Many times, tile installers, both residential and commercial, are asked to install tile over questionable substrates. ANSI A108.02 – 4.1.1 says in part; “All surfaces shall be structurally sound, clean, dry, and free of oily or waxy films and all foreign matter.” Some of the questionable products include: existing vinyl composition tile or inlaid vinyl flooring installed with a latex adhesive, asphalt or vinyl asbestos tile with an asphalt emulsion (black) adhesive, cushioned vinyl flooring or painted concrete.
Some of these materials might provide a suitable substrate, but two questions remain. Can the contaminant (adhesive or paint) be adequately removed and is the existing surface material well bonded to the substrate in order to maintain the integrity of the tile installation? Let’s take a look at each one individually.