Anonymous asked in Home & GardenDo It Yourself (DIY) · 1 decade ago

Tiling a floor....?

Going to tile the kitchen the monent it's got really old vinayl tiles, I'm sure these will remove really easily but if not can I lay ceramic tiles over the top....Also the house has suffered some subsidence over the years and the floor's quite slanted so would ceramic tiles be a good idea or should I stick using a floor covering like lino?

13 Answers

  • Martin
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It seems to me that trained monkeys answer questions when they don't know what the @3%$ they're talking about.

    First, while linoleum is still available, it is very hard to find and is rarely used anymore. What IS used is VINYL flooring, either sheet (roll) or tiles.

    Second, only a monkey would suggest that you leave any tiles that are too difficult to remove (the poor baby). Either you take them all up, or you leave them all down!

    Third, self-leveling products compensate for minor imperfections, not a floor that has dropped due to settling. To remedy that, you either need to fix the subfloor properly, as someone recommended, or, if it is a CONCRETE subfloor (cement is one component of concrete!), float it out, which is not something a should try.

    O.K., now that that's out of my system, here's what you need to do.

    First, determine what your subfloor is by removing a couple of tiles. If you see wood, drill a hole through it to make sure it is an actual wood subfloor, not a wood substrate laid on concrete.

    Next, you should repair the floor as described above, unless you can live with the slope.

    Then, if it is concrete, you can lay your tile directly on it AFTER you remove the old tiles and any adhesive, and the wood substrate if there is one. (Fill any small dents, holes, cracks, with thinset first, and let dry overnight).

    If it is a wood subfloor, you have to lay down an underlayment such as Wonderboard to make the floor more ridgid, otherwise the tiles will crack and/or pop as the floor moves when you walk on it.

    There are lots of websites with detailed instructions (and photos) that can help you.

    GOOD LUCK :)

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  • 1 decade ago

    I've been in the trades a long time, and remediated my share of sagging houses. That seems to be an issue that should be addressed.

    In the most immediate sense, and probably just as nice a result, I'd probably go with Vinyl sheet stock. I am CONSTANTLY amazed at all the Q's asking about Lino??? It's an archaic flooring finish at best.

    If; after removal of the old,,,the sub floor is in decent shape; just do the Vinyl. Hundreds; if not Thousands of patterns and styles are available, and look as good as Tile.

    I wouldn't remove or do anything however, until I figured out the cause of the settling; if it may continue; how to stop it and reverse it; and determine how long I want to remain in the house; and how might I best put it on the market to get out.

    Certainly the settling is a far greater issue than the aesthetics of some floor covering.

    Steven Wolf

    Source(s): 45 plus years as a contractor
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  • 1 decade ago

    First question, Is the settling minimal now or is there a structural flaw that needs to be addressed first. Leveling the floor and good prep work will not mean anything if there is a structural problem that will continue to cause movement in the floor. Tile can handle only a minimal amount of movement before failure, meaning loose tile, broken tile, and cracked tile.

    Now assuming there are no structural problems, and you have seen normal settling, you have to address the problem of the "flatness" of the floor. There is a difference between flat and level. If the floor is relatively flat, not necessarily level, then you can tile it. But if there are sizable humps and dips, then issues should be addressed. Sometimes it is a matter of using a leveling compound.

    But sometimes it may require jacking up and shimming joists.

    This is where contacting someone with experience is important. If you know someone with experience doing this prep work, I suggest you contact them.

    As far the old vinyl tiles, remove them. What type of underlayment is under that? Odds are it isn't suitable for tile installation. So do you remove it or install underlayment over it. If thick, then you probably need to remove it. But if only a 1/4" then you can install underlayment over it.

    There are a variety of underlayments. Beginning with Fiberock or Hardibacker (adequate), next concrete backer board (better), and the Ditra-mat or MapeLath (best).

    The links may be the best solutions, somewhat expensive, but minimal thickness and more importantly they can absorb movement, called crack isolation, but only so much.

    Here is a link for other questions.

    I suggest you contact a tile contractor or wholesaler. Don't go to big box store. You have some specific questions, and the former will be able to give you better answers than the folks at Lowe's or Home Depot. Not trying to knock them, but you have special questions that need special answers, so go to the specialists.

    Hope that helps.

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  • GRR
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Oooh. Well, I can't stand crooked (or squeaky) floors, so I'd take everything off and rebuild the floor (recently did that for a water-damaged bathroom).

    Linolium would be the easiest thing to cover the floor, and you could put it right on top of the vinyl. If you're doing ceramic tile, you'll have to go down to the wood (or concrete). A heat gun will make the job of removing the old vinyl easier (wear gloves and push under with a stiff putty knife). When you get to the wood, you'll have to check if it's been screwed or nailed down. Nails have a habit of popping back up and can crack ceramic tiles from below. So you may have to redo that thin top layer of wood using screws. If you want to level it, you should go down to the subfloor.

    Unfortunately, with older homes, the further you go you may find more and more work that has to be done to achieve your ultimate goal. You'll have to judge, given the slant to the floor, whether it's worth the time and expense of tiling.

    Source(s): Part-time handyman (Untrained Monkey)
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If the floor is perfectly flat, but sloping slightly, self-levelling compound won't do any good, its purpose is to make level an uneven floor, so bear that in mind.

    There are tile adhesives on the market which will allow you to lay floor tiles on top of vinyl tiles, so long as they're stuck firmly to the floor. Getting them up may not be easy, & could leave a bit of a mess on whatever the floor is made of underneath.

    Finally, you 're unlikely to get 'expert' advice from B&Q, or any general DIY store. Look in the yellow pages and find a local tile shop, & you should get good advice there.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Putting lino down would be a quick and easy option, if you did want ceramic tiles you could lay them over the vinyl ones but i wouldnt. i would pull them up and if the floor was slanted you could always try using self levelling latex which you pour out of a can and it finds its own level, give it a couple of days and it will be a nice flat 'easy to tile on' surface

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  • 4 years ago

    most tilers would say the best method is to get them up and retile. for a valid reason, if the old tiles are not well laid or poorly adhered the stresses of new tiles on top can cause the old ones to come free of the base. quite a rare occurence, but happens. so if its a new customer we point that out to them and the choice is theirs to lift or tile over. use a single part flexible adhesive from a decent store(not b and q) . if your new tiles are of a similar size to the old ones try to start tiling by laying them overlapping the old ones. i:e the centre of your new tile lays on top of the grout line between 2 of the old ones. this helps to spread the tensions.

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  • MJ
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    If your tiles are from before 1970, they were likely put down using asbestos glue. The EPA requires you to have such tiles over two feet squared removed professionally as they have to have a license to dispose of the material properly or you could incur up to a $5000 fine. Otherwise, you should just rip up the tiles (for the stubborn ones you can pou some boiling water on them to loosen the glue) and use some floor leveling agent (a bit costly but worth not having to rip it up and start over again). Once it has cured, you can put down your tiles without a problem.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Assuming you have a cement screed floor, and not a wooden floor boarded area, this is your answer:

    Your best move is to remove all the old tiles. Get up all the ones that you can. If some are really set, and won't budge, just leave them in place.

    Then you need to sweep the whole area, and get rid of as much dust as you can.

    Then you need to buy some 'self levelling compound' from your local large DIY store (B&Q, Wickes etc).

    Read the instructions, and mix with water (Should be at least a double cream consistency). Pour on the area, and spread liberally with a plastering trowel. (You need to start at the corner opposite the door and move towards the exit!) Spread the mix as if you were applying thick icing to a cake, it levels it's self, so don't worry about how it looks while you are doing it.

    In the morning, you will have a perfect base to fix ceramic tiles to.

    Hope this helps you. Go for it, trained monkeys earn loads of money for doing this everyday! (They're called floor layers! LOL)

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes have the old flooring up as that sounds past the sell by date.If you want to put ceramic tiles down you may well have to re screed the floor first.Cheapest and easiest way out is to put new vinyl down.

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