sanity (or perhaps insanity) check

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Hello,
this one sounds obvious but I've already seen differences between what I read in books and what is common practice so I figured I'd ask.
Getting ready to install porcelain floor tiles. We're going to use those little plastic spacers to establish grout lines. It clearly says on the package to remove the spacers prior to grouting. There is a tool especially made for removing these things.
Installer (or perhaps soon to be ex-installer) says he plans on just leaving them in and grouting on top of them. This seems crazy to me. Is this commonly done?
thanks for comments ml
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Just a guess that he's kidding you.
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That was my first thought as well. My reply back to him was "you're kidding right?". And he said no.. he does it that way all the time. This wouldn't be the first thing he's done that demonstrates he's a bit of a hack. I just hope to hell my new window doesn't leak everywhere and the stucco patch fall out when the rainy season hits.... Has a general contractor's license too... .. Ah well.. live and learn.. glad I caught this one before we installed.
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On Sun, 29 May 2005 16:08:37 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

spacers from each section as it was completed. No tools, just picked them gently out of the tile.
They were placed on the top of the seam as it was set.
____________________ Bill Waller New Eagle, PA
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net
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Hello again,
It now occurs to me to wonder about another aspect of this floor job. We're going to lay the tiles over existing 1x1 sq ft vinyl tile. Installer says this is fine as long as the tiles are firmly set and we've chipped away some of the loose pieces around the border and used some floor leveler to build up the slab to a height that's flush with the vinyl tile. He did go around and pretty carefully inspect the floor for suspect tiles. Seemed to know what he was looking for.
I've researched this a bit and didn't find any big red flags regarding laying porcelain tile over vinyl. Basically just the same concerns that the installer has, to make sure that the vinyl is firmly set.
Any other gotcha's regarding this I should be aware of? Is a special mortar required? Any special surface prep of the existing vinyl needed? Again I haven't seen anything jumping out of google searchs regarding this but if someone has any info I'd appreciate it. Really like to do this right the first time.
thanks for comments ml
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We're

You can get some perspectives on this question by typing in "tile over vinyl" (in quotes) in the Google "Groups" search bar. Overall advice is you should never do this, as your plastic tiles are compressible and will result in cracking and de-bonding of the mortar or mastic, ruining the tile job... This story, plus the willingness for the contractor to leave the spacers in the tile, should tell you to discontinue your dependence on this fellow.
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Thanks for the info. I have read the various google hits that come up on the first few pages anyway. If any vinyl tile can be tiled over w/ceramic, as some have reported using modified thinset, then I think these can. They are thin, installed directly on the slab, and have almost no compressibility left in them. They are very firmly set as well.
Had I put less trust in this contractor to start with I would have had us remove the flooring prior to installing the cabinets. I really don't want to try and remove the flooring now that the cabinets are installed.
I'm gonna get some professional tile setters opinions and bids and go from there.
And yes, my installer is now my ex-installer.
thanks again ml
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

    I think you just made a decision that will save you both aggravation and money!
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Roger Taylor wrote:

Okay for the most part, but your wisdom concerning "compressible" blah blah does not necessarily apply to vinyl sheet goods or even the vinyl tiles. Tile is installed over vinyl 'sheet' goods all of the time and is an acceptable practice by TCA standards. However, I would not install over vinyl 'tiles', and as the OP mentioned he has some chipped ones.
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there are some chipped ones yes but he cut them back until he hit firmly set tile and then troweled in floor leveler (Jasco) to get a level surface. Also where the tiles are chipped are areas that are actually underneath the base cabinets and up against the toe kick. Those areas won't get much vertical force on them. Like I said, if it's possible to do at all then I think it can be done here. I was more concerned with prep of the surface for adhesion than the integrity of the surface flexion.
still, I very much appreciate the input.
ml
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I probably would have scraped up the tiles. I've run heavy tile over commercial vinyl tiles before, but not over the thinner residential ones.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Read my reply to Roger Taylor. And you've made a wise decision to consult someone else.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Not commonly done, no. It's been done before when using thick quarry tile but not a real good idea. I've removed floors that had them in place still. You don't any special tools. Just use a pair of needlenose pliers to yank'em before you grout.
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Do you remove vinyl sheet flooring before tiling? If so, how do you remove it from the floor?
Banty
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Banty wrote:

If it's loose in several places or it's a perimeter glue-down product, remove it. I use a power scraper - Makita.
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It's completely glued down (or at least a lot more than perimeter), good condition, farily new (installed in 1996).
Still remove it?
Banty
Banty
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Banty wrote:

Based upon *your* desc. I wouldn't remove it. Remember, that vinyl sheet performs two services for you. Anti-fracture as well as a moisture inhibitor for hydrostatic pressure. You should use a latex modified thinset.
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I'm not sure what you mean..
Anti-fracture meaning good for the tile which will go over, or an advantage I'll lose with tile (I know that..)? And where does being a "moisture inhibitor for hydrostatic pressure" come in? If it's relevant, this kitchen is over a heated bottom floor/basememt in a hillside ranch.
Thanks, Banty
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Banty wrote:

Anti-fracture. Slabs crack. A membrane can inhibit the crack transferring through the tile.
Hydrostatic pressure and moisture?
http://www.glaciernw.com/assets/resources/CIP28p.pdf
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::snip::
That's what I wondered if that's what you meant.
Like I said (perhaps not clearly enough), the tile is not on a concrete slab - it's on the floor above the basement.
Banty
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