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Flooring and Carpeting/can you put thinset with acid wash directly over lino?


QUESTION: Our 1954 ranch had a finished basement which we have totally gutted to bring it to up to code for an in-law apartment. The 1100sqft floor is sloped and "wobbly" by about 1/4" (4ft level seesaws in places), so that limits our click-together and tile options, and moisture concerns rule out carpet. About 50% is covered in original linoleum, glued directly to the concrete. We guess the lino was placed between 1955 and 75 and so they probably used asbestos glue. Naturally, we'd rather not rip it up.

One solution we're considering is a thinset skimcoat directly on top of the lino, followed by acid wash. Will that work? Will it adhere properly?

ANSWER: A skimcoat of thinset over your linoleum would end in disaster.  Even thinset adhered to concrete would need to be 1/2 in or better to stand a chance.  You could encapsulate your floor in 100% Epoxy like the remediation companies due.  Its not a great solution because there is still a chance that it could lift.  But may be worth a try.  Go to for a free cost estimate and detailed instructions.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks very much for your reply.

While doing our homework we came across a Concrete Network video that suggests nailing lath to the lino if you want to cover with concrete. We're thinking of using this method with concrete resurfacer followed by thinset, then the acid stain. We have a pneumatic nail gun and concrete nails for the lath (since our lino is over concrete).

Do you think we should give this a shot, or would you still say concrete over lino is a bad idea?

Thanks again!

The problem with floors is that they flex.  If you can make the floor stiff enough your lath may work but often the entire floor moves up and down as you walk on it. Thinset does not flex well an any movement may end up cracking it.  If I was you I would remove the linoleum, clean off the adhesive and use a nice two part epoxy to seal everything in place.  Then a use some area rugs for comfort.  Removing the adhesive is not that hard, and if it remains in a liquid solution there is not much danger of breathing in any fibers.

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Harvey Chichester


Concrete floor coatings, repair, decoration etc.


Harvey Chichester is a well published principal of Durall Industrial Flooring, a company with more than 40 years experience in developing special flow-coatings for industrial and residential floors. Automotive and shopping centers, breweries, food processing plants, manufacturing plants, airplane hangars, car washes, kennels, warehouses, printing plants, residential basements, pool decks, and condominiums are among some of the facilities in which he has installed floors. http:\\

Durall Manufacturing, Bloomington, MN, is the only industrial flooring manufacturer that also makes over 500 specialty cleaners. Durallís 40 years of flooring chemical manufacturing experience has produced a special preparation of cleaners and an application system assuring optimum flooring adhesion and wear results. Durall provides factory-direct support for these new products. Kits of materials are customized to owner specification and delivered directly to the job site. Kits include full directions and 24/7 help lines staffed by seasoned flooring experts, so professionals and amateurs alike can successfully install a quality floor. Visitors can obtain free, job-specific quotes on materials or nationwide turnkey installations by completing a simple questionnaire at This full-service concept allows anyone to enjoy the benefits of industrial strength floors successfully

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MBA, BSB, BA University of Minnesota

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