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vinyl tile over composite floor ... how? An $$ mess!!

March 2, 2009

I am replacing vinyl flooring (squares) over a partical board floor in an upstairs apt. kitchen. The original tiles were glued down .. some sticking but most loose. I guess this type of board flooring must meet building standards here!

What is the proper procedure for laying tile (either squares or sheet vinyl)over this base? Should there be something between the new tile & the flooring? I spent $300 on roll of vinyl & was told by Home Depot to glue it down over tar paper laid over the floor first but it became a mess ... the vinyl curled back up up & I lost $300 worth! Of course Home Depot gave all kinds of excuses why it did this despite their employee's advise!

Thanks for any ideas as to what happened & what I need to do to keep it from doing the same again.


Comments (6)

  • floorguy

    Your first mistake, following any advise you got from Home Depot, and their clueless employees. If they knew how to do it, they surely would not be walking the aisles of Home Depot.

    I have never heard of vinyl over tar paper! That is a failure right off the bat.

    Take up the tiles. install an approved hardwood underlayment, like Multi-ply or Accu-ply, fastening it very well. Sand the edge joins and skim any divots and fastener pocks, along with any wide gaps. Let that sit for a day to dehydrate and then sand to a feather finish, and flat and smooth. Now prime the substrate and glue it down, using a 2x4 wrapped in carpet, as a squeegee, push the bubbles out.

  • vieja_gw

    Thanks for the info., 'floorguy'!

    Can smooth hardboard paneling or pegboard-type material be laid down under the tile first?

    Yes, later another person also laid tile over tarpaper & the oils from the paper soaked up through the tile- which was a light color- & stained the tiles!

    Hopefully we can salvage some of the vinyl sheeting to glue down under the kitchen & bath sinks for protection but most of that roll has to be tossed $$ ! :(

    We should have come here for advise first rather than later!

    - vieja

  • floorguy

    You need to use a hardwood plywood underlayment. Trying to use luan or Masonite, is like throwing your money out the window again.

    Luan has voids in the core, every now and then, step on that and it breaks through, also luan has oils in the wood, which cause adhesion problems and yellowing wicking after the install. Masonite explodes with water intrusion, and the moisture from the glue, is enough to make it happen.

  • glennsfc

    Not that it matters, but you don't say whether or not that tar paper was first glued to the particle board. Flooring, especially natural linoleum, was typically installed over a layer of tar paper or another type of lining felt.

    Not much will stick for very long over particle board.

  • vieja_gw

    glennsfc: No, I did not first glue the tarpaper to the particle board. I also tried a piece of the unused sheet vinyl with just some glue but that did not curl ... so it may not have been just the glue but maybe the vinyl/glue/tarpaper/particle board combination ...? The vinyl squares that were on the floor originally were just glued to the particle board by previous occupants. Some of the square tiles adhered good but most did not when I removed them.

    So tarpaper had been used in the past? That must have been what the people that suggested it to me were thinking then ... what is 'natural' linoleum? Growing up I always remember my folks talking about 'linoleum'& 'oilcloth' ... terms I don't hear anymore nor do I know what they were really! Our old house had not asbestos but what was called 'asphalt' tiles on the floor.

  • glennsfc

    My comment about stuff not sticking well to particle board is from direct observation.

    Flooring manufacturers do not reecommend adhering flooring to particle board.

    The advice from the person at HD was totally wrong.

    Natural or genuine linoleum is made from cork flour, linseed oil, pigments and bonding agents and fillers to create a flooring material.

    Oilcloth was essentially paint and pigments on canvas...predecessor to linoleum.

    Asphalt tiles were actually asphalt asbestos contructions.

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