What floor to install over vinyl asbestos tile in basement?

purrusMay 15, 2011

Hi everyone,

We have a dry basement (so far, at least) that has 1960s vinyl asbestos tile on teh floor. It's in fairly good shape in most areas, but there are a couple of places where tiles are coming up (mostly in the laundry area, which we are not looking at finishing for now due to cost).

budget is a major concern, and this needs to be a DIY job (at least mostly).

We'll be using the basement for a home gym and TV watching.

We have talked about carpet, but the way my husband pours sweat during workouts, the thought disgusts me. So that's out. I'm afraid peel-and-stick vinyl won't work over the current vinyl since some are loose,a nd since some of the existing tiles have spilled paint on them. Also, the existing old tiles are variegated, so I assume peel-and-stick is out.

What about laminate? Would that work?

Any thoughts? Since they are asbestos and it's sort of a large area, I don't really want to remove them (or pay to have them removed). I'd prefer to encapsulate. I'm just at a loss as to how we can do this....

any thoughts will be most appreciated. Thanks!

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don92

Indoor/outdoor carpet would take the punishment your sweaty husband will give it. I would also suggest a floating floor but I hate the crap. If you could devise a gutter system that would strap to his ankles you would have more options.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 3:42PM
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purrus

:)

OK, let's say we have a gutter system. What else might you recommend?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 4:11PM
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akehl1_juno_com

I'm working with someone who has a similar basement asbestos tile situation. When installing the indoor/outdoor carpet, do you need to install tack strips? If so, won't you disturb the asbestos tiles? Or do you just glue the carpet down. If it's glued, would you ever get it back up?

Would epoxy be a solution?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 6:03PM
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purrus

I was under the impression that you had to scratch/sand/rough up the surface to apply epoxy, a no-no with asbestos. Am I wrong? Also, these tiles are pretty glossy, so if it is tricky to apply epoxy to concrete I'd think it would be trickier with this. Otherwise I'd be very imterested in epoxy.

A conundrum. (sigh)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 9:12PM
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don92

I thought they made a carpet that is glued only around the perimeter. Those old tiles will sometimes pop up fairly easily. If the floor could be cleaned up reasonably well a glue down engineered floor would give you the best floor for resale and would take a lot of abuse.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 9:24PM
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purrus

engineered hardwood? Do you have any examples?

I thought I read here that hardwood was no good in basements, but oh, would I love to be wrong!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 9:38PM
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purrus

Also, if the suggestion is carpet--I have a cat with claws so anything looped is out.

One more thing as well: I have some closet doors (totally thrown together by leftover paneling when the place was built, but they do work) that barely swing open as it is due to house settling. So, the new floor needs to be pretty low. As it is I am pretty sure we'll have to plane off the bottoms of those doors (or whatever you call it :) )

Thanks again for the help! We are planning to do this in about a month, and it's time to figure out a plan for sure.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 9:26AM
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don92

If its a dry basement engineered hardwood will work fine. I have installed it in several basements. The varithane glue is very tenacious and is waterproof. Lowe's, HD and all flooring centers will have it. Usually about 5/16 - 3/8" thick. As for the doors, I would not base the flooring choice on whether my closet doors would work. Just cut them off. No sweat!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 4:33PM
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purrus

OK then! :)

My stupid floors are kind of uneven, though. Does that make a difference for the engineered hardwood?

I should add that although we've never had any problems, the previous HO (original HO) did install a basement waterproofing system. It could certainly have been paranoia on her part, and I've never known our sump pump to run in almost three years, but I thought I'd put that out there. Many basements in my area DO have flooding issues, which is why I am somewhat paranoid.

The rest of my house is hardwood though, and I vastly prefer that. I have always hated carpet.

If you know of any good deals on EH, I'd be very interested in at least pricing it out. Is it something I can install myself?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 8:40PM
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don92

There seems to be a paranoia that inhabits the owners of your house. Was it built on a sweaty paranoid indian burial ground?If there is the slightest thought of flooding I would not go with EH. You DO need a very even floor and with spending min. 3-5 dollars a sf, one small water problem would ruin it. I'd go with in/out carpeting or ceramic tile. Don't think a cat (Claude) would hurt the carpet. A ceramic tile and some throw rugs to warm it up would be nice but the existing tile would need to come up. There are some good tile deals @ Lowe's and HD going for 70 cents sf.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 9:20PM
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brickeyee

"I was under the impression that you had to scratch/sand/rough up the surface to apply epoxy, a no-no with asbestos. "

Just nail the tack strips down using short concrete nails (1/2 inch is usually more than adequate).

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 4:06PM
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