10:02AM | 03/02/05
Member Since: 03/01/05
3 lifetime posts
I wanted to instal commercial grade laminate flooring in one of my apartment units. However, the floor is very uneven and loose and noisy in areas. The part of the structure that this apartment unit is in used to be a cottage, and an addition was built on it in 1991 to make the structure into a six-plex. I think the stress of the addition caused the warping of the floors.


I was thinking that because I shouldn't attempt to remove the asbestos tile, I should strap down a new layer of 5/8 in. plywood subfloor right over the existing tile floors if I screw right down into the floor joists. Then, if need be, I could use some leveling compound to get a level surface and then proceed with my laminate flooring installation with sound deadening underlayment. Should this help quiet the floor?

As an option, I could also put a layer of sound deadening underlayment beneath the 'new' subfloor and above the asbestos tile. Would that help also?


07:00PM | 03/08/05
Member Since: 03/01/05
3 lifetime posts
Well, this is how I tackled the job...

I decided not to remove the tile, just go right over them. I bought an asbestos certified respirator and a hepa filter for my ridgid shop vacuum. I went in and removed the old carpet, underlay and tack strip so the asbestos tile was exposed. I then vacuumed as good as I could. I left the unit for the night with a window cracked 1/2 inch at one end of the apartment and the bathroom fan on over night.

Day 2- shopping... I bought 22 sheets of 3/4 inch exterior plywood to lay down a new subfloor on top of the tile. I also bought 4000 2 1/2 inch screw shank bright framing nails for my bostich framing nailer. I went to work covering the floor...still wearing my asbestos respirator. I marked the lowest spots and high spots of the floor using a 6' straight edge board to find them. I made markings on the wall so I new where the highs and lows are on all North, South, West and East walls. I placed a full 4'x8' so that it would span across the lowest spot without a seam between two boards.. you can't do this perfectly but I did my best. I kept all of the pre-cut square ends to the inside of the room so that the sheets join up good. I made sure all my cut wood faced the outside walls. I drove nails around the perimeter of each sheet of plywood every 3 inches (alot of nails for sure!) and every 6 inches throughout the sheet. I also nailed down rows over the highest points (on top of the few high joists, probably) with nails spread every 3 inches as well. Since 3/4inch plywood is designed to span 16 inches, I would put a row 8 inches from each side of the lowest spot of the floor... these to rows of nails were nailed 3 inches apart also. the 8+8 gave me the 16 inch span across the lowest spots.. it worked.. by not nailing down to the lowest spots, the wood bridged the gap and not a peep of a squeek was heard. I didn't bother trying to hit the joists... to difficult to do anyways. I continued through all the rooms like this. At the end of the day... I vacuumed with the hepa filter again... still wearing a respirator.

I left the bath fan on again like the night before...

Day 3: the asbestos tile is now completely covered, though there might be particles in the air and settled about so I am still wearing a respirator...I vacuumed again when I first showed up on sight. I applied floor leveling compound only in the spots where needed. I used a wall paper knife, a 3' long straight edge to feather and level the concrete. It worked well, though I didn't test it... best not to disturb it and leave it until the laminate flooring is put above.

I didn't bother putting underlayment beneath the plywood.. and I found out after it was better not to.

I am now ready to install my beautiful imitation bamboo hardwood laminate. Tommorrow, I'm going shopping to find a good quality sound deadening underlayment to go above the very quiet and very level new subfloor. I decided to where my respirator until all the flooring is done with the laminate down and final clean up is completed, even after the trimwork... Doesn't hurt 'cause that laminate stuff is toxic also...After I install the flooring I will change the hepa filter and go over all the surfaces, walls, doors, ceilings and the bath fan, etc.. with the vacuum to get any possible loose asbestos fibres outta there!

Hope this helps whoever else comes across this same situation.
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