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Question DetailsAsked on 9/17/2017

Is it possible to remove the subfloor without disturbing tile above? Asbestos tile beneath vinyl.

There is a layer of regular vinyl tile above the asbestos "encasing" it. Portion of the au flooring is completely cleaned of the tile and we have access to the ability to pry subflooring up. Is this reasonable/feasible means of removal? Would this be a cheaper option for abatement?

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1 Answer


Asbestos tile removal is not too bad a job - you have to keep it damp and avoid skil sawing or sanding it (things that create dust), but not a tough DIY job or contractor job in most areas - though gets into the $1000-2000 for normal size room in the ecoalarmist states where it has been made out to be a major hazard, when it is not if used and handled properly.

I can't see taking up the subfloor is going to help unless the tile is bonded (like with true asphaltic mastic from the 60's and 7u0's, which REALLY holds on - though will succumb to heat, though a fire hazard in that case) so tight you can't take it up, in which case knife cutting through the tile along subfloor board joints to lift up as a unit is viable to only a limited extent - because usually the subfloor goes in under the walls (as well as cabinets sometimes if not taking them out), so you would have a perimeter cut to do all around. Can be done with a slow-moving wetted sawzall blade (being careful not to nick joists or utilities in the subfloor) but slow and somewhat expensive - so if the vinyl flooring will come up I would go that way for certain.

Also - if in an area where your landfill cannot take asbestos in the general fill, so it has to go to an expensive specialty hazardous waste facility or contractor, or where there is a much higher dump fee per pound for asbestos containing material, removing it with the subfloor is going to increase your dump fee by probably 5-10 fold if disposing of it with the plywood.

Here is a related previous question with answer which might help too:

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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