Discuss Vinyl floor tiles fiasco - what now? in the Floor Advice - Flooring Forum area at TilersForums.com


Brian Gowland


First post but I've been reading through related threads here for a while before trying to tackle this job...

Recently bought a house and before we move in I'd like to get the 6" x 6" vinyl floor tiles off the (concrete) kitchen floor. Reading various threads here I've tried...

1. 4" brick bolster and mallet (for tiles which had curled)
2. Wallpaper scraper + hot air gun (for tiles that had lifted or exposed edges

Well the tiles are stuck with bitumen and the above two methods only worked for tiles which were already working loose so with great optimism today I hired a Floor Tile Stripper from HSS.

The long and short of it is, it doesn't like my floor tiles. After 3 hours of adjusting the blade angle to various positions using the rear wheel brackets, regularly cleaning any gunk off the blade, trying sweeping / jabbing motions (you name it) I've hardly cleared more than 1/10th of the floor.

So where to now?

I'm seriously considering just using some self-levelling compound to fill the small patches I've cleared and put vinyl flooring over the top instead of re-tiling.

Alternatively, is it possible to use SLC over the gaps AND the remaining floor tiles in order to lay ceramic floor tiles on top?

Or...? Any suggestions welcome.

Brian (extremely frustrated but mellowing gradually with a cold beer).
Last edited by a moderator:


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  • #2
Hi & welcome to TF. If they are that stubborn, personally I'd over lay with 6mm Hardibacker using a 2 part Flexi. I wouldn't feel comfortable putting down a SLC for the risk of air pockets & hairline cracks from the vinyl tiles

Brian Gowland

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  • #3
Hi Bubblecraft and thanks for the welcome.

Yes the tiles really are that stubborn. The stripper weighs 38 kilos has an 1100W motor and 8 inch vibrating blade. I just couldn't make the thing bring up more than a few square inches at a time.

OK, I've Google'd for Hardiebacker and I see what you mean. I've done plenty of DIY in the past including plumbing and electrics but I'm a rookie when it comes to flooring so that's a useful thing to know about.

By 2 part Flexi you mean a flexible adhesive??? Could you recommend an example of such an adhesive so I can get my head around what the process would be? Thanks.


Brian the Tile

Sep 25, 2010
141 9
north wales
i have fixed over thermoplastic tiles without problems,go to your local tile shop look on the bags of adhesive it will tell you what you can tile over,i think you will findout that you can without wasting all your time and money trying to remove them


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  • #5
If they are that well fixed I'd have no problem with first cleaning them thoroughly and tiling straight onto them with a single part flexible adhesive such as Mapei Keraquick or BAL Rapiset Flex.


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  • #6
It is a cement based flexible adhesive (powder) which is sold with a bottle of latex. Instead of mixing with water, you mix it with the latex. It is a highly flexible, rubber based adhesive suitable for wall and floor tiling applications. If the floor is flat enough, you could just tile straight on top with this


  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
are the vinyl tiles pretty old, we were recently in the middle of doing a big job and it turned out all the vinyl tiles and the material that was used to fix them on a 6 storey building had traces of asbestos so just watch out, we ended up having to latex over them and tiling on top

Brian Gowland

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  • #8
Thanks for the responses - feeling much less despondent now and have a few different angles to explore.

The machine will be going back to HSS tomorrow as I don't think it's worth spending any more time on it.

glasgow_tiler: Thanks I'd spotted the potential for asbestos when reading threads here. I'd spoken to my neighbour (a builder) the day I got the keys to the house and he remembered roughly when the tiles were put down by the previous owner. He was confident that it was recent enough that there wouldn't be any asbestos content.

Cheers and thanks again to all,

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