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Black Cutback adhesive



"Black Cutback adhesive," in the Floor Preparation forum, begins: "I want to install bamboo flooring. I removed the carpet and vinyl and now have that black adhesive, which is ..."

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Old September 27, 2011, 10:51 AM   #1
Mkranes
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Black Cutback adhesive


I want to install bamboo flooring. I removed the carpet and vinyl and now have that black adhesive, which is tough to scape and I'm told contains asbestos. I've heard from some pros I need to scrape as much as I can off. I've heard from others not to worry about it - that I can put self leveling cement directly on it. I'm not sure what is best - skip the scraping step and same some sweat, or try to get as much of that nasty stuff off as possible by wet scraping. I'd love some advice here. What are the best steps for me at this point? Also, what products do I need? I've heard ARDEX makes something called Feather Finish and ARDEX 15 - which is best and easiest to use?

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Old September 27, 2011, 03:28 PM   #2
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DON'T scrape it! The whole issue with asbestos is when it becomes airborne and inhaled. What flooring product are you planning on putting down?

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Old September 27, 2011, 09:19 PM   #3
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How are you installing the bamboo? I would think if you are nailing it down, just put some paper down on the floor and install yours. Ardex would skim coat the floor to encapsulate the asbestos. You could also use webcrete to do that. The other thing you could do is to subfloor over your black floor with plywood.

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Old September 27, 2011, 10:11 PM   #4
Peter Kodner
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Some more info is needed. Any idea how old the adhesive is? What flooring was removed to expose the black adhesive?

There are a couple non-asbestos containing black flooring adhesives. The only way to be sure is to have a sample tested, Testing is not expensive and the results will let us know how to give the proper advice on how to safely proceed.

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Old September 28, 2011, 06:54 AM   #5
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kylenelson said View Post
DON'T scrape it! The whole issue with asbestos is when it becomes airborne and inhaled. What flooring product are you planning on putting down?
Nevermind, apparently I don't read so well. You already said you were putting down bamboo

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Old September 28, 2011, 09:14 AM   #6
Mkranes
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Help with Bamboo


Yes - I'm installing bamboo, and am wondering what I need to put over that nasty cutback so the bamboo adhesive will work. Can I just put a self-leveling concrete, then the bamboo adhesive? I haven't examined it closely yet, but floor seems mostly flat, no even sure I need the self-leveling stuff - but I might. First time doing this - very new at it - so any guidance or steps you can give me will be much appreciated. thanks!

Just read the other posts - great questions.

I removed a layer of carpet then vinyl tiles before seeing the black adhesive. Our house was built in 74 - so I'm assuming it was put in around then, but not positive.

We bought the house - and they had done bamboo to the living room - and left some, so it's the glue-down kind I believe - not floating click together stuff.

Thanks for all your help!

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Old September 28, 2011, 09:53 AM   #7
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Mkranes said View Post
Yes - I'm installing bamboo, and am wondering what I need to put over that nasty cutback so the bamboo adhesive will work. Can I just put a self-leveling concrete, then the bamboo adhesive? I haven't examined it closely yet, but floor seems mostly flat, no even sure I need the self-leveling stuff - but I might. First time doing this - very new at it - so any guidance or steps you can give me will be much appreciated. thanks!

Just read the other posts - great questions.

I removed a layer of carpet then vinyl tiles before seeing the black adhesive. Our house was built in 74 - so I'm assuming it was put in around then, but not positive.

We bought the house - and they had done bamboo to the living room - and left some, so it's the glue-down kind I believe - not floating click together stuff.

Thanks for all your help!
****************************** *
You're not going to want to glue directly over the cutback. You seem to be already aware of that. So the question is covering the old glue or removing it. Whether it's an asbestos adhesive or not it's always best to remove anything and everything between your new floor and the concrete slab you want to bond to. I can't think of flooring where that's more critical than glue down wood as it's going to expand and contract on a constant basis with humidity changes.

So have the adhesive tested. If there's asbestos get a quote from an abatement company. Prices here in Southern California are coming down dramatically as competition enters and the economy is sluggish (at best) so you might find it's not as outrageous as you anticipate. You're going to want the adhesive shot blasted off and that's more than the chemical strippers because they have to do a larger scale containment-----I believe.

If it's not asbestos the shot blasting is still the best way to go and should be fairly reasonable to contract out or just go rent a Blastrac system appropriate for your scale project. In most cases you'll need a skim coat or possible more serious floating and leveling after the bead blasting depending usually on how dense your concrete is. Softer slabs can get chewed up something awful by the bead blasting process.

Covering the glue with Ardex Feather Finish or Ardex K-15 is certainly an option many guys would choose. I've done it many times successfully--------not so much with wood floor installations but literally hundreds of thousands of square feet for commercial resilient glue down work. In fact I've never had a problem that comes to mind. In my house I'd bead blast. Bamboo is one of those creatures I just don't trust to stay down there happily forever.

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Old September 28, 2011, 10:17 AM   #8
Mkranes
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to scrape or not to scrape


Thanks for the detail. I'm not sure I have the budget for professional asbestos removal - would it be a reasonable choice - thought not perfect - to cover the glue with Ardex 15 - and just hope for the best, or would I most likely see problems down the road? Or is there safe way to scrape off the adhesive? I heard wet scraping is safe? Can I get a cheap asbestos test from a store like Home Depot? I did find a lab in Austin that will test if for $40 - seems pretty reasonable, but if there is a cheaper self-test kit, I would do that. Again, if I can get away with just leaving it and covering it - I'd prefer that, as long as the job will still be good quality. The two rooms I'm covering are pretty small bedrooms 8X10 in size - does this make the Ardex over glue more reasonable an option, with less change more shifts in the subfloor that would make the wood come up?

Again, thanks for everyone's time with these questions. This is a great resource for the do it yourselfer. It's been hard to find specific information out there on the web!

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Old September 28, 2011, 11:13 AM   #9
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Think of it this way... will the old black adhesive hold whatever you put over it any better than it did your tiles?

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Old September 28, 2011, 08:21 PM   #10
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I would cover it with 1/4" plywood and then glue to that.

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Old September 29, 2011, 05:32 AM   #11
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You might be able to nail the bamboo down and not use glue.

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Old September 29, 2011, 07:32 AM   #12
Tandy Reeves
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I agree with Scott. How wide and thick is the flooring? Bamboo is not a highly stable grass and I do not see it performing well glued down.

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Old September 29, 2011, 07:44 AM   #13
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stullis said View Post
You might be able to nail the bamboo down and not use glue.
****************************** **********
http://www.hardwoodcouncil.com/pdfs/...ete%20slab.pdf

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Old September 29, 2011, 02:27 PM   #14
Nate Hall
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The house was built in 74 and in those days the tile also had asbestos in it so you probably inhaled enough asbestos to kill an elephant. Just kidding, I've taken up enough v.A.t. (vinyl-Asbestos-tile)to kill twenty elephants and I'm O.K. (physicaly anyhow)
I've had experience with a product called Sureseal from the Mohawk group that is a paint-on product designed to encapsulate cut-back. It is probably available by many names in different buckets. Check with the manufacurer of the adhesive you plan to use and see what they recommend.

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Old September 29, 2011, 07:59 PM   #15
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Ditto on the Sureseal. I wouldn't skimcoat if ya don't need any levelin. Sureseal gives a better bite with adhesives.

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