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Vinyl Floor Q's & A's

Removing | Holes | Installing | Stains | Other
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REMOVING VINYL

Replacing w/Tile | Issues w/Wood

Removing Vinyl Flooring to Lay Tile

We are trying to replace our vinyl flooring with tile, but are unable to remove the compound beneath the vinyl. The floors been there a really long time. The adhesive remover we bought at Home Depot, mineral spirits, etc. don't work at all.

Did someone tell you that you needed to remove all that compound? I just redid my floor, I had the same condition.. I removed everything that was loose and then tiled on top of everything. It has worked fine with no problems.

The mastic you put down for the tile is thick enough that irregularities are easily covered.

They did tell you to rescrew the floor down, right? Use screws every eight inches along all the joists.


Removing Vinyl Flooring before Laying Tile



Could someone tell me what is the easiest or best way to remove vinyl flooring/glue and all. We're replacing it with ceramic tile and the entire vinyl flooring has been glued down.


Having just done this, I can honestly say.. there is no easy way. Here is what I dealt with. TO have it done professionally, no one would take up the vinyl for fear of asbestos. I didn't want to put anything on top, because I didn't want the extra height.. There are mastics for cementing the tile which can go over the plywood floor, if the the floor is sturdy enough (at least one inch of plywood between the sub floor and the underlayment) So I ripped it up, and scraped it with hand scrapers till I got pretty much everything up. It wasn't easy.. but it only took about one full day to do a 12x38 section of my house.


Linoleum Removal: Tools Needed and Height Added when Replaced w/Tile

I have two layers of linoleum in a small kitchen. I need to replace it with something as it is coming up in some areas and it is ugly!!! What do you think?

I will need a list of tools needed for the job if you think I should remove the linoleum. I read your comments to another person with the same problems and "grunt labor" is nothing I am looking forward to.

Can I only remove what is pulling up? If I leave it on what can I put over it? I was thinking about Ceramic tile. I have looked into it and seems to me that it will raise my floor another inch or more. Is that right? Is that normal and will it look ok around the cabinets and walls?

When I started looking into this.. I was where you are. I tried hiring the job out.. but no one would remove the old vinyl. I think there is too much fear of asbestos.. even though mine was asbestos free. (Yours may not be... if it is older than the 80's.. it probably has it) The pros solution was to cover everything with Luan plywood.. and start over. Well. that was for new vinyl. For tile.. it was another story.

Luan is not good for tile.. besides.. I too, did not like the thoughts of the raised floor. IF your floor is now.. 1 1/8 inches thick.. that is.. you have 1/2-inch subfloor.. and 5/8 inch underlayment.. of plywood.. you can go with tile over that. There are better boards for under the tile.. but the plywood is acceptable... the thinset mortars are ok with plywood in dry (like a kitchen) rooms.

So.. I think I would go with removing the vinyl flooring. Yes. it is rough. I scraped and pulled.. only tools were utility knives and scrapers (sturdy ones).. but getting down to plywood meant the most secure base for the mortar. With the mortar and tile.. the floor came up.. about a half inch.. Even that was enough that I needed to cut the bottoms of the doors.

Removing Vinyl Floor

I want to remove the 70's style vinyl flooring and replace with tile. I have ripped up half of the vinyl and have given up. What should I do now. Is there any type of solution, which will remove the vinyl? There is a cement foundation below the vinyl with a few holes and divot. PLEASE HELP?

Now you know why professionals often won't remove old vinyl and insist on covering the old with 1/4 plywood and essentially starting over. This is still an option for you. However, since you got half done you are fully aware of what the last half will take. Scrape and pull. Then you can use leveling compound to repair the divots.

WARNING! I've been told that older vinyl floors used asbestos in the mastic and should not be scraped. Here's what I did- Since there are usually two layers of plywood under a vinyl floor I set the depth of my circular saw to cut the vinyl and top layer of plywood only. Make a series of cuts across the floor about 12" apart then rip up the vinyl and plywood. Once it's gone, put down fresh 5/8ths underlayment, leveling compound, and vinyl.




Removing Linoleum Floor to Install Hardwood Flooring

I would like to remove the linoleum floor installed in our kitchen so I can install hardwood flooring instead. Do you have any suggestions as to how I should go about removing the linoleum floor? The house was built in 1985 so there shouldn't be any danger of asbestos.

Having just removed one in my house to put down ceramic tile, I can tell you it is a bear. So, tell me, why do you need to remove it if you are putting down hardwood floor? The hardwood flooring can nail right through it. Is there a reason you want it removed? For the tile I wanted the mastic to stick to the plywood.

What I did, by the way, was just tons of grunt labor, I didn't have asbestos in mine either, but let me tell you, there was dust. So, wear a dust mask and ventilate the room real well. (a fan in an open window blowing out in the kitchen with a window cracked in an enjoining room)

I ripped it up, folding it as I went and cutting it into manageable sections. Then I used a scraper to remove the paper backing. It took a LOT of scraping.


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Removing Vinyl Flooring & Salvaging Maple Floor Underneath

We just purchased a 150 year old house with fabulous maple floors covered by 1968 scary carpet. While pulling up the tack strips yesterday we discovered the kitchen floor is also maple. Unfortunately, it is covered by a layer of Austin Powers-style vinyl. It's leaving behind a layer of white sticky junk which I assume is the backing of the vinyl flooring and adhesive. Any hints on how to get rid of it without trashing the maple underneath?

If you love the maple floors, you will love it even more after the qualified floor refinisher gets done with it. Have it sanded and refinished, you won't be happy until you do.

Try a little mineral spirits or lacquer thinner on a small area of the adhesive. That should be able to take it off without harming the wood surface.


Linoleum Floor Removal

I would like to remove a linoleum floor which is about 30 years old. There is a hardwood floor under the linoleum that I would like to have scraped and refinished. How would I go about removing the linoleum floor which seems to be unremovable due to its 30 year existence?

Well, it is difficult to remove. Peeling it up and scraping it and sanding the remains of the glue and backing off the wood is hard enough. BUT to make matters worse, it is probably backed with asbestos. This of course means if you do it, it is a health risk. And to have it done will cost a lot. It can be done of course, but like I said, there is no easy way.. and it involves a lot of scraping, and lot of sanding and a ton of dust. (bad dust).


Repairing Torn Linoleum

We tore a hole in our linoleum as we moved the refrigerator. Anyone have any ideas on how to repair the hole and several little scratches short of replacing the entire floor?

Go to Home Depot and get some seam sealer glue old torn piece back down or get another piece newjust litter bigger than damage area cut to a square and once it glued down go over the seams with the sealer.

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If the hole is a fairly small (dime-sized or smaller) gouge, Go to your local hardware store and pick up some kitchen and bath-type tinted caulk that closely matches your floor. Make sure the areas are clean and carefully fill them up with the caulk. If the hole is more like a flap, try contact cement to stick it back down. If it's a fairly large area, you will probably have to find some matching flooring (If stores don't carry it, take a piece from under your fridge.), and using a new blade, cut out the bad section, cut a new matching section and glue it down with flooring adhesive. Seal the edges with matching caulk.

INSTALLING VINYL

on Cement | on Linoleum

Laying Vinyl on Cement Floors

What is the correct way to install sheet vinyl on cement floors? I was told I need to put a layer of cement(skim coat) down to smooth over the floor than I can lay the vinyl afterwards. Am I missing something?

Whoever told you that was right. If you want a nice smooth vinyl floor you must either skim coat your cement or use a leveler. This works the same way as skim coating, but without the mess of cement. If your in an area that you don't mind having wrinkles and cracks in your vinyl, you could glue it right to your current floor.


Linoleum Squares over Concrete Slab

We just had our contractor build a finished room downstairs, in what used to be an unfinished basement. We want to put linoleum squares over the concrete slab. Our contractor said that since it wasn't very warm down there yet, we would have to wait for the concrete to completely dry out. He didn't have an answer on the time. Does anyone know? Also, does the concrete have to be prepped before the squares are placed on the slab?

Concrete cures at various rates according to temperature, humidity, and the mix. By mix I am referring to the crush rating, how much air was added ect. When pouring concrete we always take three samples which are tested at 7,14,and 28 days if the concrete will not meet the expected crush after 28 days there is usually something wrong with the mix. So your concrete should be cured within that same time frame. As far as surface preparation I can only say to ask your tile supplier for their recommendations.


Linoleum on top of Linoleum?

I had carpet in my kitchen when I tore the carpet up it was glued to the old linoleum I was wondering if I can put the linoleum squares down now or do I have to take up the old linoleum up too?

I think it would be unwise to try to apply the one on top of the other unless the surface is already VERY flat and in good shape.. no lumps or bumps.

The new stuff will telegraph any lumps under it.

You may want to consider putting 1/4 luann plywood down right on top of the old vinyl and tiling over that.


Sheet Vinyl Stains from Adhesive/Glue

I have light colored sheet vinyl flooring in my kitchen over a concrete slab that is beginning to get dark stains in it. It looks like it is coming from the slab not something being spilled on it. Do I need to seal the slab with something before installing vinyl? If so what is used for this?

It is most likely the glue itself that is staining the vinyl. Some glues do this. IF it was professionally installed then the installers most likely used the wrong type glue for the floor. ALWAYS go with the glue the manufacturer of the flooring recommends.

Removing Linoleum Floor Stains

How would I remove stains from linoleum floors. I have tried cleaning supplies without success?

Some stains are not removable such as when water seeps in under the linoleum. It cause the backer to discolor and stains the surface. Some types of rubber backed throw rugs discolor and stain linoleum permanently. Only recourse is to live with it or install new.

Linoleum Damage due to Water?

Can water seeping underneath a linoleum floor cause discoloration to the floor itself. I lived in a basement apartment that suffered a massive air conditioner leak, and now there is a blue tint following the area where the water was standing.

Absolutely. That is what happened.


Yellow Stain on Vinyl Floor

The bathroom floor is about 2 years old. There is a square yellowed area where a rubber backed throw rug USED to be. How do I remove this yellow area? I tried bleach and it didn't touch it. Any ideas?

The rubber from the rub reacted to the finish on the floor causing the finish to yellow. This is a chemical reaction that has been happening for years and years and both the companies that manufacturer the flooring and the rugs refuse to do anything about this. You may want to see if you floor can be stripped of its surface finish and redone or waxed but again unsure if any of this will help.

Vinyl Floor's Lifetime

Also, have been looking for advice on flooring to match. I have an opportunity to save a lot of money on flooring by buying a high quality linoleum remnant. Salesman tells me it has a long wear life, and I could get up to 25 years out of it. Is this true?

As for the vinyl flooring, I have heard that expensive flooring will last 25 years, and I believe it. Based on experience I think it has a lot to do with the sort of wear and tear you give it though.

From personal experience, our 15 year vinyl NEEDED replacing after 15 years. I put down tile myself and saved money over new vinyl.


Laying Vinyl Self-Adhesive Tiles

we are trying to replace the self adhesive bathroom tile that we removed and need to know how to go about it since we have no idea where to begin. It is a small bathroom and it was only one complete sheet that was on the floor.

Self adhesive vinyl tiles are easy to work with. Make sure the floor is clean and dry and lay out the tiles before attempting to stick them down. Don't start along a wall since the wall may not be perfectly straight. Start near the middle of the room and work to the sides - this will produce a uniform appearance. Instructions on how to do this are on the box the tiles come in. If you have a difficult cut, use a piece of cardboard to make a template, then cut the tile with the template.

Buckling Sheet Vinyl: How to Fix, & Laying Carpet Over It

My husband and I built a 12 by 40 room on our modular home which is above ground. There are 8x8x16 cinder blocks around the perimeter with 12' TGI's placed on 24"centers, then finished with three-quarter inch tongue & groove OSB. When we purchased sheet vinyl, the sales person said we did not need anything extra on top of the OSB. Now our vinyl is buckling at every seam and looks horrible. We want to correct the problem but don't know how to proceed. We want to put in wall to wall carpet now and would like to know if we should put something on top of the current flooring before carpeting.

I'm not so sure that your problem is with the subfloor. If the vinyl is curling at the seams, it may be because the seems were not done properly. Some vinyl floors require that a seem sealer be used. As far as the carpet is concerned, aside from sealing the floor against moisture I don't know what else you'd need to do.

General Vinyl Flooring Questions

Help! In a nutshell, I moved into a new house about eight months ago. There were some gouges in my vinyl floor. This was brought to the attention of the project manager during the walkthrough prior to closing. They sent the flooring place out to replace specific squares. The sheer amount of those left us understandably dissatisfied. The flooring place came back out, stapled an additional 1/4" subfloor (underlayment) on top of the existing vinyl, and then glued another layer of vinyl on top of that. Within hours, it appeared that a fair amount of staples was already popping up enough to raise over a dozen spots. Additionally, the pattern does not match from piece to piece (there are about a half dozen covering the entire area), and there are seams or buckles where the installer apparently folded the vinyl during installation... sorry this is so long...

Anyway, I guess I have a couple of questions for anybody...
Is it common to staple the underlayment?
Is it common to see the seams or buckles where bending occurred?
Is it common to see extensive amounts of sealant between pieces of vinyl?
Is it common to not have the pattern of the flooring not match up?
I'm so fed up with this process that I'm ready to report this flooring place to the BBB, or any other place that'll help me.

You have VERY legitimate beefs. Go to the BBB and/or to your builder. The work sounds VERY substandard. You have seen vinyl floors in other houses, and NONE of those problems are evident are they.

Filling Gap Between Floor and Door

I just recently had my kitchen door replaced. The bottom frame is now about 1/4 inch narrower than the old one ,so the vinyl on the floor comes up 1/4 inch short of the frame. What type of caulking/sealer can I use to cover this gap? I don't have any extra vinyl to use and the gap is small, but I don't want water and liquids to leak in the gap, get under the flooring and ruin the wood.

Consider using one of those metal transition strips that are used between carpet/vinyl or wood/carpet etc. They are easily installed and look nicer. If you are concerned, about liquids then use a silicone or caulking compound. Visit your home/hardware type store for the right type and color you want. Anywhere from $3-5 for standard tube.

Painting Vinyl Floors

Can this be done? I know it probably isn't cost effective, but I need a quick fix for about a year or two - just till I can get the floor of my dreams!

Yes, it can. My wife investigated this recently and found that if you seal the floor properly with primer/sealer then use a enamel-based paint, it can be done.

Go to your local paint or home center and ask what is best for your budget and needs.




Click here for our Moisture In The Home Article
Click here for our Dealing With Wood Movement Article
Click here for our Flooring Tips Article



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