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Topic: Need some help with a crappy tile floor  (Read 1088 times)
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ryanne
« on: October 20, 2006 01:45:53 PM »

The house I am moving into next week has a REALLY REALLY bad tile floor in the kitchen - a lot of the tiles are broken and loose, and a lot of the grout is missing.  Whoever put this down had no idea what they were doing.

I want to completely rip out the tiles and replace it with something else.  I have a horrible suspicion that they tiled right on top of the sub floor, but I won't know for sure until I actually start the demo.

So, first question is:  what's the best way to start to fix this?  I anticipate problems removing whatever they glued the tiles down with, as well as removing the grout that is firmly in place.

I'll take a picture and post it as soon as I get there.

Haha...........and this is just Room #1 that I have to work on! 
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2006 02:27:31 PM »

Chances are if the tiles are cracked in some areas then they did not know what they were doing. If that is the case the tiles maybe easier to get up than you think.

The best tools are flat shovel or floor scraper, and something heavy enough to break and loosen the tiles, but not to damage the floor itself.

Till you know what is underneath I wwould not plan too much. But once all up and cleaned tile is good in the kitchen or depending how much your budget wood flooring is nice too.

Good luck!  Smiley
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ryanne
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2006 03:49:08 PM »

Thanks, HSG -

The major reasons that the tiles have broken are:  A. Whoever did it didn't know what they were doing, B.  The floor is old and warped and certainly not level.  I loathe the thought of putting new tile down.

Has anyone worked with those self-adhesive linoleum squares?  What are the pros and cons of them?
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2006 04:05:41 PM »

I've used them. If you go that route be sure to clean the floor well before you stick them down. Any dirt, old glue, etc will make them not stick and will be seen/felt through the vinyl. Other than that they were fine. You can cut them with an exacto, and they are easy to do (they are hard to reposition, so take your time). They can peel and/or come loose if the floor isn't clean underneath, then they look crappy. But they are cheap and very easy.
I've never used them, but FLOR carpet tiles look intriguing.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2006 04:14:37 PM by batgirl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Gwydion
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2006 04:13:19 PM »

The lino squares are actually pretty decent.  We've used them a number of times, and all the ones WE installed held up beautifully (can't say the same for the ones that apartment maintenance installed, though).  

Pros: easy to cut and install.  All you need is a chalk line, a T-sand an Exacto knife.  Easy to remove if you need to replace a square or if you just didn't get one in the right way--just heat with a hair dryer.  Lots of colors, weights and styles available.  Very cheap compared to most other types of flooring.  Can be patched if gouged or burned.

Cons:  You still have to level the subfloor.  They don't shatter but they can bend, crack, or pull up around the edges.  Not quite as sturdy as ceramic or stone:  they really don't appreciate wheeled chairs (!), water can seep between the tiles (but it takes a LOT of water to cause problems), can be scorched, etc.  But you can easily swap out damaged tiles; just buy an extra box or two.  Also, you get what you pay for.  The really cheap thin tiles do NOT stick well and are much more prone to cracking.  Stick with a reputable brand like Armstrong.
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2006 04:14:55 PM »

OOh! A hairdyer? Really?
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Gwydion
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2006 04:18:51 PM »

The hair dryer really does work.  You have to get the tile pretty hot, but all the adhesive tiles I've seen so far WILL come off this way.
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ryanne
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2006 04:21:35 PM »

You Craftsters are the BEST!

Thank you for all of the advice!  I think the sticky linoleum is probably the best way for me to go.

Gwydion - any good hints on the best way to level the sub floor?
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Gwydion
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2006 09:26:19 PM »

You Craftsters are the BEST!

Thank you for all of the advice!  I think the sticky linoleum is probably the best way for me to go.

Gwydion - any good hints on the best way to level the sub floor?

Depends on what the subfloor is and how out of true it is.  If the floor is only very very slightly out of level, you may not have to do anything other than cleaning and sanding.  If the floor is so unlevel that it CAUSED the original tile to crack, you gotta fix it before tiling.  May need to do some leveling anyway by the time you get all the other tile up.

If it's concrete or similar, you should be able to use portland cement patching compound, a trowel or putty knife and a level.

If it's wood, and it's not level because the floorboards are cut funny, you should be able to solve the problem by putting down new plywood underlayment.   Warping--may be possible to fix somewhat by rescrewing the floorboards to the joists and putting down new plywood.  If it's actually BUCKLING <eek> or the joists are sagging (as in structurally unsound), you have bigger problems and need to consult a pro before you put ANYTHING down. 
« Last Edit: October 20, 2006 09:30:37 PM by Gwydion » THIS ROCKS   Logged
kristiface
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2006 09:32:31 PM »

A lot of times, it's not just the sub floor being un-level, but rather that your foundation is shifting or has shifted.  In our case, this is the reason that we have broken tiles in part of our house-- the addition's slab wasn't poured properly for the load of the addition, and on top of that, our house is built on "expansive clay".  One thing you should look into is whether or not this is a problem.  If when it doesn't rain you can see cracks in the dirt around your house, you can help fix the problem and protect your foundation by buying soaker hoses from your local home/garden center and just run them for 30 minutes every day.  It will work wonders for you. 

Regarding the floor, if your foundation is a slab foundation, it's a good idea to look into wood flooring that "floats" as it has more flexibility for a house that shifts.  There are some great deals out there on bamboo flooring. 
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