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How to remove sticky vinyl adhesive? Or not?



"How to remove sticky vinyl adhesive? Or not?," in the Ceramic and Stone Q&A forum, begins: "I plan to install porcelain tile in the whole house. The kitchen currently has Novalis stick down tiles that are ..."

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Old July 31, 2012, 05:17 AM   #1
kgirot58
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How to remove sticky vinyl adhesive? Or not?


I plan to install porcelain tile in the whole house. The kitchen currently has Novalis stick down tiles that are about 10 years old. Concrete is under that. When I removed one tile, the adhesive is still sticky. I'm told it won't dry. Tried to scrape it up, but it still leaves a sticky residue. I have two choices; 1) use an adhesive remover or 2) tile over the vinyl. In all the advice I have read on this subject, neither are good choices. Removing the adhesive my cause the concrete to absorb the adhesive making it impossible for thinset to stick. Laying new tile over the vinyl can cause the new tile to eventually come loose. I really want to remove the tile because leaving it in place means the kitchen area will be a different height than the living room, which means I will have a transition line that is about 12' long between the two areas.

Suggestions?

BTW, I have read the article on ceramic over vinyl. I decided to post this here instead of the ceramic forum because I really want to remove the vinyl. The MSDS on the Novalis adhesive says it's latex based. Back to Nature's Ready Strip is water based. Is it possible this may work without sealing the concrete? I am hoping someone has tried this and can offer feedback.

thanks!

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Last edited by kgirot58; July 31, 2012 at 05:48 AM. Reason: additional details
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Old July 31, 2012, 11:25 AM   #2
Jim McClain
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I never liked putting any liquid on a concrete floor that was stronger than water, unless it was a sealer. Using any kind of solvent or adhesive remover might cause problems later, especially if there is any residue of the chemical left in the concrete.

When I had to deal with sticky adhesives left after flooring removal, I used a powder sprinkled on the floor to make scraping much easier. You may need to use a patching/leveling compound during your final floor prep stage, so you might consider sprinkling some of the compound's powder on the sticky adhesive and then use a very sharp scraper to get the adhesive down to a very thin layer. Then you can mix the patching compound and spread it over the floor to patch the cracks and holes.

I think ceramic tile installation requires some kind of base, either a decoupling material or a thick layer of some kind of adhesive - sorry, I'm not a tile guy. But that might have to be compatible with the kind of prep materials you use. Since this is actually floor preparation in conjunction with a ceramic or stone tile installation, it should be in the ceramic forum. We have some pros who only cruise that forum and I think we need their help here.

Thanks for bringing your problems to us.

Jim

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Old July 31, 2012, 02:55 PM   #3
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Do NOT use adhesive remover.

Do Not lay porcelain tile over vinyl

Just SCRAPE up as much of the glue as possible with a 4" razor scraper.

https://www.google.com/search?q=4%22...w=1238&bih=633

it'll be a hair tacky no matter how well you scrape it

it's not FUN AND EASY work

but you'll be good to go

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Old July 31, 2012, 06:36 PM   #4
Kman
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I ran into a similar job a couple of months ago where wood flooring had become water damaged and had to be removed. It was glued to the slab, and while the 160 sf of wood came up in about five hours, there was no way the glue was going to be scraped up. After trying several other methods, I ended up using an angle grinder with a diamond cup wheel. I took a thin layer off the top of the slab in the process, but that's what was necessary to get the glue off. It required a fan at the doorway to pull most of the dust out, and masking off the rest of the house with plastic, but that's the breaks.

I'm not saying you have to be as aggressive as I was with my problem, but if you can't scrape it or hire someone who can, it'll have to be ground off. Due to the dust and mess involved, you may not want to try it yourself. It requires a mask, long sleeves, eye protection, and gloves. It's not for someone with a weak immune system, allergies, or compromised lungs. In fact, I recommend to most people that they don't even try it.

Any chemicals that would dissolve the adhesive bond would likely interfere with the thinset used to set the tile. I would not recommend that either.

You may be in a situation where you have to consider another type of flooring if you can't scrape the glue off.

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Old July 31, 2012, 08:01 PM   #5
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Kman said View Post
You may be in a situation where you have to consider another type of flooring if you can't scrape the glue off.
This would be a terrible precedent for any future PSA adhered replacement jobs.

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Old July 31, 2012, 08:35 PM   #6
Kman
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Barry Carlton said View Post
This would be a terrible precedent for any future PSA adhered replacement jobs.
Not knowing the OP's physical or financial limitations, this is advice of last resort. My point being, the glue has to come up one way or another for tile to be installed.

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Old August 1, 2012, 04:50 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice. I was thinking of this solution. The area is about 300sf and the entire house is already in a POD, so dust isn't an issue, but I will invest in the diamond wheel with dust catcher you suggested. I was considering renting a scarifier, but that seemed way too aggressive. The grinding wheel will be more work for me but less for the tile guy to float. I plan to remove a small section of the tile in a corner to test scraping off the glue to see what I have left, then go from there. Thanks again.

Kman said View Post
I ran into a similar job a couple of months ago where wood flooring had become water damaged and had to be removed. It was glued to the slab, and while the 160 sf of wood came up in about five hours, there was no way the glue was going to be scraped up. After trying several other methods, I ended up using an angle grinder with a diamond cup wheel. I took a thin layer off the top of the slab in the process, but that's what was necessary to get the glue off. It required a fan at the doorway to pull most of the dust out, and masking off the rest of the house with plastic, but that's the breaks.

I'm not saying you have to be as aggressive as I was with my problem, but if you can't scrape it or hire someone who can, it'll have to be ground off. Due to the dust and mess involved, you may not want to try it yourself. It requires a mask, long sleeves, eye protection, and gloves. It's not for someone with a weak immune system, allergies, or compromised lungs. In fact, I recommend to most people that they don't even try it.

Any chemicals that would dissolve the adhesive bond would likely interfere with the thinset used to set the tile. I would not recommend that either.

You may be in a situation where you have to consider another type of flooring if you can't scrape the glue off.

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Old August 1, 2012, 04:51 AM   #8
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Just curious, what does this statement mean? And what is a PSA?

Barry Carlton said View Post
This would be a terrible precedent for any future PSA adhered replacement jobs.

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Old August 1, 2012, 04:53 AM   #9
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Well, there aren't any physical or financial limitations (within reason). I'm spending about $25k to renovate the house, so a little more to do it right is within budget. Are there other options that have not been presented?

thanks!

Kman said View Post
Not knowing the OP's physical or financial limitations, this is advice of last resort. My point being, the glue has to come up one way or another for tile to be installed.

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Old August 1, 2012, 05:04 AM   #10
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Pressure-sensitive adhesive.

I think Barry means it would be a bad thing to have to grind every PSA job that was done just to remove the glue. Of course, how well the glue is bonded to the slab depends on several things, such as the quality of the adhesive, the application of it by the installer, and what it has been exposed to since installed.

My concern is that the adhesive might prevent a sufficient bond between thinset and concrete. Thinset is best bonded to concrete when it is "burned" or "keyed" into the concrete. This is achieved by using the flat side of trowel to literally smear thinset onto the slab. This forces thinset into the microscopic pores of the concrete. Vinyl adhesive can interfere with this process. This is also the reason that thinset manufacturers require the removal of any foreign materials, like sealer, adhesives, etc.

The quality of the thinset used can also affect the bond. Better quality thinsets are "stickier", while low quality ones have too much sand to achieve an adequate bond.

For your project, it's really just a matter of pulling up some of the existing floor and making a decision based on what you find.

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Old August 1, 2012, 05:10 AM   #11
kgirot58
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Thanks again. I'm sure it will need some grinding. I don't think this stuff will come clean enough to allow thinset to meet the concrete. I only want to do this job once, so it must be done right. Will tackle it this weekend and report back.

Kman said View Post
Pressure-sensitive adhesive.

I think Barry means it would be a bad thing to have to grind every PSA job that was done just to remove the glue. Of course, how well the glue is bonded to the slab depends on several things, such as the quality of the adhesive, the application of it by the installer, and what it has been exposed to since installed.

My concern is that the adhesive might prevent a sufficient bond between thinset and concrete. Thinset is best bonded to concrete when it is "burned" or "keyed" into the concrete. This is achieved by using the flat side of trowel to literally smear thinset onto the slab. This forces thinset into the microscopic pores of the concrete. Vinyl adhesive can interfere with this process. This is also the reason that thinset manufacturers require the removal of any foreign materials, like sealer, adhesives, etc.

The quality of the thinset used can also affect the bond. Better quality thinsets are "stickier", while low quality ones have too much sand to achieve an adequate bond.

For your project, it's really just a matter of pulling up some of the existing floor and making a decision based on what you find.

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Old August 1, 2012, 06:17 AM   #12
kgirot58
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Does this black stuff have to come up for thinset to stick?


This as a totally separate topic from my previous post, but it got moved here anyway. Previous post was about peel and stick glue residue and this one is about asbestos tile adhesive residue.

In the original house structure I removed two layers of old asbestos tile (safely, I hope) that was too loose in some areas to tile over. The black adhesive has "stained" the concrete under it. There is nothing to scrape up, it's just black residue. I spritzed water on it and it beads, see the picture.

1. Does this have to be ground off or is there a thinset that will work over it?

2. House was built in 1952. Does this black adhesive have asbestos in it? If so, what is the best method to remove it?

thanks!
Attached Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
img_0073.jpg  

Last edited by kgirot58; August 1, 2012 at 09:54 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old August 1, 2012, 09:47 AM   #13
Daris Mulkin
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Most likely it could have asbestos in it. The only way to know is do a scaping and have it tested. The one thing you don't want to do is abrate it and get the fibers airborne. When I have seen this removed it was done into a slurry. I'm sure someone else will kick in on this. Best left to a professional in that field.

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Old August 1, 2012, 10:17 AM   #14
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Daris Mulkin said View Post
Most likely it could have asbestos in it. The only way to know is do a scaping and have it tested. The one thing you don't want to do is abrate it and get the fibers airborne. When I have seen this removed it was done into a slurry. I'm sure someone else will kick in on this. Best left to a professional in that field.

Daris
Daris is right, abatement companies use the very same adhesive removers that are not recommended to install over.

And if it does have the big A, Daris is again right about abrading it. You do not want it airborne.

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