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At wit's end with this floor

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  • #16
    Re: At wit's end with this floor

    Originally posted by Jay Mpls View Post
    Looks like a gyp-crete floor that has gone to pot.
    I found this...(

    2) The Cost- Gypcrete floors have great benefits to reducing costs during the construction phase, however host a multitude of problems later on in the life of the building. If your building was built using lightweight gypcrete on the second and third floors, then you will run into a few problems when trying to upgrade to ceramic tile. Firstly- re-pouring gypcrete can be very costly from a labor standpoint. Secondly- after time, gypcrete will start to crumble turning into a very fine dust-like particulate. Before you upgrade to ceramic tile, you will want to remove the existing flooring, whether that be vinyl or VCT, and during this process the gypcrete will start to crumble, and also come up in large chunks. This is where it is very important to follow the fire code. FIRE CODE says you MUST replace it using at equal or better material within the guidelines of the code. The material that you use must have a minimum of a 1-hour fire barrier, so you have a few options. Obviously your first option is to hire a subfloor expert to come and re-pour gypcrete in the damaged areas. This option tends to be very costly and time consuming. In addition we have found that in most cases even when gypcrete is re-poured correctly, and ceramic tile is installed directly over the new gypcrete, it does not take long for the gypcrete substrate to start to deteriorate. We have seen ceramic tiles start cracking and have a very hollow sound as quickly as 6 months after being installed. This result is from the gypcrete being compacted, or impacted by a hard floor such as ceramic and tends to break down into a dust underneath the tile which results in a hollow sound that will eventually lead to cracking tiles.
    3) The Alternatives- Your second option is to use a cement board, commonly called backerboard or Hardi-board. This ¼" cement board is constructed of a cementious core sandwiched between two layers of fiber mesh. By using this type of product you can minimize your cost, eliminate unexpected delays and speed up the turnaround time needed to finish the upgrade. Once you have removed the existing vinyl or VCT, and the original gypcrete has either come lose or deteriorated, you can fill in the damaged areas with self leveling patch or mud, and then install your ¼" cement board. The labor associated with screwing down the cement board is far less than that of a certified technician for gypcrete and the cement board also complies with the 1-2 hour fire barrier required by law.

    Good luck!
    Very good info. Thanks.
    We're putting in carpeting, not tile. But, what you wrote makes a lot of sense. You describe the material EXACTLY.

    While I was busy getting materials, one of the guys helping me drove some deck screws into the 'gypcrete' underlayment to the joists. It seems to be doing a great job in stopping the squeaks. I purchased some Henry's 565 underlayment self-leveling flooring compound and some 564 underlayment primer. We're cleaning up the broken areas, primering them and then we'll pour the flooring compound. I'll top it with Jasco's waterproofing for concrete.
    If it ain't broke, I haven't seen it.


    • #17
      Re: At wit's end with this floor

      You're going to have to remove all that cracked up "stuff" before you can really see what's going on down below.