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Asbestos Tile Flooring - How to cover?

Hi All


I am a complete newbie with flooring.


I recently purchased a home with a den that contains asbestos tile flooring. I have heard the nightmares of removing the flooring so simply wish to cover it in my updating of the room. My problem is that the previous owner converted the garage into additional den space. Currently 3/4 of the den has the asbestos flooring and the remainder is simply concrete from the previous garage floor (giving me an uneven surface since the tile sits up higher).


Is there a way to cover the asbestos flooring and level out the two surfaces? I ideally want to put laminate flooring down and dont know if the underlayment would even this? Or if i have to even the surfaces and then put down the underlayment?


Thanks for any help/advice you can provide

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Posted 2013-11-18T00:28:54+0000  by Homeowner1234 Homeowner1234

Asbestos only becomes an issue if particles become airborne.  If the existing floor is in good shape the cheapest, easiest solution is to cover it.  You want to avoid cutting, drilling, sanding, or doing anything that abrades the old tile.


You would need to level the floor for laminate.  You can use leveling compound, which is a cement like product that is mixed fairly thin and seeks it's own level.  Another option is to find something to fill the space.  Depending on the size of the area you might think about using more vinyl tile or sheet vinyl the same thickness as the existing floor.  Look for closeouts or remnants; basically the cheapest stuff you can find. 


Then lay your laminate over that.  You'll definitely need a vapor barrier.

Posted 2013-11-18T01:43:25+0000  by Adam444

Thanks for the reply Adam. It looks like i could get cheap tiles for $.50/sqft to put on the old garage floor. Do you think that would level the entire floor enough or would i need a self leveler before I could put down the vapor barrier and laminate?

Posted 2013-11-18T02:10:27+0000  by Homeowner1234

The floor still needs to be level.  How much is going to depend on the brand of laminate you are using.  Check their installation instructions for specs.  Of hand, I want to say that Pergo is 1/16" per 3'.  So even after you fill the space missing tiles, you may have additional leveling to do.

Posted 2013-11-18T14:28:07+0000  by Adam444

In regards to the vapor barrier, what would be the best thing to use?  I just bought my first house and we are completely redoing the family room (asbestos tile under the carpeting, replacing the carpeting with laminate).  We ripped the walls down to the studs and are doing new drywall.  I mention this because I used plastic sheeting as the vapor barrier over the wall insulation; would that work for the floors as well?  Or would the underlayment suffice as a vapor barrier?

Posted 2013-11-22T16:10:16+0000  by MiBo

Hey MiBo,


Thanks for your question and welcome to the community!


I would not use the vapor barrier in your walls for your floor; lots of floor underlayments already carry moisture barriers with them.


For example, one by Roberts we sell is shown below. It acts as not just a vapor barrier, but a sound reducer and a cushion for your new laminate floors. Click on the image of it below for more information.


As shown below, it really is one of the best underlayments for laminate in the industry.


Use this only if the laminate you purchase does not have a pre-attached underlayment to it. If it does, then use plastic sheeting you have for the vapor barrier.


Please let me know if you have any additional questions,


Posted 2013-11-23T19:08:01+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
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