VCT - finishing

Discussion in 'Cleaning, Maintenance & Restoration' started by sccobb, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. sccobb

    sccobb Member

    Would we have to worry about moisture if we float flooring over the VCT later? This same VCT is in all the bathrooms as well.
     
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  2. Incognito

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

    Obviously installing the VCT upsidedown weakened the bond and that may be part of what was shown with the yellowing at the seams. That would be degradation/dissolving of the glue over the years of washing and possible moisture from the slab. So tap around gently with a hammer to see it the tiles are firmly bonded. If you can hear hollow spots it's best to replace the flooring. VCT is the cheapest floor you can buy.

    Generally an upsidedown VCT would be replaced during the installation but I've seen some get missed and waxed over. After 3+ heavy coats you cant tell at all and I've never had one come loose in such a case. Years ago I was running a large, new office building with many, many dozens of small mechanical, electrica, telecom, maintennance and other types rooms with VCT. We used a white Azrock tile that had virtually no wax to speak of. You certainly couldn't SEE the finish in a dark electrical closet with 500 watt halgen bulbs glaring in your face. So you had to feel for the wax side. The older guys couldn't see or feel which side because of the callous skin on their fingertips. Needless to say LOTS of tile went in upside down and I gave up flipping them............figured I'd be out the endlessly on the punch list. But once they apply the finish coats we "got away" with all of it. Anyways, those rooms get fulled with crap, doors closed, locked and pretty much no one goes inside, let alone looks at the floor after occupancy.


    VCT is a solid material made in sheets and cut into squares. The only different treatment of the top and bottom during manufacturing is the light spray of finish coat. So new, properly handled VCT only needs to be buffed and finished with enough coats of "wax" to stand up to the expected traffic.
     
  3. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti Senior Member

    Worry as in how? Water from above getting in between the vinyl plank and vct causing odor and mold?

    Or moisture coming from below slab being trapped and causing issues with the vct bond, also causing a possible mold problem with the adhesive as a food source?

    So you’re looking for a non burnishing wax that doesn’t need the buffer to produce the shine.
     
  4. sccobb

    sccobb Member

    Water from above... my kids are particularly splash prone in the bathroom. Our subfloor is plywood with a lauan overlay.

    The tiles seem well bonded everywhere except the bathrooms, which may be lifting due to moisture? We have extra tile and plan to pull up the lifting tile and replace prior to sealing and finishing the bathroom floors. The bathrooms are a bigger repair job which is why we decided to start in the office. (Learn what we are doing and, hopefully, gain confidence)
     
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  5. Elmer Fudd

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

    I see several issues here.
    1. Tile upside down
    2. Steam mop
    3. lack of sealer
    Put together they make for a real problem. Barry alluded to a process to put a shine on upside down tile, it can be done but only if caught very quickly. You see the bottom of the tile is not made as smooth as the top, so if the tile is used upside down with no sealer or wax the porous surface is degraded and cannot be restored.
    What i see in the photos is that the tile has no protective finish and the use of a steam mop has forced water vapor into the tile joints. This has attacked the adhesive with the result of a yellowish adhesive residue oozing thru the joints. Best advice I have is to clean thoroughly, seal and wax.
     
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  6. sccobb

    sccobb Member

    That is exactly what we did. The end results came out so much better! We are very thankful for everyone’s help on this thread.
     

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  7. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti Senior Member

    I don’t know how that came out way better than I expected. Well Done!
     
  8. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti Senior Member

    A trip to Lowes they started carrying ZEP products which was only at Home Depot, guess they didn’t want to sell the company to the scum greedy sharks. Saw ZEP maybe 5 years ago in Lowe’s, now they’re in proud display.
     

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