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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Default curling vinyl or linoleum tiles on concrete - need advice on installing overtop

    Hi,

    I'm looking for advice. In our recently purchased home the basement has some type of 12x12 vinyl or linoleum tiles which are curling and in some cases have come off the concrete floor, especially along edges of the room. I was told by our inspector that they may contain small amounts of asbestos in the tile, and in the glue (which looks like it is black and has been spread). There is also some white crumbly stuff underneath (glue?). For now I will try to secure them down with some construction glue.

    I would like to install laminate hardwood overtop at some point(to avoid disturbing them. If the tiles begin to curl again underneath will this wreck the floor? Is there any solution other than possibly scraping up the tiles (and exposing asbestos)? I thought of bolting some plywood down into the cement... but would like to minimize raising the floor height (relatively low basement).

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    6,611

    Default Re: curling vinyl or linoleum tiles on concrete - need advice on installing overtop

    Drying glue is a common problem of vinyl squares.

    If you plan on putting floating laminate, make sure you lay down moisture barrier (sold in rolls) over the vinyl tiles. Laminate prices are falling so fast, that today you can get them at a fraction of of what they used to cost five years ago. BTW, get the 12mm thick laminate, not thinner.

    I'd vote against plywood on the concrete, in your case.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Southern Ontario Canada
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    38

    Default Re: curling vinyl or linoleum tiles on concrete - need advice on installing overtop

    Undisturbed asbestos poses no health hazard whatsoever. I would mix a few gallons of floor leveler and spread it directly onto the tiles. If your not sure that it will seal that flooring do a small section and let it dry. I'm sure it will seal that vinyl. It also will provide a nice flat surface for your laminate.

    Never lay any wood product directly onto concrete, never. 12 mm laminate is the way to go, however budget always being an issue I have an area were 2nd generation laminate has lasted 12 years in a high traffic area in a rental property. It doesn't look new but it certainly has paid for itself, and the cost then was around $4.00 a square foot. The same product can be had now for less than a dollar per square.

    A vapour barrier is a must, read the install and warranty literature and follow the steps. I would however ask the retailer if the material can be laid one strip at a time, some of the new products out there must have the entire course snapped together before going onto the next, this is a 2 person job sometimes more depending on the length of the course.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    2

    Default Re: curling vinyl or linoleum tiles on concrete - need advice on installing overtop

    Thanks very much for the replies/advice. I've read so many contradicting columns on the internet. Some suggesting to insulate the floor, and some saying this is a mistake, and others suggesting it is almost impossible to finish a basement floor without causing mold problems, which I don't believe.

    So it sounds like maybe I should use some leveler, and put some 6mil poly on so it is pretty well sealed, and put a thin underlayment on top with 12mm laminate on that I should be good. Between the leveller and the laminate, that should keep anything that begins to curl down hopefully. Does putting the poly down increase my chances of mold? (I haven't seen any indications of mold, but the fact that the vinyl is popping suggests the basement has been humid at some points?)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
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    Default Re: curling vinyl or linoleum tiles on concrete - need advice on installing overtop

    The asbestos tiles were 9" squares. The non asbestos ones are 12" squares.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Southern Ontario Canada
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: curling vinyl or linoleum tiles on concrete - need advice on installing overtop

    I should have been clearer when I say vapour barrier. I am referring to the underlayment specific to laminate floor installation, it is a light weight foam material.

    There is plenty of information that you can trust on

    buildingscience.com

    It can be somewhat technical but a great tool for everyone DIYer to the most experienced pro.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
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    Default Re: curling vinyl or linoleum tiles on concrete - need advice on installing overtop

    SC is correct, use the moisture barrier that comes in a roll and is made especially for laminate, as I mentioned earlier. Don't use 6mm plastic.

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