Can You Tile Over Asbestos Floor Tiles

Asbestos tiles exist in various shapes and sizes, and people utilize them on ceilings, floors, and walls. You may find these tiles in homes and structures built before the 1980s.

But the question is, can you tile over asbestos floor tiles? Yes, of course, you can tile over the asbestos tile, and in many situations, this is the best option. Furthermore, it does not disrupt the polluted material or release harmful fibers.

The fancy phrase here is “encapsulation.” It is safe to use with all forms of asbestos. It is still most common to place vinyl siding over old asbestos siding or lay carpet over old asbestos flooring or tile.

At first glance, it may appear that you are merely covering up and concealing a problem, yet many professionals and government organizations advocate for this approach. As long as it is not disturbed, asbestos is entirely harmless.

Can You Tile Over Asbestos Floor Tiles

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What are Asbestos Floor Tiles?

Until the 1980s, asbestos tiles were a common building material. Furthermore, there were three types of tiles: wall tiles, floor tiles, and ceiling tiles. The most prevalent types of tiles were the ceiling and floor tiles.

Asbestos was widely used in construction materials because of its heat resistance, durability, strength, and insulation. Besides, asbestos tiles could withstand high-traffic areas; they were frequently employed. Asbestos ceiling tiles also improved the structures’ longevity and fireproofing.

Asbestos fiber tiles often include chrysotile asbestos inside a polymer matrix; incorporating asbestos into flooring materials enabled the completed product to benefit from the mineral’s characteristics.

Aside from the tiles themselves, asbestos floor tiling is a bonded substance. Thus it is non-friable in principle. Non-flammable implies that asbestos floor tiling is less dangerous than other materials until it emits dust or fibers into the air, where anyone can breathe them.

How to Install Tile Over Asbestos Tile 

If you have asbestos tile on your floor and want to create a distinctive aesthetic, consider replacing the area with new tile. Without a professional, you can’t remove asbestos tiles. Cover it with a new tile instead. With the correct preparation, it is feasible to install tile over asbestos. 

Keep in mind that the existing flooring must be level and in excellent shape. Let’s take it one step at a time!

Initial Step 

Examine the asbestos tile for cracked or broken tiles. Now, check that the floor is level and flat. Whether there is any destruction, you cannot cover, and a certified expert must remove it.

Step Two 

Clean the pre-existing asbestos floor with equal amounts of white vinegar and water solution. Now, wipe all of the filth and oil from the floor by washing your mop as needed. Allow it to dry.

Step Three

Follow the manufacturer’s directions for preparing the cement mortar. Indeed, the thickness should be similar to thick pancake batter. Now, cover the piece of asbestos tile you’re covering first with the mortar mix, using a 1/4-inch trowel.

Step Four

Firmly press the tile into the cement mortar one at a time, beginning in the far corner of the room and proceeding toward the external wall. Then, keep the tile in position for ten seconds to ensure that you connect them correctly.

Step Five

Insert a spacer between the tiles. It helps to ensure that they are equally spaced. Repeat the technique until the ceramic tile cover the entire area. Allow the tiles to set for at least 24 hours before walking on them.

Sixth Step

Combine the powder cement with water according to the package directions until it has the consistency of peanut butter. Using a grout float, spread the grout evenly over your tile. Now, smooth the grout in the gaps using a giant, wet sponge.

Final Step 

Use a grout sealer in places prone to moisture, such as kitchens, foyers, and bathrooms. You may purchase Grout sealant at any grocery or local hardware store. Finally, spread the adhesive according to the label’s instructions. And you’re done!

What kind of tile can you Put Over Asbestos Tile?

Asbestos is a highly fragile, brittle substance that may break down into airborne particles with the slightest disturbance. Even though they are so tiny, they are invisible to human sight.

Because withdrawing the tile isn’t a solution, cover it with something that will keep dust from the prior adhesive from entering the air. When laying a new floor over an existing one, the thickness of the fresh material will be influenced by the thickness of the existing one.

So, let’s look at some of the materials you can use to cover asbestos!

Ceramic Tile

You can tile ceramic tile over asbestos. Always choose a problem-free thickness of the tile. Notably, to bind the new one to the existing ones, use a Portland cement-based glue.

Floating Floor 

If there is enough space, consider floating a laminated floor over the existing asbestos. Laminate flooring may lock into one another instead of the floor, giving it an excellent option to wood but still requiring the old asbestos to be penetrated.

Natural Stone

If you use an epoxy-based thin-set mortar and are willing to seal the tiles after installation, natural stone tile, like marble or granite, can also be used on asbestos. The thickness and the quantity of maintenance that natural stone requires, including such coating and cleaning with stone cleaning staff, can be considered. If asbestos tiles exist in a basement or other damp areas, you should avoid natural stone since it is porous and can absorb moisture.

Tiles of Porcelain

Install a porcelain floor over the existing asbestos if it can be thicker without causing difficulties. Porcelain flooring is exceptionally adaptable and durable, with tiles as large as 24” offering a clean, contemporary look with minimal grout lines. The thickness of these tiles ranges from 3/8 to 1/2 inches. So, make sure you have enough space behind entrances, cupboards, and thresholds to handle this thickness.

Vinyl Flooring

When it comes to asbestos tile sealing, vinyl tile can be a great option. One of the most significant components of installing a new floor over an old one is thickness. If the old floor is not removed, you may wind up with a new floor that is too thick to open and close doors or clear thresholds.

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Can I put a subfloor over asbestos tile?

Most asbestos tile floors are not level, necessitating the installation of a subfloor. Although, due to the inability to glue or nail it down, solid hardwood flooring cannot be placed over asbestos tiles.

When laying kitchen flooring, consider that a subfloor might boost the floor’s height, obstructing appliances and doors. It’s usually a good idea to check with a flooring professional before laying a wood floor over asbestos tile.

Is tiling over tiles a good idea?

Yes, it is, and it may also be helpful for a quick room update. Saving effort and time is indeed a good idea, especially since removing the existing tiles is challenging to work.

However, before deciding on this approach for a bathroom or kitchen renovation, certain things are to think. You can re-read this article to assist you in determining whether or not to tile over existing tiles.

Is it possible to paint over the old asbestos floor tiles?

As long as the tile remains intact, drawing over asbestos tiles is a reliable technique to wrap up all the material. Also, it seals asbestos. Asbestos tiles damage may necessitate the use of a specialist to exclude the material carefully. You may use other substances to conceal the asbestos floors.

How to clean old asbestos floor tiles?

To begin, use a mop to apply a suitable floor finish remover or stripper. Give the stripper ample time to liquefy the finish. Always strip the floor while it is damp. Scrub the floor using the most petite abrasive pad or brush possible. In addition, a moist vacuum, particularly one with HEPA filtration, can be handy to clean your floor and eliminate the former wax.

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