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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.
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 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].
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.
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: What is the asbestos hazard from pulling up peel n press vinyl tile from 1983?
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.
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. 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.)
Questions & answers or comments about asbestos in peel and stick flooring materials & flooring made or sold in the U.S., Canada, or other countries after 1980.
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
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