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Old 04-30-2004, 09:15 AM   #1
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Vinyl Tile Too Heavy?

Good morning, fellow streamers!

I went last night down to Home Depot and looked at Armstrong Imperial Texture from their commercial tile line. For the curious, you can see the goods here:

http://www.armstrong.com/commfloorin...?item_id=47142

It has a rather nice retro look about it and at $0.59/square foot tile, it's quite nice on the finances as well. It's pretty durable looking (color is solid, not surface based) and looks like it will stand up to scuffs. That's all great selling points to me. Then I tried to pick up a box of 45 tiles.

I couldn't lift it.

Granted, I'm a girly girl, so I recruited the assistance of an exemplary (and strong) orange aproned cashier. Despite getting regaled with stories of my escapades in his homeland (Zimbabwe), he managed to get three boxes of the goods in the car.

So, at home I weighed a tile. 1.375 lbs per square foot. That probably means that my ~90 square feet floor will end up weighing ~130 lbs (figuring a bit more weight for adhesive). DH believes this is reasonable. Has anyone any experience with the weights of flooring?

Now the old tile (original) looks like asbestos, but it's about half the thickness.

Light on the wallet, but too heavy on board? Or just an acceptable weight-style tradeoff?

I'd love to get some knowledgeable, fair minded and wise opinions from ye gods of trailer restoration!

Mary
'61 Safari
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Old 04-30-2004, 09:24 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
1.375 lbs per square foot. That probably means that my ~90 square feet floor will end up weighing ~130 lbs (figuring a bit more weight for adhesive). DH believes this is reasonable. Has anyone any experience with the weights of flooring?

Now the old tile (original) looks like asbestos, but it's about half the thickness.

The tile you linked to has 2 different thicknesses available. There is a 3/32 thickness available.

Some things to think about. If you are removing the existing tile it will be a reduction of weight before you install the new tile. What does the old stuff weigh per SF.?

I cannot find the specs to see what the composition of the tile is. Being a commercial tile is great for wear, but may not be good for flex. There are some folks on the forum that are VERY knowledgeable regarding this type of floor covering, hopefully they will chime in.
Be sure when you install that ALL of the seams are lined up with seams in the plywood to allow for flex. If you don't you will have tiles popping or cracking from flex.
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Old 04-30-2004, 11:12 AM   #3
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The Armstrong tile is actually a good choice for a hard surface flooring. It is the product most similar to the tiles that were original to the vintage trailers - minus the asbestos. If you can order the thinner 3/32" that would lighten the load, but the 1/8" isn't that much heavier and is usually stocked in more colors.

You probably wouldn't be able to lift 90 sf of carpet, pergo or sheet vinyl either. And the weight is distributed over the entire trailer, not a point load like in a box. I wouldn't worry about it...like Brett says, you are removing weight in the old tiles too...

FYI, we have sheet linoleum (real, old-fashioned linoleum not sheet vinyl) in our trailer and love the hard surface, clean look and durability. It's another product you may want to consider...that may be a bit lighter on the trailer, although not the pocketbook...

Shari
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Old 04-30-2004, 11:25 AM   #4
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Some of the vintage owners may want to help me out here, but I believe your '61 had its 9" tiles cleverly laid out to meet at the seams of the floor - ie in such a manner as the seams of the floor did not run underneath the middle of the tiles.

Apparently these floors do "work" a fair amount, so you may want to consider the possibility of any tiles bridging a floor seam eventually cracking.

Mark
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Old 04-30-2004, 12:34 PM   #5
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Return to Home Depot...

It sounds like a return to Home Depot is in order (actually, have to, since one of the boxes is a different color anyhow). Thinner tiles sound better for a bunch of reasons:

-I don't expect to need the durability to run a forklift over my floor in our ye-old Safari
-According to a sheet I found on Armstrong's website, it should be marginally cheaper (wahoo!)
-I hope to chop whatever we get into 9x9 squares (hence the extra tiles), which would be much easier accomplished with thinner materials.
-Maybe this 120 lb weakling could lift the box!!!

However, we are very tempted by linoluem, as Shari mentions. While sheet goods are nice, I do prefer the look of small tiles. I just wish lino came in tile.

This Armstrong tile line just seems so appealing for its low cost, classic look and easy attainability (no shopping around for a vendor willing to make such a small order). But, for aesthetic reasons, I also want to see Armstrong's deeper colored brown tiles from this line--which aren't shelf stocked at Home Depot--and must be (according to the Armstrong website) special ordered for thinner depth tiles (bringing up that old bugaboo concern about quantity).

So, if we find the perfect color/depth combination, then these tiles may be the way to go...Granted, that still leaves me with the philosophical dilemma of whether to set them in the same direction or in an alternating offset pattern (sadly, floor tile patterns were my overwhelming concern in practically every high school math period I attended).

I'm hoping that by making a jig for my tile cutter, I can get nice, perpendicular cuts to get perfect 9x9 tiles. Then I might even be able recreat the original tile layout as Mark and Brett mention.

Mary
(considering the challenges of making a weekend run to Home Depot) (eeek!)
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Old 04-30-2004, 12:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
However, we are very tempted by linoluem, as Shari mentions. While sheet goods are nice, I do prefer the look of small tiles. I just wish lino came in tile.
It does...check out: Marmoleum Tile

Also, you may want to look at Arlen & Shirley's website, they cut tiles down to 9"x9" and it's not as easy as you would think to get perfect cuts with square corners...

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

Shari

BTW...there was nothing special about 9"x9" tiles in the 60's...they were just the standard of the industry....
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Old 04-30-2004, 02:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
It sounds like a return to Home Depot is in order (actually, have to, since one of the boxes is a different color anyhow)...
Sorry, but the look of the brown tile always reminds me of coarse bologna. Just thought I'd throw that out there, I have an issue in my past that deals with both 'flavors' of that tile.

Has anyone else gone to a carpet company and checked out remnants? As well as carpet, I've gotten commercial grade leftovers of 'bologna' vinyl tile aplenty to do a trailer.

As far as the cutting of the tile goes and keeping everything in square, it appears that Arlen and Shirley used a regular ceramic tile cutter, which actually would score tile, not cut it.
Would a paper cutter do a better job? http://www.dickblick.com/zz571/08/pr...m=0&ig_id=2629
or better yet a trimmer, which claims to cut everything from tissue paper to matboard (which is pretty rigid stuff):
http://www.dickblick.com/zz571/13/pr...m=0&ig_id=2643
(I'm not promoting these products or this company, I am just linking to these pages as examples.)
Has anybody used a trimmer before, either for this or art projects or something?

Edit: Egads! I just saw the price on my example trimmer! There are consumer grade trimmers around for $50 to $100.
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Old 04-30-2004, 03:35 PM   #8
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Tile Cutter

Actually, the cutter they use is a premium vinyl tile cutter--it only resembles a ceramic tile scorer:

http://www.craintools.com/pages/more.../001_more.html

I think this is the way to go, though, since it has a stop edge and cuts with an anvil action. Using a paper cutter is likely to get poor results, since the tile is likely to get off kilter when you slice. Well, at least I can never get a straight cut on one of those thingies! Plus commercial grade tile is really tough--much, much thicker and denser than matboard (bear in mind, I CAN lift a carton of 45 12x12 matboards)!

After looking at Arlen and Shirley's website, I became convinced that I should also return the cheapo tile cutter I bought at Home Depot as well! It looks like I can rent a professional grade cutter from the local rental store for $17/day, which is a much better deal than getting a crummy one that will probably cut crookedly from Home Depot for $45. Of course, if anyone reading here is looking to de-accession one of these anvil style ones, do drop me a line and maybe we can talk turkey (hint, hint)!

Oh and Shari...That marmoleum linoleum (ooh, try to say that 5 times fast spinning on a bar stool after 3 beers!) is wicked! Evil sister...you know how to tempt me to the dark side! We'll see if their local distributor is open Saturdays (it is even close to Home Depot).

But I do still prefer tiles, probably an urge seated somewhere in my adolecent facination (see previous post) for all things tessellated (or was it sheer boredom, I don't know). The most memorable time was trying to figure out the repeat on those "faux" random bathroom tiles (that cheap linoleum flooring that used to be ubiquitous in the '60s and '70s). I finally recognized the pattern while trying to figure out how to blow smoke rings! Thankfully, got away from those tiles and the ciggies, graduated and got a life! Or did I? I'm restoring a trailer!!!
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Old 04-30-2004, 03:39 PM   #9
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Oh and Shari...That marmoleum linoleum (ooh, try to say that 5 times fast spinning on a bar stool after 3 beers!) is wicked! Evil sister...you know how to tempt me to the dark side! We'll see if their local distributor is open Saturdays (it is even close to Home Depot).
Nice stuff, huh?! We LOVE it! You did see it comes in tile...right???

Actually, VCT is the "new improved" synthetic version of linoleum...which is what I have fond memories of as a kid in my grandma's kitchen.

Shari
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Old 08-14-2006, 03:47 PM   #10
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Thumbs up So how did the Imperial Texture by Armstrong work out?

I just got back from Home Depot as well as some flooring stores, trying to find something that is very plain, has some vintage feel to it, and it lightweight on the trailer and the pocketbook. Imperial Texture was my #1 pick, but also thought it was pretty heavy. I held off on making and purchase and of course resorted to this website as my #1 source for advice, and came across this thread. I was happy to read this type of flooring was already a topic and that overall received positive feedback. Does anybody have any photos of their finished project using this? I think if I do move forward with this type of floor I will try to find a color I like in the 3/32" size. If anybody has any other advice, I'm open. I am looking for something that is plain, bold colors, and kind of fun looking. The imitation stone/brick/wood look doesn't work for me. Thanks!!
-Kelly
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Old 08-14-2006, 04:20 PM   #11
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I'm just doing mine right now. Waiting for the adhesive to dry. I'm using the 1/8" Imperial. I installed a 3/4" subfloor (original was 5/8"), then a 6 mil vapor barrier, then 1/4" pine underlayment. I'm laying the tile on top of that.

The tile will only be visible in the closets and storage lockers; I am laying cork planks on the visible walking surfaces. If I add a carpet on top of the cork, I will need to raise the roof, the floor is already 1 5/8" thick!

I'm not concerned about weight, especially low and distributed. I added some weight capacity to my axle, and the '59 Tradewind was a pretty light trailer to begin with.

I will get some pictures as soon as my wife gets back with the camera.
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:21 PM   #12
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I will get some pictures as soon as my wife gets back with the camera.
Here's a picture as promised.
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Old 08-14-2006, 08:26 PM   #13
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Thumbs up looks great!

Thanks for making the point that the bulk of the weight is distrubted on the low end of the trailer. That makes us feel better with adding that extra possible 150 lbs. or so. It looks really great. way to go. please add more photos as your project comes along! As far as adding a surface below our tile, we are at a loss. we have the raw 2x4s and we thought all we needed to to was add a sealant coat of some sort of paint and then add the adheisve, then the tiles.. hmmmm...

- Airspleen + Harestream
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Old 08-15-2006, 02:05 PM   #14
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Unhappy Wet blanket time

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva

Now the old tile (original) looks like asbestos, but it's about half the thickness.
Most old 9 x 9 inch thin tile is 1.5 % asbestos. So be very careful when
removing it. Use a high quality dust respirator and keep the kids away.
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