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Basement Floor with Asbestos Tiling - can I cover them?

Our home was built late 1950's early 1960's.  The basement floor has the 9X9 tiles (brown and white) that we believe has asbestos in them.  Unfortunately on some of the tiles the corners are cracked and came up and I believe you can see the cement flooring underneath.  I've been given advice from several experts one being take the floor up, two - leave it, seal (vapor seal), and cover over, and three just cover over the tiles.  I think it would be extremely costly for me to take up all of these tiles and then dispose of them correctly, so what are my options regarding covering them.  Is there something I can fill in the cracked spots with then seal the floor and then cover?  Since it is my basement, I'm concerned about dampness, water, ect...   I'm not sure what products to use.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you. 

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Posted 2011-07-28T11:28:56+0000  by dourselfmom dourselfmom
Hello, so two years ago this coming August my family had to rip out our old floors in the hallway, living room, and kitchen to deal with a plumbing problem. My house is from the 1950's and therefore the wood that was thrown away probably had asbestos used to bind it to the floor using the cutback adhesive. We threw away all the wood and cleaned up two years ago now but we haven't had the money to put in new floors (my kitchen has tiles from the late 1970's to early 80's in it still so I think I'm okay in there). We covered the concrete in the hallway and living room with a patchwork of rugs and a few carpets. Therefore some areas of the original concrete are exposed (not much though, maybe like four square feet spread throughout the house). The only problem being that we never got rid of the cutback adhesive (we didn't know until now about it) and have therefore been walking around over it for almost two years now. I don't notice any of it chipping or damaged but it is there I just wanted to know if it was dangerous and if we should be worried.
Posted 2013-06-10T06:46:20+0000  by Sydney881

Hey Sydney881,


Thanks for your question and welcome to the community!


As long as the cutback adhesive is not exposed now to the air and none are loose, I would stilll contact an abatement company as soon as possible. Anytime asbestos is exposed, you are gambling your health and well-being without it being properly dealt with.


You can get your floor tested through them, and see if any steps will be needed to remove the adhesive safely. In the two years you've had the floor in this shape, be aware of any respiratory/breathing problems you or your family has experienced.


If there isn't any airborne particles and they are secure to the subfloor, you can encapsulate the slab as mentioned throughout this thread. You really don' t need to take a risk for your familys health; so contact an abatement company first so they can give you professional on-site advice for your floors.


Let us know if you have any further questions,



Posted 2013-06-12T19:21:10+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

I have these tiles in my dinning room and kitchen. They have been covered with indoor/outdoor carpeting since the early 70's. I'm in the process of removing the carpet now. The padding and adhesive is quite a pain to remove but I'm working on it. I'm using a floor scraper and Murphy's Oil Soap to remove as much as I can. The tiles are in good conditon, no cracks or broken tiles.


In a couple of months I plan on installing bamboo flooring but in the meantime I need to make the floor presentable so I'm planning on painting it with BEHR 1-part epoxy paint. Is this acceptable? Do I need to get all of the old adhesive off the tile before painting with the epoxy paint? As I mentioned, the tile is in good shape and is smooth where I've removed the padding and adhesive but I haven't been able to remove all of it.


One more question, if the epoxy paint is acceptable will I need to use a primer first?

Posted 2013-06-20T05:44:37+0000  by fishtal

Hey again fishtal,


I hope you are getting the adhesive and padding off safely as I discussed in the other question you posted.


If it is coming off via the Oil Soap and no asbestos particles from the tiles are going airborne, then you should be okay. I would still advise to wear breathing and eye protection though all the while keeping the floor wet.


For the new paint, regardless of what kind of paint it is, you will need to take all of the adhesive off. Failure to do so won't make the paint bond properly. While I realize this is a temporary fix, you'd have more of a mess on your hands versus actually letting the tiles be and getting as much of the padding/adhesive off as possible.

As I stated earlier in my other post, be very careful when doing this. I don't want a temporary floor problem turn into a permanent lung problem for you.


If you do get the adhesive/padding off properly, you can use a primer if you wish, but it isn't needed if the floor is clean and secure. Using a primer wouldn't hurt either though, and you'd need to get one if you decide to prime that is oil or shellac-based.


Hope this helps you out, and let us know if you have any addtional questions.




Posted 2013-06-22T20:14:29+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

I want to cover my tiles on back porch that are most likely asbestos. My problem is that there are 2 step ups on each doorway leading into the house that also have this tile on the step and on the riser of the step. There are metal transition strips on the flat part of the step joining with the kitchen floor and also a metal strip on the edge of each stair. How can I cover these without removing the screws? Also how would the Allure adhear to the stairs if I am not actually screwing down the transition and edge strips? Also there is wood quater round trim around the perimeter. Should I just butt the product up to this or should I remove them and replace after I lay the down the floor? If this is not a good idea, should I butt the planks up and leave as is? Thanks so much. I dont have the money for both abatement and new flooring. Should this have been something the home inspector should have warned me about? He only told me about pipe insulation that might have been asbestos.

Posted 2013-07-05T03:13:06+0000  by Nicksmom96



I also suspect asbestos tile in my basement. Can I cover it with an Epoxy based product?

What should I consider if I use an epoxy product, to ensure a nice thick floor?


I am looking to seal the old floor and create something more resistant to water and easy to clean.


Any recommendations?


Thank you in advance.

Posted 2013-07-10T00:28:39+0000  by notveryhandy313

Hi Joseph,


Just two quick quesiton---- my basement also has vinyl asbestos tiles with some pieces missing; underneath the tiles are basement floor (concrete). The tiles are pretty thin, so the area where tiles are missing is about 1/8" to 1/4" lower than the arears covered with tiles. I plan to encapsulate the tiles, including the area where the tiles are missing, using the materials (self-leveling floor compound) you suggested.


Should I apply the primer to the basement floor just as we do for the the tiles? And for the area where the tiles are missing, do I just pour the floor leveling compound there, and wait for it to become leveled?


Thanks so much--I appreciate!,




Posted 2013-07-16T17:11:18+0000  by tlin4uiuc

Hey notveryhandy313,


Thank you for joining us here on the community; welcome!


As stated throughout this thread, as long as the tiles aren't loose and coming up; you can cover them using paint.


An epoxy based paint is actually a very good choice for this; for protection as well as giving yourself a durable floor coating.


Several that we sell in our paint department are excellent for this. You can click on the images below for more information.

BEHR Premium 1-Gal. #902 Slate Gray 1-Part Epoxy Concrete and Garage Floor Paint

BEHR Premium 1-gal. #PFC-67 Mossy Gray 2-Part Epoxy Garage Floor Coating Kit


Using either one of these products will guarantee you a fresh and new coating for your basement floor. Thick isn't as important as thin successive coats that bond well to the tiles.


Make sure you prepare the floor by cleaning it and ensuring any dust or debris is removed before painting. Once you do this, your coat(s) will be resistant to water and very easy to clean.


Let me know if you have any further questions,




Posted 2013-07-17T13:46:16+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Hello Nicksmom96,


Welcome to the community and thanks for your questions!


For the Allure to work on your steps, you will need to remove the transition strips on them.


Since you said they are 'likely' asbestos, I would still contact (but don't hire) an abatement company to see if it is or not. They can offer you detailed assistance over the phone with proper removal and disposal of the transitions.


We also carry Asbestos do-it-yourself test kits. Click below on the image of it for more information.

PRO-LAB Asbestos Do it Yourself Test Kit for Home, Office and School


You will also need to remove the quarter round. Typically, the moulding is nailed into the wall and not downwards toward the floor. You can easily remove it as long as you make sure you are disturbing the tiles themselves.


Anytime you are dealing with asbestos, you need to do careful planning and preparation so you or your family aren't at risk. Any asbestos particles that can go airborne need to be dealt with by either spraying the area down with water and ensuring it doesn't get into your central heating/air system. Using a fitted respirator system and eye wear will help as well.


However, this doesn't work as effectively as getting an abatement company to do the work for you.


The United States' Environmental Protection Agency has a great page on asbestos. You can read more about it by clicking here.


I realize you are on a budget; so having the floor tested first can really go a long way. No matter which option you choose, never let your or your family be at risk for asbestos.


As for placing Allure on steps, read the thread regarding installing Allure on steps by clicking on the image below.


Let me know if you have any further questions regarding your flooring.



Posted 2013-07-17T14:16:00+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
I have old asbestos tiles in my basement. There are large areas missing but the tiles that remain are secured well and in good condition. I would like to seal and cover these tiles with a floating floor or possibly sheet vinyl. From reading this thread I believe I have to fill the missing parts with a unipro patch product, then paint the floor with an epoxy based paint, and then I can safely install the floating floor? Am I missing anything?

Posted 2013-07-30T14:19:19+0000  by Vandan
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