Asbestos-Containing Peel-and-Stick Floor Tiles: this article describes self-adhesive "peel and stick" vinyl floor tiles that contain or may contain asbestos. We include product names, descriptions, and photographs of asbestos-containing stick-on floor tile products including materials used in homes in the U.S. and Canada into at least the early 1980's.
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Do Peel and Stick Floor Tiles Contain Asbestos?
Armstrong Peel-and-Stick Floor vinyl floor tiles were introduced late in 1969, as we discussed at our Floor Tile History article entry for Peel and Stick / Self-Adhesive Floor Tiles.
Some, but apparently not all self-adhesive floor tiles made by Armstrong during the period 1969 - 1982 contained asbestos. The company stopped manufacturing these tiles with asbestos in December of 1982.
Not all adhesive floor tiles produced during this period contain asbestos. It is necessary to know the flooring product model number or collection name of a tile in question, or to submit a sample to an asbestos test laboratory to make a final determination.
This product never contained asbestos. - information courtesy of Armstrong Corporation
Photo at left: Armstrong Vernay-pattern self-adhesive floor tile, contributed by reader P.S. and discussed below
The flooring in this photograph was observed in a home built in 1984, two years after the Vernay series product line was discontinued, proving the point that floor tiles, both containing or free of asbestos, may have been purchased and installed several years past the last date of actual manufacture of the product.
Other asbestos containing Vernay pattern floor tiles are described
1980's American Biltrite Zip Stick & Amitco Sunbeam Pattern ZipStik flooring
American Biltrite Zip Stick 12x12 tiles in fact do contain asbestos as do a Canadian version of this flooring illustrated here.
The Amitco Sunbeam pattern Zip Stik floor tiles in our photos (below) contributed by reader P.T. look the same except the packaging (if you have an original tile carton) will read "Manufactured by American Biltrite Canada".. These nominal 12"x12" self adhesive floor tiles were 305mm x 305mm, 0.080" or 2.03mm gauge (thickness).
These self-adhesive floor tiles were installed in a home built in the 1980's. The owner had a sample of these tiles tested for asbestos content and reported "The tests came back positive with Asbestos 5% Chrysotile. The tile was manufactured in Canada in 1981. "
At left in a third image of self adhesive floor tiles that contain asbestos we include additional packaging materials that illustrates how lot numbers may appear (the black stamped data).
If you can identify your floor tile collection name or model number, laboratory testing of the sample to screen for asbestos may be unnecessary.
Watch out: even if your vinyl tile or sheet vinyl flooring was installed some time after 1980, it is possible that an installer used 1980 or prior flooring materials that contained asbestos. Handle flooring demolition or grinding, sanding, polishing appropriately.
1970's Peel n Stick Adhesive Floor Tiles Containing Asbestos
Solar Shine II Peel 'n' Stick Floor Tiles sold by the Color Tile Supermarket Corporation: 2% asbestos?
Do you have any information about solar shine II peel and press tiles. They were made for Tile City. My home was built in 1969, but I suspect these were installed after then. I have had no luck finding info as to whether they contain asbestos. I have a box of spare tiles, but it gives no information.
Please send me some sharp photos of both sides of the tile, packaging, and tile dimensions and I'll research the question further.
Solarshine II High Shine No-Wax Peel 'N' Press Floor Tile Packaging, vendor address, pattern Windsor Brick 8" x 8" x 1/8" thick peel and stick flooring P.N. # ZLUWB47 CG265 1 754625 was produced for Color Tile Supermarket, Inc. in Texas and other U.S. states.
I sent a tile to a lab. They contain 2% asbestos. - J.M. private email to DF 25 July 2015
Reply: History of Solarshine Floor Tiles & Color Tile Supermarket, Inc., vs. Asbestos Content of Flooring
Important but curious lab results, JM. I have found that most peel and stick self-adhesive floor tiles made before the early to mid 1980's and as late as 1986 contained at least some asbestos. Asbestos is likely to be in either a filler in the vinyl product or in the paper-like backing to which the tile's upper surface or pattern was adhered.
Timm (1980) specifically includes asbestos as a filler used in the tiles themselves in percentages of 60-85% of the tile composition and our own extensive citation of Rosato and others describes similar asbestos filler proportions.
In my experience when asbestos was deliberately used in flooring products such as vinyl asbestos floor tiles or sheet flooring, lab tests find very high percentage of asbestos. Especially in the less-fliexible vinyl asbestos tiles where asbestos powder was used as a filler. Two percent is low enough that I'm surprised, and am curious about where in the flooring it may have actually been used.
Asbestos also showed up in some tile mastic adhesives but those wouldn't appy to a "peel and stick" floor.
Asbestos does show up in some peel and stick flooring including some Armstrong products I've examined in homes dating from the 1970's.
I would much like to see the lab report itself.
I have done fairly extensive search for Solar Shine Peel and Stick flooring including through patents and Google scholar without finding any interesting results.
Your packaging notes that "Solar Shine Peel 'n' Press" flooring was manufactured for Color Tile Supermarket, Inc., POB 2475, Fort Worth TX 76113 in the U.S. Tel: 1-800-688-8063
Zip-code use began in the U.S. as early as 1963. Color Tile Supermarket was registered as a business in Texas on 12/29/1978 and was incorporated elsewhere a bit earlier.
Color Tile Supermarket was incorporated in 1975, filing as a foreign entity in California in that year (the company may or may not actually have been a foreign entity) and began operating under bankruptcy in 1996 and by 1997 most of its stores in the U.S. had been closed. "Color Tile Supermart, Inc. filed as a Foreign For-Profit Corporation in the State of Texas and is no longer active. This corporate entity was filed approximately forty years ago on Monday, June 23, 1975 as recorded in documents filed with Texas Secretary of State. - retrieved 25 July 2015, original source: Corporation Wiki information website http://www.corporationwiki.com/p/hkpqh/color-tile-supermart-inc.
The company was involuntarily dissolved and was inactive as of 2000 or previously. Considering that its early flooring products were produced in the 1970's, it's reasonable that at least some would have contained asbestos. But the 2% finding of your lab remains curious.
My research on some other "non-asbestos" products found to contain trace levels in lab tests found that on occasion a product was manufactured at a facility where high levels of asbestos had been or continued to be present for use in other products and that there was cross-contamination. As we do not have and won't be likely to obtain the actual formula nor actual production facility for your floor tiles I'm left guessing that this might be the case for your product as well.
Asbestos content of the adhesive in self-stick floor tiles
Is asbestos also likely to be present in the adhesive used with self-adhesive or peel-n-press or peel and stick floor tiles? Probably not.
Certainly asbestos was found in some older tile mastic adhesives used with thicker glue-down vinyl-asbestos floor tiles and some sheet flooring.
Self-adhesive flooring patent research gives some dates and formulas or general chemical constituents and properties for these self adhesive products. Timm (1980) specifically includes asbestos as a filler used in the tiles themselves in percentages of 60-85% of the older vinyl-asbestos tile composition and our own extensive citation of Rosato and others describes similar asbestos filler proportions.
But a different type of adhesive is used on self-stick floor tiles. That adhesive, pre-applied to the tile back surface, is kept intact and tacky and tiles are prevented from sticking together while in their package by a peel-off waxed paper or similar separator.
Kamata (1974) in describing a patent for self-sticking adhesives makes no mention of asbetsos.
This Armstrong flooring tile is 12" x 12" x 1/16" or 1.5mm thick.
Unlike the older vinyl-asbestos floor tiles whose photographs we provide below, this more recent flooring product is built from a thin vinyl layer containing the tile's design pattern and a fiber/paper backer (shown in our photo above) to which an adhesive was coated so that the tile could be installed without use of a mastic.
A typical pattern is the embossed design shown at left.
The floor tile thickness (about 1.5mm or 1/16") suggests that this product was produced after 1980 and probably does not contain asbestos.
Below we show a photo of the Armstrong© Stamp found on the under-side or "back" of 12 x 12 "stick-on" self-adhesive floor tiles produced by Armstrong.
Depending on the age of manufacture, some paper-backed flooring products used asbestos as a primary ingredient (see Asphalt & Vinyl Floor Tile History). Tests of our example floor sample (above) for asbestos confirmed that some early peel-and-stick floor tiles sold in the 1980's did contain asbestos.
Contemporary resilient flooring products do not contain asbestos however.
Shown at above left: Armstrong Excelon Vinyl Floor tile, contemporary, popular, sold in 70 colors at retail outlets including Home Depot stores, this modern resilient floor tile does not contain asbestos. [Click any image to see an enlarged, detailed version].
Reade Question: Asbestos in Armstrong's Vernay flooring products?
The building was built in 1984, however, I don't think these floor tiles were installed until after the house was constructed.
We found them glued to cabinet shelves also. Would these contain asbestos - they are very thin. - P.S. 1/6/2014
You'll be happy to know that in our article above on this page one can recognize the floor tile pattern in your photograph as Armstrong's Vernay line.
In this article near the top of this page we report that Armstrong reports that the tile you show, in the Vernay pattern line, was introduced in 1980 and discontinued in 1982. According to the manufacturer, this product never contained asbestos.
It is worth noting that your photo and example, combined with your observation that the tile in your photograph was found in a building built in 1984 prove the point that "new old stock" floor tiles may be installed several years after the flooring product was actually manufactured.
(For other readers, I am doubtful that the thickness of floor tiles itself is a good criteria for opining that the material is asbestos free.)
A catalog of floor tile identification photographs for products that contained asbestos, 1952 - 1980, is provided below at Armstrong Vinyl-Asbestos Floor Tile Photo ID Catalog - 1952 - 1986.
And at Armstrong flooring history we provide a history of Armstrong flooring and links to company information.
Contact Us to send a photograph of your own floor tile pattern or for assistance in identification if you can't find your floor tile image, pattern, or design in this floor tile color and pattern library.
Asphalt asbestos and vinyl-asbestos floor tiles were produced in 9" x 9", 12" x 12", and even 18" x 18" as well as in decorative strips, and in thicknesses of 1/16", 3/32", and 1/8", also in 0.08 gauge. Some sheet flooring or resilient flooring also contained asbestos, as did floor tile mastics.
This photo guide to asphalt asbestos & vinyl asbestos floor tiles for each year shows at least one color photo of each floor tile style or pattern in an example color. A list below each group of photos includes the names of and links to additional photos for other colors of these styles.
Asbestos is safe and legal to remain in homes or public buildings as long as the asbestos materials are in good condition and the asbestos can not be released into the air.
To identify a particular asphalt-asbestos or vinyl-asbestos floor tile pattern & color, start in the image group most likely to be the same age as your building.
If you don't find your floor tile or sheet flooring by looking forward from that that year, you should also look backwards in the earlier years as your specific flooring pattern & color may have first appeared in an earlier year. For other tile brands than Armstrong, see the brand name floor tile links included in this list.
Continue reading at ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION PHOTOS by YEAR or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
Suggested citation for this web page
SELF-ADHESIVE PEEL & STICK ON ASBESTOS TILE IDENTIFICATION at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.
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Hi. I started to pull up peel n press vinyl tile in my kitchen and now I'm very concerned about asbestos. ..I pulled up 2 tiles and stopped the project. I've been trying to research the tile, I have one left over box from previous owner - marked 1983 distinctive color tile produced by color tile in texas There is beautiful linoleum tile underneath that I love If I did release some asbestos fiber, how long does it linger ? I appreciate your input Thanks, F. S.
Only by submitting a tile sample to a certified asbestos testing lab can we know for sure if your flooring contained asbestos, but it is indeed the case that we have some confirmed reports of self-adhesive or "peel and stick" floor tiles from the early 1980's that contained asbestos.
If you did not run power tools, saws, grinders, or sanders to make a significant level of dust, that is if you were able to pull up flooring largely intact, the risk of significant asbestos fiber release is probably low. Certainly it would be smart to either have a test performed on suspect material or just handle it with the same precautions you would take if you knew that it contained asbestos.
If you'd like to send along a photo of your tile and of any markings on its back side (or on packaging if you have it) we can help research the matter further.
(Sept 16, 2012) Erika said:
We recently moved into the home and are unsure about when this tile was installed.We started pulling up basement vinyl tile without thinking of asbestos. Then, we had second thoughts after some comments about whether it was safe. We looked through your website photo gallery of tile which has been incredibly helpful. Wrecently moved into the home and are unsure about when this tile was installed. We have an identical tile to the Venay peel-and=stick floor tile, but it is in a different color--reddish. Listed under this picture is that is was one of the tiles that never contained asbestos. We are hoping that the tile we pulled up--all of it in the basement room--does not contain asbestos based on your picture. Would it be possible that any other manufacturer was making the exact design/pattern of the Vernay tile? Or, should we assume we are pretty safe at this point? Thanks so much for your help.
(June 15, 2014) Pat Scoglietti said:
I have old tile in basement from 60's. Was told it is asbestos. I need to cover iit so I bought peel &stick vinyl tile to use but was told by a friend that it will not stick to the old tile :(. Anyone know if that is correct?
Covering over the old floor is a recommended practice, minimizes the asbestos hazard better than removal, and will work perfectly well if the old original flooring is not loose. Use a liquid cleaner to remove wax and old debris, let the cleaned floor dry, and your self-adhesive tiles should be fine.
(Nov 26, 2014) Todd said:
I have vinyl floor tiles in my laundry room that were pulled up and partially removed by a friend after we had a small flood. Until now, I'd not even known that these tiles could contain asbestos. Do you have any recommendations on how to clean the area? Currently, approximately half the floor is cement, where the tiles were removed, while the other half still has the tiles down. This is a Canadian home built in 1985, though because this flooring is in the basement I'm hoping the tiles may have been installed years later. The tiles are grey, 9x9" and are very thin. I think they could be described as "peel and stick".
Sure Todd, in More Reading ARTICLE INDEX to ASBESTOS HAZARDS shown above, or at the links at page left near the top of this article see these articles
ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION
ASBESTOS FLOORING REMOVAL GUIDE
ASBESTOS REMOVAL, WETTING GUIDE
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