Encapsulate Asbestos Tile + Re-level and install ceramic tile

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Old 07-10-10, 09:17 PM
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Question Encapsulate Asbestos Tile + Re-level and install ceramic tile

To start off, I'm a bit of a newb when it comes to this stuff. I've read the forum rules, and will try to detail my problem extensively, but if I fail anywhere, be nice please and I'll fix the issue!

Here's the background:

We recently bought a slab foundation home, and began doing some remodeling. Upon doing this, we found a problem in our laundry room: The floor is not pitched properly to allow water drainage. Instead of being pitched towards the drain, it's going towards the wall.

This is where the nightmare comes into play. Throughout the entire house, there is asbestos vinyl tile that is attached to cement (If you image.google.com search "asbestos tile", ours looks identical to the first image except instead of green, it's black). In our family room, where we plan on putting some ceramic tile and some snap together laminate flooring, this tile is exposed (ie: not encapsulated with carpet). In the laundry room, there are multiple layers of vinyl on top of the asbestos tile. That asbestos tile is adhered to the cement also.

Our nightmare is in trying to get the truth out of contractors on what can be done, what should be done, and how to go about getting it done.

The long short questions:

Can you encapsulate vinyl asbestos tile that is adhered to cement by putting 3/4th of an inch of cement on top of it (with something to adhere the cement to the asbestos)? If so, will this be:

1) Safe?
2) Durable / Long lasting?
3) Practical?
4) Effective for leveling / pitching the floor?


As of right now, our long short plan is to have a contractor come out to remove everything but the asbestos tile. They then want to put a layer (3/4ths of an inch thick) of a cement / adhesive mixture to level the floor in the family room (it has dips), and to pitch the floor in the laundry room on top of the asbestos vinyl tile. From there, he was going to lay ceramic tile in the laundry room and part of the family room. The rest (in the family room) was to have laminate snap planks as flooring put down once that floor was leveled off.

In searching for a good price and answers to our questions, we've had a few contractors come out. Some say you have to have the asbestos completely removed so they can pitch the floor properly and lay the ceramic. The most recent guy says you can just go about this by the above mentioned (laying cement on top).

So far, the argument that sticks out in my mind makes me think of a pothole (brought up by an asbestos abatement company): Unless you're doing a lot of cement (ie: 4 inches thick or more) on top of the asbestos, that cement has a good likelihood to crack / break as the asbestos underneath degrades.

I know this is a bit of a long winded post, but what would you recommend doing?
 
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Old 07-11-10, 06:40 AM
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Welcome!

Why not pull the "possible" asbestos tile up. You would have to get a sample taken to determine if it is. Anyways, millions of people a year pull up their asbestos tile, and the black cutback adhesive you see. Typically, wearing a simple dust mask and keeping the area misted with water as you take it up, will keep everything alright.

I do not agree laying just a thin layer of cement over it.
 
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Old 07-11-10, 07:45 AM
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That was one of our thoughts, but we're a little paranoid of the stuff. We already removed carpet from the living room and broke a few tiles on accident before we realized what we were dealing with, which freaked the fiance out a bit already. To add to it, I've already had cancer once (luckily of a not-so-bad variety!), so we're a bit extra careful when it comes to those sort of risks now.

Either way, perhaps we'll still go through with that and just buy masks and put down *a lot* of water. The tile seems to be pretty well adhered to the floor though.

When it comes to leveling and pitching the floor once the VAT is gone, what would your recommendations be? I'm assuming there will be mastic left behind. Is that something we could get away with adding a mixture of cement and some sort of adhesive to encapsulate that?

And just so that it's clear when talking to the contractor, why should we not just cement over the VAT?

Huge thanks for the answer!
 

Last edited by stickshift; 07-14-10 at 02:17 PM. Reason: removed unnecessary quoting of entire post
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Old 07-13-10, 08:45 AM
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New question:

Once the tile is removed, can we just put that 3/8ths of an inch of cement over the mastic? Will it cause problems?
 
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Old 07-14-10, 10:07 AM
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Justin

You need to remove the adhesive as well. It needs to be scraped up so that just a stain remains and the slab is flat.
 
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Old 07-14-10, 11:45 AM
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Chances are those tiles will come off the slab with great ease. I removed all the asbestos tiles from my basement floor using an ice chopper at a severe angle to get under the tile and probably got 85% of the tiles up in 1 piece. If you don't grind or abraid those tiles you will not release asbestos into the air. Work slowly and take your time on the removal of the tiles, its the best way to go for the lasting quality of the new floor that you want to put dowm.
 
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Old 07-14-10, 12:04 PM
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We have a rather large area being removed, and due to our paranoia we're thinking of having professionals remove the tiles.

That being said, with the mastic being not-so-concerning for becoming friable, how would you go about removing that safely and effectively for our future plans of leveling / pitching the floor (ie: keeping it easy to adhere to)?
 
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Old 07-14-10, 01:35 PM
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UGH! You would be more prone to getting sick by simply contacting germs on the keyboard you are typing on then scraping up that adhesive! You may change your mind once you see the estimate to have a pro abate it.
 
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Old 07-14-10, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by HotinOKC View Post
UGH! You would be more prone to getting sick by simply contacting germs on the keyboard you are typing on then scraping up that adhesive! You may change your mind once you see the estimate to have a pro abate it.
Oh, the adhesive we're not worried about doing ourselves. It's the VAT itself that we are, so they're going to remove that and we'll remove the adhesive (since it's non-friable). We figure they are going to have to work to get that tile off, because it's just not budging.

What's the best way to go about the removal of the adhesive? I know there are commercial products, but what would be best so that we could level the floor and put ceramic down after?
 
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Old 07-15-10, 05:58 AM
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If the adhesive has asbestos in it then it is more dangerous then the tile to remove. I used to be certified to remove asbestos and in MHO the danger in a job such as you describe is over hyped. But if you have it done professionally then you should hire a private lab to do the testing after the job is done to be sure the air is clear and you weren't ripped off.
 
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