Backer board can be placed directly on top of a strong vinyl floor that was laid on a laminate or a hard-wood sub-floor. However, if the floor already consists of multiple layers some or all of those layers will have to be removed. Before you lift any kind of flooring, always check if the bonding or any part of the sub-floor is made of asbestos. If it does, it is always best to hire a specialized to deal with this. A lot of vinyl floor installed before the 1970s contained asbestos, which poses serious health hazards to those who breathe it in. You can get asbestos testing kits to test whether the floor truly contains asbestos.
If the floor does not contain asbestos, you can begin by firstly removing the base-boards, then start lifting the floor on one side of the room and work your way across. If there is a loose part of the floor, it is always best to start there, as it will make for an easy demolition job. If the floor is stubbornly holding, then cut a channel in the floor and then use a long-handled scraping tool to peel the floor off. To get best results, you must replace the blade on the scraping tool easily, as it is inclined to blunting. If done correctly, the floor will lift in squares or in long strips and can be easily disposed of. After you’ve carried out this stage, you may find that some of the backing is nevertheless stuck to the floor. If this is the case, continue with the floor scraping tool until all of it has been lifted. If that fails, you may have to use a heat gun to apply heat directly to the floor.
When dealing with vinyl installed over a wood floor, it’s always best practise to remove the intermediate floor that’s on top of the sub-floor, in addition as the vinyl. This will allow your new tile floor to rest on the same level as the existing floor in other rooms in the house. The first step is to drill a 1 inch hole down to the sub-floor, just to check how thick the under-floor truly is. Using a rotary saw, cut the floor in square foot tiles, that can be easily lifted and thrown away. Use a pry-bar to lift these tiles and also the under-floor directly out and remove all projecting nails.
Carrying out a demolition project on an existing floor is never an easy task but if you follow the guidelines above, you can make the time of action as efficient as possible.