Vinyl Flooring

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Removing vinyl flooring with asbestos backing

Feb 2006

Hi--can anyone provide advice/recommendations for removing vinyl flooring with asbestos backing? It is in a bottom layer of 1960s vinyl covered by a 1980s layer, so we can't add another layer up. A flooring company says the underlayment underneath it all should be removed, rather than simply scraping up the vinyl; removing the underlayment seems like it would release fewer asbestos fibers anyway. An estimate for a full abatement was shockingly expensive--over $3500 and 2 days of work for 2 bathrooms and a kitchen. Is there some less expensive procedure that will work, other than a full abatement? Any specific names of contractors or companies you've used, with feedback? Thanks. There is nothing in the archives about this other than a mention that asbestos can exist in vinyl flooring. cst

Have you checked to see if your flooring has asbestos in it for sure? We were surprised to find out that our 1960s-era flooring didn't. We cut up a small piece and had it checked at Asbestos TEM lab on 5th Street in Berkeley: 528-0108 or Each sample cost $35. (Of course if there is asbestos, you probably shouldn't be cutting into it, but ours was peeling up anyway!) Good luck. Anon