Earthscapes Titanium Floor Preparation Questions

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by mom2taz, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. mom2taz

    mom2taz New Member

    I found this thread via a google search and hope it is appropriate to post a few related questions.
    We have decided on Earthscapes Titanium series flooring for our kitchen to replace ceramic tile floors.
    We just took up ceramic tile that was installed by a contractor. Under the tile is cement-like adhesive on wood underlayment. We are in the process of scraping the cement material off of the wood.
    The salesman indicated the Earthscapes is very easy to install and validated this with quoting a very large % of customers who opted for installing themselves instead of paying about $10 more per sq. yrd to have it installed. I am all for saving money, but I also want to do this properly.
    We could really benefit from any suggestions for how to properly prepare the wood underlayment once we have completed the task of scraping off the cement.
    We want to avoid any bubble issues in the future such as this thread has been addressing. We also want to prevent any issues such as roughness in the underlayment to wear thru or do any damage to the new flooring after time and traffic.
    The wood flooring (plywood) has been wet in the past due to a water line leak below in the basement. It has dried, but also is "hooved" up and we will be fixing that by replacing that section. Because of the possibility of future issues / repairs with plumbing, appliances leaking, whatever, we asked the salesman about durability and he explained that this type of flooring, with the pressure sensitive adhesive, can be rolled up, repairs can be made, and the flooring put back down. (and does adhesive need to be re-applied in this situation?)
    If this is the case, why was the suggestion made in a previous post that additional adhesive be injected into the area where the bubbles were occurring? Could it not have been rolled back, adhesive rolled and then place the flooring back down?
    My biggest concern at the present time is getting the floor ready...So... .
    1.) Do we need to paint / coat the underlayment with something to ensure the pressure sensitive adhesive can be applied properly? and
    2.) How smooth does the floor need to be before rolling on the adhesive....smooth as glass? or would it be to our advantage to put down luan on top of the plywood that we are scraping? The plywood is not extremely rough, with big digs or holes from scraping, but there are noticeable small scrapes and grooves. (some of which we are having a lot of trouble getting the cement out of) And
    3.) would coating the floor with something that would act as a moisture barrier be necessary or helpful?

    Any suggestions for how to properly prepare the floor would be greatly appreciated, as well as exactly what products would be recommended and choices / options we could consider.
    Thank you!!
    (another) Teresa :rolleyes:
  2. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    I'm glad you found us. But no, your questions deserve their own topic. I moved it here. I'm sure some of our pros will be happy to help you out soon.


  3. hookknife

    hookknife Hard Surface Installer Charter Member Senior Member

    no paint or anything that can effect the bond of the adhesive.
    Underlayment can be a good thing, but not with a lauan, if the floor is not that bad I would suggest prepping the floor with a portland cement based patch to fill all holes and feather out any joint issues.
    No not necessary, install the vinyl and any areas that could have a water issue i.e. dishwasher/icemaker seal edges with a silicone caulk.

    Any suggestions for how to properly prepare the floor would be greatly appreciated, as well as exactly what products would be recommended and choices / options we could consider.
    Thank you!!
    (another) Teresa :rolleyes:[/QUOTE]
  4. ortiz34

    ortiz34 2nd generation Senior Member

    $10 a sq yd for the labor is a fair price IMO
    If you're hesitant and don't want to be disappointed with your investment I would pay to have it installed, all the cuts will be clean and nice, and the floor should look beautiful. Which is what you want.
    Hope you enjoy
  5. stullis

    stullis Charter Member Senior Member

    I would find a different store. This one sounds like a con artist who doesn't have a clue on proper installation. :(
  6. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    As far as the store knows the customers are installing it themselves. More likely though the customer is taking the material and having it installed by another party at a big discount to the stores price. Isn't that what Home Depot and Lowes were running up against so that now their whole house installations are $39 or free?

    When the store puts a fair (or not so fair) markup and what we might consider reasonable labor price as an option in addition to the material costs it encourages the customer to go out and shop for a local tradesman to beat that number.
  7. mom2taz

    mom2taz New Member

    I agree it is a fair price for installation. We have talked it over further and have decided to have it installed by a professional from the store. We have visited all the stores in this area and this is the only store in which the salesman seemed to know anything at all. Most of the others just tried to sell us what they had in stock, not what we want. A couple places were going to charge us to have someone come "evaluate" the site. And one place only charged $3.00 per sq. yd for installation...seemed too good to be true to me..and IMO you get what you pay for typically holds true.

    Although, we are still faced with having the floor properly prepared.

    We are getting most all of the concrete adhesive off of the wood, but are unsure of what the best step would be next. What to coat the wood with so it is smooth and ready for the adhesive the installer will use to lay the flooring.
    Thanks for all the input. I appreciate your time and ideas.
  8. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    I'd be surprised that anyone would give you a firm labor estimate sight unseen given what you've described above as the existing conditions. An expert really needs to "evaluate" whether you're going to turn over a surface they can lay over with "minor prep" or if you've wasted a lot of time and energy and those sheets of underlayment need replacing, covering with new sheets or extensive work to be acceptable for sheet vinyl.

    The $3 a yard is classic Bait and Switch. They'll leave it up to the installer to haggle with you AFTER the fact that you've paid for the vinyl and they've got their profit.

    The $10 a yard is much more realistic and assumes some standard/medium/average time and material for surface prep. Our industry is extremely inconsistent on what "minor prep" means as you can verify by the 330% price difference in labor estimates.

    In my opinion this inconsistency is what makes us all look sloppy, sleazy and stupid. We're really not. It's just really that extreme where a small kitchen floor can take barely a few hours or multiple days and heavy material and equipment costs to get smooth and secure.

    Neither the $3 estimate nor the $10 price will be firm unless they actually come out and see the conditions and lock that price in. Isn't that more fair for everyone?
  9. stullis

    stullis Charter Member Senior Member

    You need underlayment and your installer is the one who should be installing it.
    That would NOT be included in your $10/ yd installation price.
    So now is your retailer really giving you an honest estimate? :(

    If a store sends someone to go to your place and evaluates what you have they have time and material involved in that. Don't you think they should be compensated something for that time and effort? :)

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