Vinyl tile over wood?

PinkPurlsJune 25, 2012

Hi flooring experts!

So here is my situation before anyone faints at the thought of putting vinyl over hardwoods. My house was built in 1924, it's a classic Milwaukee Bungalow with craftsman details galore. And probably maple floors in the kitchen.

BUT, "progress" has been hard on this old girl. And hardest on the kitchen floor. In the 50s someone "modernized" the crap out of this house with paneling everywhere and linoleum on the kitchen floor.

So here we are now. We have taken out the lino, we have wet scraped all the mastic off that we can. The mastic (which surely contained asbestos) is soaked into this floor, though. I do not feel it can ever be safely sanded to be refinished. And frankly, we cannot afford it if it could be. So the floor is already ruined since the first swipe of black mastic hit it and we enjoy having working lungs. This is not negotiable. :)

So we have bought luxury vinyl tile to put down and grout. Trafficmaster Ceramica to be exact. When looking over the installation directions tonight, I saw that is does not recommend putting the floor over strip wood floors. Well....crap.

I have done this before with much cheaper tile and had no issues with telegraphing. But, this floor stretched our budget, so we want to do it right?

Can Luaun be used as an underlayment? Or we are considering floor leveling compound (which could be a nightmare in an old house!!)as an alternative.

Frankly, if this won't work, I'm going to prime it and paint it and return my gorgeous tiles and be done with it.

Thanks for any expertise.

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You would be surprised what can be sanded off a wood floor.

Luan is not an approved underlayment, although the approved underlayment looks like luan.

You want a good stable panel, of birch.

Fiberrock has a panel that is the most stable and what I always use.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 11:56PM
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We could probably do fiberock, but dishwasher might not be able to be removed if we raised the floor that much.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 8:28AM
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You will only raise your floor approximately 5/16" to 3/8" max installing a panel underlayment and your tile, so I don't understand how you would trap your dishwasher.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 9:44AM
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Actually, I have heard back from the manufacturer and they told me to put down Luan as it is an approved underlayment and won't void my warranty.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:19AM
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I think the luan sounds like a horrible idea and don't have the skills for the cement backer. So my solution is that I will bump up the budget and get a floating floor that works better in an old house.

Everybody wins! Except the budget. But that's part of the old house adventure, right?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 2:28PM
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Fiberrock nails down just like wood panels, when using it as a vinyl underlayment. It is only 1/4" thick.

You still have to fill the joints and the fastener heads, but it does not shrink and swell with rH changes over the season. The very movement that causes underlayment seams to telegraph into the finished floor.

FIBEROCK Aqua-Tough underlayment is a unique, fiber-reinforced gypsum product that represents a new era in substrate performance for wet or dry areas. It provides a smooth, uniform surface that is an excellent substrate for a variety of floor coverings. It is engineered to meet water-, mold-, and indentation-resistance needs under resilient flooring, ceramic tile, carpeting, hardwood flooring, and laminate flooring. This versatile interior underlayment has a uniform, water-resistant composition that helps prevent the problems typically associated with wood based underlayments, and is lighter weight and easier to cut than fiber-cement panels.

It is environmentally friendly, made from 95-percent recycled materials, earning it Green Cross Certification from Scientific Certification Systems.

It also includes a 20-year warranty against buckling, warping, delamination, cracking, and splitting by fasteners.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fiberock underlayment

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 9:32PM
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