Options to replace or re-tile kitchen

Discussion in 'Flooring' started by condoowner, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Oct 30, 2012 #1

    condoowner

    condoowner

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    Hi all!

    I want to replace the existing tiles in my kitchen. The area is not very big, but I am not comfortable to try to remove the existing tiles as they are installed on a mortar bed which I was told could come apart with the tiles or completely break loose... Not good and I want to avoid this.

    A suggestion I was given was to re-tile on top of the existing tiles. Of course, this would require to replace (or relocate) the baseboards (but you will see on the pics, I don't have much of them). Also, I would only re-tile where its currently possible to walk (i.e. not underneath the cabinets). The reason being that the pantry is a single unit from top-bottom and if I raise it, I will have to raise all cabinets, even the ones on the wall so they stay even... If its much much better to re-tile everywhere, I will do, but otherwise I'd prefer re-tiling only around the cabinets.

    Other thing to consider, the current tiles are of the "natural" type with very uneven surface and contours, and the installation job was poor, most of them are not even (see one of the pics, there is a 1/8" difference on this one)....

    Finally, I will need a transition piece between the laminated floor and the new tiles since the floor will be higher...

    Please look at the pics, and tell me how you'd proceed and what you think!!

    Thanks!!!!

    IMG_0696.jpg

    IMG_0697.jpg

    IMG_0700.jpg
     
  2. Oct 30, 2012 #2

    nealtw

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    Do you have room to lift the dishwasher up to 1/2"?
     
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  3. Oct 30, 2012 #3

    condoowner

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    Should be able, I had to extend the jack screws all the way to be able to fasten it to the countertop
     
  4. Oct 31, 2012 #4

    nealtw

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    I havn't done it but I think you have grind the surface of the old tile.
     
  5. Oct 31, 2012 #5

    condoowner

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    The more I think about it, he more I am leaning toward stripping down the existing tiles and re-tiling on the existing mortar floating bed..

    If I re-tile over the exiting ones, I will have to grind the tiles so the thinset sticks well, and if I start fresh I will not have to do awful cutting around the cabinets and everything else. Plus, the floor will be much higher which I am not sure I am OK with..

    Thats assuming removing the tiles I dont destroy it too much.

    Anybody has faced this situation before?
     
  6. Oct 31, 2012 #6

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    You may need to remove cupboards.
     
  7. Oct 31, 2012 #7

    condoowner

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    For sure.... I will remove the cupboards, even the ones on the wall since the lower ones will be higher.

    Unless I am wrong, isnt it only unscrewing the cupboards, and screwing them lets say 1/2" higher?? Nothing major to worry about?

    My biggest concern is really removing the existing tiles because of that mortar bed.. I was told there could be a wire mesh which the bed was poured thru... if it breaks loose I will have a hard time repairing this and it will never be as strong.
     
  8. Oct 31, 2012 #8

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    I think the normal is to remove the bed also, you could try removing tile under stove to see how easy it comes up. You would still have fun trying to get it fairly flat.
    Again, I am not a tile guy.
     
  9. Oct 31, 2012 #9

    condoowner

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    Just to be sure we're talking about the same things here... By mortar bed I am referring to the 1.5in portland concrete slab they poured on top of the actual floor all over the house, even under the laminated wood floor...

    Why would I need to remove it if I succeed to remove the tiles without damaging it??
     
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  10. Oct 31, 2012 #10

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    So that is not a morter bed, it is a concrete floor. Either regular concrete or light weight concrete. I would think the tile will come off that but with no experince with it, I am just guessing. Sorry. I would pull the stove and pop a tile and see whats going to happen. Do you have heat in the floor, like embedded pipes for hot water?
     
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  11. Nov 2, 2012 #11

    condoowner

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    Hey Neal, I dont think there is anything in the floor that would be damaged with chipping that tile off.... As far as I can tell, there are no wires, pipes, or anything else underneath, but having a small space heater located under one of the cupboards, I was thinking to install floor heaters while the tile work is removed....

    Tomorrow I will pull the stove, use a cold chisel and a hammer and try to pop a tile to see how its coming off..

    Im surprised no-one from Houserepairtalk has done anything like this. usually I get lots of comments right away.
     
  12. Nov 2, 2012 #12

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    found some interesting videos
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGDvXRlaVl0[/ame]
     
  13. Nov 2, 2012 #13

    generation

    generation

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    Hey i have a way that requires little chipping no worry about destroying floor and pretty clean send me a message and ill let u know it depends on a few things type of tile stone ceramic so on. Type of adhesive used pull up part of one tile u will know hit me up on email ill let u know
     
  14. Nov 2, 2012 #14

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    generation; It's better you if you ask and answer questions here, so we all can learn. And welcome.
     
  15. Nov 2, 2012 #15

    condoowner

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    Funny, I replied the same thing this morning thru my android phone but for whatever reason, the message was not posted..

    I agree with Neal, please port your recommendations here so all can benefit from this. This is the foundation of these forums, share & learn! I usually share anything I think will benefit people, my mistakes, my discoveries, good shots and bad moments... :)

    But in the end, I am (so are everybody else) very interested in what you have to say!!! Please share with us!
     
  16. Nov 2, 2012 #16

    condoowner

    condoowner

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    To answer your question generation, yes this is ceramic tiling, about 12x12 (or so), and about a quarter inch thick. I have no idea of the mortar they used to glue the tiles on the floor. I was told there could be a sliding mat or something similar to the Ditra membranes (the orange oplastic sheeting) under the tiles so they are "easily" pulled if upgraded, but it would be a contractor's decision, and I am pretty sure I dont have this since whoeve biult this place cheaped out on everything.....

    I still have to pop a tile under the stove and post back here with pics and findings.
     
  17. Nov 3, 2012 #17

    condoowner

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    Just about an hour after I started :) Almost half of the kitchen is done!

    The problem will be to remove the mortar on the concrete slab... Some places its coming off with the tiles, some other places its stuck to the concrete floor so hard I cant even peel it with my 3in chisel...

    Grinder? Tape sanding machine? What are people using???

    So far the tiles are coming off in large chunks, some of them came off entirely in one piece! Its much easier than I thought...

    IMG_0701.jpg
     
  18. Nov 3, 2012 #18

    CallMeVilla

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    Modern condos sometimes have light weight cement floors poured over the subfloor. This is relatively soupy and self-levels. You might be mistaking the "1.5" Portland cement" for what was done. In truth, you can't remove it because it is structural. Better do some research!

    Next, you are NOT going to get the new dishwasher into the re-tiled kitchen. They are typically tight to begin with . . . You may not even be able to remove the existing DW ... the last one I had like this I had to disassemble into pieces before it could be removed!

    My recommendation:

    1. Get a rotary hammer and remove all the tile. Use a flat bladed bit
    2. Get a small cement grinder and remove all the remaining high spots. Remember, you don't have to have a perfectly smooth floor, just one without serious ridges
    3. Remove the appliances and DW
    4. Re-tile using thinset. Try to pick a tile without that awful large grout line (outdated). Avoid travertine because it is porous and fragile in a kitchen. Tile under appliances.
    5. Restore baseboard. Invite me to dinner.

    :D
     
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  19. Nov 3, 2012 #19

    condoowner

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    This concrete slab is not thicker than 1 to 1.5in thick. This is the same thing that I drilled in the living room for the fireplace steel framing. Jumping on the floor in the middle of the living room, the floor does bounce (but again I am 200# ..). I dont believe it is structural, but rather insulating against noise, fire, moisture and most of all to offer a flat and somehow rigid surface for flooring.. Nowhere in the house does it feel like solid 4 to 6 in concrete floor with rebar..

    Please re-assume me in regards to structural. I really dont want to mess with structurals!

    Since the first tiles were removed within minutes, I have decided to remove all tiles and start fresh. The DW is easily removable (its a new DW that I installed myself in May 2012). There is about 1in left of space underneath so theoretically speaking I could raise the floor up to an inch before the DW no longer fits in the cabinets.

    around next weekend, I will have removed all lower cupboards and pantry, all appliances, removed all tiles and then I will be ready to scrape as much of this thinset as I can.

    To remove the leftover thinset, a grinder would do? This is gonna make an awful amount of dust!!! Better tape off every cabinet remaining and door openings or else I will have silicosis...
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  20. Nov 4, 2012 #20

    isola96

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    To take every thing out to take it all up is silly to me. And tilling over that is just as a nightmare.... IMO. You will have to level the entire room and that's not easy to DIY it.
     

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