Tile floor, to remove or not. Asbestos????

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Old 01-23-07, 04:28 PM
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Unhappy Tile floor, to remove or not. Asbestos????

I have peal and stick tile floor in my kitchen. It was installed maybe 20-24 years ago. Adjancent to our kitchen, we had torn down a wall to enlarge the kitchen. THIS area was once was an outside porch that had been closed in many many years before. It had required a layer of luan to bring both areas level when we opened it up. There was/is a layer of stick tiles under the luan. That tile is either peal/stick or glued down? It has been down around 30-35 years.
We had a contractor stop by and he says to leave all the layers down and put the laminent floor on top of everything. Normaly I'd be ok with that but it introduces a number of "new floor" height problems that would'nt look right. I am up for the work of removing the old tiles. Also, when the luan was installed over the concrete area (to level with original kitchen), it was nailed down. Over the years some of the nails are raising up and breaking thru the visable layer of peal/stick tiles. Again a reason to remove. I do 99% of my home repairs and this does'nt scare me.
What does scare me is the 30 year old tiles having asbestos in them. Do to the age of these tile, should I assume there is asbestos???? Considering exploritory surgery this weekend
 
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Old 01-23-07, 05:28 PM
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You can not tell by looking at vinyl and adhesive and tell if they contain asbestos. The fibers are microscopic and require testing to determine if there is asbestos present. There are test kits available in our warehouse at www.hardwareandtools.com

The original layer of tile and adhesive likely contained asbestos and/or the installers of the new layer of tile over the plywood did not want to chance it. Asbestos is best encapsulated to prevent getting the asbestos fibers airborne where they can be ingested into the lungs.

In 1983 asbestos was outlawed. Of course, any remaining inventory that contained asbestos was likely installed in homes. Chances are the top layer of tiles and adhesive doe not contain asbestos. Again, the only way to know for sure is to have adhesive and vinyl tested. If the test is negative, you can remove without disturbing the lower level of tiles and adhesive, which should be tested as well. If top layer is negative, the tiles and underlayment can be removed and help with addressing height differences in floor coverings.
 
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Old 01-23-07, 05:31 PM
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Yes, assume there is asbestos in the older tiles. That's how the stuff was made in that era. It most likely was covered instead of removed due to the asbestos issue. The legitimate methods of dealing with it are to either encapsulate it as was done here, or remove it which gets into a whole mess of who is authorized to do so and then where can it be disposed of.
 
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Old 01-23-07, 07:06 PM
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Thank you guys, TWELVEPOLE, DID i READ RIGHT I get a sample then mail it away for testing? Is there a kit that gives me results there and then???
 
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Old 01-23-07, 07:54 PM
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Because fibers are microscopic, the test samples have to be sent off.
 
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Old 01-23-07, 08:17 PM
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Bruce

I assume your talking VCT(vinyl composition tile). If they are peel n stick asbestos is not an issue. If they are 9 inch VCT then asbestos is a surety..If they are 12 inch it could go either way. How big of an area are you looking at to remove? Been an installer for 26 years and I used to joke that I eat asbestos for lunch lol The risk factor is actually minimal as long as you dont use machines or chemicals to remove the tiles. I don't understand the heighth difference you are referring to when you are only looking at raising up an 1/8th of an inch if you leave your existing floor. I agree with your contractor somewhat,the manual labor involved is not necessary and the luan I would assumed is glued down also to the concrete. If it is secured well you can just pull the exisiting nails,if not,you can pull up the luan and re-glue it. But you obviously have underlayment underneath the tiles and that can be a major job removing it if your kitchen is wood,which I'm assuming. If I'm reading you right lol
 
 

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