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kitchen floor advice

4790 Views 17 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Grumpy
I've brought my kitchen floor down to the sub floor. I scraped off the old vinyl tile. There is some kind of white paper stuck to the sub floor except where the seal was weakened by water penetration through the years.

Should this white paper be removed? It's not coming off the with scraper.

Should I retile the whole floor (not sure yet on material) or just tile the areas that aren't covered by fixtures? Ie: sink, dishwasher etc...

Is there any sort of preperation I need to put before the tile? vapor barrier etc...
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I am confused.
You brought it down to the subfloor, and there was vinyl tile installed on it?

I need to know what product is going down next to advise weather or not you need to scrape somemore.

how old do you think the vinyl tile is?

let me know on this....
Yup, tis true. Then again maybe the subfloor isn't reallyt he sub floor. There was Vinyl tile (the rolled out crap) with some sort of paper under neath. The only thing I can describe the paper as is the paper on drywall. It looks identicle.

I'm not sure what I am putting down. I was thinking of putting some kind of vinyl product but now that I think about it I am thinking I might go cermic.

The old tile was from 1958 and is now gone.
hopefully your lungs aren't gone with it. Asbestos was in the tile AND the adhesive most likely. Probably no big deal, but you may want to open a window,

You will need to find out if this is the subfloor or the underlayment. If you go new vinyl, you can either tear out existing underlay and lay new plywood, or lay new 1/4 ply over the top leaving the paper down.
If you lay ceramic, most likely you will need to remove the underlay and lay Wonderboard anyway.

Laminate flooring can go over the top of what you see now, for an easier approach.
Yeah that was my thought too. WIndows opened. :)

Laminate floor may be too thick. How thick is the average laminate? I need to tie this floor into my hard wood living room floor and I don't want a thresh hold all cocked and crooked.

Laminate may be the way to go if it's not too tall/thick/fat.
Grumpy, I just started with a new product from Sweden, it's only 5mm thick. Downside is it's $70.00 per sq. ft. installed. Interested?
I'm busy this week but can template the next. Expenses are not included.
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Grumpy - if it was me and I was going to tile over it I would have left the vinyl alone for 2 reasons
1) Asbestos. The norm is to cover not remove according to EPA.
2) You are going to cover it with backer board anyways, as long as it is not more than 1/8 out of level due to missing pieces or such it is work that doesn't need to be done.

The only reason I would have removed it would be if I had to replace any of the subfloor itself due to spongyness.

In any regard you do not need to remove the white paper.

As far as tiling under the cabinets themselves I would not do that. But I would tile under the dishwasher, the refrig and stove.
- Dishwasher - so it can be easily slid out, trying to get it over the tile lip later if it has to be replaced may mean having to remove the counter!
- Refrig - you would have to tile at least 6 inches under the front of it anyways or you would see the subfloor under the front, then you would have to shim the back to level it, so just tile under whole space under the frig.
- Stove, is the same as the fridge so just tile under the whole thing.

The other thing is if you are going to do anything really nice like a different tile boarder that traces the perimeter of the floor and then set the field diagonally, it would be a lot harder to try to measure out from the wall to where the edge of all the cabinets would be. Lot more work than just installing the cabinets and then tiling the floor that is left. Besides, why waste the money on the extra tile. (Put the kick plates in before the tile so you get a easy and seemless look, leave a groutlines thickness between the tile and the kick plate, caulk this seem with matched the matching colored caulking that you can get in the tile dept, this is where water will get under the tile from splashes at the sink)

To tile it you need to put down 1/4 inch thick cement board. (no vapor barriers, tiling a shower stall is a different story) Coat the floor with thinset morter. There are 3 thinsets (not counting colors) the cheapest is just thinset and water, the middle is thinset and you add acrylic latex additive instead of water, the third and best is thinset with the acrylic latex additive already in it and you just add water. I would use the last one. It is the best of the three and allows the most flex, giving you the best chance at not having grout lines pop down the road. It is also the most expensive, but I would never use the first one, and the second one means you always end up with either almost a full bag of thinset left over and a little bit of the additive, or almost a full bottle of the additive left over and a little bit of the thinset left over, you can't win unless you are tiling all the time. The last one is more expensive, but it could actually end up being cheaper. Screw down the cement board with the special screws made for it according to the screw pattern recommended.

This floor prep will give you the base you need for a trouble free installation and a long lasting professional looking tile floor.

Some things to keep in mind

- Cut all the cement board first, laying them in place without attaching, then remove them all and then apply thinset and screw down all at once. One piece at a time is a pain in the butt.

- Since your cabinets will already be in place, I would leave the doors off still. Be very careful getting the cement board in place, slide it up to the cabinets instead of dropping it to the floor, one scrape of that stuff and your cabinets are gouged.

- Don't scrimp on the quality or the look of the tile you want, it is a major pain to replace. Stretch the budget if you need to because you don't want to do it twice.

- Thinner grout lines will stay cleaner and look nicer in the long run. Keeping a tile floor clean is not about the tile, it is about the grout lines.

- Go with the darkest grout lines you can stand - see above.

- Seal that grout!!!!

If you need help with how to start the layout of the tile just holler.
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I'm the kind of guy that DOES NOT believe in adding layers. It's poor quality in my opinion.

Having said that... It's too late now the tile is gone. I have about 1/8" fromt he top of my kitchen to the top of the oak living room floor. The old vinyl tile was perfectly flush.

This means I can't put anything over 1/4" thick (total built up height) on the kitchen floor or it's going to look really really stupid, IMO.
Leaving the previous vinyl has nothing to do with quality it is about asbestos abatement, but that is neither here nor there since it is gone for the most part. Also, cement board isn't adding a layer to cover something up, if that is what you are referring to, it is the industry standard for prepping for a tile surface. It used to be wood, now it is cement board. It is there to eliminate any flex in the floor, and provide a proper bond for thinset.

You can't possibly have 1/8 inch thick oak hard wood floors, so is there another underlayment over the kitchen sub floor that is raising it up so much? Tile is going to add about 7/8 '' with backer, thinset and tile thickness.

If you can get the differences in heigth down to 1/8-1/4 there are thresholds designed for the transition between rooms that will look excellent. They can be a tiny bit higher on the tile side and slope a tiny bit down to the oak. You will never notice the transition, and it will be stub-your-toe proof.
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1/4 is lam thickness usually, then an 1/8 pad but both can get thicker.
Going ontop of the vinyl is what I was referring to as poor quality. Bah humbug to that! That's like painting without sanding, or installing a second layer of roofing. Sure it "can" be done. But Ba Humbug!

I don't have 1/8" thick floors LOL. The difference in height from floor to floor is 1/8".
Grumpy, I'm with you all of the way. Buildup is bad and you never know if one of the former guys cut corners on an install. I always rip out all of the old stuff regardless of what it is.
I ended up taking off the sub floor to make room for my new ceramic tile. I found a beautiful slate looking tile.

As Mike had suggested I am going to install a new sub floor made of sheet rock. I'll do that as soon as I get the sink outta the kitchen. I need to begin posting my pics soon.

One unknown I ran into was that there is electric conduit running under the sub floor. I'll have to run this through the wall. No big deal but it's going to cost me an extra day.
OK here's what I was dealing with: This is where the kitchen floor meets the living room floor. BTW those stains were there when I bought the place. :) 2 tile.JPG

I ended up taking off more than I expected from the floor. sub floor demo.JPG Here you can see the construction of the floor. Plywood on the joists with furring strips and plywood ontop of that with tile ontop of the plywood.

Here is a nice shot of the conduit that I plan to re-route through the walls. furring strips and conduit.JPG
I'll show you guys when I get the tile in, but that's the last thing I install BEFORE I install the appliances. Here is a shot of the tile I plan to buy: tile 1.JPG

It's a ceramic knock off of slate. I am going to do 80% gray with 20% green blended in, and I am going to install it in the same manner as shown in the photo with multiple sizes, AND as a backsplash ove rthe sink.
I can't wait for the before and after's.....
You're lookin' good Grumpy. Can't wait to see the finished product.
It's a good thing that you didn't set that saw a little deeper, looks like you more than just grazed that conduit. I've never seen anything like that.
One of my buddies said that's standard in the floor but I asked the local bldg inspector and he said it's against code. (I didn't tell him it was my condo, just asked a hypothetical :) ) I actually have one of my neighbors lines in the floor for her kitchen light. LOL That's gonna be a pain in the butt.
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