dreacorator

Asbestos Tile? What did you do with yours?

Dreacorator
6 years ago
There is asbestos tile in two rooms of our home over concrete slab. We are thinking of installing unfinished floating hardwood and staining it to match our existing hardwood when we refinish.

Ideally we would have it removed. I hate the idea that it is in my home and I know it would be easier to carpet over it, but I want it out. We understand the process of testing it, either having a company do it or sending it out ourselves and testing not only the tile itself but the mastic. The next part of the process - has anyone in the houzz community ever removed it themselves or hired to have it done? What was your experience? What did you learn in the process? How much did it cost? How did you find the company you hired?

Comments (132)

  • queenkamikaze
    6 years ago
    That's interesting. thanks budwize
  • PRO
    Natural Home Design
    6 years ago
    Best to keep the tar/glue that you call "blackjack" in place and install engineered wood, click true linoleum,bamboo, or cork flooring. I am sure it was very expensive for removal and not worth the money to remove..although removal company's would never tell you that. more information/question go to naturalhomeadvisor@gmail.com
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  • budwize
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    no they dont tell you that and said it was ok to sand, lucky when floor was sanded it was 99% removed ( just some left in sparodic parts that had gone down between the floorboardsi noticed weeks later. about .5 to 1mm wide and 5-10cm long in 2-3 parts which woulda been clipped by the sanders. Very small amount i know. its all sealed now from the paint but i am also considering bambooing it now anyway just for a extra seal even though that article above seems to indicate adhesives are pretty safe in the context of things. lucky as we got 2 kids and they werent there when the tiles got pulled up/found or of course when the sanding was done
  • PRO
    Natural Home Design
    6 years ago
    yES, AIR-BORNE asbestos is where we are concerned,most.
  • budwize
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    im still wiping walls down though slowly over the last few weeks since the floor sanding such a big job that i do bits of when the kids are in school just before i go to work. so far i had wet wiped all the inside of cupboards before we put clothes in, doors, kitchen, dining walls and hallway walls. extension room now has bamboo foor, window sills wiped

    i also spoke to some hygenists to get them to come out to check the air and check the dust on walls that are left but maybe they have the above knowledge on adhesives as they said it wasnt worth them coming out as they would more than likely find nothing. while im still scared for the family it has somewhat put my at ease a bit for now with what ive come across
  • Mark Dunn
    6 years ago
    I just removed all the asbestos tiles and black tar paper with a wallpaper steamer. Actually 4 of them because it was taking to long with 1. I made sure to always have an asbestos grade respirator on with gloves. I closed off the rest of the house with plastic so no dust would get through. There really wasn't any dust because I was using a steamer and a spray bottle. With a wallpaper steamer the tiles came up mostly in whole pieces, which is safe if they don't break. I put them in 3 layers of black plastic bags to make sure dust wouldn't get out. After all the tiles were up I laid the steamers on the tar for a couple of minutes in each area and scraped it off the wood. Sometimes I would have to put the steamer over the area a second time to remove all of it. It took me around 30 hours to scrape it all off of about a 300 sq foot area.

    I wanted to remove as much as possible so the hardwood guys wouldn't sand it off. I would say I got 95% of it off with the steamer and scraper. Once the hardwood floors were refinished I cleaned every square inch of my house, vacuumed it with a HEPA grade filter vacuum, and then painted all the walls and ceilings. Once I was done with that I vacuumed again and bought a HEPA grade air purifier. I've been running it in each room for a day and will continue to run it for a while. With the methods I've used I'm confident there wasn't any dust in the air because of the new sealant on the floors with new paint on the walls and ceilings and HEPA grade filters in both the vacuum and air purifier along with scraping it off with steam. I did a lot of research and wanted this crap out of my house, and feel I did it the safe way without having to pay thousands to an abatement company. I love having a new house.
  • PRO
    Urbanata/Steve
    6 years ago
    Do not follow the advice that if the asbestos content is low you can remove it yourself safely. A thimble full of asbestos dust can kill you. The tile looks to be well secured and is not breaking up and therefore not "friable". I would leave it in place and put an engineered floating floor over it.
  • PRO
    Urbanata/Steve
    6 years ago
    I should have added make it floating and DO NOT GLUE IT DOWN to the asbestos tile.
  • Dreacorator
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    For the record, I am no closer to a decision than I was last timeI checked into this thread! I look at my house now as everything being a danger, everything having asbestos. We spackled and sanded every wall before we moved in- dust everywhere ... There is asbestos in drywall mud. We want to tear it to studs - does that mean we cant for fear of asbestos? There are 3 layers of regular vinyl floors in my kitchen - asbestos can be in the mastic of those types of tile as well, even if not against VAT tiles. So does that mean I have to go over 3! layers of flooring and add a 4th layer of what I want over it? It's getting ridiculous.

    At some point the hysteria of asbestos has to be resolved. We have all spent lots of time in areas where lots of asbestos has been airborne. Crossing a busy highway every day? Break pads being hit on each of those cars releases asbestos. Neighbors getting a new roof? Asbestos. Everyone I take the subway with - do they have asbestos fibers floating on their clothes from their projects? And do you really think your family, friends, neighbors, etc. have asbestos free homes? Hiring a company is NOT a guarantee it will be done without releasing asbestos; there is absolutely no way of knowing if it was done flawlessly, and then we are out THOUSANDS of dollars for something we could have done ourselves. How many people cut corners on a job??? It's so frustrating. ..

    I am not like others, I have to remove it - It is in my foyer as well, on the floor of a coat closet, right next to red and blue slate tile floor that has to be broken up, so the option to go over the top is out. Overthetopisnotanoption!!! This is over concrete in the ENTIRE first floor of my home, not in an unused part of the house, and floor levels are uneven.Over it, we want to tile and continue wood floors to match the rest of the home, preferably unstained wood glued down, or floating. Other floor types are just not for us. I refuse to be constricted in what I can do and live in a home that is less than what we deserve out of fear of F*n PARTICLES! And so my tirade, and journey, continues . I feel for anyone else in this situation. ..
  • cluedin
    6 years ago
    Leave it alone, or get a professional to remove it. Don't mess with it.
  • queenkamikaze
    5 years ago
    i have the same problem. two layers of asbestos tile in the kitchen. but it's chipping. i can't afford to pay someone $7500 to remove it. it's ridiculous. but i can't put another floor on top of it either else peopel will be stepping down every time they leave the kitchen.
  • Alex
    5 years ago
    I have heard that you can actually nail solid wood flooring through the vinyl tiles if subfloor below is good. Floated floor would be the easiest but that click sound when you step is terrible.
  • PRO
    Natural Home Design
    5 years ago
    True linoleum and cork comes with a cork underlayment eliminating any "clicking sounds..if you go with click hardwood, which is rare but available you can put a felt underlaymetn under it. Don't recommend nailing through asbestos to sub-floor. if you email directly to naturalhomeadvisor@gmail I can give you brands etc. to look for.
  • cluedin
    5 years ago
    Queen kamikze - those tiles aren't very thick. Can't you find a thin flooring solution and use a threshold to transition? There are very thin floors out there now. Maybe houzzers could suggest some.
  • cluedin
    5 years ago
    Like this peel and stick-
  • PRO
    Natural Home Design
    5 years ago
    I guess it depends on how long you want your floor to last. You could buy the peel and stick or save yourself some time and take the 150.00 of investment and throw it in your recycling bin..if your state has recycling that way you won't be exposed to the adhesive that comes with this toxic flooring choice!
  • Dorothy Pohorelow
    5 years ago

    The tile in our house is on a wooden subfloor over an unfinished basement that has a dryer vented into it. Then there are the areas where the floor is often damp ie in front of the sink and under the dogs water bowl. Of course that means we now have lifting, lifted, and broken tiles in the kitchen and on the steps from the kitchen down to the back door. We also have lifting and broken tile on the WALL as it was coved up to act like a baseboard AND it is also coved up onto the kick plate of the old cabinets that have to be removed. The floor we can leave to the pros and just encapsulate the stuff on the wall but sigh there are those kick plates...

  • PRO
    Natural Home Design
    5 years ago

    Dorothy, it sounds like you have already been convince that you must hire someone to remove your asbestos tile..which I think is not correct. Choose a floating floor..cork.natural linoleum,hardwood..LEAVE ASBESTOS IN PLACE. Install over..no glue or nails needed not sure what you mean by kick plates..are you meaning toe-kicks?

  • wannabath
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Most asbestos tiles that had high content are the 8" tiles. Just because they look like them does not mean they are the dangerous type. Those same tile are sold in hundreds of colors today.

    Asbestos is in your house and probably in more dangerous levels and places then you think. Many 70's houses have it in the sheetrock which has exposed ends and is open to ducts everywhere in your house.

    Stop speculation an shave it tested. I would leave it alone. By the way real wood floors make just as much noise as engineered especially when first layer and with temp swings.


    What year was the house built? Pull an old toilet cover there will be a date on the inside that could give you insight to when house was built.

  • PRO
    Natural Home Design
    5 years ago

    yes,Ditto on having asbestos tested..If it is curling it makes me think it's not the tile that has the high,dangerous amounts of asbestos..and yes there is asbestos found elsewhere in your home. Most homes have more danger of creating "sick_buildings" with mold,E.M.F.'s,toxic home furnishings..such as laminated flooring & bamboo!

  • Dorothy Pohorelow
    5 years ago

    Grin my house still has the original Octopus convection heater... So yep I know we have asbestos in places we have are not bothering. The kitchen floor is another matter. The tiles are not only up the base of the wall they also cover the kick plate on the old cabinets sigh. That means almost any remodeling will cause more damage to the tiles then we already have. It is those damaged areas that are causing us the biggest headache. The local flooring companies can't do anything in the kitchen until the tile is tested and removed or abated if need be. One company will not even discuss flooring options until the floor is taken care of.

    We had planned on a floating floor but I keep hearing that the base has to be really smooth and level for them to work. Right now I am not even sure what to look at. It must be pet friendly since we have a service dog, plus a couple of pets. It also must not give off many fumes or I risk a trip to the ER for an inability to breathe. Low VOC paint is a must also as well as no sanding of pine or other conifer woods in my area or again I run the risk of a trip to the ER. To be honest I am almost tempted to opt for unfinished hardwood and use Tung Oil on it which we know I can be around...

  • Dorothy Pohorelow
    5 years ago

    sigh just realized you have to click on the photo to see the damaged area by the sink and under the pink water bowl...


  • PRO
    Natural Home Design
    5 years ago

    Dorothy, I have spent 26 years creating homes for highly sensetive persons like yourself. I would recommend marmoleum click it will work hard for you and be safe for pets. If you have need of more aadvise please email me directly naturalhomeadvisor.com

  • Michelle NJ
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Any way to lay porcelain tile (the kind that looks like wood) over the 8x8 asbestos tile in our basement? What is safest way to do so and what products are recommended? Can this be "floated", as suggested above? Space is approximately 650 sq ft. And I'm pretty sure water is trapped under the tiles from years of (original owners') basement neglect, though it's been dry for almost 2 years.

    (And note some asbestos tile is loose while some others were just blasted through by the "waterproofing company" that took my 10K and installed a French drain, single sumpump, and odd little vent-disks along the walls. Upon follow-up complaints of wet walls, "waterproofers" returned and hung waterproof sheets along some of the walls. Just great.)

  • PRO
    Everlast Epoxy Systems Inc
    5 years ago

    We have a commercial epoxy flooring that will adhere to your existing VCT tile. You can see some of our floors here http://www.everlastepoxy.com/project-gallery . There are two things that you will need to know before purchasing the floor:

    1. Before covering your basement floor with our epoxy you should first check that the hydrostatic, capillary or moisture pressure is not greater than 3.0 lbs. / 1000 sf / 24 hours.

    2. You will need to scratch the VCT to open the pores and remove any sealers. The Diamabrush that is available for rent at home depot can do this.

  • PRO
    Natural Home Design
    5 years ago

    Before using the commercial epoxy that is being recommended.please check what solvents make up this formula. Consumers must be aware that the E.P.A. has limited abilities to protect the consumer there are 800 plus chemicals that have not been tested to see what they do to human beings. Because our main focus is to educate at naturalhomeproducts.com..we strongly urge you not to use Epoxy

    on Asbestos tile..and for goodness sake don't scratch it. What you do not want to do is inhale any asbestos dust! contact me directly susan@naturalhomeproducts.com



  • sarahbatticgarage
    4 years ago

    Hello group: We have asbestos tile throughout our home. In many places it is cracked. The asbestos abatement companies have told us we have to get it out bc it is cracked in places. Our first estimate was $9K-not cheap. The flooring companies are telling us to simply roll carpet right over it and encapsulate it. We are unsure as to what to do. Does anyone have any advice? Thank you!!

  • PRO
    Brickwood Builders, Inc.
    4 years ago

    While it is not cheap, IMO, homeowners have a responsibility to the environment and future buyers to remove items known to be harmful. Otherwise this stuff just lives into perpetuity and you push the problem to someone else.

  • terry toon
    4 years ago
    Sarah, if you want answers try starting a new post. IMHO, I'd carpet over the tiles. Consider duck tape over the cracks just to be 100 percent safe. Removing it seems the bigger threat to me.
  • mr_northbay1943
    4 years ago

    The best option is to get rid of the asbestos and then it is gone. Leaving it in a state that makes it harder for those who finally have to deal with it in the future is unfair and irresponsible. You could end up with lawsuits that will cost far more than the removal especially if you don't disclose where the asbestos is located to contractors or real estate people. The value of your house will likely be less with asbestos and likely by more than the cost of removal.

    In one situation I am familiar with just soaking the floor with lots of water will loosen the tiles and they will come up real easy. I believe some of those old adhesives were water soluble so it could be pretty easy especially on a concrete basement floor. Softening the tiles with a heat gun or torch makes it easier to take them up. The wallpaper steamer approach seems like an approach worthwhile trying.

    Encapsulation is fine but the asbestos is still in your house and will have to be dealt with at some time. You are putting people at risk if they have to drill holes through it, cut it with a saw or even drive nails into it. I'd get rid of it either by an approved contractor or diy using proper techniques.

  • lolo
    4 years ago

    Bought a house that was foreclosed on with asbestos tile floor in basement. The house has been vacant for 5 years. Some of tile has been cracked and removed (probably by old contractor) but bulk remains in bad condition. Any recommendations? If some is cracked and broken, do I now need to remove, or can I still cover or seal etc? Would prefer the latter due to cost but frankly would do whatever is best to make safe. Also is it dangerous now if it is cracked and broken but nobody has been in house for years and basically untouched?

    Thanks!

  • cpitcher22
    4 years ago

    My question:

    I have the 9x9's in my basement. I want a new floor. Can I Thinset right over the top of the existing floor? In my head, it will cover/seal the tiles, level out, and then I can go from there. ?/

  • maxx_stryker
    4 years ago

    Easy! Just rent or buy a tile scraper. Slide it under the tiles. Some lifters operate with elbow grease. Others have a little motor that vibrate & make the tile lifting job a dream. Have a helper box all the old tiles & pieces - otherwise the shards of tile tend to tear plastic bags. Put a box or two per week into your garbage pick-up. Will get buried at the local landfill under tons of other debris. Wear a mask while working and change it often. Operate a HEPA air filter(s) nearby while working & leave running continuously until the job is complete. Take a shower after each work session. Follow this up with a floor scraper that will scrape off the old adhesive. You are now ready to paint or polish the exposed, original concrete floor.

  • happyleg
    4 years ago

    I have a 1960 house, sheeting floors & top layer is tile. The tile is red brick look. I say all has asbestos, hubby says no. They are four floors in this room!

  • lupealamaison
    4 years ago
    I just bought a house with remodeling in mind. Found out the next day that the basement tile I intended to remove is vinyl asbestos (old unused box left by previous owner). Of course , the specialized removal is not in my budget. I could cover it, as it us in good condition, but the remodel of te bathroom will required breaking the cement slab to allow the shower drain, so that means citing into the tile in the bathroom. Also, I KNOW it's there, I couldn't sell the house without telling the future owners. Any idea of the cost for about 700 2f? I don't know what to do
  • hatetoshop
    4 years ago

    Why not call an abatement /removal contractor to get a price?

  • PRO
    Brickwood Builders, Inc.
    4 years ago

    The last time we had some taken up on a project (2010), the cost was $2000 for a kitchen and laundry room which may have been around 300 SF total. I agree, check a couple of abatement companies in your area and see what your options are.

  • L Roy
    4 years ago

    My kitchen tiles are beyond cleaning. Even Stanley Steemer wouldn't touch it. The titles are vinyl, circa early 80s and even without testing I am 99.9% sure they contain asbestos.

    Yes, I could cover them, but that's like putting a bandage on someone who is profusely bleeding. While they are not broken up yet, the tiles are becoming unstuck and the edges are getting frayed. Some are bulging. God only knows how bad the lamination sheet (circa 1961) and the sub-floor is underneath.


    It IS the kitchen (and I only have one), and it is how I get in and out of the house...when I have to drive.


    I am NOT going to have a pre-inspection due to the high probability. After all, they are 35 years old.


    Will have to save up for it, will try for minimum hours to have it done even if it takes a dozen men to do the job.

  • Laura Holmgren
    4 years ago

    I just spent $8k (that I don't have) to fix my wet basement. The waterproofing company came out today to do the job and surprise, surprise... there is asbestos in the floor of the main, large room of the basement. They still had to drill through the entire parameter of the floor (about a foot or so wide, all the way around).


    How concerned should I be that they kicked up asbestos particles into the air during their drilling? They covered it up with some kind of black seal. Am I safe to just throw carpet on this mess in a week and assume that I don't need to wipe EVERYTHING down? Freaking out now. They've been drilling/jackhammering all day :(

  • happyleg
    4 years ago

    Didn't they filter it?

  • Tribbletrouble44152k7 Trek
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Yes, I would wet wipe everything down. Or hire someone to do the walls, but they, and you, will need protective outfits.

  • PRO
    Northwest Granite & Flooring
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    You should have it tested first to be sure there is asbestos present. Get a quote to remove it, then weigh your options. Just having it in your home is not usually a hazard, and its usually the "cut back" glue that was used and not always the tile that has the asbestos. When its disturbed by removing, sanding, etc. is when the problem is created. Disturbing it creates particles to be released into the air, and it gets on shoes, clothing, is breathed in, tracked everywhere. If you remove it, you hire an abatement company accredited for this specialized work!! Do NOT do this yourself, and do NOT not hire a handyman or other non-certified company to do this! If you do not want to incur the cost of removing it, and it wont cause height issues with the abutting flooring and doors, have your contractor "encapsulate" the old flooring by skim coating or doing a shallow pour over it with a self leveler (we use "Feather Finish") before installing the new flooring. You will need to disclose when selling that there is asbestos in the encapsulated flooring, which may be a turn off for some buys who are uninformed about the process. It may be cheaper in the long run to have it removed, as it may affect the selling price.

  • Christine Belair
    3 years ago

    This is what I found when I took the floating laminate flooring up to reuse in my new home. It has a VERY TOXIC SMELL. SOMETHING is oozing up between the asbestos times. Thank Goodness I am moving out of this 1955 toxic dump.

  • supermandy2001
    3 years ago
    Budwize the study you read was funded by one of the companies that used to manufacture the asbestos containing products.
  • supermandy2001
    3 years ago
    That liquid looking stuff is very strange Christine Belair. we also uncovered what we assume to be asbestos vinyl tiles and there wasn't any gross stuff oozing out. Ours is from 1950s also.
  • supermandy2001
    3 years ago
    I have been considering removal or covering over as well and I was considering resale value, as you never know what the future will bring and we might have to sell eventually. But after reading all these comments and other sites I really feel it would be safer to cover it than disturb that glue underneath. Long term resale value is important to me but health and safety is more important, so I think we'll go over top after all.
  • Christine Belair
    3 years ago
    We did go over the top with floating floor. After 5 years this is what happened. It was not like that when we put the laminate over it. The orange looking oozing out is apparently what happened when we put the moisture barrier ( white sheething in picture ) over it. 5 yrs later when the floating floor was removed this is how it was and SMELLED OF TOXIC GLUE.
    I WOULD SERIOUSLY CONSIDER SEALING THE FLOOR BEFORE U PUT ANYTHING OVER IT.
  • PRO
    Cancork Floor Inc.
    3 years ago

    @Christine...the vapour barrier is what has caused this...and is the same reason we don't let vapour barriers sit over top of plywood. They trap moisture UNDERNEATH the sheet and then it reemulsifies the adhesives = icky, sticky, stinky mess.

    Before you covered the asbestos tiles, they were "breathing" well enough. There was enough air movement to continually evaporate the moisture that was moving through the glue/seams. That's all it needed to be happy.

    Once you placed the plastic on top you "capped" it (that's what it is called = capping). That trapped ALL THAT MOISTURE in one place. There was so much of it, the glue became "liquid" once again. I'm going to guess there were gallons and gallons of water vapour moving through the tiles/seams all the time. The toxic smell you are referring to would have been very much like the smell the installers had to live through = smell of the glue...and the first homeowners as well. That's why these adhesives are banned = nasty, dangerous things.

    Funnily enough, had you laid the laminate straight over top, most of the moisture would have simply moved through (just like before). It would have been slowed down by the laminate...but still would have had a place to go.

    It is very difficult to "seal" asbestos tiles/adhesive. It is hard to do, and expensive. That's why they are either left alone (try not to cap them) or pay the piper to get rid of them. Once they are gone you never have to deal with them again.

  • nmp19
    3 years ago
    About 17 years ago, our basement was flooded when our hot water heater exploded. So we removed asbestos tiles in only ONE 5x8 section of the basement that was extensively water damaged. This was the most disgusting and difficult project that we have ever done in our 1937 brick home. The tiles popped off easily but in PIECES. The mastic is unbelievably difficult to remove. We had to use a heat gun and scrapers to remove that awful mastic. We did not have flood insurance so we had to do this ourselves. I would NEVER recommend attempting to do a whole basement yourself. We wore coveralls and face masks but the smell and mess of removing the mastic was just too much. We finally cleaned the area pretty well. Luckily, the original owner left us several boxes of the original tile. So we patched the area. We are only the second owners of this home and the entire basement floor looks pretty good for its age. I used an electric floor scrubber and polisher on it. We didn't have the option of floating floors back then. Now, we don't use the basement as much so the tiles will remain. BE VERY CAUTIOUS. GET EXPERT OPINIONS BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT TO REMOVE ASBESTOS TILES YOURSELF.