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Vinyl asbestos tile (VAT): How to cover with ceramic tile?

I have an old house with VAT. I had it covered for many years with padding and carpet. Now I have removed the carpet and I have this ugly testament to the dark ages of home construction staring me in the face every day and asking me: How many of my nasty and invisible fish-hook fibers have you breathed in today?

I found a reply by Tom Silva to a question about covering VAT where he said that "it can even be covered with ceramic tile."

That is what I want to do. I have been getting conflicting information. Some people tell me you can't put ceramic tile over old VAT. Others tell me you can.

Now, I am confused.

What is the best way to prepare the floor, i.e., the VAT, in order to install ceramic tile over it?

Another person in the same thread Stated as follows:

"I consulted a professional installer and he said to emboss the asbestos tiles in order to install ... ceramic tile. This way, the thin-set will adhere to the asbestos tiles. If there are cracked asbestos tiles, simply use a filler (even tile grout) to fill in the cracks or holes...then emboss over that."

In this context, what does it mean to "emboss" ?

I installed tile in part of a room with "AcrylPro Ceramic Tile Adhesive" that I bought at home depot. The info on the pail it came in says it is for "Walls and floors." Everyone has told me that this product cannot be used for installing tiles on floors. More confusion! What do you all think about using this product to install ceramic tiles on a floor?

Please help! Thanks in advance for any information you all can provide. :confused:

Re: Vinyl asbestos tile (VAT): How to cover with ceramic tile?

I have mystery tiles in my house from 1950. So I understand what you're going through. Nobody wants to give advice for obvious legal reasons. I myself am hesitant to share what I've learned.
It seems that in many places you can floor over VAT if it is in good condition (not air born) I have yet to find anything stating how to safely and legally cover your VAT floor but if your determined to tile over it here's what I did:

The Vinyl tile in my bathroom was in extremely good condition. There were no cracked or lifting tiles. Based on the age of the tile (installed 1950) they likely are VAT tiles. In January I tiled over them with small (~1 in.) Hexagon porcelain tiles. I have not had any issues with the floor to date.

To prepare the floor I simply cleaned it thoroughly with a steam mop to remove any dirt and debris.

*** DO NOT USE ANY ABRASIVE CLEANERS *** If you do ha VAT tile using abrasives would be stupid :eek:

I then laid the tile directly on the floor using Lacrete Multipurpose thin set I bought at Lowes.

I followed standard tiling instructions for putting down the thin set and tile.

I'd advise finding a hidden spot somewhere and tile a small area to see if the tile will hold. Make sure this is a hidden spot I did this and found it very difficult to keep the tiles next to my test spot level. It's the ugliest section of my floor

Now if you are using larger tiles, tiling directly on the Vinyl is probably not a good idea. If the floor under a larger tile is uneven you can easily crack the tile or grout. So You'll want to use backer board to ensure an level base for your tile. I'm not sure if that can be done I'm no expert but I think you typically want to screw down backer board and I wouldn't think it would be wise to screw through the VAT...

Hopefully that helps a little.

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