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Old 11-06-2010, 03:42 PM   #1
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star kitty's Avatar
1967 20' Globetrotter
denver , Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 153
Vinyl tile subfloor preparation without replacement

Hello. My 67' GT came with vinyl square tiles that I recently removed in preparation of the new floor. My subfloor is in excellent shape in terms of rot and damage but I am left with a bumpy surface from the adhesive that still remains on the plywood. I will not be removing the shell and replacing the subfloor for various reasons and I want to know the best way to prepare the floor from its current condition to accept new vinyl planks. We have thought about adding a new subfloor on top of existing floor but that may raise the floor up too high to where it may not look good around the existing cabinetry and bathroom fixtures. Is a product such as wonderboard or 1/4' plywood sheeting a good idea to put on top of old floor? Or should we just get as much adhesive off as possible and level the floor as best we can? I know the trailer is old and there will be a lot of imperfections, but I spent a significant amount of money on the new flooring material and I want to prevent the "telegraphing" of the subfloor as best as possible.

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Old 11-06-2010, 06:26 PM   #2
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1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
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Go to HD or Lowes and and buy some floor leveling compound. It is in the flooring section. Most products have a portland cement base. You mix with water and then spread over the floor with a trowel. I used the type designed for spot use. There is a type for large areas, the mix is thinner and it "self levels". Mix as directed and spread over the floor to fill in all the voids. After it dried I went over the areas with a DA sander with 80 grit paper to get a everything smooth before laying the sheet vinyl. Once it is dry it is very tough to sand hence the coarse paper, makes dust so wear a mask.
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2001 Toyota Tundra
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:59 PM   #3
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1953 32' Liner
1955 22' Safari
Valley View , Texas
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Just what 68 TWind said. You can also consider those thin luan sheets.
Have fun.
"If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted
then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production."
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:44 PM   #4
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1971 27' Overlander
Central , Ohio
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This may work for you. The link explains it pretty well. I've skipped the hot water and just used a heat gun and 4" razor scraper (Lowes) to get the thickest adhesive off. Then hit it with the citri-strip.

I'd test the stripper first in a small area. With a trailer that age it's hard to know what type of adhesive they used.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:14 AM   #5
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1977 27' Overlander
Carrollton , Texas
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68 TWind has it right. Also the easiest and cheepest.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:04 AM   #6
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Heart of Dixie , Alabama
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Wear a dust mask !
After I removed all the staples, then spread out the cement.
Next day used a paint scraper to make all flat...I think this is where all the dust came from.
Look at unfinished edges, you can see the gray cement stuff.
Really worked great.

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Old 11-07-2010, 07:21 PM   #7
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Central , Ohio
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The only problem I see with floor leveler is the flex in the trailer subfloor. A flex in the flooring will cause the leveler to crack and break loose from the substrate. You can find that information doing a search on the various products or reading their installation instructions. If you don't want to try removing the adhesive, it may be better to just skin it with luan and go from there.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:52 PM   #8
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1967 24' Tradewind
Sacramento , California
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I sure agree with Ganglin. We use self leveler in houses, and even the floor flex in a HOUSE will crack it. Imagine with the trailer twisting every time it is on the road.
I have the same problem. I have access to a edge sander for refinishing floors. I will use it to take down the bumps, then use epoxy a polyester 2-part epoxy to level.
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