I asked this question about two weeks ago but found out there is a compound on the entire backerboard (it was used to cover the nails). We would like to replace the vinyl with ceramic tile. Can we simply remove the vinyl and use the existing backerboard to install the tile on? We want a quality tile job, but would like NOT to have to take up the backboard and put down new backerboard. Since there was a compound used to cover the entire floor (it was used to cover the nails), we were told the tile would not adhere to the backerboard. Is there a way to salvage the existing backerboard and get a good, quality tile job that will last?Installing tile over backerboard that has a compound on it to cover the nails %26amp; then glue for the vinyl?
The question isn't whether the tile will adhere to the backerboard, but rather will the mortar or mastic adhere? Normally tile mortar or mstic is put down on the backer-board, and then the tile is embedded into this. Try an experiement. Put a 10 X 10 square amount of mastic on the backer-board and let it set. Then check to see how it adheres. Scrap at it with a putty knife or screw driver. You should be able to get a pretty good idea of how well it will hold. Keep the test area small enough so that removing the test mortar won't be a half-day job. If it doesn't adhere well, you could also consider sanding down the coat of glue. You could even use a fairly rough grade of paper to make quick-time of the task. Then for sure the tile mortar would adhere. You could rent a sander at a rental center and do the job in no time.
Finally, if all else fails, find the thinest of backer-board and screw it down over the existing backer-board to create a new surface.