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Does anyone have any experience or tales with concrete floors? For example, lifting up one or two layers of linoleum or vinyl tile with concrete underneath, cleaning the floor to remove adhesive, and sealing? Staining too, maybe. This would be in a kitchen, roughly 250 square feet.

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Many people like concrete floors. I'm not 100% sure I would want them in the kitchen because pretty much anything you drop will break.

Having said that, in 1995 or so we replaced our original vinyl flooring with vinyl tile. Getting the old adhesive off was very, very difficult. We had to scrape it with a special scraper. We tried to use a rental electric one but it was almost too hard for me to handle, and I'm a fairly big guy. There was no way my wife could use it. And that was just to get it smooth enough to lay new tile, I can't imagine trying to get it to "exposed finish quality." In a lot of houses, if there will be vinyl or carpet over the slab, the builders are quite willing to write on the concrete slab with magic markers for various things (sink goes here, etc.)

Just to add more fun to the mix, we looked into vinyl installers. None of them would remove old vinyl because the pre-1985 stuff has asbestos. Ours was newer than that but they still weren't interested.

Good luck!

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Does anyone have any experience or tales with concrete floors? For example, lifting up one or two layers of linoleum or vinyl tile with concrete underneath, cleaning the floor to remove adhesive, and sealing? Staining too, maybe. This would be in a kitchen, roughly 250 square feet.

Concrete floors are not always smooth underneath a flooring material. In my condo, the slab was uneven, with noticable dips in some places. There were significant trowel marks. There was even a spot where a bit of the wire mesh stuck up from out of the concrete. Additionally, since a moisture barrier was not installed underneath the concrete, there were significant problems with concrete stain and (easily solved) complications with wood/laminate flooring options.

I tried using the stain/sealing approach several years ago, but it peeled up significantly, especially along the ridges of the trowel marks where the effects of foot traffic were amplified. Also, I vomited on it once and the acid disolved the stain and discolored the concrete.

I would definitely use concrete stain in a new building, where I could verify that it was built properly. Otherwise, I'd stick with traditional flooring options.

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I tried using the stain/sealing approach several years ago, but it peeled up significantly, especially along the ridges of the trowel marks where the effects of foot traffic were amplified. Also, I vomited on it once and the acid disolved the stain and discolored the concrete

Folks, you just can't get this kind of info anywhere else.

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I would definitely use concrete stain in a new building, where I could verify that it was built properly. Otherwise, I'd stick with traditional flooring options.

Yeah, ours weren't any too level, either. I have seen lots of concrete floors in the last few AIA/RDA kind of "modern house" tours. I've only seen one in the kitchen of an older house, and it was painted.

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Yup, unless you set out to use concrete floors, the contractors don't care about the evenness of the concrete. But then again, in the right situations, the rough concrete look might be OK, but I'm sure it more like in an old warehouse loft conversion, not a run of the mill home.

http://www.staintexas.com/STAINED_CONCRETE__HOUSTON_TEXAS_Home_Page.html

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Thanks for the replies so far - I see it's not something that tons of people have taken on in older homes.

No matter what, though, there are two layers of tile that will come off - one vinyl and one most likely the original asbestos. After that, and adhesive removal, then I can see what I'm really dealing with. Staining looks relatively easy, too.

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I removed the vinyl tiles in my old townhouse to put down Pergo a couple of years ago and had to deal with removing the old adhesive. After wasting a ton of time scraping and then trying gentle, environmentally sensitive chemical removers, I still had about 90% of the glue remaining. So my advice is to save yourself a bunch of work and go nuclear right from th start. Go ahead and get the heavy duty, will-dissolve-anything stuff and just get it over with. Just be sure to ventilate well and wear really good gloves.

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Go ahead and get the heavy duty, will-dissolve-anything stuff and just get it over with. Just be sure to ventilate well and wear really good gloves.

I don't remember there being a solvent like that when I did mine. I would have been tempted if there was. I would add the caution to have several pairs of gloves handy and to mask your walls or baseboards really well. You don't want it eating your cabinets.

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I removed the vinyl tiles in my old townhouse to put down Pergo a couple of years ago and had to deal with removing the old adhesive. After wasting a ton of time scraping and then trying gentle, environmentally sensitive chemical removers, I still had about 90% of the glue remaining. So my advice is to save yourself a bunch of work and go nuclear right from th start. Go ahead and get the heavy duty, will-dissolve-anything stuff and just get it over with. Just be sure to ventilate well and wear really good gloves.

Believe it or not, I poured hot water on the adhesive, let it sit for a while to loosen it up, and scraped it right off. Cheap, easy, and environmentally neutral. It is stunningly simple.

Getting the tile of the floor, however, is pretty much backbreaking work. You'll need a tile scraper and lots of Tylenol.

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Getting the tile of the floor, however, is pretty much backbreaking work. You'll need a tile scraper and lots of Tylenol.

Or, a couple of guys from the parking lot at Home Depot, or anywhere in the first 8 blocks of Durham South of I-10, or the parking lot across the street from the Kroger on 11th. I guess you would still need the scraper and tylenol, but they wouldn't be for you.

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I'm hoping that the tiles won't give too much trouble. From the little I saw, it resembles the typical 50s asbestos tile (like below) and was somewhat pliable.

Hopefully after watering down the floor overnight and spreading the old pears on the adhesive it'll peel right off (and I bet they STINK - good thing I'll be wearing a super duty hepa mask) :P

n3vsd2.jpg

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Yes, but vomit would probably be worse for Pergo, carpet, tile, and the other usual suspects than concrete. I don't know.

Gotta worry about TheNiche a little, though. In another thread he was talking about surviving high fevers and here he's talking about puking on the floor. Hope he's OK. :)

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Ha...well, I don't vomit and maybe I'll invest in melamine dishware :)

I just returned from a friend's place in Austin and they uprooted the carpet in the living room and the tile in the kitchen down to the concrete and stained it. It looked really good to me, imperfections and all, and they didn't bother hiring anyone.

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Yes, but vomit would probably be worse for Pergo, carpet, tile, and the other usual suspects than concrete. I don't know.

Gotta worry about TheNiche a little, though. In another thread he was talking about surviving high fevers and here he's talking about puking on the floor. Hope he's OK. :)

Tile seems to have high survivability as long as a good sealant was used on the grout, but carpet is probably the worst of the lot. With respect to the high fevers, one of those (food poisoning on Christmas Eve) occured while I was sleeping on a cot atop my grandparents' wood floors, and my many acts of vomiting eventually reduced me to pure bile, at which point it stripped the varnish off the wood floors; the other high fever (inexplicable) did not result in vomiting.

I eat lots of things I probably shouldn't, especially from taco stands and off of Bellaire Blvd., so I get lots of stomach bugs. Also, growing up I used to live in the Rio Grande Valley, and that seemed to work against me. The only one that ever sent me to the hospital, though, were leftovers from Pizza Hut.

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Tile seems to have high survivability as long as a good sealant was used on the grout, but carpet is probably the worst of the lot. With respect to the high fevers, one of those (food poisoning on Christmas Eve) occured while I was sleeping on a cot atop my grandparents' wood floors, and my many acts of vomiting eventually reduced me to pure bile, at which point it stripped the varnish off the wood floors; the other high fever (inexplicable) did not result in vomiting.

I eat lots of things I probably shouldn't, especially from taco stands and off of Bellaire Blvd., so I get lots of stomach bugs. Also, growing up I used to live in the Rio Grande Valley, and that seemed to work against me. The only one that ever sent me to the hospital, though, were leftovers from Pizza Hut.

Okay, this thread is starting to get really gross.

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  • 3 weeks later...

What about a skim coat? Is this relevant or necessary?

Skim coats go on really thin... and will crack. OK to skim coat a floor to level out dips and valleys - and then put down tile or some other floor covering... but the skim coat alone... will eventually crack (even if there is no signifcant foundation movement)...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Skim coats go on really thin... and will crack. OK to skim coat a floor to level out dips and valleys - and then put down tile or some other floor covering... but the skim coat alone... will eventually crack (even if there is no signifcant foundation movement)...

this is partially true, it all depends on the material used. not all toppings are created equal. i prefer/use a product called ardex. i have used this material for years and have only seen it crack once. not even so much as minute shrinkage or spawling cracks. another company placed the slab for my house in the rain (not heavy but just enough for the lazy finishers to not finish it well. we ardexed the garage floor 6 yrs ago, and i challenge anyone to find a crack in that floor not caused by me dropping dumbells or plate weights on it through the rubber mats on the floor. my brothers house has stained concrete floors and so they used a product called ardex "feather finish" which goes on like 1/32" thick, then they stained it rather then the concrete from the slab. it looks VERY good. these products can get expensive, a 40lb bag of cardex concrete dressing runs about $65 and covers about 100-120 sq ft 1/8" thick.

if you just go get some patch material or use a mortar or "float" material then yes it will absolutely crack and may crack quickly (within hours in some cases).

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