Carpet tile prep

Discussion in 'Floor Preparation' started by David Pratt, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. David Pratt

    David Pratt New Member

    I am a landlord and want to put down carpet tiles. (I am doing this because regular carpets are too expensive to replace when you just have some stains over a few areas.) There is an old hardwood floor that has been covered with 1/4" sheathing. There are some gaps in the seams between the sheets of sheathing. What filler should I use for those? My more important question, though, is whether I should have a sealer of some sort applied to the sheathing before the glue is applied before laying down the carpet tiles. Would a sealer of some sort (maybe even just a coating of polyurethane) help the glue bind better, or is it even needed at all? Any other comments/suggestions regarding the prep for the carpet tiles would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, guys!
  2. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    The owner of the rentals where I live is doing the same thing, for the same reason (except my unit, which I have installed LVP in). I think it was a good decision.

    You didn't say how big the gaps were, but the average gap can be filled with a good quality cement based patching compound, like Mapei Planipatch at Lowe's. You might want to run a sander over the seams first, maybe even the entire floor, if there is anything like old drywall mud or paint on the floor. No need for sealer or poly unless you have other issues you didn't tell us about. You have to be careful of product incompatibility. Some adhesives don't play nice with other coatings. It's also important that the stuff you do use, if needed, is fully bonded to the substrate (that's why you sand off paint, etc.).
  3. David Pratt

    David Pratt New Member

    Thanks, Jim. I will get the Mapei Planipatch. I don't have any other issues with the floor. For anyone else considering using carpet tiles, there is a special glue for the carpet tiles that you first apply and then let dry for two hours. The result is a tacky surface that the tiles stick to and enables the tiles to be easily pulled up for replacement later if necessary. (If you apply the tiles when the glue is still wet, the tiles are permanently bonded to the floor and cannot later be easily removed.) I didn't realize that paint or polyurethane on the floor might not be compatible with that glue -- which is good to consider because we were about to paint the walls & ceiling and weren't going to bother putting down a cloth to protect the floor. Thanks for your quick response!
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti Senior Member

    I don’t like Mapei planipatch unless they changed formula from years ago. Ardex Feather Finish is/was our go-to.

    Henry brand has similar Ardex properties but not exact formula. Not as good.

    Plani is ok it’s just that it doesn’t bond tenaciously like FF

    So years later FF is still well adhered.

    I’ve yet to run a carpet cleaner on the carpet tiles we installed in hallway but one floor really needs it. We prepped real well and I peeled up a carpet tile to changeout. It did exactly as planned. Some adhesive stuck to backing spread across entire square. If it were not prepped the adhesive would’ve pulled up whatever was not well bonded underneath it.

    Same as with paint, drywall compound, the adhesive pulls that up and under it is whatever there before.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  5. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    Floor patch is a funny thing. Everybody has their own preference. When I first started laying floors I loved Web 95. It filled the hole, dried quick and was good enough for carpet. The down side is that it’s gritty and shrinks. You preppin a cold joint, better plan on 2 passes.

    I worked for a shop that supplied Mapei for a period of time. Plani patch seems rubbery to me like when you drag your trowel across it just... one... more... time, you might as well be dragging your trowel across a rubber sheet with all the chatter. On the other hand, I really liked Mapei Ultra skimcoat. Rewhippable, decent pot life, doesn’t shrink like Web 95 and it spreads very similar to FF. I embossed many a kitchen with that stuff.

    Ardex is the Cadillac of floor prep. I don’t like Henry’s patch at all but their adhesives are excellent.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    How big are these gaps? Carpet tile is perhaps the most forgiving of ANY flooring out there.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. Graeme

    Graeme Pro Member

    Check the directions on your carpet tile / adhesive. I have worked with two manufacturers that recommend priming the substrate before applying the adhesive. You get a much better bond when you prime first, in our experience. When all else fails, read the directions - then follow them.
    • Agree Agree x 1

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