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ASBESTOS CEILING TILES, Asbestos-Containing
ASBESTOS CEMENT ROOFING
ASBESTOS CEMENT SIDING
ASBESTOS DUCTS, HVAC
ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION
ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION
ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION
ASBESTOS FLOORING REMOVAL GUIDE
ASBESTOS-FREE INSULATION MATERIALS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN buildings
ASBESTOS LIST of PRODUCTS
ASBESTOS MATERIAL REGULATIONS
ASBESTOS PHOTO GUIDE to MATERIALS
ASBESTOS REMOVAL CERTIFICATION
ASBESTOS REMOVAL, INCOMPLETE
ASBESTOS REMOVAL, WETTING GUIDE
ASBESTOS RISK ASSESSMENT
ASBESTOS TESTING LAB LIST
ASBESTOS UNDER the MICROSCOPE
CATHEDRAL CEILING INSULATION
CEILING FINISHES INTERIOR
CEILINGS, DROP or SUSPENDED PANEL
CEILINGS & WALLS, PLASTER TYPES
CERAMIC TILE, ASBESTOS in?
FLOOR TILE HISTORY & INGREDIENTS
FLOOR TILES ASBESTOS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
METAL LATH, PLASTER & STUCCO
PLASTER TYPE IDENTIFICATION
SAFETY HAZARDS & INSPECTIONS
WORLD TRADE CENTER 9-11 DUST PHOTOS
How to identify asbestos-containing Kentile or KenFlex floor tiles: here we provide a photo guide to Kentile asphalt-asbestos flooring & Kentile vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photographs, a list of product names, styles, colors, and vinyl-asbestos floor patterns, and colors for asbestos-containing floor tile products - flooring materials that are reported to or have been confirmed to contain asbestos in asbestos fiber or asbestos powder-filler form.
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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.
KenFlex floor tiles were produced by Kentile Floors, a Brooklyn NY company that filed bankruptcy in 1992. (founder Arthur Kennedy 1898) (at least) as 9" x 9" resilient flooring in a variety of patterns (left) and shades as we illustrate in photographs in this article.
[Click to enlarge any image]
Kentile produced both Asphalt floor tiles using an asbestos filler (see Rosato comment below), and Vinyl-Asbestos floor tiles. The dark floor tiles shown at left may have been asphalt-asbestos.
Standard Dimensions of Kentile Flooring Products
Kentile floor tiles contained asbestos and were produced in 9" x 9" (standard size), 12" x 12", and even 18" x 18" as well as in 18" and 24" border strips and 1" x 24" feature strips as well as 1" x 18" edging (with one edge tapered). For Kentile flooring the tandard thicknesses are 1/8" and 3/16" (some sources cite unconfirmed thicknesses of 1/16", 3/32", and also in 0.08 gauge).
If the floor tile is thicker than 1/16", particularly, 1/8" or more, we suspect you're looking at an asphalt based tile, rather than a later vinyl-asbestos floor tile. The Kentile flooring idenfication photos and pattern examples shown here are culled from magazine advertisements and Kentile flooring catalogs from the 1950's. Below we also include actual Kentile floor tile photographs and images of Kentile packaging contributed by our readers.
Kentile Flooring Packaging
Photos below illustrate Kentile floor tile packaging label data. Click any image to see an enlarged, detailed version.
So don't assume that only "vinyl asbestos floor tiles" include asbestos. According to Rosato, asbestos filler (powder) and fibers were used in asphalt based products too.
Reader question about the floor tiles shown in these boxes & as flooring - just below:
Reply: see the discussion here: these are asbestos-containing floor tiles and should be handled accordingly. We discuss this question and the disposal of these floor tiles in more detail at ASBESTOS DISPOSAL REGULATIONS
At left is a known Kentile 12"x12" vinyl asbestos floor tile sample taken from the Kentile new old stock box shown above, in Kentile style Portilla Tan, lot no. 1K298G.
KENTILE KENFLEX ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE GUIDE, Founded by Arthur Kennedy in 1898, had its primary location at 58 Second Ave., Brooklyn 15 NY.
Kentile Flooring Product Lines
Kentile produced the following flooring lines:
In addition to the known Kentile-brand vinyl asbestos floor tiles shown here, some of which are shown at ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION PHOTOS by YEAR - asbestos may be in Kentile products produced through 1986.
When did Kentile Floor Tile & Sheet Flooring Production Shift from Asphalt-Based to Vinyl or Cork
Our photo (left) illustrates Kentile flooring from a New Jersey home built in 1941, thanks to reader J.S. who noticed Kentile markings on the back of this flooring.
We discuss his floor and include more photographs in the FAQs section at the end of this article.
Some of Kentile's 26 colors/patterns included Breccia, Carnival (multi-color), Dog Tooth, Fleecy Cerulean, Gaiety, Genoa Green, Greek Skyros, Lamartine, Ovation, Toledo Red, Verde Antique, regular pattern, Marbelized, and die-cut theme tiles and solid color feature strips.
At left our illustration shows green and beige Kentile floor patterns from 1958.
Kentile's sign, along the Gowanus Canal (Brooklyn New York, ca 1949) has been considered an important landmark in its own right. In Canada Kentile flooring was distributed by T. Eaton Co., Ltd.
The company filed bankruptcy in 1992, ceasing operations in 1995.
Kentile Flooring Color & Pattern Example Keys from Catalogs & Advertisements
As illustrated by the 1954 Kentile Floor Advertisement (Popular Science Magazine) Kentile floors were considered easy for a homeowner to install.
Unlike some earlier sheet flooring products, the coloring in the components of Kentile and Kenflex floor tiles "goes right through each tile" leading the manufacturer to guarantee its durability.
More examples of Kentile vinyl asbestos floor tiles are shown in the photos below. [Click any image for an enlarged, detailed version.]
Kentile colors/patterns below include: Veined Carnelian with Theme Tile & Feature Strip (below left), Greek Skyros & Breccia, Green with white feature strips, and four kentile samples. These colors and patterns are from 1949 - 1952 and appeared in Kentile advertisements in Life magazine, Popular Science, in various newspapers and other publications.
Photo of Kentile's cork pattern shown at above right was provided courtesy of reader Sarah in Oshkosh who provided additional Kentile photographs of packaging, theme tiles and other Kentile flooring shown below.
Kentile Flooring Pattern & Color Keys
[Click to enlarge any image]
Below are Kentile Deluxe colors from the 1950's. You will notice that some of these 25 Kentile colors and tile patterns are difficult to distinguish from ARMSTRONG floor tiles of the same period.
Additional installed or intact Kentile vinyl asbestos tile floor covering photos wanted - CONTACT US
Photo Examples of Kentile Flooring Patterns, Inserts, Markings, & Original Packaging
We recently bought a home with Kentile asphalt tiles in the basement and bathrooms (grey and pink orchid). The basement is in good condition and is rather special as it has large, decorative die cut squares (a clown, a hand of cards, a magician's hat, etc) and also an inlaid shuffle board court.
The bathroom is not in good condition and we're going to do doing a 2-part epoxy encapsulation soon. We also have an original box of extra tiles. Would you be interested in pictures of any of these for your website? - Sarah, Oshkosh WI 6/19/2014
Here is the original Kentile "asphalt" tile flooring packaging box. The product is labeled as Kentile Asphalt Tile, Styrene Reinforced, Factory Waxed, 9x9" Kentile Floors. The tile pattern (shown below) in these boxes was Kentile's Terazzo Beige and Kentile's Cork pattern (second photo pair, below right).
[Click to enlarge any image]
Kentile Theme Tiles
Here are Kentile die cut accent tiles installed in the basement.
And two more popular die cut Kentile patterns from the same building's basement showing the playing card "Aces" pattern at below left and a Shuffleboard pattern at below right. - Sarah, Oshkosh WI 6/19/2014
Other Kentile Patterns
Here are the grey tiles in one bathroom that are in poor condition. The toilet never seemed to sit square on the this floor and so we were going to pull up the flooring because we thought the subfloor might be soggy. We pulled up a layer of sheet vinyl on top of a layer of MDF and these tiles were underneath. There was an extra layer of MDF around the base of the toilet where the original grey tiles were missing. This had gotten wet and squishy. The layers were only stapled together so it was very easy to pull them apart. We're going to level the floor and then encapsulate these tiles in place with 2part epoxy. - Sarah, Oshkosh WI 6/19/2014
Kentile Flooring ID Requests & FAQs
Possible Solid Color Hexagonal Kentile? Vinyl Asbestos Flooring
The floor tiles shown at left were most-likely not a Kentile flooring product - Ed.
CONTACT us if you have additional information about or examples of this product. Testing for asbestos content is in process and will be reported here. Ms. Silvers describes the flooring as follows:
There is no writing at all on the back. Each of the 6 tile sides measures 4 inches. The tile is 8 inches wide and 7 inches long.
The tile is about 1/8th of an inch. From the edge view it appears it has three thin layers. The top camel colored layer has a white colored edge.
The middle layer extends a bit past the top one to create a look of "grout". I believe this grout part also measures 1/8th of an inch. The backing is a light beige color, with a slight pattern(as opposed to being matte)
Reader questions about Kentile flooring Hazard:
The approximate age (older than 1985) means you can make a fair guess at the chances that your tiles, if Kentiles, contain asbestos. (I haven't seen the particular tile pattern in your photos but will continue researching it - thanks for the photos) - Is there any printed information on the back of that tile you removed? And can you give me the dimensions including thickness?
You could also send a tile sample to an asbestos test lab for examination, or where the floors are in good condition, intact - and thus generally not harmfujl, you can just install new flooring overtop the old.
If you are going to remove asbestos-suspect flooring you'll need to have it done by someone who knows how to avoid creating an asbestos dust hazard in your home.
More complete advice is at http://inspectapedia.com/sickhouse/asbestoslookB.htm and if that advice leaves you with questions just ask and I'll do my best to help further.
Don't panic - doing so will get you $$ gouged by someone. It's not radioactive, and if not damaged and friable, best left alone.
Reader follow-up: description of un-used Kentile Flooring
Kentile Buckskin Marbelized Asbestos Floor Tile Photos
Reader question: I have a floor that has a Kentile, tile floor. The numbers on the box are [ 551 Buckskin Marbleized 1H122C ] the floor was installed in 1978 or 1979. Can you tell me if these tiles contain asbestos without being tested. Thank You - R.F. South Dakota, U.S.A., 2/11/2014
The following Kentile identification photographs of both the floor tiles and their packaging were provided by reader R.F. We show Kentile pattern No. 551, Buck Skin, Marbelized, in lot No. 1HT22C, packaging.
Here is all the info & pics of the box along with a pics of the tile. They also show the tiles in place along with a new tile. I would like to know if these tiles contain asbestos, you would think with all the info we have that there would be on a list if some kind.
R.F., as far as I have been able to determine from reading the company history, there was no Kentile flooring that was free of asbestos. Also the years you cite were when companies were still producing that form of flooring.
These photos will assist other readers in identifying asbestos-containing Kentile flooring in the Buck Skin color and marbelized pattern. Thanks so much, R.F.
Continuing with R.F.'s photographs of original Kentile floor tile packaging we have data that makes for virtually certainly-correct floor tile identification. Below left is more packaging at below right is a photograph of an individual Kentile Buck Skin marbelized floor tile pattern.
Below is the Kentile buckskin color and pattern flooring installed in the same home.
9" x 9" x 1/8" thick Kentile Fleecy Cerulian #D-225 & Kentile Napoleon Gray #C-222
These photographs of some beautiful Fleecy Cerulian Blue Kentile flooring (below left) and Napoleon Gray Kentile floor tiles were provided by reader Bob G. 7/8/2014.
These are 9" factory-waxed Kentile floor tiles for which Bob also provided this original packaging image shown just below.
Reader Question: Identify this as Kentile Flooring?
I have a solid vinyl kitchen floor which is almost as beautiful now as when it was installed 24 years ago. As I described it to a very knowledgeable flooring store owner in Pasadena, CA, he says it is a Kentile floor. OK, interesting. But I just started looking for it on the Internet and found that Kentile manufactured Asbestos Vinyl tiles which led to mesothelioma and other significant diseases in installers.
It was very labor intensive to install. The company which installed it has closed due to retirement. Does this sound like a Kentile vinyl asbestos floor to you? I read an article on flooring on the Internet and it listed you as an expert on the topic willing to identify asbestos containing floors. knowledgeable person to whom I can turn.
Kentile produced flooring up to 1992, but I add that the floor pattern in your photo does not resemble any of the Kentile images we've been able to find.
At ASBESTOS MATERIAL REGULATIONS we interpret the regulations to state clearly that it is in buildings constructed prior to 1980 that such flooring could be "presumed asbestos containing material" (PACM)
Significantly the 1989 EPA ban clarification excluded vinyl-asbestos floor tile products.
Given the Kentile company history and the considerable dispute and need for two major clarifications by the US EPA extending to 1999, I would not assume without testing that your floor is asbestos free - safer to assume for now that it contains asbestos.
You can have a small floor sample tested for asbestos by a certified asbestos lab
Reader Question: can you identify this as Kentile Asbestos-containing Flooring?
Thank you for providing a useful site about asbestos tile.
Can you identify the tile I have and if it has asbestos in it?
I did not see the exact picture on your site. Any assistance is
The house was built in 1963.
I'm not certain of the tile identity, and of course only a certified asbestos test lab can say with certainty the tile asbestos composition, but based on the age and pattern, it's reasonable to presume that these tiles contain asbestos fibers and filler.
The colors look like Kentiles and while 9x9 tiles were common in the 50's and 60's there were 12x12's being produced and installed. There is a FLickr site that has some kentile photos that do not match your tile pattern - the images' owner was not particularly generous in providing more information - but the hues in your tiles, even though the pattern is different, point in that direction. I'm pasting in [to the original email reply] a Kentile image from a different source.
Reader Question - floor tile resembling Armstrong patterns
I just found your website while researching how to restore my old kitchen floor tiles. I love the pattern but it never occurred to me that it might be asbestos and therefor poisonous. A few of the tiles at thresholds are breaking apart so now I'm concerned. Your help will be most appreciated. The first part of my house was built in 1900, the kitchen was added sometime after that but remodeled as we have seen older tile beneath the cabinets. So I really have no way to know but I thing I may have seen a similar pattern in the 1973 Armstrong section of your website. - N.C. 3/1/2013
N.C. this [PHOTO NEEDED] is not a flooring pattern I've seen before - which reminds us of the enormous variety of flooring designs that have been manufactured over the last 100 years or so. You didn't say if this was sheet flooring or individual tiles.
I have posted the image here because the solid color inset design is characteristic of many Kentile floor products.
Short of having a sample tested, it would be reasonable to treat the floor as PACM - presumed asbestos containing material. You used the word "poisonous" which is not quite how I'd put it, and you don't want to panic lest you become victimized by an aggressive contractor.
Take a look at ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION.
Thank you for your response and advise. My floor is individual 9" tiles that have been cut diagonally and paired dark mottled grey with light mottled grey. A center triangle is cut out so when pieced together to form a 9" square there is a 3" solid red or solid grey square pieced in the middle of the two diagonally cut 9" tiles. I think it must have been a custom tile job at the time made with individually cut tiles. I don't want to take it out, I love the floor.
I was originally trying to figure out how best to preserve and restore it. I couldn't hope to duplicate this very original floor. If, based on my new description, your able to identify the year and manufacturer of my tiles, I would be interested to know. I am fine with our conversation being used to help others and only ask that my email etc. be kept private as you stated. - N.C.
think it should be easy to preserve the floor as long as it remains well glued down. Non- abrasive cleaning followed by a clear non- yellowing sealant should work.
See the flooring cleaner & sealant products we tried at ASBESTOS FLOORING LEFT IN PLACE
Reader Question: found boxes of Kentile Flooring
I have been reading your site with great interest as we've recently moved into a home that was custom built in 1957. It seems to have a significant amount of tiles that may very well contain asbestos---though the condition of the tiles is excellent and intact.
If I was reading correctly, your site mentions you'd like to have more photos of Kentiles for examples? I have a box of samples the original owners left in our home: A Box of 23 samples of Kentile and 21 samples of KenRoyal tiles...which seems to be a much brighter and slicker type of tile. The KenRoyal states on the box that it's a 'vinyl tile', while the KenTile states it is 'The Asphalt tile of enduring beauty'. (I understand both probably contain asbestos.)
If you're interesting in having photos of these, we could probably supply them/email them to you if they can help someone else.
We also have a lot of very small, mosaic-type tiles we're actually trying to preserve in a lot of the house. The original blueprints refer to these as 'Flex-o-tile' - tiny sea-green/sea-blue tiles laid directly into the concrete slab. Almost all are intact over a large area and we're hoping to preserve them/save them from glued-down carpet padding/carpet---presumably laid-down in the '70's. We're sad to suspect the Flex-o-Tile might also contains asbestos, though we believe we can preserve the tiles without too much disruption.
Question: Once we're able to clean the padding/glue from the Flex-o-Tiles (very large areas)....is there some way we can seal these areas to 'protect the tiles and us' further?
Thank you for such an extensive site. I haven't even read all of it yet, but know we'll be learning more as we go along. - A.K. & B.S. Charleston IL, 3/24/13
Yes a collection of sharp high-resolution photos of the Kentile samples you've got would be invaluable to other readers needing to identify the product. It would be helpful to also know the dimensions (typically 9x9" or 12x12" but some Kentile inserts were pre-cut to other sizes and shapes).
About cleaning mosaic tiles, do you mean ceramic tiles?
Reader Question: suspected Kentile Flooring
My husband and I are renovating our home built in 1980. We began demolition on our kitchen which had a ceramic tile floor. After a good amount of demolition was done, we noticed there was vinyl flooring underneath the ceramic floors. We stopped demo completely and had the vinyl flooring tested as it was starting to crumble. You can see by the photo that we covered up the exposed flooring with a plastic tarp.
[Note: this is most likely an Armstrong vinyl-asbestos floor sample, not Kentile - Ed.]
The tiles are made by Kentile--labeled on the back with company name only--and I'm assuming they were made anytime from the late seventies through 1980. We did some research before finding a lab and your website was extremely helpful. We found out that Kentile made vinyl asbestos flooring through 1986 and it was very likely our flooring contained some amount.
After testing, it was determined that our tile contained a trace amount of asbestos and a trace amount of chrysotile. This lab considers a trace amount as less than 1%. My husband and I are going to complete the demo ourselves but we will use the proper equipment, protective gear and proper disposal.
Thank you for all the wonderful information your website provides. It really helped us decide a plan of action for our demolition. Please use our story and our photo to help others determine what flooring they might have. - J.S. 5/10/13
J.S. the flooring in your photo is probably an Armstrong vinyl asbestos floor tile product. You can see similar patterns at
I agree that it makes perfect sense to treat the material as if it contained asbestos, using recommended procedures (we provide those at INspectAPedia) - I would not assume that the lab result was comprehensive; for example, tile mastic can also contain asbestos, and I'm also a little uncertain about the lab result. In asbestos containing flooring in my experience there is either a significant amount of asbestos in fiber or powder filler form or both, or there is none detected. I'm not sure how the lab came up with "trace amount". This does NOT mean panic, just be careful.
Reader question: Identify these floor tiles in boxes?
I removed the flooring myself and now I have learned it may have asbestos. How do I tell and am I or my children in any danger because of this? - L.W. 6/22/13
Your photo shows a bunch of what looks like vinyl tiles in boxes outdoors; from the photo I'm doubtful anyone could or even should try to identify exactly what tile this is, nor assert whether the tile in the photo (or other unseen flooring in your house) has asbestos or not.
If you knew the age of the flooring in the home (prior to early 80's) it would be reasonable (and safe) to treat the flooring as presumed asbestos-containing floor tile (PACM).
If you recognized a specific tile pattern in our online photo guide to asbestos tile you would know more certainly just what's probably there (some look like others);
Or you'd need to send a sample to a certified asbestos test lab (we list those contacts too at InspectApedia);
For a floor that is in place, intact, and is not being ground up or smashed about by demolition the level of risk is probably below the limits of detection.
If you search InspectApedia.com for "asbestos floor tile hazard reduction" you'll see expert advice on what to do to minimize the hazard from asbestos containing floor tiles or PACM.
If your flood-damaged flooring is loose or damaged and has to be removed and you want to minimize risk of possible asbestos content, also see these three articles
Reader Question: is this brick pattern flooring Kentile?
Great website and a terrific resource. I’ve attached a picture of 9 x 9 floor tiles – I don’t know the brand – I’m guessing Ken-Tile -- but they’re vinyl tiles made to look like brick. They’re from an existing part of my house that was probably built in the 1970s or 80s. Any idea whether they contain asbestos? - H.C. 7/4/2013
Indeed there were some asbestos-containing floor tiles that looked like brick. Depending on the age of yours, that could be the case as well.
Incidentally I don't think this is a Kentile product - I've not found brick patterns in that line, (though they may have existed.)
Reader follow-up: testing confirms asbestos content in brick pattern floor tiles - but less than 1% ?
Thanks for your response. I thought you might like to know that I had these tiles analyzed by TEM and they contain less than one percent of asbestos
Perhaps that information could be useful to someone somewhere! - H.C.
What surprises me is that I would expect vinyl floor tiles to either have zero detected asbestos in their makeup or a rather high amount - far more than 0.5% = 1/2 of 1%. When used in tile production asbestos was used in powder form as a filler and also in fibrous form apparently as a strengthener in high percentages. Such products might have 70-80% crocidolites.
Yours is the second lab report I've learned about that came back with what amounts to an infitesimally small asbestos content. One wonders if there is a cross-contamination issue, a lab being cautious to never give a "zero" result out of liability concern, or if there really is an asbestos based floor tile with so little asbestos comment. When time permits I will research this further.
Some citations of interest include
If you don't object I'll publish this photo and discussion for further reader and expert comment - keeping your ID and info private of course.
Yes – feel free to publish whatever you think will help people. And I’ve attached an additional photo if that would be helpful.
Of course, as a homeowner, my concern is the removal of those tiles – two environmental consultants I spoke with said the health risk of doing so was virtually nonexistent. We’ll still take the necessary precautions – wetting the material, minimizing breakage, and venting as we remove the tiles.
I've been told we have Kentile vinyl tile in our kitchen 8 x 8 squares, "Satillio Natural" color (terra cotta color). I was told they are commercial grade, would have been installed when the home was built in 1985, and will still be in great shape 30 years from now. (Just need periodic waxing).
What are the chances they contain some asbestos?
There's no way they can be taken up from the concrete slab. Should they be covered over with porcelain tile to seal the asbestos away from people? - Sarah 7/10/11
Sarah asbestos may be in Kentile flooring including yours. If you come across an extra tile or a broken fragment it's inexpensive to have a certified asbestos lab test it for you but in this case it is reasonable to assume the tiles contain asbestos.
In residential application you can
Watch out: Don't run power tools, grinders, saws, or steel wool buffers; don't let an idiot try demolition, creating a dusty contaminated mess.
See detailed advice in the article linked to at page top and titled ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION
Also see the article titled ASBESTOS FLOORING REMOVAL GUIDE where we discuss using a floor rejuvenator product on vinyl asbestos flooring
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