FAQ: Can new ESD floors be installed over old?
This is a question that should be answered only by a qualified flooring professional, based on either a site inspection or a lengthy conversation. Almost any floor can be installed over an old floor as long as the old floor is in good condition and well-bonded to the subfloor.
Some floors are easier and less risky to install over old floors. Vinyl, for example, can be installed over existing vinyl. Besides being easier and less messy than removing old tile, if the existing floor contains asbestos, tiling over it protects installers from exposure to toxic vapor inhalation during removal of the old tile.
On the other hand, vinyl is stiff and unforgiving—it could delaminate if the adhesive does not cure well or if the surface is slightly uneven. The possibility of failure is much greater installing vinyl over vinyl than if ESD carpet tile were installed over old vinyl. Carpet tiles are flexible and the release-adhesive bonds extremely well to old vinyl and epoxy. In many cases, carpet tiles can even be installed using glue-free methods like GroundBridge.
Many installers prefer installing carpet tiles over old vinyl rather than over new concrete, because concrete presents a host of variables—such as curing and moisture mitigation—that cost time and money. As often as not, the choice of installing over old floors comes down to concerns about downtime, removal cost, and subsequent damage, asbestos or other environmental factors or budget considerations.
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