Latest Discussions : Flooring & Stairs


02:36PM | 05/07/01
Member Since: 05/06/01
1 lifetime posts
My home was built in the late 60's and from what I have heard it is almost certain I have asbestos underneath my linoleum in my bathroom and kitchen floors. I want to replace the floors but I know it is to costly to have a professional do it. I run into the problem also that the linoleum curves up on the sides of the walls about 3-4 inches, making it difficult if I just wanted to lay new tile over it. Can anyone tell me how to remove it safely without costing me an arm and a leg or can I cut into the linoleum at the walls so it can lay flat, put the new tile & molding over the linoleum? Please help. Thank you.


09:04AM | 05/08/01
Member Since: 04/05/01
32 lifetime posts
I've got asbestos tiles in my bathroom and was told by my house inspector that they are supposed to be removed by sealing the room, wearing protective gear, and disposing of them properly. He then said that, realistically, we could just pull them up and put them out at the curb.

Asbestos is dangerous because minute asbestos particles can be inhaled and then lodge in your lungs. If, however, the asbestos isn't in a form that has small, loose particles such as sprayed asbestos, you really don't have much to worry about. Just as you don't have clay particles floating around if you have ceramic tile, you won't have asbestos particles floating around with asbestos tiles. So, if your asbestos is in a similar form you likely don't have much to worry about.

That doesn't mean, though, that you shouldn't be careful. I'll be wearing a full face mask when I remove the tiles and I'll drape plastic over the doorway to minimise any concerns I might have. Also, if I were to break up the tile instead of just lifting it up whole it would be a different story.

Don't take this as encouragement to break the law or guidelines that exist in your area, but understand that many things are less dangerous than they are made out to be and many things are more dangerous than they seem. Oxygen can kill you and chlorine that's used to treat drinking water can form into carginogenics, it all depends on the form it comes in and the quantities you are exposed to.

I encourage you to find out for sure what you are dealing with and maybe talk to some neighbours who might have tackled that problem already. You might even be able to get references and a price range from them.


Jay J

05:19PM | 05/08/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi analvg,

Mark has some good advice. You can remove it yourself but as he says, you need to 'understand' a little about asbestos.

Asbestos isn't really a respiratory problem unless it becomes airborne (as you've already read.) If this occurs, you should have already sealed the room AND be wearing a Respirator. This is why you don't want to use a Saw or do any sanding when working with any material that contains Asbestos. In short, these 'tools' will make the Asbestos airborne!

So, if you're going to do this job yourself, seal the doorways and wear protective gear. MINIMIZE or do what you can to PREVENT the asbestos from becoming airborne. 'Splitting' the material by hand will cause it to become Friable (i.e., airborne/dust.) This is why you seal the room and wear the gear. You don't need a Professional Abatement company unless your Municipality requires it.

In many cases, a Pro would recommend you simply 'encapsulate' the floor and just install a new one. I happen to opt for removal since, some day, you MAY need to disclose EVERY form of 'known' Asbestos in the house, including the floor you've encapsulated. The Seller Disclosure Laws are changing all the time. Although encapsulation is OK since the Asbestos is non-friable ('solid' so to speak and harmless), folks just conjure up ALL kinds of 'bad thoughts' when they hear the word Asbestos! Once they're educated, they'll know all the better. It's that when it comes to buying YOUR house, they may run instead of asking if it's 'harmless'.

My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: Depending on who is picking up your trash you may, or may NOT, be allowed to throw it out there. AT the same time, ASSUMING you can, I'm sure there's a Size Requirement as to how 'big' the pieces can be at curb-side. Remember, NO SAWS (even hand-held ones, even cutting outside!) You need to do some homework BEFORE you dig up your floor ...


07:19PM | 11/17/01
Member Since: 11/17/01
4 lifetime posts
Jay J,

You mentioned "encapsulation" of the asbestos tile. What are the options for encapsulating? I was told by someone to trowel on flooring adhesive and just let it dry. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

Jay J

08:07AM | 11/18/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi bclerico,

The flooring is usually 'sealed' w/a layer of Lauan or plywood or something like that. The asbestos isn't harmful unless it becomes Friable (i.e., airborne.) Then the new flooring is installed on top.

My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: God Bless America!


10:04AM | 04/21/04
Member Since: 04/20/04
3 lifetime posts
I know the posting and replies this are old, but am hoping that some of the parties involved in the conversation may still be active here.

I have a 1968 house, lino or 9x9 tiles. I was going to install laminate, however, there is a 3/4" dip in the heavy traffic area. What to do? Any suggestions? Did you ever solve your situation?


09:26AM | 04/22/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
You should be able to level the low spot using a floor leveling compound. A floating installation of laminate floor would avoid the need to remove or nail through the tile.

As was discussed earler by Jay J and others, vinyl and asphalt asbestos tile is a relatively low hazard for removal, and fiber release is easily controlled using wet removal methods. You can take a sample of the tile to a local analytical lab and for about $35 have a PLM analysis done to verify whether there is asbestos or not. Regardless, you can install your project with minimal disruption of the tile.


06:27AM | 04/23/04
tomh - thank you ... concerns re: leveller adhering to the linoleum? weight? Do you want a job? :) ... this is too small of a job in an area that is growing and is still recovering from a tornado 2 years ago ... hence the research into DIY


01:30PM | 05/31/04
Member Since: 05/30/04
1 lifetime posts
My brother just removed some very old linoleum from two bedrooms in the family vacation cabin, and I'd guess from his description that he had to damage a lot of the tiles in the process. (There was also some tar-like substance that required a lot of scraping to remove, if that helps identify the kind of tile it might have been.) It wasn't till I mentioned it to my husband that the possibility of asbestos exposure occurred to any of us (though it should have!). I'm slightly freaked out that my brother's been exposed to some nasty stuff, and am also worried about our kids using the cabin in the coming weeks. Is there anything my brother should do? And if there is asbestos in the air now, what's the best way to deal with it? Thanks for any help!



09:11AM | 06/02/04
Member Since: 08/27/03
254 lifetime posts
Well, I wouldn't freak out too much, but it is true that if done incorrectly, then fibers can settle in air vents and other nooks and crannies, and wait to be airborne again. So I am interested on what advice may be given to you to help.


02:10PM | 11/16/13
have a professional perform an air test to make sure that there is no asbestos exposure risk


11:51AM | 08/07/15
I just discovered some suspicious linoleum in a rental house I am updating. An abatement company was hired to take samples. They say the linoleum has a 7% asbestos content. But, they have refused to give us the report on the grounds that my wife and I "wouldn't understand it." Now we don't trust them either. If we remove the linoleum ourselves, can we cut it into smaller pieces without releasing the asbestos? What we have are large sheets with the edges glued down. Any suggestions? Thank you.


01:42AM | 06/16/16
If someone placed a tightly pinned wooden floor over mostly intact floor tiles, would that be alright?


03:48PM | 07/27/16
We recently bought an older home. We riped up the floor tiles in the basement that could have contained asbestos, cleaned it up and laid carpet down. Then on the upper floor we drilled down ¼ inch plywood on top of old tiles (floor boards are open to the basement) and put down ceramic tiles.

By drilling into the floors did we send asbestos fibers into the basement and create a health risk?

Obviously, we could have exposed ourselves to asbestos. Though, on the go forward are we currently in danger or should we be fine?


06:36AM | 01/04/20
I have removed 2 layers of linoleum flooring in a house built in 1956. Now I see a clean white sheet that looks like a black tar like substance under it. Is that be asbestos?


10:30PM | 05/06/20
BV021242, I have the same issue. BLack paper at the bottom of TWO layers of vinyl/linoleum flooring. I am fairly certain the previous owners knew about the asbestos and laid vinyl over it to hide it. I am planning on removing myself.


02:41PM | 07/31/20
We have a house built in 1951 we our taking down walls were tub was I didn't know that it could have asbestos in the wall .We have taking down most of walls around were the tub was we our using all of the equipment coveralls and respirators now but not at first. We have beam been sawing and hammering and keeping everything wet and putting the debri in plastic and sealing it up.How sould we have gotten it down without breaking? It is about 7/8 thick. Sandra


10:27PM | 05/10/21
Old sheet of linoleum on a floor, but not glued down may be safely removed, then?

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