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!!
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?
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,
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
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.
Paragon Home Inspection, LLC
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
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.
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
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
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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