Installing VCT over VCT that has not been striped

Discussion in 'Vinyl & Rubber Flooring Sales and Installations' started by metzade, May 27, 2019.

  1. metzade

    metzade Pro Member

    Hey i have a job coming up for a school , based on the aggressive timelines, and that fact that the decision makers look at me like i am talking a different language everytime we discuss proper prep we are forced to install VCT over existing VCT that has a heavy coat of wax,

    Again because of the aggressive timeline for all the trades to get in out before school opens they are not entertaining stripping of the wax , i had suggested the schools custodians to do it , or at least don't slap on a new coat of wax right after the school year , but it all falls on def ears, long story short , i have covered myself on liabilities on a legal standpoint. Putting the liability and protecting myself to the side , i still want to give the end user the best possby install considering the circumstances

    Any feedback would be appreciated

    FF over the old vct seems pointless as the same issue to much wax , i was thinking to take a buffer with a 16 grit paper and attempt to scarify the vct ,
  2. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    I can't help much except to tell you what I would do to make sure I was protected liability-wise: walk away. If they didn't want to listen to me, let them find someone they will listen to.
    • Like Like x 3
  3. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I prefer removal as well. Possibly a planetary grinder dry which would be hooked to a dust extractor. I did diamond grind VCT to remove wax maybe not 100% due to undulations but it did provide more teeth to lock into. I’ve used stripper/scrub pads as well which didn’t take terribly long for gluedown carpet. I think the adhesive dries better when the acrylic wax is removed. Planetary follows contours better than a single 17-20” disc.

    I do have an Aztec planetary that states it will remove 7-10 coats per pass.(with stripper solution)

    Grinding with dust extractor followed by an auto scrubber would be quick. To implement and charge for it? I understand the ignorance. We have a job my brother is bidding. Removal of hardwood and scrape adhesive for porcelain plank one price, removal with grinding adhesive to slab cement another price. For a retailer whom the client is a Lawyer. I’m curious which will be chosen. Not that I care cause there’s plenty of work for us and we could remove a failure which are easier.

    Here’s a video, maybe they should invest in this system. Sorry union workers!

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    Last edited: May 27, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Chris 45

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

    I’ve done it only a handful of times. Asbestos was not an issue so we hit the floor with 12 grit discs on a buffer then skimmed it all with FF. Offset your tiles from the existing tiles and go.
  5. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Why did you skim? Exactly!
  6. Chris 45

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

    The skim coat helped to fill in any gaps between the tiles so they wouldn’t telegraph through the new VCT. I’m sure the VCT would have stuck just fine without a skim coat.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I assumed it was to fill the undulations to make the new floor more flat than the previous floor.
  8. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member Senior Member

    The new adhesive will react with the wax, that's for sure. Will slow it drying so it will take you longer.
  9. Incognito

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

    I've sanded off the wax successfully many, many times. In those instances where there's multiple coats to the extent the sandpaper gums up just do the best you can and use plenty of paper. The wax/finish creates a non-porous surface. So you really want to sand that off to get a better bond. But honestly, I've never had a problem. The bigger concern is really how well bonded the existing tile and underlayment are. Once you cover that it's fairly common for moisture problems to show through.
  10. seamsealer

    seamsealer Pro Member

    I think heavily waxed tile and the thin set for the new VCT will react and some of the glue will just roll over behind your trowel, it will soften the wax and make a mess. It doesn't end well. Not a good situation. Jim's advice, just walk away.
  11. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    VCT thinspread adhesive WILL emulsify the wax, it will then stay in a semi-liquid state and will take forever to dry. If you go in wet it will NEVER dry as the moisture is trapped between the layers of tile.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. Commercial Floor Rep

    Commercial Floor Rep I Support TFP Published

    I get hit with this question all of the time. A few months ago, I had a commercial flooring contractor put a pencil to it and after all the work to "strip" (sand) the wax and then skimcoat - it's about a wash cost wise to just remove the tile.

    I've seen all sorts of goofy issues over the years when somebody didn't want to take out existing VCT that "was down good". Denting in the underlayer of tile, adhesive displacement caused by little pre-school age kids sitting in school chairs in an elementary school (due to what Elmer said above), dis-bonding of the underlying tile because the patch pulled it right out of the old adhesive (that one actually happened right here in our office). I get time frames but as many times as I've had to go into that room full of suits and explain what happened - those people who are pushing the schedule never seem to remember those conversations when the hammer drops.

    PS - the one in our office was about 20 years ago and I was involved personally with the attempt to tear it out. We were using a heavy demo machine and it was coming out slow in dime size pieces it was stuck down so hard. 3 months later, I could walk around and pull up both the old and new tile in whole pieces with one finger because the patch (Webcrete 95) had pulled the old tile right out of the glue.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member Senior Member

    We always had the school janitors strip the wax off. One time they didn't and we were glueing carpet in, the glue wouldn't flash. Even 3 hrs later it looked like we just spread it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. phil verre

    phil verre I Support TFP

    If time is important maybe look into a product like Versashield
  15. Chris 45

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

    I don’t miss commercial work one bit. Crazy timelines and unrealistic budgets but you still gotta be willing and able to throw that Hail Mary pass and are expected to nail it every single time.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  16. Incognito

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

    For the cost and time to install Versashield I could burn through a lot of 12 grit sandpaper.

    I want to confirm what Elmer says above. You NEED to at the very least get nearly all the wax off, either stripping or sanding. I don't like to skim over VCT so I'd rather have the apprentice/helper spend an hour or two per 1K square feet on the sander. If you have to patch that's a VERY bad sign that this floor isn't appropriate for an overlay. Screw that nonsense. Been there done that.

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