laying tile on cement slab

I am preparing to do ceramic tile in a small 10x11 foot sunroom or our house. This sunroom is built on slab (raises about 3 to 4 inches above grade. Currently there is just vinyl floor and shows no sign of damage (just don't like the color/style). Can I lay the tile directly on the slab, or should I use some sort of vapor barrier? If I need to use a vapor barrier how is that done? I'd like to avoid having to nail into the slab if possible. Thanks in advance!!
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Rip up the vinyl floor, put tile directly on slab with thinset.

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Just mee wrote:

The house we're buying is on a slab. Original (early 1950's) tile under current carpet/tile is asbestos according to inspector. We'd like to replace the kitchen and bath tile with ceramic/faux stone and some manner of wood in the living room. Should we leave the original asbestos layer and go over it? What other things do I need to take into consideration regarding what we choose to put over it? We were hoping some of this could be work we do ourselves - is there anything about sealing with the slab or going over the old tile that may be too difficult for novices?
-Karen-
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As for the asbestos aspect, a good place to start is here, the EPA homeowner's asbestos information page:
"If the asbestos material is in good shape and will not be disturbed, do nothing!"
http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/ashome.html#4
While a home inspector my believe a material is asbestos tile (based on a visual inspection and his/her experience with similar materials) AFAIK the only way to be certain is to have it sampled and tested - in my state that would be done by a licensed industrial hygienist.
If you do want to remove it, and the material is vinyl asbestos tile (VAT), in many jurisdictions you do not have to be a specially licensed contractor to do so, though you may be subject to disposal regulations. If it's sheet vinyl flooring with an asbestos containing backing, likely only a contractor licensed to do such work can remove it. You will be able to find out from you local building and/or local health department which agency(s) regulate asbestos removal and disposal in your area.
As for flooring over it, there are a number of floating engineered wood floorings that are designed for installation over slabs, and a number underlayerments - including of moisture-barriers/crack-control membranes - that can be installed over existing tile installed over a slab as a base for ceramic tile installation - you have to be guided by the manufacturer's recommendations and advice from flooring contractors and suppliers.
If there are other, similar homes in the neighborhood they may have similar flooring installed, and it may be helpful if you can discover what sorts of flooring were installed over these, who installed it, and how well it has held up.
Before getting bids check the existing floor carefully where accessible, look for loose tiles (which may be indicate moisture problems), "traveling" cracks, especially if they change in width (which suggest slab cracks below) and especially for any cracks higher on one side than the other (which indicate that portions of the slab may be lifting or subsiding) - all problems that could make it more difficult to obtain durable results, especially with relatively rigid flooring materials such as ceramic tile.
Check especially carefully in areas such as bathrooms around toilets, where plumbing penetrates the slab, and in any areas where you suspect for any reason there may have been previous moisture problems.
If you find any such problems point them out to potential installers when obtaining bids, listen carefully to what they say, attempt to select contractors who are paying attention to *your* job and are not just estimators looking at square footage only, and whenever possible ask for references for jobs done with similar materials over similar surfaces *at least two years ago* (this way you are more likely to catch problems due to seasonal moisture changes in a slab). Even if you decide to do some or all of the work yourself, you will obtained valuable information as to what sort of materials and installation techniques work well in your situation.
Michael Thomas Paragon Home Inspection, LLC Chicago, IL mdtATparagoninspectsDOTcom eight47-475-5668
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Take the asbestos tile up isnt that much of a problem. The trick is NOT to simply pulverize it!
When I removed all my tiles I wet the working are down, I was able to get under the tile with a flat scraper and simply pop it up. The tile was still whole. Another trick is to use dry ice on each tile and freeze it. It'll make the glue under the tile fail and the tile will pop off. When you are done, you go to Home Depot and get into that tile isle. They have by the thinsets a adhesive primer that you paint on. This will seal any glue left on the concrete and make it slightly tacky. At that point you can thinset over the whole thing with a nice flexbond and your good to go.
Tom dkhedmo wrote:

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For wood floors put them right on top of the old asbestos tile. The new floors are usually floating and can be installed directly over any smooth surface. Even it it werent asbestos, this way is much less work.
For ceramic or stone tile, I would peel up the tile and get all the way down to bare slab or I might overlay with thinset and cement board (you will need a heavy duty nail gun to nail it to the slab) then tile over the new substrate. The choice may ultimately be dictated by the thichness of the materials. The buildup for the wood and tile floors should be similar, might be able to get a near-level transition without ripping up any of the old tile if you want.
Choices choices choices. If it aint picking the material, its choosing the optimal installation method from several that could work.
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wrote:

They don't usually put tile directly on concrete here in new construction, they put down a membrane, then the tile. If your current tile is sound I would use it as a substrate and lay the tile over it. That will sequester asbestos if it is there
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I checked over all my vinyl tile (12 inch square vinyl tiles) and it still appears to be stuck on pretty good. There are a few tiles here and there that appear to be a bit unstuck in the middle (the edges are still down real tight) and each tile as a whole appears to be going no where. Does this situation seem okay to tile over? If not, is it possible to only pull up the ones slightly unstuck but leave the others alone?
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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On 13 Jul 2006 06:16:09 -0700, "grodenhiATgmailDOTcom"

I'd always check the whole floor and see if you have any vinyl that is not connected to the slab and if so rip it all out. Otherwise, I'd leave the vinyl and tile right over it.
The best way to see if the adhesion is still good is to slap the vinyl floor with your hand. You will hear a distinct difference if you have adhesive problems.
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