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Pulling up vinyl flooring...what to expect
Posted by: Racer X
Date: November 25, 2006 01:49AM
1968 house, upstairs kitchen(split level, sort-of) and probably wood sub-flooring. Anyway, as near as I can tell, from under the dishwasher anyway, 3 layers of vinyl flooring. All sheet vinyl as far as I can tell, at least the top layer for sure.

Anyway, any ideas about what I am looking at as far as stripping it all down, and putting in square vinyl flooring tiles. (really tight budget, but that hideous late 80s/early 90s crap has got to go) About 100 sq feet of it. There is an island FWIW, and and some under a counter, so a bit of trimming and fitting.

Any words of wisdom?
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Re: Pulling up vinyl flooring...what to expect
Posted by: wowzer
Date: November 25, 2006 01:57AM
Jimmy Hoffa may be under those vinyl sheets.

Alas, I have no other experience with vinyl.



All I ever really needed to know, I learned from watching Star Trek.
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Re: Pulling up vinyl flooring...what to expect
Posted by: JoeBob
Date: November 25, 2006 02:02AM
We just pulled up some 1950's vinyl in my Grandmothers house, and surprisingly, it came out with no problems.
There was some trimming where a closet was added over the vinyl, but remarkably little drama involved.
Solid oak flooring underneath the vinyl, go figure.

Good luck to you-
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Re: Pulling up vinyl flooring...what to expect
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: November 25, 2006 02:10AM
Have a heating pad ready and make a daily appointment at the local masseuse. It can kill your back.

Get a heat gun, heat each tile with the heat gun on the low-setting and use a combination of a wide and a narrow spackling knife to lift each tile a bit at a time as the adhesive softens.

Beware that heat guns are incredibly dangerous. Treat them with respect and always have a non-flammable surface nearby to place it on when you're not using it. Never leave it on when you're not using it. Never point one at anyone. Always assume that it's hot enough to instantly char flesh and ignite anything that comes near the hot end.

After the tile is up, then comes scraping up the gobs of sticky residue. Get the worst of it up with more scraping. You can try cleaning up the remaining adhesive with a solvent. Take care to ventilate when/if you do so!!

If you're just laying down vinyl again when you're done, the most important things to worry about are getting a clean and level surface for the adhesive to cling to. Depending on the floor, you may have some sanding to do and you might have to lay down a sealer to get the best results.
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Re: Pulling up vinyl flooring...what to expect
Posted by: JoeH
Date: November 25, 2006 02:12AM
Look out for asbestos paper backing on the vinyl, it was used for some brands. If mastic was used to glue it down, that can also contain asbestos fibers if you are talking '60's to '70's vintage flooring products. For a '68 house, you may find only underlayment grade plywood if the house was built expecting sheet flooring for the kitchen. Or you might get lucky and find better than that.



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Re: Pulling up vinyl flooring...what to expect
Posted by: jardster
Date: November 25, 2006 06:11AM
Mixed experience here... the first time I chose to just put new vinyl tiles on top of the old tiles. I didn't lose much head room and it was really fast and easy. In the kitchen, a handyman ripped it out for us and it looked like it killed him. When I did the hall to put down Pergo, luckily it was really strange tile that came up very easily. Good luck.



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Re: Pulling up vinyl flooring...what to expect
Posted by: Bernie
Date: November 25, 2006 06:43AM
All of the above was great stuff. Big Lots sometimes has some cheap knee pads. Lowes has some really nice gel knee pads for about $40.00 and you will find uses for them again. I was young and tough when we built our house but that did take its toll on my knees. Garden centers have little rectangular pads of dense foam for knelling in front of flower beds. Big Lots has packages of one foot interlocking rubber squares for shop floors for under $20.00 a package. Use your imagination, use your head, but save your knees.




Staunton, Virginia



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/25/2006 06:44AM by Bernie.
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Re: Pulling up vinyl flooring...what to expect
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: November 25, 2006 07:44AM
The floor tiles in my basement were asbestos, I found the box they came out of from the 60's.



Grateful11
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Re: Pulling up vinyl flooring...what to expect
Posted by: ajakeski
Date: November 25, 2006 08:24AM
Buy a big flooring scraper and a good mask. Tape off the door openings and plan to bust your ass for several hours. It's not easy, but it'll be worth the effort when done.
You may also have to lay some new plywood (underlayment) before installing the new floor. remember, a poor prep job will show through your new floor, so take the time to prep it right.




I'm not a bad guy! I work hard, and I love my kids. So why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to Hell? -Homer.
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Re: Pulling up vinyl flooring...what to expect
Posted by: maurycy
Date: November 25, 2006 08:24AM
About two years ago I went thru the same process. Though I was expecting only one layer, I had to remove three. Used heat gun and one of those big shovel type scrapers. Took me and my wife two days to remove it as we had to do one layer at the time. Below vinyl was black tarp type thing on two 3/4" plywood. I put ceramic tiles directly on the plywood. We had to remove kitchen cabinets to do that though.
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Re: Pulling up vinyl flooring...what to expect
Posted by: shanedar
Date: November 25, 2006 09:01AM
A contractor who's working on our basement said he uses a paper cutter from Harbor Freight to cut the vinyl tiles when he's installing. With the ruler built in, it a snap. Seems like a good idea to me.

Shane
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Re: Pulling up vinyl flooring...what to expect
Posted by: OWC Jamie
Date: November 25, 2006 09:52AM
I would really suggest pulling the island out, remove everything, put your tile down, and then put the island back in. What everybody else said about removing the tile is dead on, it's likely got asbestos - wear a mask and DEFINITELY invest in the time and small expense of putting new underlayment down. Luan/5 layer birch is time consuming (rent a compressor and nailer, unless you want forearms like Popeye you'll get by by using the manual nailer). But it's easy to install - don't even need a saw, use a razor knife to score where you want to cut, do that a few times, snap it free, trim, nail.

In all seriousness, if you discover you have plywood then underlayment then tile - pull the underlayment, exposing the plywood. It's a LOT easier than heating individual tiles up. A simple ice scraper or pitchfork will go right under the underlayment and you can take up square feet, not square inches at a time.

I've done all of the above more than once. I've never put in tile, but prepped for both vinyl floor and hardwood. It's not horrible work, but your back will hurt. Just do a good job finishing it and you'll never have a spot you are mad at yourself with in the future because it's not level. smiling smiley



Good Luck!
Jamie Dresser
Other World Computing
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Re: Pulling up vinyl flooring...what to expect
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: November 25, 2006 01:02PM
HAVE IT TESTED FOR ASBESTOS FIRST!


If it contains a type of asbestos that gets airborne easily, you will coat every surface in the house with a fine layer of it and be breathing it for the next 20 years if you do not take some precautions.

This Old House had a segment on it in the last two weeks. To control the dust, they sealed the room with two layers of extra heavy plastic and put in a two stage "airlock" to enter the room where the vinyl floor was being removed. The final part was a negative pressure system with an industrial three stage HEPA filtration system.
[www.thisoldhouse.com]
www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/tvprograms/houseproject/article/0,16516,1188668-1549488,00.html

I looked through the program guide and found the specific episode. "East Boston Project" Program #2604



In tha 360. MRF User Map



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/25/2006 01:12PM by Filliam H. Muffman.
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Re: Pulling up vinyl flooring...what to expect
Posted by: Catzilla
Date: November 25, 2006 01:03PM
I found the tar paper underlayment in my house was secured with a water soluble glue, just soak with an old towel and peel.
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