Floor preparation for upgrading.

Floor preparation is essential for a do it yourself home improvement, as our house is built on a cement slab this meant cleaning down to the slab. The carpet in the family room was easy to rip up and clean. Plus we removed the tack strips around the perimeter of the room.

I then scrubbed it with TSP TRISODIUM PHOSPHATE and rinsed it thoroughly. TSP can be used for washing masonry surfaces prior to painting. TSP is a strong base and can cause severe eye damage and can burn unprotected skin. TSP is not recommended for cleaning in bathrooms. It can damage metal and painted surfaces, and stain woods, mask all surfaces except the one you want to clean.

The big job was the floor preparation in the kitchen. First start by storing all pots, pans, dishes and any other items in a clear plastic bags that can be sealed and resealed. I recommend taking items out of each self or cupboard, place a clear plastic bag in the self or cupboard and then replacing those items back in the self or cupboard inside the plastic bag.

The best way to get ceramic tile off the floor is to rent a small electric jack hammer with a 4" to 5" blade. The jack hammer is about 3' long and weighs about 50 lbs. It can easily break the tiles up into little pieces by placing the blade up against the edge of a tile at a 45 degree angle and hammer away.

The problem is the thin-set holding the tiles to the cement. It must all be taken off down to the bare cement. Always wear a mask to reduce the amount of dust you breath, because this operation generates dust a lot of dust and it gets into every thing.

Before we started the floor preparation I hung plastic sheeting around the kitchen, over the counters, cupboards and doorways. It reduced the amount of dust getting into other rooms of the house, but it permeated the cupboards and shelves.

We had to hand wash all the pots, pans, dishes and utensils, wipe the dust out of each shelf and cupboard. The dishwasher would not even get the dust off of them it left a residue.

I rented 3 different devices to try and get the thin-set off of the floor. I think the jack hammer worked best. The bolts kept coming loose on the blade of the jack hammer so I finally put a double nut on each bolt. That keep the bolts tight and I didn't have to replace another one.

We used a shop vacuum all the time to try and keep the dust down, it helped, but there was still a lot of dust. We divided the broken tiles up into three piles and put one pile in the trash each week. I didn't want to overload the trash containers. We can only put 350 lbs. in the trash container, plus I have to push the container out to the curb each week for pick-up.

After the floor preparation was complete and every thing was cleaned up and washed down we were ready to go the next step of installing the new wood flooring.

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