Replacing Asbestos Floors
LESLIE: Charles in New Jersey is dealing with an asbestos tile situation. Tell us about it.CHARLES: We have nine-inch asbestos tiles on the floor in the cellar and they’re about 50 years old.TOM: OK. Right.CHARLES: And what we’re trying to do – we tried to scrape them up because they were peeling up and cracking.TOM: Right. So, what state of repair or, more accurately, disrepair is that floor in right now? Are half the tiles up and the other half are not up?CHARLES: No, only about a quarter of the tiles are up and, you know, it has that big, black tar glue on the bottom of it.TOM: Right. Because here’s what I would have done, Charlie. I would not have removed them.CHARLES: Well, it’s not that we removed them. They were cracking up; peeling, you know?TOM: I understand. I would have gone on top of them with a new floor …CHARLES: Oh, OK.TOM: … and I would have used a laminate floor. Because a laminate floor – and you can probably still do this – is a floating floor. It’s about a ¼-inch thick and it has a very thin pad that goes underneath that helps absorb any inconsistencies in the floor below it and it all locks together. I don’t think there’s any reason to disturb the stuff and try to peel it up. Plus, as you’ve already discovered, it’s a big pain in the neck because of all the glue that’s stuck to it. So I would use a basic-grade laminate floor, which is perfectly fine for a basement location, and I would go right on top of what you have there now.CHARLES: Alright, thank you very much.TOM: You’re welcome, Charles. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.