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Armstrong vinyl asbestos floor tiles 1955 (catalog photo)Asphalt Asbestos & Vinyl Asbestos Floor Tiles & Sheet Identification Photos
1951-1959 & Through the 1980's
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Photo guide to asphalt asbestos and vinyl asbestos floor tiles, 1900 -1986:

This article provides a guide to identifying asphalt-asbestos flooring (1917 - ca 1960) & vinyl asbestos floor tile (ca 1952 - 1986): identification photographs, product names, styles, colors, and vinyl-asbestos floor patterns, and colors for asbestos-containing floor tile products made between about 1930 and 1986 - flooring materials that are reported to or have been confirmed to contain asbestos in asbestos fiber or asbestos powder-filler form.

These flooring products typically contain chrysotile asbestos, and possibly other asbestos forms.



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How to Identify Asphalt & Vinyl Asbestos based Floor Coverings & Floor Tiles 1900 - 1986 begins here

Asphalt asbestos-like floor tiles, probably Armstrong 1940-1955 (C) Inspectapedia.comAsphalt-Asboestos resilient floor tiles Manufacturers, Brands, Styles, Photo Guide

How to Find Your Floor Tile or Sheet Flooring in this Flooring Reference Photo Guide

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.

The brown and marble patterned asphalt-based floor tiles shown in our photograph are almost certainly an asphalt-asbestos floor tile from the 1940's or 1950's, probably an Armstrong flooring pattern. Asphalt-based floor tiles pre-dated vinyl-based floor tiles and were usually of much darker background colors.

[Click to enlarge any image] Shown below are examples of vinyl-asbestos floor tiles.

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.

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress Asbestos-containing Floor Tile Identification in 4 Steps

Occasionally we can find extra floor tiles stored in an attic, basement, or garage. An earlier owner or perhaps the floor installer left these for future repairs. Take a look at the packaging, box brand, label, floor tile style or pattern. Often the manufacturer and product or serial number can identify flooring in exquisite detail. If you do not have this information, as you usually won't, try the four steps given below, combined with a look through the various asphalt or vinyl asbestos floor tile manufacturer's ID guides given in this article series.

  1. Flooring age: determine or guess at the building age, years when remodeling was done, year when flooring was installed, consider number of layers and layer materials.

    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.
  2. General Floor Tile pattern and size: match against pattern guides starting here and by looking at other manufacturer-guides we offer in our master index
  3. Dominant Floor Tile colors: can confirm a floor tile age, style, and manufacturer
  4. Lab testing of flooring for asbestos content: if you face a costly dusty messy demolition it may be appropriate to have a sample of the flooring tested. Our article index includes contact information for certified asbestos test labs in your country.

If you can identify your floor tile collection name or model number, or if you recognize it in the extensive library of flooring color and pattern photographs provided in these pages, laboratory testing of the sample to screen the flooring for asbestos may be unnecessary. Our home page for asbestos-containing floor tiles is at ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE PHOTO ID GUIDE

To send us photographs of possible asbestos-containing flooring that you are trying to identify, use the email address found at the page top or bottom CONTACT link.

How to Identify Floor Tile or Sheet Flooring that May Contain Asbestos

How to Identify Determine the Age of Asbestos-Containing Floor Tiles, Sheet Flooring & Related Floor Covering Products: If you know the brand or manufacturer of your flooring use the brand name link in the list given just below.

Asbestos floor tile 1959 (C) InspectAPedia.com JM Asbestos floor tile 1959 (C) InspectAPedia.com JM

[Click to enlarge any image]

Reader Question: are these asbestos-containing floor tiles?

I recently acquired a house that was built in 1956. There is some tiling upstairs (red 9"x9" tiles) & downstairs (green 9"x9" tiles), not sure if they were put in when the house was built or later. Would you be able to tell me what kind of tiles these are and if they contain asbestos? - J.M. 9 August 2015

Reply: standard advice for flooring presumed to contain asbestos.

Those look like Armstrong Excelon asbestos-containing flooring from the 1950's - start at 1950-1959 ARMSTRONG EXCELON FLOOR TILE GUIDE.

Your photos may be a bit color shifted but take a look at very similar Armstrong Execlon tiles in white (such as SENECA WHITE ), green (OSAGE GREEN) and red shages given in the article below or in the subsequent decade 1960-1969 ARMSTRONG EXCELON FLOOR TILE GUIDE.

ADVICE: For buildings with floor tiles or sheet flooring that can be assumed to have been installed in North America before 1986 it would be prudent to treat the flooring as "PACM" or "Presumed Asbestos Containing Material".

That does not mean we should panic nor undertake an expensive and dangerous asbestos removal project.

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.

Generally the safest approach is to leave such flooring alone and to cover it over with a coating or with another layer of flooring.

If you do not know the brand name of your flooring you can take a quick look at example photos of the product line of each manufacturer given at MORE READING below.

If you cannot find a matching floor covering identification photo and description in these photo guides, you can use the email found at our page bottom CONTACT link to contact us to send photographs or other information about your flooring and if you wish we can publish that information
at ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE PHOTO ID REQUESTS to invite help from other readers.

Many of the colors and patterns of asphalt-asbestos or vinyl-asbestos floor tiles were manufactured over many years and may appear in more than one of the floor tile photo collections listed by date range here.

For each year we list the names of the tile patterns sold during that year, we include representative color images of the floor tiles, and throughout the entire floor tile pattern & color history series we include each floor tile color & pattern of the floor tile in the first year that it appeared , and we include representative colors and patterns in other years.

Examples of floor tile packaging, labeling, and other information can be found throughout the flooring photo collections listed here.

Armstrong Asphalt Floor Tiles - 1950's to 1980's Compared to Contemporary Vinyl Flooring Products

Armstrong asphalt-based floor tileArmstrong produced asphalt-based floor tiles, possibly including asbestos in their formulation, before 1952 and in later years as we indicate with examples and photographs in the detailed photo guide that is found below.

For more information about these older flooring types, see Asphalt & Vinyl Floor Tile History - history, dates, and description of the production process and ingredients in asphalt floor tiles, asphalt-asbestos floor tiles, & vinyl-asbestos floor tiles 1900 to present. Kentile flooring produced through 1986 may contain asbestos.

Also 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. "The first publicized installation of asphalt tile was in the Western Union office in New York City (1920). By the end of 1930, 3 million square yards of tile was being produced annually.

Below in this document we provide detailed year-by-year photos of Armstrong asphalt or vinyl-asbestos flooring products from 1952 to 1982. Records show that many but not all flooring products produced during these years, including 9" floor tiles, 12" floor tiles, peel-and-stick floor tiles, and sheet flooring indeed contain asbestos.

Later Armstrong flooring products, for example Armstrong's Accoflex 2005 series semi-flexible vinyl tile sold (at least) in the U.K. were produced from " ground limestone bound with polymers, plasticizers, and stabilizers, and colored by pigments" not including asbestos.

At FLOOR, RESILIENT VINYL or CORK we discuss the choices, selection and installation details for contemporary vinyl and other resilient flooring products.

Armstrong Vinyl-Asbestos Floor Tile Photo ID Catalog - 1951 - 1986

Armstrong floor tile - Rosato (C) Daniel Friedman

Our reproduction of vinyl-asbestos floor tile patterns and colors below selected representative images of each style or floor tile identification pattern in which tiles were produced.

Within each pattern there were various colors available as well. By minimizing repetition of patterns and colors, across the set of years we show at least one example of nearly every pattern and color produced for these floor tiles.

Our photo (left) from Rosato (cited at REFERENCES), shows an Armstrong asphalt floor tile installation.

On occasion, the original flooring packaging or installation literature may be available for a given home: often an extra box of floor tiles was kept for future repairs.

The vinyl-asbestos floor tile package label information, combined with a simple comparison of tiles in the package with tiles installed in the building may be sound confirmation of asbestos-containing materials. See VINYL ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE PACKAGING.

Historical information about the dates of flooring installation may also be sufficient to rule in or out the possibility that flooring in a building contains asbestos.

Vinyl asbestos flooring Poughkeepsie NY (C) Daniel Friedman

Where the same floor style pattern was produced for multiple years, in subsequent years we show other colors in which the tile pattern was made. Just scroll through this vinyl asbestos floor tile photo guide to find the first occurrence of each floor tile style, pattern, name, dimensions, and colors.

Or if you know the approximate year that your floor was installed you can scroll down to that very year in our photo library.

It is instructive to take a close look at our tile photos from 1973 and 1974. Some floor tile colors and patterns, especially among the "standard" tiles, include both asphalt-based tiles and vinyl-asbestos tiles that look quite alike. But the combination of color, pattern, and size can help distinguish among these.

For example, "Standard Pattern" floor tiles were produced in both vinyl-asbestos form and in an asphalt tile without asbestos in 1973. But asphalt-based tiles that did not contain asbestos were produced in 1973 only in 9"x9". So flooring made for that year and particular pattern, the tile size provides important information.

Watch out: Because flooring products may have been produced in years earlier than the year of installation, don't assume that a floor installed in a building built shortly after 1980 could not possibly contain vinyl-asbestos product.

As we warned just above, don't assume that only "vinyl asbestos floor tiles" include asbestos.

Armstrong Floor Tile Photo Identification Guide 1950 - 1959

Armstrong accoflex flooring, old

Armstrong Accoflex, [Estimated 1950's] - Contain Asbestos?

Above is an excerpt from a 1950's era Armstrong Accoflex "easy-lay" floor tiles advertising poster. These tiles may contain asbestos. [Research in process].

1951 Armstrong Asphalt Asbestos Floor Tiles Patterns & Color Guide, 9"x9"x1/8"

According to Armstrong vinyl-asbestos floor tiles such as those shown here were produced by the company from 1951 through 1973.

These examples illustrate two shades of Palimino Beige 9"x9"x1/8"-thick asphalt-asbestos tile (AAT) whose asbestos content has been confirmed by asbestos test lab results generoudsly provided along with these photographs by reader L.R. (October 2012).[25]

Our own field work has found that this tile pattern, in a range of colors illustrated below, was enormously popular and can still be found installed in thousands of homes built betweeen 1951 and the early 1970's.

The most common colors we have found include the beige shades shown below along with green, white, black, and Apache red illustrated further below.

Armstrong vinyl asbestos floor tile Palimino Beige C913 & C926 with original packaging & asbestos content specifications Armstrong vinyl asbestos floor tile Palimino Beige C913 & C926 with original packaging & asbestos content specifications

The Armstrong Pecan Beige asphalt asbestos floor tile illustrated at above left (pattern C-913) has been confirmed by independent testing to contain about 10% asbestos while the Armstrong Palimino Beige asphalt floor tile (above right, pattern C-926) was confirmed at 6.4% asbestos.

Armstrong vinyl asbestos floor tile Palimino Beige C913 & C926 with original packaging & asbestos content specifications

Our photo, courtesy of reader L.N. illustrates the original packaging usef for Armstrong asphalt floor tiles - Armstrong Asphalt Floor Tile, produced by Armstrong’s Cork division.

The tile pattern identified as C-926 Palimon Beige corresponds to the tile photograph at above right, a 1/8" gauge asphalt asbestos floor tile.

These tiles are mostly asphalt with the percentages of asbestos given above, as tested by the reader's asbestos lab. Armstrong has indicated that  that these tiles almost certainly contained asbestos but  they said that as long as  the tiles are not ground or sanded there should not be a detectable asbestos hazard in residential use.

See ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION for recommendations useful for leaving this flooring in place, or

see ASBESTOS REMOVAL, Wetting Guidelines if your asbestos-suspect or presumed-asbestos-containing flooring is in very poor condition or has to be removed.

1952 - 1953 - Armstrong Excelon Plastic Asbestos Floor Tiles, Patterns & Color Guide

Definition & Composition o fAsphalt based asbestos resilient floor tiles

Asphalt asbestos floor tiles (AAT) refers to resilient flooring that was asphalt based. While thicknesses vary, most often if the floor tiles are 1/8" thick and are of this vintage you will find that they have an asphalt and asbestos base.

Definition & Composition of Vinyl based asbestos resilient floor tiles

Vinyl asbestos floor tiles (VAT) refers to resilient flooring whose basic binding material was a vinyl plastic, replacing asphalt as the primary ingredient.

The 1954 catalog refers to the existence of at least a 1952 version of this vinyl-asbestos resilient floor tile product:

"Federal Specfications - Interim Federal Specifications No. L T 751 (GSA-FSS) dated March 18, 1952, defines Armstrong's Excelon Tile and other similar plastic asbstos tiles as Type I Semi Flexible Vinyl Plastic Floor Tile. ...
... the thermoplastic binder of a viny plastic floor tile shall consist of only a limited group of certain specific types of polyvinyl chloride resins despite the fact that a wide range of vinyl resins could be used. ...
... note that while Excelon Tile does not the exact material composition of Interim Specifications No. L T 751, it does meet all the physical tests listed."

1954 - Armstrong Excelon Plastic Asbestos Floor Tiles, Patterns & Color Guide

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

and more from 1954

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Library of vinyl asbestos floor tile and flooring strip images from 1954 - 1980, Armstrong and others.

1955 - Armstrong Excelon Vinyl Plastic Asbestos Floor Tiles, Patterns & Color Guide

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Armstrong asphalt asbestos floor tile Osage Green (C) InspectApedia.com

Above - probably Armstrong asphalt asbestos floor tile in pattern and color OSAGE GREEN 780.

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

[Click to enlarge any image]

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

1956 - Armstrong Excelon Vinyl Plastic Asbestos 9 x 9 Floor Floor Tiles, Patterns & Color Guide

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

1957 - Armstrong Excelon Vinyl Asbestos Floor Floor Tiles, Patterns & Color Guide

For colors for which a link is not provided below, see the earlier occurrence of that tile color in a previous year.

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Armstrong vinyl asbestos floor tile Pattern C-993 Sandrift

Shown above, Armstrong spatter pattern vinyl asbestos floor tile 9" x 9" x 1/8" thick in Pattern C-993 Sandrift, contributed by reader T.O. who comments

The side of the box is where the Armstrong logo is. I did find it in a 1957 Armstrong catalog online by looking for C-993.

This spatter pattern floor tile was produced most likely through the 1950s and probably into the 1960's. Box labeling indicates that this product was distributed by the Black & White Tile Mart, 7440 W. Capitol, Milwaukee WI. Other manufacturers also produced spatter-pattern flooring including those shown at KENTILE KENFLEX ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE GUIDE

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

1958 - Armstrong Excelon Vinyl Asbestos Floor Floor Tiles, Patterns & Color Guide

For colors for which a link is not provided below, see the earlier occurrence of that tile color in a previous year.

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

1959 - Armstrong Excelon Floor Vinyl Plastic Asbestos Floor Tiles, 9" x 9"

For colors for which a link is not provided below, see the earlier occurrence of that tile color in a previous year.

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photo U.S. Library of Congress

Asphalt or Vinyl Asbestos Floor Tiles Color Guide

Armstrong and other floor tile or sheet flooring manufacturers often offered several patterns with a particular dominant color that can help quickly identify the flooring brand and style. We include some examples at ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION COLOR KEY - separate article.

Key to Thicknesses or Gauges of Vinyl-Asbestos Floor Tiles & Floor Tile Application or Usage by Thickness

Vinyl asbestos floor tile guide

Vinyl Asbestos Floor Tile Thickness & Usage Guide

Shown at above left is a vinyl-asbestos floor specification summary and usage guide from 1959 - Armstrong.

...


Continue reading at 1960-1969 ARMSTRONG EXCELON FLOOR TILE GUIDE or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see 1951-1959 ARMSTRONG FLOOR TILE FAQs - questions & answers posted originally at this article

Or see FLOOR TILE / SHEET FLOORING PHOTO GUIDES - list of photo guides

Or see ARMSTRONG SHEET FLOORING 1960 - 1980 for identification photos of Armstrong-brand sheet flooring, resilient flooring or "linoleum" like floor coverings.

Or see ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION COLOR KEY

Or see ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION

Or see ASBESTOS FLOORING REMOVAL GUIDE

IF you are faced with a requirement for demolition and if you are uncertain about the flooring's asbestos content and cannot identify it through our guides, then you have a sample tested.
See ASBESTOS TESTING LAB LIST

Suggested citation for this web page

ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION PHOTOS by YEAR - home at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES: ARTICLE INDEX to ARTICLE INDEX to ASBESTOS HAZARDS

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