Hi, I am going to be converting one of the spare bedrooms on the 2nd
floor in my 105 year old colonial to a bathroom, and storage space, and
a hallway to a new 2nd floor addition. I pulled up the carpeting
today in the bedroom, and low & behold, there is either vinal or
plastic tiling underneath the carpeting directly on the T&G. It
appears to be a 1950's or 1960's color scheme, and they are 9"x9". I
highly suspect they are made of asbestos (and I will, in fact, bring it
to a lab for testing to be certain.) Assuming that it is asbestos, I
want to disturb them as little as possible.
Three part question:
1) Are there any issues with framing the new walls directly on top of
the tiles (obviously nailing through the tiles into the T&G subfloor)?
2) Are there any issues with laying the new ceramic tile directly on
top of the tiles?
3) Are there any special tips recommended for when cutting through the
tiles/subfloor for piping to not cause any of the ACM's to go airborne?
I have read that spraying down the tiles with a water/soap mixture
immediatley before disturbing them would prevent the ACM's from
disbursing. Has anyone used that method? Any other thoughts?
Thank you all in advance!
9x9 tiles are asphalt tiles and AFAIK they do contain asbestos. The
adhesive underneath also may have asbestos.
Do not get them tested, because then you are legally responsible for
that information and it can come back to haunt you if you ever try to
sell the house. (don't test for lead either)
You can probably put ceramic tile directly over the asphalt tiles if you
use mastic; I don't know if thinset will stick.
The asbestos is encapsulated in the asphalt, so it's really not very
dangerous unless you burn the tiles or sand them or anything else that
would release the asbestos and let it get airborne. I would scrape the
old tile up with a floor scraper and send it to the landfill.
It probably is. Don't test it, don't do any more t han you have to do. It is
perfectly safe where it is.
Depends on the floor. Ceramic tile requires a very solid floor and it is
often recommended to put down cement board first. Give the age of the
house, it may be best to reinforce it that way. Talk to the guy at your
local tile store, not a clerk at the big box store.
It is not much of a concern. I don't think there are any recored cases of
any harm from having the tiles or drilling a hole or two in them. The
fibers are stuck in the asphalt and are not prone to fly around and be
inhaled. Contact with the skin does nothing..
Whatever you do DO NOT TEST the tiles. The testing company could snitch you
out to the asbestos police who will make you move out until you hire the
asbestos policeman's brother-in-law's asbestos abatement company (whose
bookkeeper is married to the owner of the testing company) for $10,000 (more
or less) and three months work to remedy the life-threatening situation.
Even then, you will still have to disclose this "defect" to any potential
Best is to carefully remove the tile and, during the dark of the moon, leave
them in a schoolyard.
Now there's some bad advice if I ever saw some. Fer crying out loud
I can bag that shit up and leave it at the curb perfectly legal like,
you suggest to leave it on public property where children are present?
Don't let your paranoia get the best of you. Imagine getting busted
littering when you could have easily let the garbage pickup take them?
Even in the great asbestos state of NJ to let them go into the
wherever the hell that is nowadays. Ohio?
If anything I would just remove them, clean the floor up a bit and then
paint (and seal) the old adhesive. From there you have a nice sealed
floor to do whatever you want on.
If you ARE going to tile, you can use a good thinset with modified
latex adhesives in it and it'll stick to just about ANYTHING. Another
option is you local Home Depot sells a floor prep. You paint it on,
let it dry and you floor is ready for tiling.
Removing the tiles isnt exactly rocket science. Its really a matter of
wetting them down
a bit and popping them. (preferrably intact)
You can remove the old adhesive cutback too, but its a real big pain in
the ass to get off.
(the make removers that goo it up and you scrap the goo off.
Its safe but not even remotely fun to do.
One more thing.... You mentioned tiling the floor, not a bad idea but
you really need to make sure that the floor is ROCK SOLID. Any give
over time and those little tiles will start to either crack or pop off.
Then you will have an even bigger mess on your hands.
If the subfloor is good, I would even consider screwing it down to the
joists below it do it doesnt more at all.
One would think, as bad as asbestos is supposed to be, and having been
installed in buildings for oh, about a hundred years now, millions of
people should be dead or dying from asbestosis.
Fact: It hasn't happened. The only recorded cases of asbestosis are
from people who worked with the stuff every day for years; miners,
mainly, and a few packers.
Fact: A homeowner can safely remove asbestos products from his home
without reporting it or having it tested, providing he uses a minimum
amount of common sense and disposes of it properly.
Common sense: Remove the tile as you would any other tile. Wear a
respirator if it makes you feel better. Don't raise too much dust. Yes,
you can wet the tiles down, too, but it isn't absolutely necessary.
Disposal: Throw it in the trash or haul it to your landfill with other
Don't buy in to the fear hype.
Here\'s some of my work:
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