Help with uneven tile basement floor?

I have a 1966 rambler and the basement rec room has vinyl tiles. I had sump pumps put in. The company pointed out that the tiles and mastic might contain asbestos, assured me that they were experts in dealing with this, and then as far as I can tell took no special abatement steps at all. Instead, the company jackhammered up a broad band around the room, laid in the drainage pipe, and then cemented it over. They meticulously evened the cement to be even with the rest of the cement floor - which means that it is about 1/8 to 1/4 inch below the level of the top of the tiles. Putting aside for the moment the possible health risk to their workers and to us home residents, I now have an uneven floor with a lower band of cement around ancient vinyl tiles.
After thinking about various possible flooring surfaces, I thought a nice laminate might be a good idea. However, I am concerned that the uneveness will result in project failure (and possibly void the warranty). There are two possibilities that I see: removing the rest of the tile, or using a leveling compound around the perimeter of the room to get everything level to the top of the tiles before laying laminate. I read an interesting post by someone who popped off ancient vinyl tiles by putting blocks of dry ice on top of them. Others have said that leveling compound is difficult to work with and the job requires two people.
Which way would you go? Would you a) do it yourself, b) try to level or try to remove the tiles, c) give up laminate and do something else? Thanks.
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Melissa wrote: <snip>

If the existing tile is not coming loose then a floor leveler is a good idea. The mix & pour kind will probably not work well in your situation because you are working with such a shallow depression. It would probably be worth your time to go to a tile store ,not the Borgs, and ask what they recommend. It shouldn't be that difficult to lay out the material and screed it using the existing tile as a guide.
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More asbestos paranoia.......... Unless you grind or sand the tiles the particles will not become airborne, and are not harmful at all. There has been far too much paranoia created about asbestos in order to make a big profit. Get a heavy duty scraper and pop off the tiles. A heat gun (or blow torch used safely) will help.
Mark
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I'd be leary about using a lot of dry ice in a basement.... unless its well ventilated. All the "smoke" you see when dry ice melts is carbon dioxide. I may be wrong, but if the basement is not well ventilated and you're down there with a lot of it, you may find yourself passing out. Maybe not...... but just a thought.
snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

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If the tiles are a real pain in the ass to get up dry ice will help.
I would wet down the tiles well before poping them up. Once you are done with getting the tiles off, you'll most likely be stuck with a black glue that was used to hold those tiles down. That can contain asbestos too... GREAT!
I put a coat of basement floor paint over the whole thing to seal it up. Eventually I wam going to put carpet over the whole thing myself.
If you plan on tiling it or something, I wouldnt paint it put put on a nice coat of latex adhesive primer available in the tile isle (with the thinset etc) at Home Depot.
Tom
grodenhiATgmailDOTcom wrote:

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If the tiles are vinyl asbestos, (12" x 12") they are most likely glued with multi-purpose flooring adhesive (tan). As far as I know, there is no asbestos in the glue. If they are the 9" x 9" asphalt tile, the adhesive is mostly tar (black). I have heard there may be asbestos in the tar. But once again, it's suspended in the tar and unless you grind it, it's well contained in the tar and is not harmful because it can not get into the air, therefore not get into your lungs. Asbestos is only harmful if it gets in your lungs. You could probably eat it, and not get sick (not that I'd recommend eating it). Just dont breathe it.
On 12 Jun 2006 09:37:44 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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There is yet another possibility -- I could install tile in the perimeter to level the floor and then laminate over it . . .
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There is yet another possibility -- I could install tile in the perimeter to level the floor and then laminate over it . . .
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There is yet another possibility -- I could install tile in the perimeter to level the floor and then laminate over it . . .
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or put porous astroturf over the area and forgetaboutit. drains well. assuming you don't want a 'formal' basement.
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I think I've got it -- applying self-stick vinyl tile, cheapest possible, of same width, around the perimeter of the floor. I will put laminate over it. Thanks!
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