What’s That on the Floor? Dealing with Asbestos in Floor Tile…


Margo presents some very interesting and helpful information.


I sold a home recently that had a finished basement floor covered in linoleum squares.  The home inspector informed the buyer that the tiles might have asbestos.  It became an issue in the sale, but was resolved with the help of a professional contractor.  Here is some useful information in the event this type of flooring is present in a home you own or want to purchase.

Asbestos Tile

Do you own an older home with linoleum floor tiles?  Maybe you have a finished basement playroom tiled in linoleum squares?  Or perhaps you have an old floor in a bath or kitchen?  It homes built after 1940, it was common to see these tiles used in in basements, baths, and kitchens.  Unfortunately, in many cases the tiles contain asbestos – a potential health issue.

How to determine:

For under $100 you can have an asbestos test done to your floor tiles.  At the time of sampling, ask your contractor if the floor is in an acceptable condition to overlay with another type of flooring, or if the tiles are so loose or damaged that removal is the only safe method.  This way you will know which course of action is best, should the testing reveal asbestos.  Make sure to have both the tile and the mastic tested. 

Cost to remove:

It isn’t as expensive as you might think.  The estimate for removal of tile and mastic in the case of the house I sold was under $2,000.  A professional contractor will create a barrier to prohibit transfer of dust created during removal, as well as create a negative air environment using a HEPA filter.  At the end of the job, an independent lab will do air quality testing to prove that the asbestos has not become airborne in the home.   

Here is a web link with detailed photos and easy-to-understand information about identifying and dealing with asbestos tile: http://www.inspectapedia.com/sickhouse/asbestoslookB.htm

About susanmorrison

After living in Walpole, MA for many years, our family was transferred to the west coast when I was a senior in high school. In 1983, I graduated from Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, California. I am also a 1987 graduate of Providence College with a major in liberal arts and a minor in business administration. I bring to the table many years of sales experience beginning with thirteen years in Corporate Sales at Delta Air Lines. I'm the mother of three children and I'm very active within the Franklin, MA community. I am also a cancer survivor and support the American Cancer Society Charities.

My husband and I have built five homes and I've lived in a variety of other locations including Toronto Canada, Irving Texas and my current home in Franklin, MA. As a result of all my moving around, I came to the conclusion that I was an expert at moving...why not become an expert on the other side of the table? I earned my real estate license in 2004 and believe that I have found my true niche'. I can empathize with my clients on a variety of levels; whether they are buying or selling. And, like so many other good realtors out there, I believe that possessing good communication skills is one of the many keys to success.

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