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Thread: Bathroom Project

  1. #1
    DIY Member kc1121's Avatar
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    Question Bathroom Project

    Have a bathroom that has linoleum(?) from the 70s and an old 3.5gpf toilet that I will be getting rid of.

    The main issue has been to either 1) tear out all the linoleum and scrape off all of the residue, then install the tile or 2) install everything over the existing linoleum.

    It appears the lineoleum is installed onto the concrete on the ground floor of the house.

    A person at HD said that I could go w/ option 2, install the backerboard w/ fluted masonry nails, thin set mortar, install tiles and grout and be done w/ it. Then I can go ahead and install the Toto toilet I picked up.

    Does this sound like an ok option to you?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Not a great idea! It's razor scraper time. Cement board (cbu) does two things, it provides a good surface to tile on, and when installed properly (nailing it down to a concrete slab is not one of them!) has a layer of thinset underneath it filling in any imperfections, providing 100% support.

    The best place for tiling info that is sound and will provide something that lasts is www.johnbridge.com.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Member kc1121's Avatar
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    so.. you're saying that option would work but not optimal?

    you'd recommend strippping everything out then proceeding w/ the backerboard, mortar, tile & grout?

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    I agree with jad that nailing cement board to existing floor may not be secure. If the nails work loose, then you have a floating floor, prone to cracking.

    If this is a small room, removing the linoleum is only an hour or two job using a four inch razor scraper.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    On a slab, there is no good reason or need to add cbu...in fact, manufacturers say not to do it with one exception that I know of (Wedi can be installed over a slab with thinset only - and that's only to add some insulation - it can't be installed over linoleum, either).

    IF the slab has cracks, they can telegraph through the cbu into the tile, so they have to be addressed.

    CBU is basically cement...why put cement on cement to tile on? CBU is designed for use on wood, not cement.

    IF, the linoleum is well attached, and you can strip all dirt and wax from it (this isn't really a vinal floor?), then you could use a heavily modified thinset to attach the tiles directly. The problem with that is if you had a spill or something else and the bond between the linoleum and the slab failed, the tile would fail as well. It's safer to remove it. Old linoleum tends to get brittle. Plus, while you need the modified thinset to hold it to the less than ideal surface, that type of thinset needs to both dry the modifiers and cure the cement portion. That's hard between the linoleum and a typical tile...it could take weeks. Not good as a partially cured thinset when the tile are walked on can break the bond. Are you prepared to stay off it for weeks?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    DIY Member kc1121's Avatar
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    ok, so if I'm reading this all correctly...

    i) remove linoleum/vinyl flooring
    ii) scrape off residue and make sure everything is flat
    iii) go w/o the backerboard as long as its concrete floor
    iv) thin-set mortar
    v) lay tiles
    vI) grout

    thanks for all the expert advice

  7. #7
    DIY Member kc1121's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    I agree with jad that nailing cement board to existing floor may not be secure. If the nails work loose, then you have a floating floor, prone to cracking.

    If this is a small room, removing the linoleum is only an hour or two job using a four inch razor scraper.
    Thanks for the input, I'd estimate at about 40-45 sq ft

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You want to scrape off enough so it is a whisper of the original. There will be some embedded in the pores of the concrete that won't come off which is okay - do NOT use chemical cleaners, as it would drive the stuff into the slab and create a bond breaker situation. Next test is to dump a little water on, it should not bead up like on a waxed car. If it soaks in, you'll be okay. Then, choose a thinset rated for use over cutback (the adhesive residue). If there are cracks in the concrete, additional prep is required. You won't know until you clean it off.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kc1121 View Post
    ... lineoleum is installed onto the concrete on the ground floor of the house. ...
    on concrete, you can leave the linoleum as a tile underlayment.

    Do not add backerboard.
    Do not add backerboard.

    Only experienced eyeballs on site can comment more as to whether or not the linoleum and concrete slab are OK.

    David

  10. #10
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geniescience View Post
    on concrete, you can leave the linoleum as a tile underlayment.
    ??? lino's not porous enough for thinset to stick?

    I do it the same as jadnashua... and I'd only add one thing to his post, which is that if the water beads up & doesn't soak in? 1/2 an hour with a grinder, "cup" wire brush on it, will fix that. Wear a proper respirator, though, the dust is insane.
    Master Plumber Mark:

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  11. #11

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    yep
    1) remove toilet and vanity
    2) scrape glue off floor
    3) re-float floor with self leveling concrete (if needed) if installing tile try to minimize any dips and crack or really rough concrete. (remember tile likes a surface that has the same plane.) The better the substaight the less problems installing and future problems(cracked tiles)
    4) layout tile pattern
    5) thinset and lay tile
    6) grout
    7) seal grout

    Note: be carful around plumbing that may enter the slab ie: Toilet flange, you may have to raise the flange to accomadate for the now thicker floor.

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