Field of Staples

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  #1  
Old 06-10-09, 09:33 PM
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Field of Staples

I feel like I have been dropped into a never-ending field of subfloor staples...

I am laying tile throughout my kitchen and dining area, and this required me to remove the top layer of three floors. (would like to find the person that did that) Anyhow, I have removed a good chunk of the top subfloor, but now I am in rows of staples. Any advice on removing these things? I am really hoping I can just pound 'em down and be done with it, but I do not know if I can lay my backerboard over the top.

Any advice would be very greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 06-10-09, 10:19 PM
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How many layers? Please explain. You should have one subfloor, it's the one fastened to the joists. Any other plywood over the subfloor is an underlayment. Generally vinyl floors are glued to 1/4" thick something or another and needs to be removed as you are doing. It is possible there is another 1/4" layer down there, if so it needs to go too. Will you please describe all the layers.

There are several other points for me to ask, but let's start there.

Jaz
 
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Old 06-10-09, 11:15 PM
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Starting at the top before any work began, and working our way down.

Vinyl
1/2" Underlayment
Vinyl
1/2" Underlayment
Floor

I removed the first layer of vinyl, and I have been removing the first 1/2 inch underlayment which was stapled down. Most of the vinyl underneath that is coming up fairly easy with a floor scraper, and that layer of underlayment is essentially solid and level. Because of that, I was planning on laying the 1/4 backer, with the 1/4 tile, to essentially come up to the same level we were at.
 
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Old 06-11-09, 08:24 PM
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Well OK, I just don't know why that top layer of plywood is 1/2" instead of what it should be. You also say it's stapled....oh well.

You continued down and called one of the layers the floor. What is the floor? If the 2nd 1/2" ply is in good shape you can install the cement backer and then the tiles. Don't forget the thinset mortar under the backer, and fasten, tape etc.

Do you know if the framing is stiff enough for tile? Is this an older home, when was it built? Take a few minutes to measure and inspect the; type and size of the joists, their spacing, the unsupported span of the joists. Would be helpful if you knew the species and grade too. Now tell us about the subfloor, what is it and how thick.

Jaz
 
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Old 06-11-09, 09:25 PM
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What we seem to have here is a failure to communicate.

I will just start over, as nothing about the floors themselves is really pertitent.

The floor is solid, it is flat, and it is level. I can lay the tile on this floor with no problem. My question is all the staples that are sticking about 1/2 inch out of it because that is how somebody attached another subfloor, or underlayment-if you prefer, on top of this floor. I do not now why, but they did. So I removed this floor, which was fastened down with staples, and now I am dealing with such staples.

So, my original question put simply. Do I have to pull these staples out, or can I bang them down and lay thinset with hardibacker on top? Beer 4U2
 
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Old 06-12-09, 06:48 AM
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MacLaddy

You need to be aware that underlayments for vinyl are not installed the same as underlayments for ceramic tile. The 1/2" plywood you are trying to salvage may or maynot be installed properly. Most important is that you use lots of screws to secure the underlayment to the subfloor. Every 8" in the field and every 6" at the edges.

Hopefully, the seams of the underlayment are not directly over the seams of the subfloor plywood.

Hopefully, an exterior glue plywood was used as well, as excess moisture (one good soaking of the floor) can cause delamination otherwise and that would spell disaster for a ceramic tile floor.

To answer your question though, it would be better if you could remove the staples, but banging them down sould be acceptable as well.

While you feel that the floor is "solid" there are certain criteria that should be met with the floor structure before you install ceramic tile or natural stone. You should answer Jazman's question to make sure. It'll make you sleep better.

So what is the size of the floor joists, what is there oc spacing and what is their unsupported span? How thick is the plywood subfloor?
 
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Old 06-12-09, 01:31 PM
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I really don't know what the spacing on the floor joists are, as I have not uncovered them at any point. I imagine they would be spaced at 16" intervals as this condo was built in 1980, but I could be wrong.

I'm not sure if salvage is the right word for what I am doing. I pried up the underlayment which had the laminate glued to it, but almost all the staples that were holding that underlayment down remained in the floor that it was attached to. Then I threw that laminate and the underlayment it was attached to in the garbage.

I must not be explaining myself very well, or I am just too dense to grasp what is being asked, and why.

Well, thanks for the answer to the staples. I will try to remove most of them and the ones I cannot get easily I will bang down.
 
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Old 06-12-09, 01:46 PM
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Hmmm...just an observation and question...no Pro here. How did the staples pull through 1/2 ply? That seems pretty amazing...heck I can't get some staples to stay in....let alone pull through like that.

Just wondering.

Oh btw...I've seen some people say that just running a floor scraper or flat shovel will pull out a lot of staples....but if they pulled through ply..I'd suspect that may not be very effective.
 
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Old 06-12-09, 02:18 PM
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That's a great question, and I really have no idea. Sure would make my life easier if they would just come up with the floor. Maybe they aren't called staples... They look like a staple. The prongs are about a 1/4" apart, but the whole thing is about 1 - 1.5" tall.

Ugh, I've been using a couple of pry bars to take it up, and as I rip up the tiny pieces at a time, (because that's all that will come up at a time) it is leaving all those staples behind.

I bought this condo from my landlord that was renting it to me, and I believe he "Flipped" it before I moved in. I am starting to think some interesting methods went into his renovation.
 
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Old 06-12-09, 02:48 PM
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Ahhhh ok clearer now....
I believe those are called "narrow crown staples". My last house had a lot of those used on exterior trim. They have glue on the legs of the staple that bonds from the heat of being driven in. They must have put a lot of them in to cause the ply to split and come up in pieces.
 
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Old 06-12-09, 02:59 PM
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"Narrow Crown Staples." Now I know the name of my enemy!!!

They were pretty gung-ho. I would guess atleast every three inches, probably more. There are spots where they are clustered all around one point.

Regarding your last comment, I am fairly sure my floor scraper wont do a thing to them. They are pretty stout.
 
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