Flooring questions

njtomatoguy Posted By njtomatoguy, Aug 30, 2007 at 8:14 PM

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  1. njtomatoguy

    Feeling the Heat 2.

    Jun 20, 2006
    Maple Shade, NJ
    I have a house built in 1956, plywood subfloor, tar paper, 8x8 asbestos tiles. They keep popping up and cracking the 12x12 self stick tiles I put down to shut up an old girlfriend- she was worried about the asbestos and her kid- I am taking everthing up to put down armstrong swiftlock laminate flooring.
    so, the question is- do i take it to the plywood, ad the pad that they sell for this stuff, or do i do luan, then the pad.


  2. MrGriz

    New Member 2.

    Oct 11, 2006
    Waterford, WI
    The short answer is; I would not take up the asbestos tiles, I would go right over them and encapsulate them under the laminate. The danger with asbestos backed tile is that it will come loose and or be disturbed and release asbestos into the living area. When it is down and in relatively good shape, there is really no issue. Encapsulating it under the laminate keeps the asbestos from being disturbed.

    If a number of tiles are missing, you will have to fill in the voids so you don't have differences in the floor height. This can be done with the self stick tiles, additional layers of pad, floor patching compound or any number of materials. Once things are level, put the pad down and go nuts with the laminate. Just remember to leave an expansion gap along all walls, cabinets, plumbing and any other fixed objects the laminate would come in contact with. I recommend caulking the expansion gap in any area that may come in frequent contact with water. This will still allow the floor to expand and contract, but will keep water from getting under the floor and causing problems.

    The biggest reason I can see for taking the old flooring down to the plywood is to lessen the height difference to adjoining floors. They do make reducers for laminate floors that will help ease these transitions, but sometimes the height difference is too great. With only a layer of old tiles, height should not be an issue. If you do take up the old flooring, wear your "PPE". You don't want to expose yourself to the asbestos backing as you are stirring everything up. You can go down to the plywood, as long as it is sound and smooth (no major deflections, voids, etc..) put the laminate pad right on top and install the new floor.

    Good luck and post some before and after pics.
  3. Hogwildz

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Nov 3, 2006
    Next to nuke plant Berwick, PA.
    I am with Griz on this one. Go over top. I suggest a layer of plastic as a vapor barrier, most laminate flooring requires this in the directions. I have concrete I am installing over, and def need if for over that. My flooring comes with the padding pre installed on each piece. You def want padding either way, cuts down on noise and helps transition over small imperfections below.
  4. thephotohound

    New Member 2.

    Apr 19, 2007
    Central Massachusetts
    I agree with Griz and Hog... I'm also going over a concrete pad for my laminate install; same idea as encapsulating asbestos.
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