DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Flooring > Possible asbestos floor tiles lifting and more. Still non-friable. Repair advice?




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Old 08-29-2014, 02:12 PM  
Felena_McKlaine
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Default Possible asbestos floor tiles lifting and more. Still non-friable. Repair advice?

Hi, thanks for reading. I'd greatly appreciate any advice anyone can give me.
I'm pretty sure the tile floor in my kitchen contains asbestos, mostly based on how old it is. However, it has NOT started breaking up into little pieces or otherwise seeming friable. It's been in mostly good condition for the years I've lived here, so I never worried too much about it. However, a recent plumbing disaster has damaged a section of tiles and they've been lifting and even starting to curl a little bit at the corners. I've had some ideas on what to do about it, but haven't tried anything as I want to make sure what I do will make the floor as safe and functional as I am capable of making it at this time.

I know normally you wouldn't even want to bother repairing an asbestos floor, just have it removed or cover it. This is not currently an option for me. I don't own the house and I don't rent it either- I live here as part of a mutually beneficial agreement between me and the owner. I'm supposed to make repairs as necessary but I'm not allowed to make any major changes. Like putting a new floor over it.
I also don't want to do the thing where you pull the tiles up, scrape the adhesive off and replace the tile- I am not prepared to work with asbestos on that level.

My first idea was to get some kind of extremely durable, sticky, and waterproof tape and just tape over the affected areas. If I did this, does anyone know if I could reasonably resume normal use and cleaning of my kitchen floor, at least temporarily?
I also thought maybe I could do a more, er, shall we say, "simplified" version of the re-gluing the tiles thing, where I just sort of put some glue under where they're coming up, carefully push them back down, and put a little extra grout in between. Then maybe seal the whole floor to hopefully prevent future damage of this type.

Do either of these ideas sound any good, or are they both totally ridiculous? I know usually the aim of floor repair is to keep the floor looking nice, level and last longer...But this floor has not looked nice for a couple decades I'm sure, and due to the house settling for 100 years nothing here is level. And as for a more long lasting solution...well, eventually, one way or another, something permanent is going to have to be done about this floor, whether the owner likes it or not. But for now...what should I do? Is there anything in my ideas that could make installing a nice new floor over it down the road more difficult than it already will be, considering the settling of the house, or anything else? Got any better ideas or tips on how I should go about this?

Again, thank you so much for reading, and thanks for any and all input. Let me know if I've left out some important info and I'll do my best to supply it.

Thank you thank you thank you,
Felena



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Old 08-29-2014, 02:59 PM  
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Nice post and welcome. First I would figure out for sure if it is or isn't asbestos. Take a very small sample and get it tested. Tell the homeowners the plan also. They need to also know. You mentioned grout. Normally I don't picture grouted tiles as asbestos. I'm thinking more the squares with streaks of color running thru them. I don't know of tape that would work but some glues might hold. What does it look like it had as glue before? Was it like a black tar? That was common. I would think something like liquid nails might work.

If you get it fixed it would be nice to seal it down. They used to paste wax these floors. Not sure if you could varnish over it. Seems like you could with a poly.

Other floor experts will be along.


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Old 08-29-2014, 03:15 PM  
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Thank you for the reply!
Oh the owner knows what I'm up to. When I told them I wanted to put laminate flooring over it they freaked out. I don't entirely understand why. I think they may just doubt my ability to install it myself, or maybe it has something to do with the value of the house...I really don't know. They don't care what it looks like, they just want to sell it, been trying for years. I do care what effect this might all have because I have hopes of buying the place in the future and then I can fix it however I want.

Yes it has a kind of black tar underneath. And forgive me if I used the term grout improperly. I'm new to this whole thing. I just thought that was what the stuff in between the tiles was called.

I mean this floor was installed in the 40s or 50s I'm pretty sure, and has white, black, gray, and pink tiles in a random pattern all over the place with little streaks and speckles of color here and there. It really seems like it would have to be asbestos.

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Old 08-29-2014, 05:18 PM  
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You have quite an Internet presence and the Internet is not so benign.

Good luck and be careful.

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Old 08-29-2014, 07:09 PM  
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It is my understanding that if the tile measures 12" x 12", it does not contain asbestos. If smaller dimension (on a full piece), then no guarantees.

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Old 08-30-2014, 06:13 AM  
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I remember them being 9 inch. They were hard and brittle and would bend if warmed up. They would take the shape of the floor a bit after being laid. They put asbestos in everything as it was a cheap filler and added fiber.

Unless its breaking up its fine. I would glue the corners back down wear a dust mask. And try and seal it down with something. Depends on how long you think you will have till it can be covered or removed. Wax short term poly longer. To put poly on I don't know how good it would stick but if clean it should work. Don't waste a lot of money on it.


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Old 08-30-2014, 06:36 PM  
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I can't say for sure whether they would be asbestos or not. I have always heard the asbestos tiles won't curl as they are heavy and pliable and tend to lay flat. The black adhesive is also a possible source of asbestos (often called 'cutback' adhesive). but that stuff is not water soluble so I don't know how the water could have loosened them.

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Old 08-30-2014, 08:12 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kok328 View Post
It is my understanding that if the tile measures 12" x 12", it does not contain asbestos. If smaller dimension (on a full piece), then no guarantees.
That is wrong. 12x12 tiles were made with asbestos for many years. I would probably just cover the floor with some IVC type vinyl. It is very DIY friendly. No adhesive needed and if they don't like it, you can roll it up and take with when you leave.
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Old 08-31-2014, 01:24 PM  
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If they are the 8" Black and White squares they are the same ones in my old house which was built in the 50's. As long as they are not broken they are fine but if they are damaged they need to be carefully taken out with out breaking them open. If you are keeping the place then just do it now and you will be glad you did. I replaced mine myself with a ventilator on with gloves and the whole house open with exhaust fans.

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Old 08-31-2014, 08:35 PM  
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hey bigdawg: what did you do about the adhesive that was underneath?



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