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Basbousa 02-06-2014 07:34 PM

Identify this substance
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I've recently become the proud owner of a 1938 home which needs quite a bit of work. I am hoping to do most of it myself.

I recently looked under the thin carpet that covers the entry way... and this is what I found. I eventually want to tile the entry way, but I have no idea what this stuff is, if I need to remove it before tiling or just go over it. Although it is cracked, the pieces seem to be glued down, and I wasn't able to remove them.

So, what do you think this is?

nealtw 02-06-2014 08:12 PM

Vinyl flooring cr, 1970. By the look of the wear the sub floor may need some help, you may be able to tile over as long as it is stuck down good. If you are thinking about taking it up, check out this site, some of this stuff had asbestos in it.

Basbousa 02-06-2014 11:59 PM

Sorry, I should have been more specific.

I love the vinyl flooring and I'm keeping it. It's in the kitchen. The stuff under the carpet is the entry way, which borders the kitchen. The carpet is barely adhered to that bumpy, cracked... whatever it is.... and it stops where the kitchen starts. That's what I want to know about. A friend who saw the same photo as I posted here says it's probably tile mud, but I think it's too thick to be old mud.

nealtw 02-07-2014 12:52 AM

Your friend might be right, usually you would be able to see the marks of a v notch trowel or the marking on the back of the tile.

bud16415 02-07-2014 05:06 AM

It looks like floor leveling compound.

Basbousa 02-07-2014 09:50 AM


Originally Posted by bud16415 (Post 99887)
It looks like floor leveling compound.

Oh my. I have been thinking about using self leveling concrete in the bathroom... I'll bet you're right. The previous owner did a lot of work himself, and unfortunately, not all of it was done correctly and will end up costing me more.

Hmm. Can I tile over this? What about peel and stick vinyl? Or should I do the real stuff? Does it matter?

nealtw 02-07-2014 10:01 AM

If it is a concrete type product and isn't cracked, to me it says the sub is in good shape for tiling on. Peel and stick would want a smooth base.

bud16415 02-07-2014 10:29 AM

When you get the carpet up see what it looks like. Broom and vacuum it good and if it’s mostly stuck down good get anything loose out and get a bag of the leveling compound and fix the few bad spots. The peel and sticks are pretty DIY friendly and as Neil pointed out you need a smooth flat surface for best results. If you plan on doing tile I think you then want to look at what you have much closer and there are a few flooring experts here that will offer advice and will want to see some pictures of the whole floor first under the carpet. Floors like laminate and these peel and sticks etc. are more of an easy first timer DIY project and can look nice and last a long time if used carefully. Full tile is a couple steps up IMO and you don’t want to take a chance with not having a proper base.

Basbousa 02-09-2014 02:18 PM

Updated photos
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Alright, so I started at the other end (the front door) and peeled back the carpet... and this is what I found.

You can also see that by the door, there's a water pipe coming in, and it's barely covered by whatever flooring/self leveling compound they used. When I had the house inspected, the inspector said I should tile over it to protect it somewhat from the elements. There is no difference in height from the front door thresh hold, so if there was a water issue outside, it's gonna come right in.

So, black "tile" or mold? It felt drafty and colder when I pulled up the carpet. And what's your opinion on how to handle the pipe? I have forced hot water for heat.

nealtw 02-09-2014 09:18 PM

Is this a wood floor over a crawlspace or basement or is this a concrete slab?

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