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Old 11-07-2008, 08:58 PM   #1
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Assuming Asbestos Tile


Currently renovating a basement when I tore up the existing flooring behind my bar I found a floor that had 1/4" underlay solid sub floor over what I am assuming is Asbestos Tile, as I just demod the bathroom with similar tile, and black glue. Can I tile over this sub floor, its totally solid and level,(screwed into assumed asbestos) laid on concrete floor, is it best to test for asbestos and then remove, the whole basement is covered in this tile with sub floor +carpet overtop. I have some real concerns with this tile now as I have young children that have a play room containing some cracked tiles??Any suggestions will help.

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Old 11-08-2008, 08:04 PM   #2
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Assuming Asbestos Tile


What year is the house?
What size are the tiles?

The only way the asbestos can be activated is with sanding the floor, it is the lowest form of absestos ever introduced to the market

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Old 11-09-2008, 07:22 AM   #3
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Assuming Asbestos Tile


early 1970's 9X9 tiles pic attached, I am having it tested there was a black glue attached to wood backing...I recently demod a approx 40 sq ft area, not knowing the potential risks
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:33 AM   #4
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Assuming Asbestos Tile


It has asbestos, I can tell by looking at it,that pattern was very common in the 70s.
The glue also had asbestos in it, the glue is called cutback.
Your best solution is to escapulate the floor in concrete this will make the asbestos a moot issue. then over lay with ditra prior to tile install.

Remeber; the only to activate the fibers from asbestos is to sand the floor or do a removal that creates a heavy dust issue. if you leave it be it will be fine, just keep it overlaid with something.
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:46 PM   #5
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Assuming Asbestos Tile


The attached pic shows, that all the assumed tile is covered with a 1/4" underlay, some type of sheeting, like I said its solid and level, am I okay to ditra right over this...is the asbestos contained, it is already drilled in place, however do I need to reinforce with more screws (ie every 4 inches). Is drilling into this a concern...
My main concern is the asbestos risk, to avoid tiling and drilling, I am considering just using a laminite. I was hoping to tile right over this underlay.I appreciate your expertise as I am a definite rookie and am trying to do this the most cost effective way, while still trying to do quality workmanship.By concrete do you mean a thinset mortar and then ditra, or actually pour concrete...is this a diy job??Thanks for your help
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Old 11-09-2008, 01:03 PM   #6
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Assuming Asbestos Tile


In theory you should not lay Ditra over 1/4 launn, but with the asbestos issue it may be your only choice.
Unless you overlay the floor up with 1/2 osb or plywood, the luann is still the weak link.
If you lay right over the luann be sure to nail it down with 1/ 1/4 ring shank nails set on 4-6" centers. Screws will only set right through it.
I have a lot of confidence in the Ditra I think it will work under these circumstances
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Old 11-09-2008, 02:10 PM   #7
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Thanks again for your expertise, I think I will use 1/2" plywood(screwed down) then ditra then tile, dont want to take any chances. The other tile located in my daughters playroom of all things...I think I will lay some laminate overtop to contain
Thanks Again
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:08 PM   #8
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Assuming Asbestos Tile


26 years,

You've given good advice,except for one thing. You didn't pay attention that this flooring is in a basement over concrete. Therefore your advice is all wrong.

The luaun needs to be removed along with the asphalt or vinyl asbestos tiles under it. Doing this will not create an asbestos situation. If the tiles break while removing, there should not be any asbestos that goes airborne. BUT, just to be safe, why not simply mist the work areas with water as you go?

The remaining black adhesive (cut back), should be cut away with a razor scraper available at any hardware. Cut the adhesive until only a thin film remains. Then use an appropriately compatible modified thin set to install the tiles.

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Old 11-09-2008, 04:44 PM   #9
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Assuming Asbestos Tile


In the picture he shows a wood floor he did not say this wood floor is in the basement.
It would be rare to see luann overlaid on concrete I am not saying this is not the case. I assumed the floor in the area shown was in the upstairs.
The first picture shows the concrete area.

If I am incorrect I humbly beg for your forgiveness.

I would say the bad advice would be to suggest any removal of asbestos by a layman or home owner unless you have a low decuctable on your General Liabilty and you are above lawsuits.
So if in fact the picture is of luann over laid on concrete I would be wrong in suggesting to screw 1/2 plywood over it to the floor joist.......

However the greater error is to advise removal of any asbestos without a EPA Certified Abatement specialist, this is not only for the removal but for the disposal.
Since you are :Tileman- Manufactures Rep this should be common knowledge to you.
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:06 PM   #10
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Assuming Asbestos Tile


so tear it all up,and lay right on concrete....all said and done...a little asbestos never hurt anyone right
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:14 PM   #11
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Assuming Asbestos Tile


It's no big deal that you missed the fact that this is a basement renovation as it says in the first line. You're right that seeing the luaun caught us by surprise.

If MC was hiring a contractor to do the removal, I would agree to the defensive position concerning the removal of the tiles. Even though there is zero chance that simply removing the tiles would cause any harm. I would probably think the same way in these litigious times.

However as a homeowner, he can remove the tiles safely by using a little common sense. That being, do not sand the tiles which could cause the release of embedded asbestos fibers to become friable, airborne. We won't argue about how many years of breathing a concentrate of fibers while in an enclosed room it would take to cause any harm. I agree it shouldn't be done at all.....the sanding I mean.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, much of the asbestos abatement is a scam. Perfectly safely installed asbestos was removed just so that is could be eliminated from buildings just in case someone disturbed it one day. A lawyer's dream. I'm glad that it is not used much or at all these days. The main place it was harmful was at the mining and manufacturing operations where workers were exposed to it for many years.

Remember, when you remove tiles containing asbestos, you are removing tile not asbestos. Don't sand it, don't eat it, you'll be fine.

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Old 11-09-2008, 10:11 PM   #12
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Assuming Asbestos Tile


I have complete portfolio of the history of Asbestos. Including facts from the first law suit involving the vermiculite mine in Libby MT.

My years spent working for Sears, Lowes & Home Depot required an intense look into the issue. Back in 1985 I believe, Home Depot had to buy a house after an improper flooring removal.
I also worked closely with an abatement company while redoing the floors in a JC Pennys back in the early 90s.

I have good friend that owns an abatment company here in Indiana so I can tell you first hand that people cry scam until they are standing in court.

I almost went into the abatement business, I tried but I could not get time off for the schools and cert programs and the expense was to great.

To me the danger is suggesting an unathorized removal.
A home owner can do as he wishes but we pros must maintian a degree of responsibility.
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:34 PM   #13
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Assuming Asbestos Tile


I agree with all that. We have to continue to refuse to do the prep because some lawyer will get you regardless of any affect.

No large company will or should have their employees or subs remove flooring these days. The reason is lawyers that know where the money is. These companies would rather install flooring incorrectly if necessary as long as they don't remove the old stuff.

I agree there is no good reason to remove friable asbestos without the proper training and equipment. Removing asphalt or vat tiles does not fall in that category though.

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Old 11-10-2008, 09:43 AM   #14
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Assuming Asbestos Tile


To the OP. Any breakage of the tile will release airborne fibers. To be sure, have it tested. There is no positive way to tell if asbestos is present by looking at it, unless it's under a microscope. If the tile contains asbestos and you remove it improperly and without training, you can contaminate the area with asbestos dust that can linger in minute quantities for years. Have the glue tested as well. Many mastics from this time frame, regardless of color, also contained asbestos. Left undisturbed, asbestos will not harm you. Any abrasion that fractures the tile can and will release material. Broken or crumbled tiles should be removed. Getting the tiles up is one thing. Getting rid of the debris is another. If you decide to do some DIY asbestos abatement, you will have a pile of broken tile, a bunch of scraped up mastic and a bag of damp asbestos containing rags to get rid of. If you knowingly discard of friable asbestos debris in an unapproved manner you are committing a felony. There are no laws that I know of to prevent a homeowner from removing asbestos in his own home. (not that it makes good sense though) There are plenty to prevent him from transporting it and disposing of it. Even asbestos that is properly removed and handled still belongs to the original owner. It's one of the cradle to grave materials. (In case you are interested). (certified in asbestos abatement for 10+ years)

Now, all that being said, I would consider leaving it in place if there is nothiong under it that would require attention down the road and cover it over with a substrate that is compatible with your new floor surface. If the old floor is covered over, it will not cause any harm.
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:29 PM   #15
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Assuming Asbestos Tile


I'm not really adding to op's solution, but locally, they were removing asbestos tiles from 911 call center, the solvent they were using to clean with sent some of the staff to the hospital with breathing problems, not once but twice and of course the workers wore proper gear but they allowed the staff to man the area.

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