Covering old vinyl

Discussion in 'General Flooring Discussion' started by TIMOTHY GARNER, Aug 12, 2018.

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  1. Aug 12, 2018 #1

    TIMOTHY GARNER

    TIMOTHY GARNER

    TIMOTHY GARNER

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    Covering old vinyl

    Doing a kitchen remodel and have questions about the old flooring underneath.

    A little history that will help understand the layers found on the floor today...
    Not sure when the house was originally built but my dad bought it about it about 1967.
    I learned that it started out as a two story house and the second story was removed before we ever saw it (maybe a fire) and it had been remodeled before we acquired it.

    About mid 70s, my mom put down 12' square, sticky back flooring tiles.

    I ended up with the house and remodeled the kitchen about mid 90s. It was my first attempt at putting down sheet vinyl and I did not do enough research.
    I could not get the vinyl squares up so I covered them with 1/4" plywood.
    Then I used adhesive on the entire floor before putting the sheet vinyl down. It looked fine that night but next morning it had a large raised area in the middle.
    I tried to figure out what to do and I ended up cutting it, pressing it down and nailing the heck out of it.
    That why you will see nail heads in the picture.

    OK, it says "invalid image" when I tried to add a picture from my desktop so I'll just describe what I found, what I am seeing after removing a section about 3' x 5'.

    Top layer is the sheet vinyl and 1/4" plywood from mid 90s. I plan to remove all of these two and not disturb the rest because of the likelihood of asbestos..

    Below that are the squares my mom put down, mid 70s.

    Below that are the vinyl(?) squares that were there when we moved in, mid 60s.

    Below that is a hardwood sub-floor with a black residue on most of it.

    So, I'm thinking that maybe I should remove the sheet vinyl and plywood, then cover it with some kind of self leveling compound, perhaps something that will have a little flexibility after it cures, just in case there is any movement in the floor.

    By the way, the new flooring I bought is Smartcore premium engineered vinyl strips that look like wood (Cottage Oak).

    There are a lot of self leveling compounds at varying costs.
    I'm hoping for advice on what I can apply over the remaining two old tile types, making it all level and not be concerned about the compound cracking if there is any movement in the old sub-floor/ tile.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Aug 14, 2018 #2

    TIMOTHY GARNER

    TIMOTHY GARNER

    TIMOTHY GARNER

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    So bottom line, are there self leveling compounds that are not brittle when cured so that they will not break up if there is slight movement in the wood?
     
  3. Aug 15, 2018 #3

    highup

    highup

    highup

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    The most flexible thing would be plywood.
    If you can remove the other stuff down to that peel and stick tile, just use new plywood to start fresh.
    There aren't any flexible underlayments of fillers. Do you suspect the floor is soft and bouncy? Not sure why you need something flexible.

    "Then I used adhesive on the entire floor before putting the sheet vinyl down. It looked fine that night but next morning it had a large raised area in the middle."

    That was probably because you just forgot an area when nailing. Either that or the plywood you used wasn't a good grade of plywood and it delaminated.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
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  4. Aug 15, 2018 #4

    TIMOTHY GARNER

    TIMOTHY GARNER

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    I'm not sure there is much movement in the floor but occasionally I hear a little creak when walking on it and I read about self leveling compound breaking up if there is much movement.
    Not sure there would be enough movement to do that though.

    Also, the two layers of square tiles were laid in the early 60s then the mid 70s, so I'm thinking a good chance of asbestos and I read that it is best left undisturbed.
     
  5. Aug 15, 2018 #5

    highup

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    The creak can be located without a lot of effort sometimes. Usually a loose nail in the underlayment or subfloor below. That's often easy to correct.
    A fresh plywood underlayment is already smooth. Applying a leveling compound isn't as easy to make smooth, especially if you don't do this sort of work regularly.
     
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  6. Aug 15, 2018 #6

    highup

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    You don't want to apply leveling compound over peel and stick tile if you planned to dig that deep. It won't work.
     
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  7. Aug 15, 2018 #7

    TIMOTHY GARNER

    TIMOTHY GARNER

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    Thank you.
    Sounds like I need to take up the existing 1/8th" plywood that has the sheet vinyl glued to it and put down new plywood.
     
  8. Aug 16, 2018 #8

    highup

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    Was the 1/8" a typo? I sure hope so.
    Also note that 1/4" plywood still needs a relatively smooth surface under it. 3/4" plywood can span gaps and irregularities, but the thinner the plywood is, the more picky it is about being installed over uneven surfaces.
    I'm on the west coast and plywood prices are really high. They are on their way down.
    It might be worth checking out or comparing prices at a reputable flooring store for an underlayment grade plywood. If you buy regular plywood, only go for AC grade....... never anything that looks like door skin material.
    There's a proper sequence to nailing it too.
    Also if you have or have access to s 1/4" crown stapler that would be ideal. With such narrow gauge staples you don't need to fill them. With nails, you'll end up with some divots/dents from the hammer blows.
     
  9. Aug 16, 2018 #9

    TIMOTHY GARNER

    TIMOTHY GARNER

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    Yes, that should have been 1/4".
    I have only uncovered about a 3' x 6' area were the stove sits.
    I'm not sure how much of the two old layers of square tiles are still in place but I have a feeling the only area that was striped down to the wood sub floor is basically what I am seeing. I'll know more as I remove the 1/4" plywood and sheet vinyl on top.
    Still working on other parts of the remodel as well.

    A local flooring guy suggested not removing the two old square tiles because of the possibility of asbestos but after removing the 1/4" plywood and sheet vinyl, paint to seal them.
    That would only leave the thickness difference of the two old square tiles.

    I'm wondering if I might fill that difference with an additional layer (or two) of cheap floor vinyl and then cover with 1/4" plywood.

    The concern I have with using thicker plywood is the difference in height it would make joining into other rooms as well as the additional cost.

    I do thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge.
     
  10. Aug 16, 2018 #10

    highup

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    Do you mean to do this to the area under the stove and in places where some of the tiles are missing?
    I wouldn't bother sealing the tiles with any paint or primer. The asbestos is fine as long as you don't sand or grind it into dust. It's not nuclear waste as some make it out to be.
    My only concern is if the tile edges are cupped or curved upwards at the edges.
     
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  11. Aug 16, 2018 #11

    Ernesto

    Ernesto

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    Yes, buy some cheap peel n stick and stick'm in there for filler.
     
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  12. Aug 17, 2018 #12

    TIMOTHY GARNER

    TIMOTHY GARNER

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    Thank you guys.
     

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