We have established that most of our floors can be installed over tiled floors, but how do you know if yours is suitable. Here is a quick guide:
Tiles that are cracking extensively and are noticeable loose will need to be removed as these will cause problems. Not all “drummy” tiles are a problem, sometimes they are just glued with dobs of tile cement and sound hollow. Tell-tale signs of problem tiles are cracked or missing grout, and sprinkled sand “jumping” when tapping on the tile. Take care when jack hammering bad tiles out as the hammer action can dislodge perfectly good adjacent tiles. First, cut through the grout with a diamond blade on an angle grinder to separate. Fill missing tiles with spare tiles or self-levelling cement compound.
Visibly uneven tiles like quarry tiles, slate, or just poorly laid ones will need priming and a complete flood coat. Unless you are very confident, bring in a professional for this. A tile floor that looks close to perfect should be checked with a straight edge or spirit level. Push a flat length of wood around your floor and mark any high spots that catch. Then grind these points down level with a diamond cup on an angle grinder. Hollows can be removed by priming and filling with a self-levelling compound. Any ridges formed must be scraped or ground smooth. Remember, a well-prepared subfloor will make for easier installation and a better finish.
If installing stick down or most LooseLay vinyl over a smoothly tiled subfloor, the grout lines will eventually show through the flooring, so these must be filled with a fast-setting filler and the excess scraped off and sanded back in preparation for your floor. Most hybrids and some LooseLays can be laid across grout lines and the pros at Integra Direct can advise you further about this.
Some rooms with raised windows and much furniture, such as bedrooms may not need as much preparation as other rooms. Larger expanses, especially where horizontal light falls across your floor is less forgiving and you must take the time to get these areas right. These “critical light” zones are often near low windows or doorways, and the shadows created by subfloor irregularities can become quite visible.
Hybrids, laminates and engineered timbers can span minor irregularities such as grout strips which can reduce costs. LooseLay floors can be easily removed and replaced to attend to issues that start appearing, but not so with click systems. Textured surfaces and darker colours help hide “show through”.
The guys at Integra Direct can guide you safely through this minefield and they have the greatest selection of newly evolved floors and the latest trends, as well as all the extras you need to get the job done.