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Asbestos in my kitchen flooring?

My house was built in 1934, in Portland, OR. In the kitchen, there are two layers of flooring over wood. Before the thought of asbestos ever came up, I ripped up a small section of the flooring that was underneath the old refrigerator and in really bad shape. The top layer is sheet of some sort, 6 feet wide. It is kinda tan and white with gold glittery speckles. The seams are really bad, coming up a lot and it looks horrible, so I would like to get rid of it. Underneath there I found what liked like it was probably green and white and it was cut into lots of small shapes (say 4"x4"), like some diamond pattern but other shapes too, not a strict diamond floor. It was backed with burlap.

So then a contractor came over to do a bid and mentioned that the basement floor is asbestos (9x9 dark brown tiles), so that got me wondering if any in the kitchen could be also. I really want to just start ripping this stuff up, but I also want to be safe. Should I send in to be tested? What is the likelihood of these floors being okay?

Thank you for any thoughts. :)

Re: Asbestos in my kitchen flooring?

I'm in about the same boat.
You probably have asbestos (AKA VAT) in the kitchen.
The only way to tell for sure is with testing but an experienced contractor should be able to give it a strong educated guess.

I really can't say what the laws are in OR. It would be a good idea to find out before you do anything crazy.

If you're determined to remove it yourself search Google for "DIY asbestos removal" I can't speak to the validity of the legal and health and safety information you'll find on the internet but I will say my research and after talking to a home inspector friend, I'm considering not testing my tile and removing it myslef :o. But I fear this is a very stupid course of action. :eek:

I hope this helps a little.

Re: Asbestos in my kitchen flooring?

Thanks for your thoughts! Based on what you've read, would you think both my layers are VAT or just one? Just based on the age? Would VAT have been burlap backed, or come in the 6 foot sheets?

I too think about just removing it and trying to be safe, because I've read about some people thinking it's all overblown. It's hard to know what to do. I think I might prefer not to test it and not know for sure and then I won't have to worry about it as much, whereas if I found out for sure, then I'd worry more about doing the "right thing". Luckily I am not planning to deal with the flooring for a while yet, so no rush decisions.

Thanks again. :)

Re: Asbestos in my kitchen flooring?

"burlap" (actually it's jute) backing means it is linoleum, made from pigment and linseed oil and cooked into the jute under heat and pressure. There wasn't any asbestos in old (genuine) linoleum.

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