remove vinyl sandwich

Discussion in 'Floor Preparation' started by Jim Hurd, Jul 13, 2018.

What would you do?

  1. 1. slap it down, what could wrong?

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  2. 2. rip out the subfloor and plane down high joists, sister low joists.

    2 vote(s)
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  3. 3. Self leveling cement over the whole room.

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  4. 4. Staple down 6 layers of 30# felt in dips and 3/8 underlayment over all

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  5. 5. Big puddle of floor patch and underlayment over all

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  1. Jim Hurd

    Jim Hurd I Support TFP

    house has 5/8 t&g plywood subfloor, then cheap circa 1981 builder grade vinyl sheet, then luan then nice thick armstrong LVT glue down tile about 20 years old. I want to remove all that so a coretec floor can run through adjoining open family room(playroom now has carpet).

    So, seems like floor pros would do this in their own house? rip it out and start from the subfloors? Will I hate myself and wish I had just floated over all this with a reducing transition or raised the level of the family room?

    On a semi-related note, the whole area of family room + kitchen is 25x26. Coretec claims of "dimensionally stable" aside, does that seem like too big an area to do as one big floating chunk?
     
  2. Chris 45

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

    Ripping it out down to the T&G then putting a fresh layer of plywood over the T&G would be optimal. It’s also the most expensive, most time consuming and your house will be a dusty construction zone for a couple of days. Then you have to wonder if the original layer of vinyl is possibly asbestos. Maybe you will find something unexpected that turns out to be a can of worms.

    Most people don’t want to go through all that hoopla, or pay for it, so they just add another layer to the sandwich and float over everything. What’s your gut telling you?
     
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  3. Jim Hurd

    Jim Hurd I Support TFP

    I'm leaning towards ripping it out or it will bug me later that I didn't. I can usually destroy things by myself, so cost and time aren't that big an issue. I would welcome any insights on techniques to minimize the dusty mess. I'm guessing I should pull up the luan with LVT more or mess as one operation, then work on removing the vinyl sheet. I saw a nice idea on youtube that used two flatirons and a floor scraper to pull up glue down vinyl.
     
  4. Jim Hurd

    Jim Hurd I Support TFP

    What kind of plywood would you put back on top of the subfloor? Would it ideally go under the cabinets? Presumably 15# felt in low areas under the plywood to make floor level? I'm thinking get the second plywood layer completely level, then screw it down with deck screws and put LVT over that? This forum discusses level with play sand Leveling With Roofing Felt And Leveling Compound - Page 2 - Flooring - Contractor Talk. This guy levels it with door skins
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  5. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I would rip it up with a wrecker bar. Probably use 3/8” underlayment grade plywood. Not even sure if that exists. Coretec Floating it doesn’t need underlayment grade because it has sustaining structure strength in itself meaning it can bridge minor voids.
     
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  6. Jim Hurd

    Jim Hurd I Support TFP

    I can't find 3/8 locally. There is 7/32, and 23/32 t&g (way thinner, or way thicker).

    edit: there is 11/32 BC sanded pine; its not targeted at underlayment, but does say "exterior projects" so probably ok?
    11/32 in. or 3/8 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. BC Sanded Pine Plywood-166022 - The Home Depot

    Found this guy who basically decided 3/16" in 10' wasn't even necessary and most floors ignore that and are fine.
    How to level an uneven OSB subfloor before laminate?
    Other people want to rip up the subfloor and trim/sleeper the joists which seems radical (don't go in the kitchen dear, there is no floor right now :) ).
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  7. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Your builder grade sheet vinyl could contain asbestos. I'd leave that alone. Pull up everything else, then lay that BC sanded pine plywood. You didn't tell us just how out of flat your floor is, so I couldn't say what methods you should use to fix that. For sure I wouldn't use sand or anything similar.

    I didn't read much of that discussion on Anandtech; doesn't look like any of the participants are pros. The video you posted is also a DIYer, not a pro. When he said to rub your hand over the entire floor looking for anything sticking up, I stopped watching. That's a good way to drive some foreign object into your hand, or even under a fingernail. OUCH!

    Felt paper might help lift some of the low spots before the plywood goes down, but I'd be careful adding too many layers of that. I also wouldn't use screws, I prefer divergent point staples shot in with a staplegun. You should have a sound, solid substrate for just about anything.
     
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  8. Jim Hurd

    Jim Hurd I Support TFP

    So you think even built in 1981 could have asbestos? My limited understanding was that stopped in 1980. Agreed on the non-pros, was just cataloging the lack of consensus on how to level floors for vinyl plank. What would you use to raise a low spot? I think on this forum I saw a suggestion that scrap vinyl could be used, does it make sense to sandwich scraps of vinyl to level the 3/8 underlayment? For tile everyone seems to use the self-leveling cement, but that seems very iffy for LVT in the short term (easy to make things worse) and long term (can work lose, not really designed for the application).
     
  9. Chris 45

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

    Roofing felt is approved up to 6 layers thick. Vinyl scraps would have a wide degree of what is acceptable based on what vinyl scraps you’re using. Dense commercial vinyl is probably your best bet for going that route.
     
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  10. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I’d at least be curious how well vinyl was bonded. I suppose if you had paperwork on new vinyl back in the day maybe exact product could be determined to not have asbestos, some manufacturers didn’t put it in their vinyl. Inventory of asbestos products could last several years on the shelf.

    After the floor is installed is a perfect time to determine where all the flattening needs to be done. In other words it’s too late and a gamble.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    I don't recall the actual date, but the date was when they stopped using asbestos in the manufacture of flooring products (and other stuff, but this is about flooring). Manufacturers and retailers were still allowed to sell off existing stock that contained asbestos and that could take years.

    In my installation career, I used high quality floor patch, mixed with a latex additive to give it some flex. If the low spots were deep enough, I would fill them with plywood, then feather the edges of that with the aforementioned floor patch mix. New underlayment was installed over that.

    I didn't/don't trust the potential for compression that too many layers of builders felt might have (approved or not, 6 layers of 15# felt is way too much for me). Scraps of vinyl flooring could be a similar hazard, although some of the inlaid or commercial qualities could be stout enough - but then you'd prob'ly have to go out an buy remnants of that and it would be more expensive than better options.

    Did I miss where you posted the actual out-of-flat measurements? Without that information, all this talk about how to fix your issue could just confuse you and others. C'mon, fill us in so we can help you fill it in.
     
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  12. Jim Hurd

    Jim Hurd I Support TFP

    I should probably start a new thread for this, but would anyone use 1/2 inch underlayment? It's a fairly small increment cost wise over the 3/8 and it would take it up to the 1 1/8 typical for tile if that was wanted in the future. I know this would be silly commercially, but in your own house (or as in this case, in your daughter's house?) Is it too thick to staple with divergent staples?
     
  13. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I ddon't see why it would, just make the floor that much more stiffer. If you got the room and money I would go for it in my daughters house.

    :old:

    Daris
     
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  14. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I don’t think NTCA is recommending that thickness total anymore. You could have old specs.
     
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  15. Jim Hurd

    Jim Hurd I Support TFP

    According to Home Depot roofing felt is .03 inch depth, so you could get about .18 inch of correction; or a little less than 3/16. So in theory this is a (relatively) simple solution if your floor is less than 3/8 difference from high to low. Here's a guy on youtube using a combination of felt and shingles. Each shingle is about 3/16.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  16. Jim Hurd

    Jim Hurd I Support TFP

    Installing coretec plus 5" (floating vinyl plank, 8mm), second floor bedroom. Subfloor is 9/16 height difference over 6 feet. 5/8" underlayment grade exposure 1 t&g subfloor, joists 16 OC. 12 by 12 room, joists are clearly uneven. Its your daughter's house, assume she'll have it 30 years.
     
  17. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Two topics were merged into one to avoid confusion and duplicate information. The poll you added has also been merged and can be found at the top of this thread.
     
  18. Jim Hurd

    Jim Hurd I Support TFP

    Ok, sure. I thought it was a little different because the first question was about my kitchen, which is reasonably level (sits more or less directly on a steel beam) and the question was about the vinyl removal and a large area without transitions. The second floor bedrooms have no vinyl issue, and have natural transitions, but have an out-of-flat problem. I'm convinced looking at all these rooms that LVT is the product that everyone wants but only works on the floor no one has.
     
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