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Question DetailsAsked on 12/19/2013

What is the best floor material to install over sheet vinyl in the kitchen?

Kitchen is about 10' x 12' and sheet vinyl was installed during new construction in 1979 using two sheets. It has asbestos but is solidly glued to concrete. Rental property so looking for durability and reasonable cost.

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3 Answers


There are a number of prior questions and answers about flooring in kitchens in the Home > Flooring link right under your quedstion - you might want to check a few of these out, particularly one in the past week or two with a number of comments on what is the best flooring for kitchens. Several good varying viewpoints in the answers.

In your case, I would not say best but only choice - over vinyl, a floating floor like laminate or engineered wood (laminate being generally more durable in the kitchen) can go over tightly adhered vinyl flooring. I am specifically leaving out floating tile and linoleum/vinyl products - I have never seen one that even began to perform as advertised - flaoting tile floor crack up rapidly, and floating or no-glue sheet products curl and bulge and snag way to readily for me to consider them a viable flooring product, especially in a high-traffic area like a kitchen. Anything else you are looking for trouble. I am not sure why you want to leave it down - it is not that tough to remove most vinyl, which then opens you up to whatever you want to put down.

The fact it has asbestos is not an immediate matter for concern - much of the vinyl and linoleum currently manufactured has asbestos in it and does not represent a danger. The key factor is if it has one of the types of asbestos that are very fine fibered, so they get breathed into your lungs and are not screened out by the mucus before they get lodged in the aveolus of the lungs themselves. A lab exam with a microscope can tell you if it is the hazardous type. Unfortunately, most of the mail-in kits from home improvement stores and such only check if it contains asbestos, not just the dangerous type. That is sort of equivalent to testing to see if a certain fluid is oil - a yes answer is meaningless - is it motor oil, crude oil, olive oil, corn oil, etc. Your flooring is toward the end of the time when the dangerous asbestos was being used in flooring - that was cut off in 1977-1979, though manufacturers were allowed to sell off remaining stock so some made it into homes as late as the early 1980's. Generally, the most dangerous product was the vinyl tiles which had vinyl over a paper-backed asbestos base.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


You could remove the floor as LCD (and he is correct in the facts on asbestos) said but since it is on a slab I might leave it for an added vapor barrier and install one ot the better grades of laminate. If you play a bit dirty when you go look at the flooring take a key and check to see how hard the surface is by scratching the samples with your key. If there are no lifting seams you could put down a sheet good over it but I do not think they hold up as well in a rental unit. You also could shoot wire lath over it and apply ceramic tile but that would not be one of your cheaper options and actually may be more maintainence with a tenant due to the grout possibly getting stained.


Answered 5 years ago by ContractorDon


Since this is a rental and the last thing you want to do is have to replace this floor in the next few years, unless you intend to go with a floating laminate floor, I would go ahead and remove the existing sheets - you are only talking about $100 range difference in price - why not go ahead and do the job right the first time and not risk a problem with poor adhesion in any non-floating products you might put over it. After all, you are talking a small area.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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