To Uncover or Leave Covered...

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Stephen
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To Uncover or Leave Covered...

Postby Stephen » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:18 am

So my carpet in my office is a little tired and worn. It's a high-traffic and I've never been terribly found of carpet (wall-to-wall, at least) anyway. I lifted up a corner to find out what was underneath and discovered this:

Image

Which seems cool but I have concerns about getting the tackstrips out and the holes they will leave behind. Do you think I'll be able to fill them satisfactorily? I also noticed one actually shattered one of the tiles a bit:


Image

The worst-case scenario is I spend a Saturday and end up recarpeting over it.

Have I uncovered a cool original detail or a nightmare-in-waiting? Opinions?
Stephen Meade
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http://www.CliffMaySocal.com
and
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Postby egads » Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:28 am

I'm afraid it's a nightmare in waiting. I know because I removed the carpet in all 1383 square feet of my house. Revealing the same vinyl asbestos tile.
(see threads here about asbestos)
I would want a hard surface floor in an office myself. You can use a floating floor over the top and leave the existing flooring down. The only downside to that (for me) is the transition at the door to whatever is in the hall.

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Joe
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Postby Joe » Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:32 am

wow, original VAT tiles!

unfortunately, those tack strips have probably broken some tiles. which cannot be repaired.

I have never seen brown tiles in a Cliff May, only black, including mine.

below is Cory Buckner's house with original VAT. resealed and buffed up, there will last forever:

Image

Image

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Postby egads » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:14 pm

It is my opinion, based on having it in a house once, that the floor at Cory Buckner's house is rubber. That was used post war in commercial buildings and schools. Buckner's house was once the office for the Crestwood Hills development. My observation is somewhat based on that shine. You can get that with rubber with just buffing and no wax. I also walked on it. More soft and silent than VCT. Alas, for me, VCT was what was in my budget.

An aside:
In stripping and re-waxing my VCT, I used another system (actually from the janitor isle at Lowes) that is way out performing the Armstrong wax I originally used. I used step 1, a stripper, step 2 a sealer, and then step 3 an "acrylic copolymer floor finish" Step 4 is a neutral cleaner. This is very important. Washing with a soapy cleaner will degrade the finish.

I actually removed the existing asbestos tiles myself. This is not a bad as you would be lead to believe. Wetting down the work area is very important. Just scrapped it up. Removed the mastic with been-e-do. What you must not do is cause the tiles (or the mastic) to become "friable"
no airborne bits.

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Joe
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Postby Joe » Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:46 pm

those tiles in the Buckner house are VAT tiles with several coats of wax and commercial buffing, same as the tiles in Stephens CM.

My VCT looks like that after waxing and buffing.

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UPDATE

Postby Stephen » Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:32 pm

UPDATE:

Egads...I started before seeing your reply and had already removed half the tack strips. So I figured I might as well keep going and see what happens. BTW, is the stuff you use called "Red Max Pro" from Lowes?

Joe...to give you a clue on the color. It's very unique brown. It's very reddish. So it looks more like an ox-blood type color. At first I was a bit saddened, hoping I had the ubiquitous black but throughout the day the color has really grown on me a lot and, to my eyes, is very beautiful.

Unfortunately, my tiling is in nowhere near as nice shape as Cory Buckners. Several "issues":

1. My slab has shifted a little and since these are no-grout, a couple of tiles have a small 1/8" gap between them.
2. Despite developing a "procedure" for removing the tackstrip nails, it still was a moderately destructive process -- worsened by the fact that the previous two carpet installers (I found orange shag bits) were not graceful when installing the strips. So I have three surface abberrations (thankfully only at the room edges)...small holes, "chips," and "crackouts." The latter of which go down to the slab.
3. There is one spot on the floor where the surface is damaged a bit. It seems like somebody dropped acid on it. The color is right but surface is rough.

The problem is, and I didn't really expect this when I first saw it....I *really* like it a lot. So I decided to do the proper maintenance procedure (strip, seal, finish) and see what I ended up with.

I thought this was a one-step process. Boy was I wrong. I can kinda see why these floors fell out of favor...the "procedure" is far more involved than I thought and a little scary. One thing I like, though, is that the sealer seems to even out the gloss level. This helps a lot in terms of hiding imperfections.

I was talking to a buddy of mine in an autobody shop and he suggested that I try custom-tinting bondo to deal the edged and any cracked tiles. He said it sounds like the sealer is like clearcoat on cars. So he thinks if I can get the hue right on the tinted bondo I should be able to develop a patching compound that won't be perfect but will really clean up the edges and not look terrible. Here's a photo as the first coat of sealer dries:

NO FLASH
Image

WITH FLASH
Image

Reality is in between.
Stephen Meade

SoCal Realtor - DRE 01378749

Pacific West Assoc. of Realtors President-Elect

http://www.OCModHomes.com

http://www.CliffMaySocal.com

and

Cliff May Homeowner

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Postby Joe » Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:38 pm

clean
strip
clean
wax
wax
wax
wax
buff... and there will look like Buckner's

I like the brown. We have those same tiles in my wife's church.

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Postby Stephen » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:02 pm

Stephen Meade

SoCal Realtor - DRE 01378749

Pacific West Assoc. of Realtors President-Elect

http://www.OCModHomes.com

http://www.CliffMaySocal.com

and

Cliff May Homeowner

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Postby egads » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:31 pm


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looking pretty good from here!

Postby Slim and Gabby » Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:11 pm

Stephen-

Glad you took the leap. NOTHING looks like those old floors once you get a gloss on. The bondo solution sounds just like something Slim would try...makes sense to me.

We are always looking for enough of the tiles in salvage to do a room, but no luck as yet.

And thanks to the rest of you for the great advice on pulling up the shine.

Two big thumbs up over here.
Pen-gu-ins is pracatically chickinz, and I hates to see chickinz cry so much, I has to put’em outta ther mizzery!

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Postby SDR » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:31 pm


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Postby travelteam » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:55 am

Awesome, Stephen. . I really liked the earthy color of it too. Ours was too far gone though to restore. Yours looks a lot better. Good luck bringing it back! Do you have it in any other rooms? Maybe you can cannibalize other areas if you're not trying to bring it back everywhere...

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Postby nichols » Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:13 pm

I'm so glad you're doing this, it looks great. When I was young and dumb I tore out one of these floors. Lying on my belly with a chisel, hammer and putty knife. Mesothelioma, here I come!

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Postby markjudep » Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:34 pm

Do any of you experienced VAT people have recommendations for stripping, cleaning, buffing products? We bought an Orec buffer, but even with that, we can't seem to get that gloss.

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Postby egads » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:50 pm

The sealer coat made the biggest difference for me. I just used products from the janitorial isle at Lowes. Any janitor supply will have pro products. The shine with the Armstrong wax (sold by the tiles) does not give a wet look shine. I rented a buffer. I want to own one. But I doubt the Orec is heavy enough.

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Postby markjudep » Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:09 pm

Thanks, egads. We've been using that Armstrong stuff--shiny, but not super shiny. I'll head out to Lowe's tomorrow.

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Postby HappyBunny » Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:28 am

just an idea... if the edges are worse than you expect, I bet you could cut all the way around the room, say 6 inches off the tile and do a sort of inlay around the edge with a contrasting color. I am not thinking this would be very easy, and I have never done it but it is an idea I would explore before giving up on such cool tile.

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Postby markjudep » Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:46 am


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Postby markjudep » Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:46 am


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Postby Joe » Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:41 am


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Postby Futura Girl » Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:33 pm

i am also so thrilled you took this project on and shared it with us.

if it's salvageable - save it!!!

your floors - imperfections and all - tell the story of your home...

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Postby SleazyG » Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:54 pm

FYI, for those looking for VCT that more closely resembles VAT, I've just come across a manufacturer called AzRock. Has anyone used their products?

AzRock's VCT seems to replicate the "streaky" quality of VAT better than Armstrong's VCT, which is more "speckly."



AzRock also has another vinyl tile that appears to mimic terrazzo, if that interests anyone.

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Postby classic form » Sun Apr 12, 2009 1:45 pm

I used v-312-3 Azrock throughout, you're right...I love it.

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Postby SleazyG » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:08 am


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Postby Joe » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:43 am

it been almost three years. I have not buffed or rewaxed yet. light travelled area look great and shine well. heavy traffic areas with beagle and worn, but still shine a little. The wear is just in the wax.

I wet mop every two weeks with wax-friendly soap and water. dust most with wax-friendly polish once a week. pretty easy.

I plan to rewax and buff the main living area in a few weeks.

Anyone have a source for replacement heads for a '60s hoover polisher?

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Postby rockland » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:10 pm

Three years. I don't feel so bad now.
Mine is way overdo.
Are the finishes wax or acrylic base that most of you are using?
I think most of the commercial finishes like Castleguard are acrylic.
(thin liquid, mop application, 2-3 coats)

I'm using paste wax but my floor is vintage. I guess it could be stripped.
But i'm just following the OPO's advice. Actually i should use her advice
and call the # she left. And the window washer guys #.
Or i'm just sick enough to think it is kinda fun.

Joe. I have an old Hoover. I'm not sure what parts you need but i searched
once, 2 years ago and never came up with much. Or what i found was silly expensive.

I use the white scotch-brite pads, cut in circles to fit for the first app.
Cotton rags stick to the scotch brite for 2nd app.
And i bought a chunk of fake sheep wool at a 'Hobby Lobby' for buffer pads.
(that stuff they make dog toys out of) I think the scrap i bought made about 20 pads for
10 bucks. My buffer has a plastic washer and a snap fitting. Works great.

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Postby classic form » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:28 pm

SleazyG...there are a couple of pics in this thread


http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic ... c&start=90

Not the best but might give you an idea of what it looks like on the floor. The pic of the bath shows a little sliver of a close up.


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