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Thread: Basement floor redo

  1. #1
    DIY Member cmw's Avatar
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    Default Basement floor redo

    My basement floor had a water seepage problem for a few years that is now corrected. I've attached some pics that show the floor condition with some of the vinyl tiles removes.
    The pics show (2) different adhesives (black/tan) remaining on the floor. Pics also show an erosion of the floor that occurred at the tile seams forming a "grid pattern". Some of the erosion is as much as 1/8" deep but most is about 1/32" deep or less.
    I would like to either put down new vinyl tiles or paint the floor.
    My questions are:
    1. What material do I use to level the eroded areas for either tiles or paint?
    2. I would like to leave the adhesive on the floor "as is". Can I tile over using new adhesive without any other floor prep?
    3. If I paint the the floor, what primer if any should be applied over the adhesive? (The paint job doesn't have to be perfect).

    I want to avoid going down the wrong path with this project.
    Thanks for your advice.
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  2. #2
    Architect Spaceman Spiff's Avatar
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    With vinyl tile, whatever the condition of the floor is under the tile is what you'll get in the tile. If there is a bump or pit in the subfloor, you'll get a bump or pit in the tile. Floor paint will do the same thing, but even more. If you are OK with that then a scraper to get off the big, loose chunks will do. Otherwise I would install a self leveling floor base or grind off the glue with a concrete floor grinder, followed by filling in the pits and cracks with an appropiate filler.
    Spaceman Spiff aka Mike

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Depending on the age of the original installation, the black stuff could contain asbestos. They stopped using that in the early 80's. You can buy a test kit to test for asbestos if it could be old enough to be an issue. You'll want to probably scrape the floor down to the cement (a hint of the cutback adhesive is okay). A 4" razor scraper with a long handle and lots of spare blades and time (and some gloves!). If it doesn't contain asbestos, a concrete scarcifier would remove that and the top layer. It won't make the floor smooth, though. Self-leveling cement (SLC would work, but is fairly costly). To get it to stick, you'd still have to prepare the floor. Then, if the floor isn't already fairly level, you'll use more of the stuff. To get it level, you'd want to flood the entire floor to around 1/4" or so deep over the high point. Trying to do less is possible, but takes a lot of skill. The stuff starts to set in less than 15-minutes, unless you buy the extended set stuff. It's a tough job, and expensive to get rigth the first time on a large area without experience and a large crew. You have to move very quickly.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    DIY Member cmw's Avatar
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    S.S. and jad... thanks for the response.
    Grinding &/or self leveling the floor is out of the picture for me. It is only me alone doing this job.
    I have been thinking about using the Sakrete Top 'N Bond Concrete Patcher to fill is the pitted grid lines which are no more that 1/8" deep for starters. Then maybe re-tile over it.
    If re-tiling isn't feasible then I will have to find out if there is a primer and paint I can use that will provide a decent (not perfect) result.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There are some products that could fill in those holes on the slab for you. www.ardex.com makes some, and so do many of the other cement producers. To get the best results, you'd probably need to use a bonding agent. As noted, if the floor is not smooth, any imperfections will telegraph into the soft tile above. If you scraped off as much of the adhesive as you can, you could put down ceramic tile, but on a slab, that can be kind of cold. Adding heat adds a bunch $$ to the equation and raises the height some as well.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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