asbestos sheet flooring?

rafe111June 20, 2011


My house was built in 1925. I have lifted the carpet to discover the remnants of really old sheet flooring. Most of the flooring must have been removed when the previous owner laid down some lovely brown swirled with orange shag carpet, but there is still brown paper/fiber material glued to the wood subfloor from the old floor covering. Either that was the original flooring from 1925 or they had just subfloor as a floor. I'm not sure what they did back then.

I'm trying to find out if there is a possibility of this material having asbestos. I was going to sand the floor to finish the subfloor, but I don't want to risk my health by doing it if it is dangerous.

You can view photos of it here:

Picture of back of flooring:

Picture of wood floor with backing stuck to it:

Another picture of the back of the flooring

Any ideas if this might contain asbestos?

This is sheet flooring (not tile). It is a medium brown colour with little blotches of grey and shades of brown. It is stiff and hard. The back is a brown fiberous material. It was glued onto a spruce subfloor.

the room is 9x14 feet and two-thirds of it still has some of the flooring backing stuck to it. Is it safe to sand off?

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This is most likely what we called "duplex" flooring felt. It was designed to allow floor coverings to be easily stripped off the substrate. I removed tons of it. I doubt it contains any asbestos. Most likely it is a combination of cotton waste, tailings from paper making and other stuff. Only a laboratory test can tell you for sure.

If you have it tested and it comes up negative, still be careful when sanding the stuff off. No dust is good for the lungs, eyes or ears. Wear protection, seal off other rooms, put a fan in a window to exhaust any dust created and have at it.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 11:23PM
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