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Installer is putting tile over laminate & previous linoleum floor

Installer is putting tile over laminate & previous linoleum floor

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  #1  
Old 10-13-09, 08:54 AM
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Question Installer is putting tile over laminate & previous linoleum floor


The installer is here right now and installing tile over laminate and linoleum flooring. I think its linoleum..... dunno for sure. The laminate is in good "stable" shape and not buckling anywhere except 1 spot under the fridge which was removed. So the fridge area is now tilted downward a lil bit. He has got half the flooring done in less than a couple hours. He's still here doing other work too.

Should I tell him to rip up what he's done? OR LEAVE IT? I do not think it is right to install it like he has, but this article: How to Lay Tile | DoItYourself.com doesn't say anything about removing the old floor. HELP QUICK ! HE's here now !
 
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  #2  
Old 10-13-09, 09:06 AM
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It sounds like he is making a big mistake but you don't give a lot of information.
What exactly does it say he is going to do on your quotation?

If you carefully read the article it tells you to smoothen the sub floor and apply new plywood if the base is in poor condition.
 
  #3  
Old 10-13-09, 10:20 AM
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It is a concrete slab base. What more is there to say? I mean the laminate was always smooth enough to walk on easily. We werent tripping around or anything. The laminate just doesn't look nice anymore cause it was not cared for right during moving furniture around the house.

On top of the concrete is linoleum and laminate. He's got half the tile done and it doesn't look level to me at all.
 
  #4  
Old 10-13-09, 11:44 AM
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This is a joke, right. If you want it to last more than a few weeks, you'd better stop him now.

You cannot install ceramic or stone tile over laminate flooring, and you should not install it over linoleum either. You have to remove the existing flooring down to the slab, and them make sure the slab is in proper condition to accept the tile installation. If he's not doing this, I'd throw the hack out right now.
 
  #5  
Old 10-13-09, 11:54 AM
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Hey, this article is for vinyl tile. You do know that right.
 
  #6  
Old 10-13-09, 01:51 PM
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No I didn't realize that. I was trying to find information quickly and I missed seeing "ceramic".

The tile being installed is CERAMIC.

So, he's got half of it done today. Should I stop him tomorrow and have this done right? Should be to the slab right?
 
  #7  
Old 10-13-09, 02:06 PM
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What is he trying to stick it to the laminate flooring with? Geeze. A laminate flooring usually isn't even adhered to the surface underneath. All of the tile he has installed should probably be thrown away. Tile is porous but the mastic or thinset fills those pores and they may not adhere as well if you try to use them again. Of course that doesn't even cover the labor of removing the mastic or thinset back to the surface of the tile.

Not an expert so wait for them but from everything I know about it this sounds like a bad idea.
 
  #8  
Old 10-13-09, 02:36 PM
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Show him the door and get a new contractor.
 
  #9  
Old 10-13-09, 03:25 PM
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He claims he's been doing it this way for 14 years and never had a problem with it like this. CERAMIC TILE on top of LAMINATE FLOORING FIRST then that on top of LINOLEUM flooring too. Does possibly mean that in 14 years none of these people ever called him back for more work?
 
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Old 10-13-09, 03:28 PM
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You don't need my two cents worth, but you asked. Don't wait until tomorrow, do it today. Like the others have said, the tile job won't last as long as it takes to cash your check.
 
  #11  
Old 10-13-09, 03:37 PM
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Trying to make the best of a bad situation here and convince my GF to stop letting this guy install over the 2 old floorings.

What is the easiest, best, fastest way to remove old linoleum flooring that is glued to the concrete slab?

What special tools or dissolvers or solvents do I need to get? and afterwards how does the concrete need to be prepared in order to take the new tiles?

I know these may be huge questions, but I want to get this done "as right" as possible since I will be moving in here and living here.
 
  #12  
Old 10-13-09, 05:27 PM
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You should not use any chemicals to remove the glue as it may effect the way the tile thinset bonds. Your best bet, and most common method is to get a floor razor scraper and start scraping away. Sometimes a HEAT gun will help. I've removed some linoleum floors that have taken all day to remove and some that peels right up.

Also, when the old flooring is up, inspect the slab for cracks.

You are lucky you caught this early. It would cost you even more to fix the mess later down the road when the entire floor "may" fail.
 
  #13  
Old 10-13-09, 10:14 PM
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I assume the preparation of the concrete is basically that it just be flat and free of debris right?

Residual adhesive left over on the concrete is probably fine huh? Does it need to be sealed?

My GF and I spent tonight undoing the mess the installer did. We pressure washed the mastic/thinset (whichever) off of the backs of about 30 tiles. So we saved about 2 boxes worth and threw away about 12 - 15 due to time. We got done around 11pm at night.

Started scrapping away the old flooring tonight. When I removed the tile from where he started (by the fridge) I found something hilarious. Under the fridge it is/was plane concrete. Now get this. Just in front of the fridge he pealed away the 2nd top layer of flooring (the laminate) and left the original layer of linoleum down. Then just 3ft over down the kitchen trail towards the sink he'd left the laminate layer alone along with the rest of the kitchen. This means that he put the tile in slanting it all upwards from the concrete, on up to the linoleum, on up above the laminate like walking up lil tiny stairs.

I just can't believe someone who's done this for 14 years would do something like this when clearly this is just stupid and obvious to anyone with any sense of "leveling".

I think what explains it is laziness. He is doing this for my GF at a discount, so he wants to do it fast and as little effort as possible.

Tomorrow I'll proceed with removing the flooring as fast as I can. We're gonna see about getting a scrapper that has like a broom stick on it to use body weight leverage rather than being on the floor and killing our backs.
 
  #14  
Old 10-14-09, 12:46 AM
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I'm very confused. Can't you just install ceramic or porcelain tile directly on top of a bare concrete slab?

Watching a LOWES video on YouTube they say I need a concrete backerboard installation prior to installing the tile. WHY? WHAT FOR? If you have a bare concrete slab why isn't this good enough?

I hope someone answers by morning because the floor is coming up tomorrow and hopefully ALL of it.

The LOWES video also says you can install tile over VINYL (same as linoleum?)? If so is the same true for linoleum? I think they meant you can install it over vinyl if you put the concrete backer board down first...... but again why would I want to do that if I'm taking up all the old flooring leaving just a concrete slab?
 
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Old 10-14-09, 03:23 AM
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Lowe's is assuming you are putting the cbu on a framed floor. It is not required for concrete installation. The advice so far has been not to install it on linoleum. I have seen it done successfully. However, if the linoleum gives in a certain spot, it could make for a frowny day. I would remove it all. And yes, the scrapers with the long handle will save your backs.
Congratulations on taking charge of the issue and getting it prepped right!!
 
  #16  
Old 10-14-09, 08:27 AM
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Two comments based on what some books say. Some books say ceramic tile can be adhered to well glued sheet vinyl using a special epoxy cement. I tend to question that for a number of reasons.

The books also recommend not installing over a concrete slab coated with asphaltic cut-back adhesive. It is easy to recognize because it is black and looks like tar. There are two ways to remove it I have used both and can tell you they create a giant mess. You either use a floor sander which means you need to seal off the room and wear an approved respirator or you use a special solvent. The solvent works but getting the gooey black residue up without splattering every thing is nearly impossible.

Good news is asphaltic cut-back adhesive hasn't been used in many years. As to scrapers there are two types. A thin flexible metal type and one that has a cast metal sharpened blade. Sometimes one works better then the other. The blade may be replaceable on the former and re-sharpened on the latter.

Just a tip. You can move appliances to parts of the kitchen already done as long as you wait at least 24 hours and are very careful when you move them. That way you don;t have to haul them far when tiling. Always move and tile under the stove and refrigerator. I also like to tile under the dishwasher. If you ever have to remove it it will make removal easier. Except for the first row that shows under the dishwashers only you can use left over pieces from cuts.
 
  #17  
Old 10-14-09, 09:55 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

Why should you tile under the stove?

Its a gas stove and has not been moved in this debacle. New RE-tiling took place today on concrete slab after only about 2-3 passes of SWEEPING very thoroughly. I wanted to damp mop to ensure removal of stuck or finder particles, but the installer was against it because he wanted to move on and get to it.

Is the concrete ok to have installed in this condition with just "some" old adhesive here and there from the previous flooring, but all "humps" removed?
 
  #18  
Old 10-14-09, 10:51 PM
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Frankly it isn't so much the adhesive as the installer that should have been removed.
Why should you tile under the stove
. Just because it is the professional thing to do. Do you really want the stove setting in a hole? Think how much harder to clean.
 
  #19  
Old 10-17-09, 01:24 AM
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Well, kitchen is done. Tiling under the stove isn't & we are out of the matching tile.

Throughout this ordeal (this is a friend of my GF's husband doing all this for DISCOUNT $200 for 240 sq ft of laying) I removed probably somewhere around 55 sq ft of tile in sum (twice removed; 1 time was 8 sq ft and other time when he tiled over the laminate and linoleum was the rest) because it was not level or straight.

Finally today I had the opportunity to stick around and ummm "SUPERVISE" as he laid it to make sure he stayed to some kind of level of quality. The end result is much better/straighter and more level than he'd laid originally.

Its not as perfect though as it could be as the slab is wavy, though not cracked anywhere. I rented the proper tile scrapping machine and cleared the slab of all the old flooring (installer helped of course) & we were good to go.

For $200 and a GF that wants to save money we ended up with a pretty decent laying, though by my standards I wouldn't call it A HIGH QUALITY JOB. I'd call it a "GOOD" or "FAIR" job considering my GF didn't want to pay for expensive special concrete leveling stuff.

Grout goes in tomorrow and then sealing it a few days later.

2 Bathrooms remain. 1st bathroom will be done with remaining tile that was put aside just for this purpose. 2nd bathroom will be done with some tile that the installer had laying around (FREE gift).

I thank you all for the wonderful speedy information. Its not a perfect job, but its miles beyond what it would've ended up being had I not consulted this forum.
 
  #20  
Old 10-17-09, 06:04 AM
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$200 for 240sqft? Holy cow! That guy must have been really really hurtin for money. I'de lay tile for at least $4sqft straight lay with no other problems. Yikes. Good deal for you though. Now, you can show us pictures! Upload them to a sharing site then post the IMG url back here.
 
  #21  
Old 10-17-09, 07:47 AM
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I know I'm a bit of a nag but if I may address the stove one more time you don't need whole tile where it doesn't show. Just an example: Often when trimming tiles you will say have quite a few 4"X12" scraps so you cut those to 4"X4" and tile under the stove. Getting creative and making necessity look like intentional design is the real fun in tiling not the sore knees at the end of the day or the little red blisters from thinset.
 
  #22  
Old 10-21-09, 01:31 PM
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LOL

Actually, since we had the scrapping machine on hand we decided to do the bathrooms too and that added about 60 sq ft to the picture for a total of 300 sq ft for $300 - which included the removal of the toilets and reinstalling them. He even gave us 30 sq ft of tile he had laying around for FREE.

I will post pictures up for you guys as soon as I can. Least I can do. They are cell phones pictures, but not too too bad. The USB port on my camera currently doesn't function so s.o.l. there.

Have sealed the grout twice in 48 hours. Only 1x under the W&D though.

He forgot to grout under the fridge, but will be returning to do that for free of course.

The concrete floor was not completely level, wavy in fact, but not bad enough for my GF's taste to buy the concrete leveling stuff. It was wavy for years anyway and they/we are/were used to it.


When is it safe to clean the residual grout film off the tiles? and HOW is the recommended way to do it? Can we just mop it or swiffer it?
 
  #23  
Old 10-21-09, 04:16 PM
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You can wipe it off as soon as possible. I use a microfiber or terry cloth.
 
  #24  
Old 11-05-09, 02:08 AM
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Well, for the past 3 weeks the floor has only been swept and not mopped. The installer glazed the grout over the top of the tiles to fill the cracks so the entire face of the tiles has grout dust/grain/filaments or whatever over them in a thin coat. Would a brisk wet swiffer mop remove this? Does the grout stick to the top face of the tile or easily come off? I'm looking for that "shine" of these tiles that we've yet to see.

Here are some pictures of this $200 for 300 sq ft installation in kitchen & bathrooms. Please excuse the very crude web page, but its all I had time to setup from an old script.

CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES - Tile Installation - October 2009 - $200 for 300 sq ft.
 
  #25  
Old 11-05-09, 06:30 AM
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Not a good time to be wondering how to remove grout haze. That should have been done by the installer before it set up.

You can purchase grout haze removal products at big big stores.
 
  #26  
Old 11-05-09, 02:14 PM
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Yeah, it's going to take some elbow grease now. You should have taken that haze off within 1-2 days after setting the tile.You can go ahead and mop now too. What's going on with the perimeter near the base boards? It's hard to tell with the picture quality.
 
  #27  
Old 11-08-09, 05:08 PM
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Should the grout haze of been removed prior to sealing the grout lines?

If so, I fear now that the grout sealer (we used a new spray kind) sealed some grout along the boundaries of the tile on top of the tile faces or will the grout haze removal product remove the grout that is on the face of the tiles & also sealed with the sealer spray?

The perimeter base boards had shoe molding on it. The old molding was in need of refinishing and was water damaged a lil bit so new shoe molding has been bought, but some of it needs to be painted white and other needs to be stained and all cut right.

Guy was supposed to come finish all that up + he forgot to grout under the fridge too. Add all that to leaving the grout haze all over the floor tile faces and I dunno... did we really get a good deal?

I find it so bizarre this guy says he's got 15 years experience laying tile and wouldn't know this elementary stuff.
 

Last edited by searcherrr; 11-08-09 at 07:16 PM.
  #28  
Old 11-08-09, 05:23 PM
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Haha....never believe a guy truly knows how to tile when he'll do a few hundred square feet for only 200-300 bucks. You need to remove that grout haze. It should have been removed shortly after grouting. It will be even harder now. This guy was one of those fly by night contractors who give the real setters a bad name, but oh well.

I've never been to fond of those aerosol type sealers because they are pretty bad for your health and not the best of quality.
 
  #29  
Old 11-08-09, 07:19 PM
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We had the fans on and a couple windows open when we did it. We were careful to seal it twice everywhere after a thorough sweeping. Think thats good enough or should I seal again with the roll on kind? The water beads up well though.

Yeah, it sucks to realize the truth, that even through a friend quality work for cheap is a pipe dream. Still aside from loss of time once the haze is removed, we will still have saved over $1000 I believe.
 
  #30  
Old 11-09-09, 05:25 AM
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A small lesson learned here. Did your contract specify exactly what you were paying for? Did it require your contractor to grout and seal the tile? Remove the vinyl? Grout haze removal should be part of grouting and he should have done that. Sealing the tile may or may not be. You have to take a bit of a hit yourselves because you didn't do your homework ahead of time. Never hire a contractor to do a job until you know exactly what the job will entail.

From looking at the pictures it doesn't appear to be a hack job. It looks straight forward and properly layed. Once the grout haze is removed you will probably be pleased. The proof of the pudding will be how the tile looks in a few years.

I wouldn't label this guy a hack just because he gave you a good price. Contractor prices vary considerably depending on the area of the country. Considering that he was the friend of a friend he may have given you a break.
 
  #31  
Old 11-14-09, 08:42 PM
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He wasn't a hack completely, but I figure even though you are giving a deal to a friend why not do a quality job while you are at it. There was no contract.... psssst.... just word of mouth agreement, "Do my tile please. How much?" - I realize we got away with a steal and he laid them as best as he could... just tired of cleaning up other people's messes. It happens all the time in every line of work I have seen. Can't go to the auto repair shop without having to figure out what the tech's broke after they fixed the main problem, etc.. it happens all the time it seems no matter what type of industry you deal with.

In any case. The floor is set and done except for the haze removal. We'll do that. I just hope it doesn't remove the sealer too.
 
  #32  
Old 11-14-09, 10:16 PM
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Try vinegar on the haze.

.......
 
  #33  
Old 11-16-09, 12:57 PM
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The floor is set and done except for the haze removal. We'll do that. I just hope it doesn't remove the sealer too.
Coming in late here, but, first you remove the haze, then you seal. If you have done otherwise, you've just made an even bigger mess. Good luck.
 
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