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rb608 July 11th 06 01:30 PM

Old tile - To remove or not to remove...
I have about a 200 SF kitchen area with two layers of tile. The bottom
layer is very old, probably installed 40 years ago or more. On top is
a layer of stick-on Armstrong vinyl I installed myself about 15 years
back. For various reasons (because SWMBO wants to being in the
forefront), I'm facing the prospect of putting down a new floor. The
area is sufficiently irregular to make one-piece flooring impractical,
or at least uneconomical, so we're looking at other stuff, such as
the engineered wood products or ceramic tile.

Most of the existing floor is tight & in decent shape, save about 10 SF
in front of the dishwasher (thanks to a chronic but undetected leak)
and another area where a cabinet was removed.

My question is the eternal one: Do I take off the two layers of
existing tile first, or can I go directly on top? I understand that
for the tile option, I would be adding " of cement board and
another " of tile on top of an already raised floor. I can live
with that.

Whether or not I need to is another question, and raises more
questions. Is the old tile likely to be a royal pain in the ass to
remove? Were there asbestos or other potentially hazardous materials
in the old tile that would be better to leave in place?

Alternatively, all of the loose and damaged tile is only the top layer.
Is it likely this will be more easily removed? If so, I'd be
comfortable with a direct application of a thin material on top of the

Lastly, do you have any recommendations as to other flooring products
for application above two layers of tile?

Joe F.

MDT at Paragon Home Inspections, LLC July 11th 06 05:08 PM

Old tile - To remove or not to remove...
If this is a kitchen and you tile over the existing floor, watch the
height under the dishwasher opening.

It's certainly possible that the older layer might be asbestos tile
and/or have been installed with an asbestos containing mastic.

One red flag for possible asbestos floor tile is a 9"x9" size, another
is an appearance like one of these:

Needless to say, you probably don't want to turn a weekend tile project
into a asbestos abatement program, so before removing tile or adhesive
that might contain asbestos have an industrial hygienist or other
qualified individual sample and identify suspect material, and if it is
asbestos research your options, asbestos contaning material can
sometmes be left in place if in good condition.

Michael Thomas
Paragon Home Inspection, LLC
Chicago, IL

rb608 July 12th 06 03:55 AM

Old tile - To remove or not to remove...
"MDT at Paragon Home Inspections, LLC" wrote in message
If this is a kitchen and you tile over the existing floor, watch the
height under the dishwasher opening.

That certainly hit the nail on the head. The dishwasher opening is indeed
one of my concerns; and I would probably end up lifting the countertop if I
went with the tile option (the countertop is a whole 'nother project.). As
it is now, the dishwasher barely fits in the opening with only the newer
stick-ons. To get it out for service, I need to use putty knives to "ramp
up" onto the newer tile. Adding a half inch to the floor elevation would
make the dishwasher permanent. g

Wandering through the flooring section at the local HD, I realized I could
probably do the same thing with new vinyl tile I was planning with the
ceramic, i.e., use a diamond pattern instead of the typical square pattern.
That should help cover the seam separations on the existing, and would
certainly make the job easier and faster. Too bad I hate those things. I


[email protected] July 12th 06 04:06 AM

Old tile - To remove or not to remove...
Were it me, i would rip it all out because you have the area in front
of the dishwasher to deal with and it's starting to get pretty thick.
I had a house once that had 5-6 layers of vinyl and a couple layers of
plywood/luann and it made the floor joist bow down in the middle. So
*I* would remove it.

The asbestos deal is something to look out for but may be removable
without too much fuss, though ymmv. I have what seems like 12 million
sq feet of the stuff (see previous post - it's 9x9 inches and looks
like that and if you break one, you can see the fibers) and it comes up
very easily cause it's been there for 60 years.

As for what to put as the flooring - I am not on the laminate
bandwagon, I've seen friends that have it and it is affected by
moisture and heat a little bit. If you never think you'll drop a whole
2-litre bottle of wine like my roomate did, then you're ok. I just
worry about that too much I guess. Kitchens = ceramic in my book.

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