Remove vinyl and underlayment before installing tile?


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Old 05-24-15, 08:55 AM
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Remove vinyl and underlayment before installing tile?

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I am removing vinyl from our kitchen and bathrooms and installing backerboard/ceramic tile. In our last home, I just removed the vinyl and my tile guy did the rest. I am going to attempt to tile this myself. My new house has a thin underlayment over the subfloor and under the vinyl. Should I remove this underlayment before putting down the backerboard? Not sure how difficult this would be? I just don't want the new tile floor to be so much higher at the transitions to laminate hardwood, and it will also make the counters seem shorter. Any advice? Thanks!
 
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Old 05-24-15, 09:21 AM
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Is your talking about 1/4 underlayment, then yes it needs to come out.
Have you checked the joist size and spans to see if they even will support tile?
 
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Old 05-24-15, 09:33 AM
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Yes, joist and spans are fine. The house is only 10 years old. My neighbor had the same builder, he removed the 1/4 underlayment before installing tile floor. He just told me it was stapled down with about 5,000 staples so it wasn't very fun to remove
I am kind of happy that the new tile floor won't be as tall after I remove the underlayment, even if it is going to be more work. Thanks
 
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Old 05-24-15, 10:09 AM
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I have moved your thread to the tile forum for better exposure.

joist and spans are fine
Will need a little additional information. Just because the house is 10 years old does not mean it meets specs for a tile installation. When the house was built, it was spec'd for vinyl, not tile. Tile needs a much stiffer floor (even stiffer if using natural stone). So for piece of mind, please provide the size of the joists, the distance between joists, the length of the unsupported span of those joists, and if you happen to see markings, the species/grade of the joists as well. We will also need to know what kind and thickness of plywood/OSB is currently down under the 1/4" underlayment. Joe is correct, the 1/4" underlayment and the vinyl needs to come up.

One final observation - the height requirements of the tile have no relation to the current height of the laminate. They are two different floor systems and have completely different requirements. If there is a difference (and most likely there will be) a reducer, t-molding or other transition piece will be used.
 
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Old 05-24-15, 11:05 AM
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Old 05-24-15, 11:24 AM
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Just a word of caution on low end tile purchased from the big box stores. Be on the look out for factory seconds. I have told people that I would not install the tile if purchased from a box store as they sometimes are not square. It makes the installation difficult as you can not hold a grout line. Here is a quote from the link above located directly under the price per Sq Ft.

"Variation in size, shade and texture is an inherent characteristic of all tiles"

Emphasis on the Variation in size - I've seen where one tile was out of square by as much as 3/16". Higher end tiles will have the designation of "rectified" in the description which means that they are square. You also have a choice between porcelain and ceramic, your choice is ceramic. Ceramic Tiles vs Porcelain Tiles - Difference and Comparison | Diffen Again, you should verify your flooring substructure will support your tile choice.
 
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Old 05-24-15, 01:08 PM
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I am just in the planning stages. I will check out the flooring substructure next. I have enough tile to do the entire house (got it super cheap on clearance and had 20% promo code = $.25 sq ft). i have 2 lots - one lot will be used in the bathrooms while the other in the big kitchen area. I will start in the bathroom and see how it goes. Here is the pattern we like.
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Old 05-24-15, 01:30 PM
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Floor joists are 2x10s that span around 10 ft and the distance between is about 13 inches. The subfloor is 1 inch thick board. House seems to be very sturdy and well built compared to my last home. All the subfloors are screwed down which is nice because we don't have squeaky floors like we did in our last home.

Thanks for all the info and advice
 
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Old 05-24-15, 01:39 PM
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All sorts of fun angles to play with in your bathroom. A wet saw is almost mandatory. Use some scrap tile cut perfectly in half as a template to mark you new rows to help maintain your "brick" pattern stagger. Just a pencil tick to help keep your half tile seams lined up. With luck, your walls and tub are at perfect 45 degrees relative to the direction of the floor. I use a speed square to transfer the angle onto the tile. https://www.google.com/shopping/prod...J4aoogTEzIGIAQ
 
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Old 05-24-15, 01:55 PM
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Neighbor gave me his wet saw to use ... also gave me his trowels, spacers, etc. His whole tile toolbox he used to do his floor. Saved me lots of $$$
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Old 05-24-15, 05:40 PM
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Any tips on removing staples? I removed the carpet staples from our 3 sets of stairs with flat head screwdriver and pliers, it wasn't fun. Someone suggested a cotter pin puller so I might get a set a set of those. My kitchen, half-bath, laundry room, eat-in-kitchen, stair landing area is big and full of doorways and angled cuts. Est 421 sq ft. I found my tile receipts, I got 772 sq ft of tile for $178.96. The regular price was $883 at lowes.
 
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Old 05-24-15, 05:59 PM
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Floor scraper held low to the ground will shear the staples off or pull them out.

Unless you are not talking about staples in carpet pad. Then you have to pull them.
 
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Old 05-24-15, 10:05 PM
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A few thoughts.

These are obviously very low quality tiles, but they might do the job for you.

They claim it's comparable to porcelain tiles? Oh....really, how? At least they do say the density absorption is ~3% where porcelain is under 0.5% and many are much lower.

You say the subfloor is 1" boards. What does that mean to you? To me that means planks, please clarify, cuz it would be unusual for a house built 10 years ago.

What do you plan to use as your tile backer? Depending on your answer, we will have a better idea on the prep required. Some staples may come with the underlayment. Others will be pulled with pliers or? Some may be hammered in.

I am kind of happy that the new tile floor won't be as tall after I remove the underlayment, even if it is going to be more work.
It won't be more work, it'l be less work cuz if you left as is chances are high that you'd be ripping it all up and re doing again.

So, they sold you 770 ft. for under $180, and you didn't even show your guns?

Jaz
 
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Old 05-25-15, 04:35 AM
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My plan is to remove the quarter round, vinyl, and underlayment. Put down thinset and 1/4" hardy backboard, then tile. I was also going to also paint the trim and quarter round while it is removed, the previous owner had pets who scraped it up pretty good. I might even replace some quarter round if needed.
My wife complained when we put backerboard/porcelain tile in our previous house because the kitchen cabinets seemed lower and also about the height difference from the carpet to kitchen tile. It was also tricky for me because I am 6'8 and barely fit through doorways, thus I bumped my head in the kitchen doorway after adding backboard/tile. The tile in the new house will transition to laminate hardwood, which will match up height wise better than carpet. I am happy that removing the 1/4 underlayment will lower the floor before we raise it back up with tile. The difference in floor to cabinet height won't be as great as the the last time we put in tile. The vinyl in our last house was just stapled to the subfloor, so the added backboard/tile raised it up.
When we finally found tile we liked at Lowes, our store only had a few boxes and they were on clearance for 75% off. I checked around other stores in the area and I realized that it was still regular price at stores with a high quantity. But 4 nearby stores had it 75% off because they only had around 10-15 boxes of it left. I went and bought it all at those stores, being careful to check the lot on the tile box and comparing the tiles from each store for size. I also had 20% off promo codes that lowered the price even more. I have stacked 2 tiles from different boxes in the garage checking for exact size and all have been exact. There is a slight difference in color in the 2 different lots but it shouldn't matter because I will use one lot in the kitchen and the other lot in the bathrooms.
I just measured the thickness of the subfloor inside the A/C vent. It consists of 4x8 sheets of plywood screwed down. I haven't seen the plywood yet because it is under the vinyl, but I remember when I pulled up the carpet in the bonus room.
Thanks for the advice. I was very skeptical about doing this job myself. The guy I teach PE with at school is a good and experienced tile installer, and he did my previous house. He is having knee surgery soon so he couldn't install my tile this summer. With careful planning, good advice and 2 months to take my time, I hope I can tackle this project without screwing it up
 
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Old 05-25-15, 01:02 PM
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Do I need to remove all the staples that remain in the subfloor? Or can I just hammer them down? Many are just barely visible, almost all the way down in the subfloor after I rip up the underlayment. There are staples everywhere!
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Old 05-25-15, 01:42 PM
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I am too much of a perfectionist, I am ripping them all out. Just going to take a while ...
 
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Old 05-25-15, 04:17 PM
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Use the following pliers to make the process move faster. Husky 7 in. End Nipper-48060 - The Home Depot You grab the staple and then rock the plier as you grip. It will easily leverage the staple out of the floor.
 
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Old 05-25-15, 06:38 PM
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Thanks, they work great. I actually had a pair of those in my garage. This underlayment is just a pain to try to pull up. Especially around the edges, it goes under the edge of the trim, tub, cabinets, etc. Going to be a slow process ...
 
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Old 05-25-15, 06:59 PM
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Your height certainly adds an unusual twist to your project but it doesn't change the recommendations for a good tile installation over a suspended wood subfloor.

We still don't know the makeup of your subfloor sheets. I'm guessing your subfloor is not a single layer 1" thick, but rather it's probably " ply or OSB with ~" underlayment that goes with the vinyl flooring. We won't know 'till you say so, you must know by now that you've started to remove it.

You say it's hard to remove. The field should be pretty easy once you get started. But having underlayment under the vanity or cabinets is a pain and should not have been done that way. Are you using a pry bar to remove it? You can also cut it into smaller strips for easier removal.

Jaz
 
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Old 05-25-15, 07:37 PM
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Subfloor is Advantech 3/4 inch OSB. I have a prybar that is working well, it just is a pain around the edges.
 
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Old 05-25-15, 07:50 PM
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Does that mean you're not removing the base moldings? It can work to keep from damaging them and creating different heights. But remember you have to leave expansion at the perimeter.

Small areas like a bathroom is more difficult. As for heights, you could save about 3/16" by using Ditra instead of Hardie. However, the cost is about 2x.

Jaz
 
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Old 05-25-15, 08:14 PM
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I just removed the quarter round, I am leaving the trim around the bottom. Starting to go slightly quicker. Our bathroom is just narrow and long, so there are edges everywhere.
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Old 05-25-15, 08:19 PM
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Take a razor to the vinyl and cut it into 6 to 12 inch strips and pull it up. Then take a skill saw (circular saw) set to the underlayment depth and cut that into strips just adjacent to the staples. Use the unstapled part of the strip to pry up and rotate over the staples. It may partially pull them so you can pry them out.
 
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Old 05-25-15, 08:29 PM
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I vinyl is completed glued to the underlayment. When I figured out where the seems in the underlayment were, I took my razor and cut the vinyl. I comes up much easier that way, and in big pieces. I get excited, then I realize there are tons of staples to pry out.
Thanks for the advice, I am a teacher and tomorrow is my last day of work for the summer. I should have plenty of time to complete these projects
 
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Old 05-27-15, 06:49 AM
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Almost got all the underlayment up, except for under the toilet. Neighbor had a big scraper that works well, and I got a oscillating saw too. Now on to the staples...
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Old 05-27-15, 07:01 AM
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My master bathroom is about 150 sq ft. I got 2 50 lbs bags of mortar/thinset and a 25 lb bag of grout. Will that be enough to get me through the master bath project?
 
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Old 05-27-15, 07:12 AM
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Just two observations. The others are on a roll. There is no such thing as laminate hardwood. It is one or the other. Secondly, that tile saw won't work on 16" tile. You'll need a flatbed table type wet saw.
 
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Old 05-27-15, 07:51 AM
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Laminate. Don't scare me like that Chandler, the tile saw platform slides under the blade and my 16 inch tiles fit, but not by much
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Old 05-27-15, 07:58 AM
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Ahh, bigger saw than it appeared. Good unit. Glad you are happy with laminate.
 
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Old 05-28-15, 07:20 AM
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I have floor ready for 1/4 backboard. My spacers are 3/16, is this suitable for spacing my backerboard and 16 inch tiles? Also, after setting a piece of backerboard to the thinnset - do I need to walk around on it to press it down? Should I screw it down immediately?

Any advice for working around toilet flange and supply line? The underlayment stayed under the flange but I have have flange spacers if needed at the end.
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How much gap should I leave between laminate and backer/tile in doorways?
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Old 05-29-15, 07:40 PM
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I have all my backerboard laid out and cut to fit. It is ready for screws and thinset tomorrow. I will also paint the base trim tomorrow, it is pretty roughed up from the previous owners. I have watched lots of youtube videos trying to make sure I don't make any mistakes. The hardiebacker board was enjoyable figuring out all the cuts and angles ... compared to the glue and staples in the vinyl and underlayment.
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Old 05-29-15, 10:38 PM
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I have always hated laminate. But after having dogs and carpet, this foreclosure had laminate in the living room and all 5 bedrooms. The carpet stairs and bonus room had stains and imperfections everywhere. The laminate still remained in excellent condition. I replaced the carpet, and the vinyl is getting replaced with tile. This house is looking great just about 1 year from purchase! I put in granite counters, and numerous DIY upgrades ... what a difference! This website and all the advice I get, is such a lifesaver!
 
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Old 05-30-15, 03:47 AM
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If it was me, I would have removed all the trim - Base and door casing. Taken the cement board to just shy of the wall. It also would make your wall cuts less strategic as you would have base and shoe to cover the cut. The only critical cuts would be along the tub.

To attach the sliver cut of cement board across the threshold of the door, pre-drill holes and use galvanized roofing nails. If you just try to screw that section down it will split.

Don't forget to use thinset and mesh tape across all the cement board seams.
 
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Old 05-31-15, 12:15 PM
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Thanks for the info. I got half of the cement board installed with thin set. My drill didn't get the screws in very easy, so I bought a cheap hammer drill today. I think I might use more water to mix up my mortar, it seemed to dry out quick. Directions said 5-6 quarts per 50 lbs. I used 2.75 quarts for half a bag, might mix 3 quarts to do the rest of the bag. It was my 1st time with a trowel and thin set, I used MAPEI 50-lb Gray Powder Polymer-Modified Mortar. I have a little slight lippage outside of the toilet room doorway, that had me all stressed out while screwing everything down.
 
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Old 05-31-15, 05:58 PM
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Thinset for under the CBU is supposed to be a little runny than when you're setting the tiles.

Jaz
 
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Old 05-31-15, 08:35 PM
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Sometimes those screws just want to spin and not bite at all into the cement board. It's a HardieBacker thing. I initially set mine with 1 1/4" Galvanized Roofing Nails and then return to screw it down. You can try tapping the the screw in first with a hammer and then driving it with a drill. Also, if you "spin out" while trying to set a screw, back the screw out and try setting fresh one. You will be hard pressed to get a spun out screw to set the second time.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 10:22 AM
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Just got a Hitachi cordless impact driver at Lowes. I got it for $68 and it came with 2 batteries and charger, I already love that thing. It sets those screws with ease. I went back and screwed all of them in properly and backed some out that were stripped. Rookie mistake, but it should make the rest of the bathroom SO much easier this time around. I need to get a nail gun so I can shoot some roofing nails and also to put the quarter round back on at the end ... thanks for the advice
 
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Old 06-01-15, 02:42 PM
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Just finished all the hardie backerboard install. Starting to get the hang of it ... we will see how the tile goes.
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Old 06-01-15, 03:34 PM
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Are those seams taped?

Jaz
 
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Old 06-01-15, 04:14 PM
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Yes, taped the seams. They disappeared in the thinset, especially in this picture as they were drying.
 
 

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