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How to Install Ceramic Tile Over Vinyl Flooring
Learn a unique and time-saving way to apply ceramic tile directly on top of vinyl flooring.
Visit Ron Hazelton's website for more home improvement projects: http://www.ronhazelton.com/
Hey, it's Mr. Tile, how are you Armen?
I'm here; good to see you again.
I'm all ready for you over here. You're looking good.
Thank you Ron.
I made the mock up for you. You know, when you called me and said you had a way of putting ceramic tile directly on top of vinyl, I said, I got to see this.
Well, Ron, I'm here to prove it to you today.
Now, you were here a while back and you showed us how to put ceramic tile on top of a plastic laminate countertop, in that case. Now, this is a similar process, but in this case, we're putting it over a vinyl floor.
Regardless of the surface Ron, as long as it comes from a tree or it's made by man, regardless of what it is, except carpeting, upholstery and the human body, we can tile on it.
All right. There are two key components to Armen's tiling system.
One is this adhesive that's applied directly to the face of the vinyl floor tile. The second component is a non-moving synthetic fabric Armen calls "thin skin", it's laid on top, then pressed firmly into the adhesive using either a trowel or a wallboard joint knife. The adhesive sticks to the vinyl flooring and the fabric bonds to the glue. Next standard thin set cement is mixed up. Armen says it should end up being the consistency of ketchup. It's then troweled onto the fabric in a level, even coat. It'll dry in about a half an hour or so.
Well, I'd say you've got what looks and feels like a cement surface here.
We actually created a thin underlayment layer. It's probably less than a 32nd of an inch. So we didn't raise the floor, w e didn't use any nails or screws and we didn't add any weight.
Now, a second heavier coat of thin set will be applied on top of the first. Armen uses the smooth edge of the trowel to spread the cement. Then he changes to the knot side and holding the tool at a steep angle creates parallel ridges that are all the same height. Now, this will ensure that there's an even coating beneath each tile and no low spots or voids that might cause tiles to break or crack later on. Now watch closely. At first, Armen sets the tile so the edges actually touch each other. Then he wiggles each tile just a bit while gently pulling it away from its neighbor. The wiggling ensures good contact with the cement below. The touching, then pulling away keeps the joints clean and free of excess cement. Now, after three decades of tiling, Armen has come up with a couple of inventions to save time and improve results. Like this easy to grip tile spacer. One side is for intersecting joints and the other keeps the edges evenly spaced.
Around the perimeter or wherever you don't have a four corner intersection, there you go Ron, beat them in.
Ok, now question. We already pushed these down and wiggled them around. What's the purpose then of going back with the mallet?
Ensurance, to pop out any remaining air? And that's your next step.
And here's invention number two. No, it's not a hockey puck.
I hear that sound Ron, what does that tell you?
The sound of a high tile.
Or what we call a toe kicker?
A toe kicker is in, tripping and tripping right. So this is very clever. So this you can tell by feel and by sound.
Sound. Yes. Now you have the opportunity to use that dead blower rubber mallet, which I prefer, and to beat that tile down and get it down and keep maneuvering the puck and you do that until you're comfortable with the sound. Don't be afraid, you can't hurt it.
While the spacers may go in easily, they practically pop out with a sweep of the hand. With the cement dry, now it's time for grout. Armen mixes his on the stiff side and uses a rubber float with plenty of pressure to force the mixture all the way down to the bottom of the joints, then holding the float on an angle he moves diagonally across the face of the tile, removing as much of the excess as possible.
We're going to go do first, a rough wash, basically cleans that off the surface of the tile, lubricates the joint a little bit. The second wash will clean the surface of the tile and the grout joint, smoothing it as we go and it's possible you may do a third wash. As soon as this dries, we're going to use a soft dry cloth. It's like polishing your car after you wax it, same results!
Now, lest we forget, let's try to remember back to what this looked like just a few hours ago before we started this with that vinyl, very interesting process. You began with the vinyl.
Vinyl compilation tiles.
And then on top of that went the thin skin, named after Mr. Tavey.
And on top of that, you put the first thin coat of thin set, then on top of that, then we put our tile setting mortar on that.
Teeth of a trowel. We put the mortar.
And then we installed the tile.
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