Removing/ID'ing old sheet vinyl flooring and adhesive

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by Eva76, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. Eva76

    Eva76 New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm working on remodeling the kitchen in a house I recently bought. The floor covering is what in my inexperience I would call an old floral sheet vinyl. I lifted up a corner to see what was underneath and found that it is almost completely detached from the nice hardwood underneath, and in just lifting that corner I managed to remove and rip off a large chunk without any tools or much effort at all.

    The sheet flooring itself has a greyish paper-like backing. What is left on the wood flooring underneath appears to be some sort of thin, white glue. The glue itself also appears to come up quite easily - it's flaky and hardly seems to have been attached to the sheet flooring at all. In fact, none of the paper backing stayed on the hardwood as I lifted it.

    Now, I know enough to know that I should stop ripping up old flooring without at minimum trying to identify what timeframe it's from (and ultimately testing for asbestos if it's from any time before the mid-eighties). The problem is I have no idea when that flooring was put down. While the house was built in 1941, the flooring appears to be replacement flooring and while I have heard of asbestos-backed resilient flooring I've never heard or read about flaky white glue containing asbestos.

    So I guess my question is... is there any way to identify what ERA these materials are from so I can move on to the question of whether to test or not to test... or should I just go ahead and test anyway?

    Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide.
  2. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Photos might help.
  3. Eva76

    Eva76 New Member


    Attached Files:

  4. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    testing is cheap, lungs are forever. When in doubt, test it out.
  5. Eva76

    Eva76 New Member

    I agree, although I’m not sure exactly what I would need to test. The vinyl (or whatever it is), the paper or the white stuff (glue?)? All three? Where would the asbestos be?

    Thanks for your help!
  6. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    Test the sheet goods and the adhesive. Put a decent size piece, hopefully one piece of the sheet goods with an ample amount of adhesive still on the back, in a zip lock bag and send it off.

    Could be in one or both of them or you could luck out and they are both asbestos free.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I think the product is Armstrong Sundial. Late 70's early 80"s I believe.


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  8. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    The same pattern was in an Armstrong product called Castilian, little brother to Sundial.
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  9. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    you two are amazing
  10. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    I agree with Fudd and Daris. Probably installed with lino paste. If so it'll be water soluble, probably why it is so loose.
  11. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    YA !!! I am but i don't know about Elmer though.


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  12. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    If there's asbestos in that it would be found in the "Hydrocord" backing which is like a felt paper.
  13. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Question! With all the hullabaloo about asbestos, why is it you don't hear of any installers getting sick from it? A lot of us did VAT most everyday, or laid sheet goods with it in it. Besides tearing it up.
    Just wondering.


  14. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    Good friend of mine died from lung cancer six months ago. I figure thats about all you hear
  15. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Dead men don’t talk. It takes awhile to deaden the lungs. Again, breathing anything other than clean air will kill you. I hear 1 million Chinese a year have been dying from their poor air quality. I ask my wife why they don’t put vitamins in her cigarettes. My dad died of lung cancer and we use to do tear outs in New York with floating debris. So until a visionary can scrub lungs clean meaning some type of thing designed to go into the lungs and remove contaminants there’s no reversal of damage.

    How bout breathing the twin tower dust? They “said” it was ok to breathe. The lungs do not say they said it was ok, they absorb fibers and harden the lungs. So I’m waiting for breakthroughs, nothing yet.
  16. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Lung cancer isn't the only lung disease. I've been living with COPD for over 11 years now. It's not just from smoking. A lot of things contributed to my lung disease, including the dust and fibers from removing old flooring and not wearing a mask or respirator. I also sucked in a lot of sawdust from wood and laminates, along with the fine particulates of the finishes and other coatings that are on those floors. And all that portland cement powder floating around the mixing bucket.

    My lung function is below 25% now. I didn't even know I had COPD until I had a heart attack - and didn't know I had a heart attack because they don't all express themselves in severe pain. I had stopped smoking many years before then. I had been using masks and respirators much more frequently for years before. But it sneaks up on you and then it robs you of the stamina to perform the simplest of tasks, like taking a shower, running out to the mailbox, taking the dog for a walk (and scooping the poop) and even making love.

    Asbestos isn't the only problem.
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  17. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Thanks Mike, for sending this comment and a $25.00 donation to support TFP. It will help pay this month's bills, thank you.
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  18. phil verre

    phil verre Pro Member

    Daris is correct!
    20171104_153027.jpg 20171104_153049.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  19. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    merciful cap where do you people find these things. I can't tell you the name of carpet I installed yesterday let alone 30 years ago
    • Funny Funny x 1
  20. Rob Ahlgrim

    Rob Ahlgrim Pro Member

    Google is a wonderous thing!

    That and decades (or more) of experience.

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