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brit1
asbestos in flooring question
brit1

house was built in 73 when we moved in and I want to put in new vinyl flooring in bathroom (currently has similar material on floor) but now I am concerned in case of asbestos. Is it possible to put new flooring over the old instead of going thru removing it? Its a bathroom adjoining my bedroom so I want to be extra careful.

Jeanne
Re: asbestos in flooring question
Jeanne

Asbestos was used in home construction materials up to 1978, some people say even into the early 80's.

There are kits you can get at some hardware stores that will test for asbestos - usually require you send a sample to a lab.

You can't usually put vinyl over vinyl because the imprint of the old vinyl will show through the new in time. You might be able to float laminate tile or laminate wood over the old floor. These are not that expensive and look better than vinyl. If the old vinyl floor is not cushiony, and is in good shape and well adhered, a product call Ditra can be used to put tile over the old vinyl, though removing the old floor is recommended and the subfloor and floor deflection must be adequate. Cement Board can also go over it with the same criteria as the Ditra for tile too.

I think your least expensive flooring for this would be a floating laminate tile or laminate wood.

A. Spruce
Re: asbestos in flooring question
A. Spruce

Whether or not you can overlay the existing flooring will depend on the integrity of the existing flooring and what you are putting over it. Yes, you can overlay old vinyl and vinyl tile with new vinyl, so long at the old is still in good condition and well adhered, if it isn't, then it will need to come out before the new goes down. Will there be asbestos, who knows, only a test will tell you that. You can either do a home test kit, not sure where to get one of those, or you can take a sample to your local county extension office and they'll test it for you. From there, you can decide whether you need to hire a pro to remove it for you, or just do it yourself with some basic common sense and precautions.

As for overlaying with new vinyl, assuming the old is in good shape, you will need to float it with floor leveling compound to fill in the pattern and any divots, literally "leveling" the floor to a smooth surface. Once this step is done, you then apply your glue and lay down the new floor. Obviously, I've skipped a few steps here, but the question was about overlaying existing flooring, and yes, you can absolutely do this. You'll likely be using a pro to install the new floor anyway, so extraneous info isn't necessary here. If you need more info on the actual install process, just ask.

Lastly, I would recommend sheet flooring, as opposed to peel and stick vinyl tiles or vinyl strips. Any time you are in a high moisture/water environment, you do not want seams that water can get in/under and loosen the flooring, sheet goods remove this problem from being an issue.

ed21
Re: asbestos in flooring question
ed21

Asbestos can also be in the adhesive under the vinyl

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