Asked on Mar 07, 2013

After removing old linoleum tile, I intend to paint the concrete below for flooring. Any helpful hints out there?

Sheryl Brazell
by Sheryl Brazell
I am redoing the Ladies Room floor in my bar. After removing old tile, I see the adhesive oriinally used looks like road tar now, and is too much work to scrape up. Can I paint over the ld adhesive - giving it texture- with epoxy paint), or would I have a sticky mess that paint won't adhere to? How do I prepare the concrete? Should I use a top coat of something to keep moisture out?
  9 answers
  • The black stuff you uncovered was the old adhesive commonly found with asbestos tile and linoleum. Depending upon the age this adhesive can also contain asbestos fibers. So please be really careful when attempting to remove this material. And be sure to wear a mask when removing this material. This material is a tar based product, it simply will not come off without aggressive grinding or the use of very flammable dangerous liquids. You cannot paint over it. As the floor heats up during warmer months the material will soften and can become quite sticky. Any paint that is over the top will simply begin to crumble and look bad. Not to mention it may take some shoes off of peoples feet if its real bad. I would suggest you rent a power scraper, it is basically a heavy machine that has a heavy duty scraper connected to it that moves back and fourth quite quickly. This action mimics that of your arm doing the same thing. This should be able to remove most of the material. They do sell these scrapers that fasten on the end of a reciprocating saw at Lowe's but it will take much longer to do. Once that is done a cement grinder tool can be used. It is a stone that is fastened to a end of a large hand grinder. Use this to remove and clean the cement. You may need to remove this abrasive tool from the grinder and take it outside and wash it off with some gas or solvent to clear the diamond stones. Dry it and start again. There is no easy way other then to install a new floor over the top such as tile.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Mar 07, 2013
    Yes that black stuff is nasty. For long term durability installing some ceramic tile would be the best. You do have some work ahead of you.
  • H2O Barrier Technologies H2O Barrier Technologies on Mar 08, 2013
    Leave the black stuff down. Dont touch it. Pour level quick or level set over the whole floor. Build it up then seal and paint. You will want to seal or further bind the cementious topping with a lithium silicate formula after leveling floor. The cover roll a coat of some brand epoxy coating. then paint with a durable urethane or epoxy paint. These are only reccomendations and all codes for your local city should be followed. When in doubt bring in the professionals. And follow the law if you have asbestos.
  • Carlie Lawson Carlie Lawson on Mar 14, 2013
    We found that same tar-like material when remodeling my friend's retail space. We accidentally discovered that paint remover takes it right up, then went out and bought a few large cans. (It was a large 2000+ sq. ft. space.) Don a mask first. Pour the remover onto the floor a quarter of an inch deep. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. (Have a cup of coffee.) It all wipes right up with paper towels. We painted the cement floors in his space after letting the floor dry.
    • See 1 previous
    • Tammi Tammi on Apr 23, 2015
      @Carlie Lawson how did the paint hold up afterwards?
  • Renna Renna on Sep 28, 2015
    · Your first step is toencapsulate the area and create a skim-coated bond surface. The easiest way toachieve this is to start with FlexBond Thin-Set Mortar · and coat a thinskim-coat on the cutback. FlexBond is an aggressive adhesive and will grab ontothe cutback to ensure the next steps hold up properly over time. · Once that has set,you'll need to prep this new surface with a bonding primer. This will help yournext layer adhere to it properly and set it up as a wear layer. Use the LevelQuik Latex Primer on your FlexBond substrate andallow it to dry to a clear film before proceeding. · Next, use a bag of LevelQuikRS Rapid-Setting Self-Leveling Underlayment toset up a new wear layer. This product will dry like a concrete surface once setand will be your new subfloor. · For proper use of thisproduct, you must use an epoxy paint as the top coat.Most epoxy paints will recommend an etching of the concrete wear layer prior touse, however bypass this step as you will ruin the work youjust put into it. Proceed with the manufacturer instructions for your paint andyou will have a new walkable, painted surface!~
  • Cadence Cadence on Aug 20, 2019

    I know this late, but I had the same problem, and managed to grind the black mastic glue with 9" grinder with a 1.5" thick heavy wheel made of pumice like material. In hind sight, it would've been better order: cheap metal with diamond embed grinder wheel, and dust shroud off Amazon. Or rent a bigger floor grinder for a faster result. Lot of cussing were involved, and realizing old construction methods were and still toxic and irresponsible.

  • Vicki Cosier Vicki Cosier on Apr 05, 2021

    Have a basement concrete shower room with 9"x9" asphalt tiles set in the late 50's.

    The mastic has dried out and tiles pop up.

    Would like to remove tiles and put a non-slip/antibacterial coating on.

    The shower area has a slope for drainage.

    Need help and instructions, please.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Nov 01, 2021

    Hi, Use a Floor and Tile Paint!