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Old 02-23-2011, 09:19 AM   #1
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want to remove recent vinyl flooring over asbestos subfloor


Hi all,

I have just purchased a home built in 1960. The kitchen currently has new vinyl tile flooring (verified by the brand new box of leftovers in the garage) that were probably installed in order to sell the house. However, upon taking out the bottom drawer of one of the cabinets I noticed the original flooring underneath which very likely is asbestos-containing vinyl tiles. The new flooring was installed just up to the bottom of the cabinets.

We would like to install new flooring (type TBD) but I would be interested in removing the new vinyl tiles in order to not have a higher floor in the kitchen. I am not interested in removing the asbestos subfloor, just the latest flooring. Therefore, I have two questions:

  1. is it possible to remove the new vinyl tiles without running the risks of disturbing the asbestos underneath?
  2. I found a small stack of leftover original asbestos suspicious tiles in the attic. How should I dispose of those?
Thanks!

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Old 02-23-2011, 11:00 AM   #2
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want to remove recent vinyl flooring over asbestos subfloor


First thing I would do is get a sample off to a lab for testing and verify that what you are dealing with (tile and tile adhesive) does in fact contain asbestos. The local lab here will run a sample for 30 bucks.

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Old 02-23-2011, 01:05 PM   #3
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want to remove recent vinyl flooring over asbestos subfloor


If the old tiles are of a vintage from the time the house was built then asbestos is present in both the tiles and the tile adhesive. You don't need a Lab to make that determination.

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Is it possible to remove the new vinyl tiles without running the risks of disturbing the asbestos underneath?
More than likely Yes.

Quote:
I found a small stack of leftover original asbestos suspicious tiles in the attic. How should I dispose of those?
Throw them in the trash.

As far as I have been able to determine all states allow a homeowner to remove (installed) tile suspected of containing asbestos and throw them in the daily trash. A stack of leftovers wouldn't be any different. Unless you know your state requirements are different, go for it.
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Old 03-04-2011, 03:32 PM   #4
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want to remove recent vinyl flooring over asbestos subfloor


Bud or someone else,

So that's great to know that I can probably remove the new tiles without disturbing the old stuff. I have been unable to find very good instructions online on how to remove the recent tiles. As far as I can gather it's just a matter of using a heat gun and *maybe* a scraper. The scraper part concerns me some as I would hate to scrape the surface of the old tiles. Is that the correct way to do this? I am also assuming that once the tiles are out I can leave whatever adhesive is leftover alone on top of the old tiles and just start with a new underlayment on top. Would anyone be able to point me to a good resource on how to remove the vinyl tiles? By the way, the top layer of tiles is of Armstrong Civic Square 12 in. x 12 in. Stone Tan Vinyl Composition Tiles (http://bit.ly/gRndvG). Thank you.
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Old 03-04-2011, 04:33 PM   #5
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want to remove recent vinyl flooring over asbestos subfloor


If the most recent tiles were newly installed then they won't contain asbestos.

I am now wondering if maybe the new tiles are cheapo self-stick tiles that are so popular today. If so, they should peel right up with a little encouragement.

Have you tried to remove any of them?

If they were installed using the proper adhesive then they are installed with a contact adhesive and they won't be so willing to let go. You can use a heat gun but it is a slow slow process usually.

The first thing to do is to remove a few and see what you are dealing with.

The new adhesive will likely contain the old tiles below and scraping on them a little shouldn't be an issue of exposing any asbestos.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:59 PM   #6
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want to remove recent vinyl flooring over asbestos subfloor


As a follow up I just wanted to thank you guys for building up my confidence to try the project on. We did get the floor tile tested and it was positive for asbestos. We decided to keep the current vinyl tiles and replace the ones that were against the sections of cabinets that we altered. I went ahead and removed tiles with relative ease using a heat gun and there was no issue with breaking or removing the asbestos with that. The more challenging part was removing the old adhesive in order to apply a new layer before replacing the tiles. I ended up using a eco-friendly adhesive remover that probably took longer than non-eco ones and I did have to scrape the surface of the underlying asbestos tiles some (wearing an appropriate mask). I kept them always wet with a layer of adhesive remover to prevent any airborne particles while scraping - boy is that stuff hard to get completely off. Thankfully I wasn't doing the whole floor.

Cheers!

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