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GrammaPat 08-21-2009 08:48 AM

Slate Floor Repair and Linoleum/Vinyl question
Hello -

Slate Floor Tile: We have slate in our entry area and it appears as though someone dropped something and a piece of slate chipped out and there are a couple of scratches in some other areas. Is there some way that I can repair this? The chip is about 4 inches long with a depth of less than 1/4 inch.

Vinyl or Linoleum : I want to put peel n stick tiles over my absolutely ugly kitchen and bathroom floor. (Can't imagine why I didn't do it years ago.) Trouble is, I don't know whether the floor is linoleum or vinyl. Is there some defining method that will tell me which it is? It is neither tiles nor one piece. It is several large pieces. I guess I need to know if there is a difference in the way it is applied based on the material that is being covered. All the sites that I have been to indicate that one should not remove the floor but just tile over it.

Also, the family room floor which is adjacent to the kitchen is currently covered in w to w carpet over a plywood floor. The rest of the house (except for slate entry way and upstairs bathrooms) have hardwood floors. I would like the same flooring in the F/R as I plan to put in the kitchen and 1/2 bath and would like to know how the application over this type of floor is handled.

It is conceivable that I may have it done by the store from which I purchase the flooring but I need to know all the parameters before I go in and get sold "a bill of goods". I was looking at Lowe's and they have folks that install and I would consider that option if they can be trusted to do good work. Otherwise, I should have to look elsewhere for the installers....say Angie's List.

I know this is a long post...but I like to make everything perfectly clear so that the good folks who traverse this site know the particulars. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

Nestor_Kelebay 08-24-2009 12:24 AM

You can't really fix the chip in the slate flooring.

Those scratches on the slate... wipe them down with a damp sponge? Do the scratches disappear when they're wet? If so, you can remove the scratches by simply using an artist's paint brush to paint them with clear acrylic nail polish. Post again if you want to know the science behind why this would work.

Basically, vinyl flooring is any kind of flooring made from vinyl, whether it be square tiles, or sheet goods. If your flooring consists of rectangles or other uncommon shapes made from a resilient vinyl material, it's something I've never come across. There really is a lot of overlap between "vinyl" flooring and "linoleum". Every "linoleum" (except REAL linoleum, which is made from a slurry of linseed oil, clay and cork) will have a vinyl wear layer on top of a paper backing, and so qualifies as being called "vinyl flooring". Some sheet vinyl flooring has both a vinyl wear layer and a sponge vinyl backing, and is therefore also a "vinyl flooring", but is typically called "sheet vinyl" to differentiate it from "linoleum" which typically has a paper backing. You really can't tell from looking at a vinyl flooring whether it has a paper backing or a sponge vinyl backing.

Yes, you can install Peel & Stick over what you have. If there is an embossed pattern on the flooring you have now, you should "float" the floor with a cement based floor leveller like Mapei "Planipatch". "Floating" a floor means mixing up a thin slurry of floor leveling cement and spreading that over the floor with a standard 5 inch by 11 inch plastering trowel to fill in that embossed pattern so that it doesn't "telegraph" through and show as a "ghost pattern" on the new flooring. Basically, what you do is:

1. Mix your Planipatch powder with the Planipatch Plus additive (pronounced "adhesive") and spread that over your old flooring.

2. When dry, set a bright light on the floor to exagerate the roughness of the floor and make every imperfection stand out. Scrape down any trowel ridges with a paint scraper, and vaccuum up.

3. Dilute some Planipatch Plus adhesive with three parts water, and use that solution to mix the Planipatch powder and apply another coat of floor leveler over the floor.

4. Go over the floor with a bright light, using a paint scraper to scrape off anything sticking up, and circling any depressions with chaulk. Vaccuum up.

5. Now, fill in the depressions only with more floor leveler using the Planipatch Plus additive diluted with 3 parts water.

6. Once dry, you can install whatever flooring you want over that cement film.

Another option would be to nail down thin 1/8 inch veneer plywood over the flooring you have, and then simply install your Peel & Stick over the thin veneer plywood.

And, yet another option is to pull up the underlayment in your kitchen and bathroom (with flooring still glued to it) and discard the old underlayment. Then nail down new underlayment, and install new flooring over it.

Here's how they make a house:
1. In the Beginning, there were the floor joists.
2. They nailed either 1X6 boards or 3/4 inch thick plywood over the floor joists to make a "sub-floor".
3. Then, they built walls interior made of 2X4's and exterior walls made of 2X6's over the sub-floor.
4. Then, they nailed down 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick "underlayment" to the subfloor inside each room (as defined by the 2X4 walls)
5. Then, they did everything else, including drywalling the walls, installing the windows, painting the walls and installing kitchen cabinets and counter tops, and
6. Then they installed the flooring in each room, such as carpet, sheet vinyl, cork, laminate and every other kind of flooring.

That way, if a flooring was glued down, you could always remove it by prying up the 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick underlayment in the room, and nailing down new underlayment.

GrammaPat 08-28-2009 10:27 PM

Thank you so much for the detailed response. I am digesting the information and sharing it with my grandson who, I hope, will help me. I see by your many posts that you are a mainstay in this forum. I am sure that all you have assisted are as grateful as am I.

Trooper 10-16-2010 07:51 PM

We have torn up carpet that was over a slate floor. The floor is in excellent condition, but it has glue in spots where they glued the mat down. It also looks like that it has been partially sealed. Can anyone tell us how to remove the glue and sealer? We have tried denatured alcohol, goof off, acetone and muriatic acid. The acid worked the best but we found that even on a test spot at the recomended mix ratio, the glue was still very hard to remove and it did have some etching.
We would appreciate any help!

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