VCT Questions

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Stephen
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VCT Questions

Postby Stephen » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:36 am

I have a couple of questions regarding VCT.

Has anyone successfully installed VCT in phases? My goal is to have my entire home (save for maybe one of the bedrooms and one of the bathrooms) in VCT. But because of convenience and pending remodels which could change the floor footprint, I can't do it all at once. Obviously, I'm worried about the seams matching.

Secondly, I've looked at the Armstrong Excelon (in black) and find it to be just a little too pedestrian and boring. It has none of the character of the original asbestos tile floor in my Cliff May. I've ordered samples from both AZRock (Tarkett) and Mannington. Has anyone actually installed either of these floors?

Mannington:
Image

AZRock:
Image

One thing I've noticed is that the pictures online are much better than the actual tiles. Armstrong looks great on the website with lots of directional streaking but all of the tiles I've sign in the store look just plain mottled.
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Postby Sealuxe » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:58 pm

I have same questions and concerns. We're leaning towards Azrock Solid Vinyl Tile. How does it rate against the classic VCT? Azrock is great about sending out full size tiles. They sent me a 15lb box of samples for free. The Solidair and Karim lines look good in person if you haven't seen them, plus you can get them as 16x16 tiles

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Postby Mrs.Smartipants » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:34 pm

We installed AZrock and mostly love it. There are a few caveats, though. It's significantly softer than the Armstrong. This does make it easier on the knees and a bit nicer underfoot, however it's easier to scratch and gouge and it dents pretty easily with heavy furniture on it - the dents might come out with time, but I don't really know. It looks really great, though, and I think it's closer in appearance to VAT than the others are.
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Postby redneckmodern » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:53 pm

we used the black armstrong excellon and like it. i guess, we have pedestrian tastes... ;) ... actually, we just liked the price ($4500 installed) and less variegated surface... (we laid them all in the same "grain" direction along the direction of the beams). to your questions:

i think the azrock does look more like the original vct (more "character") and the mannington looks a bit more gray (not as deep in tone). you could even cut it down to 9X9 to get more period.

i see no reason why you couldn't phase it, although we did our whole house by a shop who also skimcoated the surface -- the VCT telegraphs slab-unevenness like crazy. one thing i would suggest it to get the floor sealed and coated (at least a light coating) before you finish the walls and baseboards and definitely before you get furniture in there. we waited and guess who has to empty their house of furniture and tape off the walls and baseboards now... i'd suggest calling in a pro janitorial crew. it won't cost much and they'll use the right gear. 2 of our neighbors did this within a week of laying the floor and it still looks great a year later.

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Postby Stephen » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:15 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 redneckmodern » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:14 pm


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Postby Stephen » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:15 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 redneckmodern » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:39 pm

there are folks who can follow a recipe and there are chefs. we went with a seems that hiring someone who has experience would be worth it. our crew finished our house in little more than a day -- skim and all. and we're very happy with the results. i tried a VCT install in an old place and had a lot of "slippage" issues... it was money well-spent for us.

good luck with the phasing. it'll be interesting to see what your contractor recommends.

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Postby egads » Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:21 am

I wouldn't do anything until the kitchen is resolved. In the meantime, buy rugs, you will need them in any case. My entire house is black excellon,
in a checkerboard pattern. Done by my brother-in-law and myself. No skim coat. It looks amateur . But only I really notice the imperfections. When all polished up, guests complement. But if I was doing it over again, I'd make sure the surface was smooth. What I found when removing the existing VAT, is that the original installers used a very thick coat of tar based mastic to even out the floor. I used a thin high tech product and everything transfers through.

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Postby Joe » Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:54 am

Last edited by Joe on Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Sealuxe » Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:39 pm


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Postby synthetic space » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:18 am

We had solid white Azrock tiles installed throughout a large portion of our house. As others have said, the tiles definitely do dent pretty easily (heavy furniture will leave dents that will NOT disappear over time). One time a guest who was wearing heels was standing in our kitchen and kept leaning back with all of her weight on one of the heels, and it left little dot marks in that area....

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Postby Scott Clarke » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:04 am

I'd caution against VCT in the bathrooms. It's hard to maintain a good seal between a toilet and a concrete slab, and you may find a repeated problem with leaks there causing stainin of the floor. This was the case with the sheet vinyl that was stained when we bought our house, replaced as a condition of the sale, and more stains within a year. We installed 8" ceramic tile in both bathrooms, recalling at least the scale of the original VAT. We installed Armstrong VCT in the living room/kitchen/diningroom. We did no prep other than careful scraping, and are pleased with the results. That being said, our slab was in pretty good shape.

The ideal of cutting down VCT to VAT dimensions is appealing. You'd have to buy twice as much flooring, and it would be a lot of labor, but the scale of the smaller tiles is nice in a house as small as a May. Wasn't VAT typically 8" square?
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Postby Panton-ite » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:25 am

We just had 1750 square feet of Armstrong classic white installed. Definitely hire a good installer. There is absolutely NO WAY I could have prepped the slab and sub floor anywhere near as good as they did. A good installer just knows so many little techniques that will make all the difference in the end (getting the seams perfect, making cuts perfect, etc.) Also, 2 good installers did in 2 days what it would've taken me many weekends to do. Well worth it!

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Postby egads » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:45 am


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Postby Sealuxe » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:28 am


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Postby Scott Clarke » Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:20 pm

Egads-

The wax ring was replaced with the flooring, and we replaced it again when we replaced the toilets. While it is true that this leaking will occur with ceramic tile, who cares? The tile won't be discolored by water.

As for the tile size issue, the joints are quite noticiable if the tiles are installed quarter turned and have the kind of pattern Stephen shows in his post above.
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Postby Joe » Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:27 pm

VCT in my bathroom is no problem.

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Postby egads » Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:59 pm

Actually the seal from the toilet to the flange is critical to the toilets correct operation. While some flooring guys (and handy homeowners) may be qualified to set a toilet, not everybody is. So while some leakage may be acceptable to you, any leaking is unsanitary and will allow sewer gases into the home. But mostly my response had to do with debunking the flooring choice relating in any way to the toilet leak. Separate issues.

What one uses for flooring is a person taste issue. I prefer few (in fact I have none) transitions. I laid my tile in the "basket weave" pattern to be authentic. It was the way the old VAT was I removed. The pattern showing is not an issue for me. If I did not want to see seams, I'd use linoleum. I even think I priced it, and could not afford it.

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Postby Scott Clarke » Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:22 am

OK, we are having a little communication problem, as can so easilly happen in this medium.

The leaks I refered to are miniscule, and not of the magnitude that would pose any health risk. The only evidnece of the leaks was the staining of the sheet vinyl. It seems to me that there are many variables that could determine whether or not this kind of thing happens. The position of the flange, how level it is, its condition, seasonal temperature variation, etc. In my case, I elected to use a more durable material not subject to staining. I'm sure in many cases VCT is fine in bathrooms. I can't speak to Stephen's situation, but thought that my experinece might have been of use to him. Glad to hear that others are not experiencing the problems I did.

As for the visibility of joints in VCT, I did not mean to imply that the joints were negative features. My point was that the joints play a role in establishing the scale of the room, and that as May rooms are small, the smaller scale of tile is a positive attribute (like in a 30" wide hallway). Quarter turning the tile emphasizes this quality.
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