with the additive (called Planipatch Plus) only. Then, when that dries, you dilute the additive 1:3 with water and use that solution to mix the floor leveler and apply another coat. For floors that aren't as smooth and hard to stick to, you can start with the diluted additive to mix the floor leveler. For cement and wood floors, you can mix the floor leveler powder with just plain water.

Hope this helps.

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