Replacing all flooring, small possibility of asbestos?

Discussion in 'Flooring' started by bh_homeowner, Jul 20, 2019.

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  1. Jul 20, 2019 #1

    bh_homeowner

    bh_homeowner

    bh_homeowner

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    20190717_154408.jpg 20190713_145632.jpg 20190717_154350.jpg Hi ya'll.

    Just bought a 1,488 sq. ft. house in Los Angeles suburbia. Slate-style tile (appears to be 8mm thick) in the living room, kitchen and hallway. Different tile types in each of the two bathrooms. Carpet in each of the 4 bedrooms. The house is currently empty and vacant and we're planning to also repaint all of the interior surfaces. Attached are images of each of the tiled areas.

    The seller said the slate-style tile was installed in the 80s, and in one of the bathrooms, in '94. I'm assuming the reddish brown tile is the newer tile. Not sure about the second bathroom.

    I have a minor worry regarding asbestos. Although, the flooring guy seems to think there is Wonderboard under the slate-type tile and one of the tiles is already missing in one of the bathrooms, so I can clearly see what is underneath. Doesn't look like black mastic, which I guess is a good start.

    So my question is, would it be safe for the flooring guy to demo all of the tile and carpet, if we're doing the entire house while vacant and painting everything anyway? I'm also considering covering all of the a/c vents with sheeting and tape while the floors are being done to prevent any asbestos (if present) or dust from settling in there.

    Now, questions. Is my worry even warranted? Is it overkill? I know tiles (esp the thinner vinyl) and adhesives installed in the 40s – 60s were more likely to contain asbestos. But, 80s and def 90s are far less likely. I feel like doing the entire floor and painting everything while uninhabited is a very clean way to go and pretty much all of the surfaces will be "new" afterward. Also, hypothetically, if the house had been a rehab, I'm almost 100% the contractors would not have been careful regarding the dangers of asbestos, and would have essentially done exactly what I'm planning to do. I've considered testing for asbestos, but figured it probably wouldn't be worth it. I also really don't want to have to deal with the heavy expense of having to demo the entire floor plan with asbestos-safe practices, in the off-chance the flooring comes back positive.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks all.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2019
  2. Jul 20, 2019 #2

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    The two baths look like ceramic tile? The living room some kind of laminate product or something? I also doubt there is any asbestos in any of it from the little we can see. There is only one way to know 100% and that is to test it.


    If you were to pop one piece of each out and post a close up pic we might be able to guess a little better. something showing the thickness side of the tile or even a fracture in the tile.


    If it were mine I would ether rip it up or go over it with a new product depending on thickness and what you want for a new floor.


    You didn’t mention when the house was built and there could be another flooring product under the living room floor already. Is this built on a slab? What is the end goal for the floor?
     
  3. Jul 20, 2019 #3

    bh_homeowner

    bh_homeowner

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    The house was built in 1957. Raised foundation. Want to replace with new luxury vinyl throughout.

    There's a good chance that the dark-colored flooring is actual slate tile, not just slate-style. Each tile's pattern is unique, meaning there aren't any repeating patterns. ~1/2" thick. It's hard and cold to the touch like real stone.

    Something like this:
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/MSI-Mul...ll-Tile-5-sq-ft-case-SHDCALGLD1212G/202194782

    Flooring guy said that there is probably 1/2" tile over 1/2" backerboard all on top of the subflooring. Said it's most definitely held down by a mortar, not a glue. The floor is already too high to go over it, and the natural height variances may present a problem.
     
  4. Jul 20, 2019 #4

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    In that case start prying and busting. Dust mask is in order. :)
     
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  5. Jul 20, 2019 #5

    Snoonyb

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    I doubt that you have any cut-back adhesive, so I'd put your concerns about asbestos to rest.
     
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  6. Jul 22, 2019 #6

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    close any HVAC registers for the dust.
     
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  7. Jul 22, 2019 #7

    Rusty

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    Ceramic and/or slate should not have been put down with cut back. So you should be safe.
     
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  8. Jul 22, 2019 #8

    billshack

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    I doubt that the floor is strong enough for tile . something is wrong. maybe floor joist are not big enough or not enough plywood on top. anyway the tile broke because of flexing something that tile can not handle . there are web pages that help you maye sure your floor can hand;e tile .
     
  9. Jul 23, 2019 #9

    MrMiz

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    so disclaimer. this is my opinion, and this is what I would do, and do. My personality is to just say what you should do and in internet language I know I can sound.... bossy? I never mean to but that's how I'm told I sound... so sorry but this is my 2 cents.

    Treat it like you don't want it in your lungs. Seal your vents and the work area off. Even if it's not asbestos it doesn't mean whatever else is in there isn't going to be the next "silent killer" in another 5 to 10 years. There was a time when nobody cared about asbestos or lead. If your flooring guy will do it, then let him. If your nice you might suggest he protect himself regardless of what it is but really it's his job to protect his own health. You don't have to go completely "hazmat" on it but you should always seal up a construction zone the best you can, and your flooring guy SHOULD do it for you. If your not going to seal it up you should probably get it tested, but again I'm back to my original statement why would you want whatever else is in that stuff floating in your air? They go overboard with asbestos because it's know to cause issues, it's become a business and those business take their jobs seriously. Don't let the fact that it's not asbestos prevent a good clean job from being done. Anyone doing work in your home should consider keeping your house clean and safe when they do work. It should NOT be something extra to have clean work done even it the house is empty. They should be cleaning up after themselves and doing things to prevent the rest of the house from turning into a mess (including the air ducts) so they don't have to clean the whole thing. If you don't feel like your guy is going to do that, do it yourself. It's worth it. Get some plastic and painters tape ... maybe some of those zip walls ( that's what I have and I use them for every project. Even my own.) and seal it up. Add an extra $300 in sealing materials to your project budget and seal it yourself. With your 1488 sq. ft $300 in stuff is probably going to leave you enough for the next couple of jobs.
    Hope that helps.
     

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