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Old 09-05-2009, 10:18 PM   #1
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How to/what to use to cover potentially asbestos tiles?


I currently have what I think could be asbestos-containing tiles in my kitchen, which I'm remodeling. They are 9x9 off-white marbled vinyl if that gives you any idea. The house was built in 1946 and I couldn't say how old these tiles are, but I wouldn't think they were newer than 1960's.

Anyway, my ultimate goal is to lay a rubber tile floor in this room. This will require the use of an adhesive. This got me thinking that X number of years down the line, when those rubber tiles need to be replaced, I don't want to kick up all the asbestos locked away in the current tiles in the process of removing the rubber tiles. So, that makes me think that I'll need some kind of underlayment on top of the vinyl/asbestos tiles.

What materials and methods would be best for accomplishing this? There are 4 levels of flooring I will also need to unify before installing the new tile. First the existing tile, then a few random spots where I've removed whole tiles (1/8" lower), then a few random spots where I've removed the luan underlayment (another 1/8" lower), and then an area that goes down to the subfloor (another 1/2" lower) where I've had a wall removed. A contractor who did another job for me suggested self-leveling cement for this, but I think that might be more trouble than its worth with the wide gaps in the subfloor.

The other approach I'm considering is just to bring the few areas of missing tile and missing underlayment up to the level of the existing tile. Then lay the new tile on top of that and assume that the next floor (whatever that may be), could be laid on top of those tiles (which will only be another 1/8" thick). Its entirely possible that I will not own the house when another new floor is needed, but I still like to do a job "right".

My goals here are health/safety first, followed by convenience and future proofing.

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Old 09-07-2009, 10:10 AM   #2
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How to/what to use to cover potentially asbestos tiles?


flooring tiles can be removed easily and safely. They do not break into airbourne particles that are unsafe. Keep the area moist and use a dust mask and you will be fine. Use a floor scraper and simply chip the tiles off.

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Old 09-07-2009, 10:22 AM   #3
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How to/what to use to cover potentially asbestos tiles?


Take a look here: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/e...ndex.html#rcan

You will also need to follow all local and state requirements for the removal and disposal of asbestos containing material.
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:04 PM   #4
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How to/what to use to cover potentially asbestos tiles?


Yeah, I realize I can get the tiles up. I have done so with a few of them just to assess the situation. The two issues I see with doing this over the entire floor surface are:

1. The adhesive between the tiles and underlayment may also contain asbestos and I'm less confident that it will leave my house in big chunks as compared to the tiles.

2. The underlayment is 1/8" masonite that's tacked down like you wouldn't believe. Its come up so far in small, irregular pieces and with some difficulty.
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Old 09-08-2009, 05:59 AM   #5
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How to/what to use to cover potentially asbestos tiles?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TomServo View Post
Yeah, I realize I can get the tiles up. I have done so with a few of them just to assess the situation. The two issues I see with doing this over the entire floor surface are:

1. The adhesive between the tiles and underlayment may also contain asbestos and I'm less confident that it will leave my house in big chunks as compared to the tiles.

2. The underlayment is 1/8" masonite that's tacked down like you wouldn't believe. Its come up so far in small, irregular pieces and with some difficulty.
try some dry ice. I have removed a few in my day with no problems. lay the dry ice on top of the tiles your going to remove and wait til you here the tiles pop then slide the ice over to another area, then go back and lift the tiles up and into a plastic bag. GOOD LUCK.
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Old 09-08-2009, 08:47 AM   #6
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How to/what to use to cover potentially asbestos tiles?


You could easily contaminate the entire home with asbestos fibres if you remove them in the wrong manner. Yes, the mastic holding the tiles probably contains asbestos too!

I read from your posting that you have subfloor, covered by masonite as the underlayment, covered by the tiles. Leave everything in place. Patch the spots of missing tiles and missing underlayment with miscellaneous tiles and pieces of hardboard/plywood cut to fit. Then cover the entire floor with new underlayment (as per the recommendations of the final flooring's manufacturer but probably luan), then install your desired rubber floor.

If you have multiple layers of old flooring you may be foreced into removing some/all of the layers, but if it is a single layer of tile you have it easy! Just cover them and dont' disturb any of the asbestos.
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Old 09-08-2009, 04:36 PM   #7
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How to/what to use to cover potentially asbestos tiles?


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You could easily contaminate the entire home with asbestos fibres if you remove them in the wrong manner. Yes, the mastic holding the tiles probably contains asbestos too!

I read from your posting that you have subfloor, covered by masonite as the underlayment, covered by the tiles. Leave everything in place. Patch the spots of missing tiles and missing underlayment with miscellaneous tiles and pieces of hardboard/plywood cut to fit. Then cover the entire floor with new underlayment (as per the recommendations of the final flooring's manufacturer but probably luan), then install your desired rubber floor.

If you have multiple layers of old flooring you may be foreced into removing some/all of the layers, but if it is a single layer of tile you have it easy! Just cover them and dont' disturb any of the asbestos.
This is my inclination, as well. The entire floor consists of: subfloor, 1/2" t&g fir (could be what passed for plywood in 1946), 1/8" masonite, 1/8" tiles. The current tile is level with the adjoining room's t&g maple, so adding another 1/8" layer shouldn't matter much. Obviously, it would be better to remove all the hazardous materials and lay down new materials that lend themselves to simpler refinishing or replacement, but I just don't see how to do this safely and conveniently.

Would it be better in the long run to do a proper underlayment between the tile and the new floor? The thing that makes me question this is that it really doesn't gain you anything in avoiding built up layers versus the first 2 additional layers of floor. I.E., 1/8" new floor + 1/8" newer floor = 1/8" underlayment + 1/8" new floor.

buletbob,

The tiles come up with no problem. I could have the whole room of 9x9's out in 20 minutes. If the adhesive wasn't likely even more carcinogenic than the tile and the masonite underlayment wasn't held down by Zeus himself, I'd be going that route. C'est la vie.
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Old 09-10-2009, 11:59 AM   #8
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How to/what to use to cover potentially asbestos tiles?


don't know much about removing laminate flooring, but I will say this...

Asbestos is much like many of the toxic compound I work with in the lab. It's not the dust you see that's the problem, it's the dust you don't. I would NOT attempt to lift that floor. Leave that to the pro's.

Instead, would it be possible to cover it with some sort of overlayment. Maybe put plywood or something on top as a floating floor, sort of like engineered hardwood?

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