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Asbestos suspect floor tile in the U.K. ca 1950-1955 (C) InspectApedia.com JDJ Identify U.K. Floor Tiles That May Contain Asbestos
Possible Asbestos-Containing Flooring ID Requests for the U.K.
Examples of 9" U.K. floor tiles that do not contain asbestos

  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to identify asbestos-containing flooring materials and what to do when asbestos-containing floor tiles or sheet flooring are found in a building.

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Photo ID guide to U.K. asbestos-containing flooring products & examples of U.K. flooring that does not contain asbestos.

This article provides flooring identification requests & photographs & discussion of UK flooring tiles or cottage tiles that may contain asbestos as well as a photo example of non-asbestos flooring.

We also discuss the types of asbestos (chrysotile & amosite) commonly found in asphalt-asbestos and vinyl-asbestos floor tiles and compare that with crocidolite abestos found in ceiling tiles and spray-fire-resistant coatings.

This information will assist home owners or tenants in determining if their floors contain asbestos and then to decide what to do about floors in poor condition.

This article series includes a photo-gallery of pictures of floor coverings submitted for identification along with comments on findings, recommendations, & asbestos content. Readers can use the page top or bottom CONTACT link to ubmit photos of flooring to get help in identifying floor tiles or sheet flooring that might contain asbestos.

We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.

Asbestos-Containing Flooring in the U.K. & Non-Asbestos U.K. Floor Tiles & Sheet Flooring Identification

Asbestos suspect floor tile in the U.K. ca 1950-1955 (C) InspectApedia.com JDJIn the U.K. buildings constructed or renovated before 2000 may have included asbestos-containing products such as drywall, plasterboard, pipe insulation, or vinyl or asphalt-based floor tile or sheet flooring.

According to the U.K.'s Health and Safety Executive, Large amounts of asbestos were used in new and refurbished buildings before 2000. Blue (crocidolite) and brown (amosite) asbestos were banned by law in 1985.

Manufacture and supply of all asbestos was banned by the end of 1999.

Existing asbestos articles can continue in use until they reach the end of their service life. (HSE 2017 cited below).

In the U.K. people who worked in construction, plastering, roofing contractors, pipe fitters, and people who worked in the shipbuilding industry up to the 1980's are at higher risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma than are others.

Note that even if asbestos-containing material such as asphalt or vinyl-asbestos flooring is present in your building, that does not necessarily mean that you must or even should remove it. The least-risky course for flooring in good condition is to leave it alone, in place, covering it over with new material.

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.

Article Series Contents:

Shown here: asphalt and vinyl based floor tiles and sheet flooring in U.K. homes. For some of these flooring photos we can confirm that the material does or does not contain asbestos.

Other flooring images are shown as possibly-containing asbestos pending lab test results or other information that we post here.

[Click to enlarge any image]

UK Flooring Before 1960 Possible Asbestos

Glasgow 9x9 floor tile, possibly asbestos (C) InspectApedia.com TTTQuestion: Does this old 9x9 floor tile in our Glasgow Home contain asbestos?

was hoping you might be able to tell me if this vinyl tile which was placed over our oak floor boards could be dangerous?

I didn't realise this was a possibility until I had picked them all up. I don't recognise it from the guides so I'm hoping it's ok.

The house was built in 1890 in Glasgow, Scotland but it was converted into 2 homes some point and we don't know when, more than 40 years ago, possibly 50 years, we don't know.

The tiles are 9x9 inches and we have no idea how to date them. - Anonymous by private email 2017/11/08

Reply:

I've not seen the pattern in your Glasgow flooring. I'll post it here to invite comment from other readers may have seen it. Readers: use the page top or bottom CONTACT link to send us email or use the page bottom Comments box on this page.

Most-often vinyl floor tiles like the one you sent date from the 1970's or later. Sometimes a search of magazine ads from the period will help us find a floor pattern, as might a research of flooring distributors in Glasgow from say 1950 - 1980

1955-60 Asbestos-Containing Flooring in the U.K.

Reader Question: Do you think these U.K. floor tiles contain asbestos?

I've come across your useful website and would be really grateful if you might be able to answer some questions? The questions related to a house that we have just put an offer on. We are based in the U.K.

Firstly, I was wondering if you'd be able to confirm my suspicions that the following floor tiles might contain asbestos? - [Anon by private email, 12 Aug 2015

Asphalt & vinyl asbestos UK Flooring from 1955-1959

Asbestos suspect floor tile in the U.K. ca 1950-1955 (C) InspectApedia.com JDJ

Both bedrooms contain this flooring:

Asbestos suspect floor tile in the U.K. ca 1950-1955 (C) InspectApedia.com JDJ

Kitchen flooring (U.K. 1955-59)

Asbestos suspect floor tile in the U.K. ca 1950-1955 (C) InspectApedia.com JDJ

Bathroom flooring (U.K. 1970's)

Asbestos suspect floor tile in the U.K. ca 1950-1955 (C) InspectApedia.com JDJ

Reply: treat older UK vinyl & asphalt based floor tiles as presumed to contain asbestos

Yes especially those darker floor tiles that look like asphalt-based flooring.

What can you tell me about the building location, age, and probable floor covering age?

Reader follow-up:

... the building is located in London and we believe that it was constructed sometime between 1955 and 1959.

Pretty much everything in the flat is very close to original and we're pretty sure that all the darker flooring is original. I'm not sure about the kitchen flooring (i.e whether grey like that was a 50s colour) and the flooring in the bathroom looks to be 70s I'd say.

Reply:

The UK Asbestos (Prohibitions) (Amendment) regulations came into force on November 24, 1999 (The E.U. followed in 2004). Chrysotile (white asbestos) had been permitted in the UK. Amosite and crocidolite forms of asbestos were banned in in the U.K. in 1985.

Statutory Instrument No. 2373 banned the import of crude fiber, flake, powder or waste chrysotile and the new use of asbestos cement, boards, panels, tiles and other products. Chrysotile-containing products installed prior to November 24, 1999 could remain in place until they reached the end of their service life.

The sale of second-hand asbestos cement products and building materials with asbestos-containing coatings was forbidden. - excerpted and paraphrased from : Kazan-Allen. L. United Kingdom Bans Chrysotile. British Asbestos Newsletter, Issue 36: Autumn 1999.

Given that the U.K. didn't completely ban asbestos until 1999 though most forms were banned in 1985 - about the same period as in North America: my advice follows:

For buildings with floor tiles or sheet flooring that can be assumed to have been installed in the U.K. before 1999 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.

On any of our asbestos-related InspectApedia pages, at More Reading you will find a complete ARTICLE INDEX to ASBESTOS HAZARDS
See in that list of articles these two in particular:

ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION

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

See more U.K. asbestos-containing floor tile examples at AMITCO ASBESTOS FLOOR TILES

Reader follow-up: how to handle damaged but adhered asbestos-suspect floor tiles

... do you think that the damaged tile looks to be heading towards a friable state? All other examples of damaged tiles that I've seen look to be split in a brittle 'candy' manner or completely loose from there backing, whereas this is more dented / worn.

It'd be great if I could just fill the damage and then floor over it. I think it's the only damaged tile that we could find in the place. - J.J. 13 Aug 2015

Reply:

You will want to remove tile fragments that are not adhered to the floor below, then you can use a fil k er, floor leveling compound, or install a layer of solid underlayment then flooring tiles or sheet flooring, or underlayment paper then a floating laminate or engineered floor.

Just how you treat that floor surface (sealer, leveling compound, cover with underlayment, cover with rosin paper) depends on what type of new floor you intend to install over-top the old asbestos-containing flooring.

Detailed suggestions are at the floor hazard reduction and floor removal article links just above. To be clear, if the broken or cracked floor tiles are still well bonded to the subfloor below you can leave them in place.

Reader Question: What should I Do about this 1960 UK Flooring that Contains Chrysotile Asbestos?

UK flooring from 1960 confirmed to contain Chrysotile asbestos (C) InspectApedia.com  RS

I recently purchased a home in UK that was built in 1960 . The pre-purchase survey indicated that the tiles in the kitchen likely contained asbestos. We later had an asbestos survey done and the lab results confirmed that the tiles contained chrysotile. He said it was very low risk.

Today, a gas engineer came by to disconnect and cap the gas pipe to an old, unused cooker. The pipe was very hard to remove and the cooker moved a bit on the ground and scratched the floor tiles.

When I noticed it I took a damp paper towel and put it on top of it.

After the engineer left, I decided to vacuum the paint that came off the gas pipe when it was removed. To my horror, a loose asbestos tile lifted and stuck to the end of the vacuum hose. It may have come loose when the person dropped their wrench.

I immediately turned off the vacuum and covered the tile with a wet paper towel. When I returned home, I cleaned the vacuum outside and noticed a one square inch piece fell out of the tube.

This is where the piece came off:

UK flooring from 1960 confirmed to contain Chrysotile asbestos (C) InspectApedia.com  RS

I have two questions.

  1. Based on the pictures above, how dangerous is the exposure? I didn't expect the tile to come off so I didn't wear any protection.
  2. Should I get rid of the vacuum?

If this question requires a payment, I can do that. Thanks for your help.

- Anonymous by private email 2017/03/02

Reply:

OPINION: The small amount of damage shown in your photos (scrape and a broken section of flooring) are not, in my opinion, likely to produce a detectable level of airborne asbestos in your home. That's also the case for handling a single piece of flooring that broke away.

For peace of mind, I would damp wipe the vacuum exterior, remove, bag and dispose of the vacuum's interior bag, damp wipe the vacuum interior, dispose of the wipes, and install a new vacuum cleaner bag. Rinse the vac hose if it's a plastic hose that can be so treated.

For still more peace of mind, if you want to be still more meticulous, dispose of each damp wipe as it's wiped, don't use the same wipe over again on multiple surfaces, and first run the vac outdoors to let any remaining dust blow outside. It's doubtful that even that will produce a detectable / hazardous level of dust.

If the remaining flooring is sound, and if you avoid chopping, grinding, sanding, or otherwise making a dusty mess, the floor is best left alone - that's the safest approach .

See also ASBESTOS FLOORING LEFT IN PLACE

Reader Question: How can I Submit a Floor Tile Photo for Identification

(Apr 3, 2014) Anonymous said:

How can I submit a photo of a tile to see if it might contain asbestos?

Reply:

Sure, Anon, just use the email found at our CONTACT link seen at the top or bottom of any InspectApedia.com page - but it may not be necessary.

If you've got vinyl or asphalt floor tiles installed before the early 1980's it would make sense to treat them as presumed to contain asbestos (PACM or "Presumed Asbestos Containing Material") - and to avoid making a dusty demolition, sawing, grinding mess.

If you have tried looking through our example flooring photos by year or flooring manufacturer and were unable to identify your flooring then feel free to CONTACT US to send along photos and a description (age, dimensions, building history) of flooring that you are unable to identify.

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

Wood-Grain Pattern 9" U.K. Floor Tiles ca 1963 that Do Not Contain Asbestos

Reader inquiry about asbestos in UK floor tiles::

Recently purchased a property in London and pulled up the carpets to find these tiles. They measure 9 x 9. The property dates from 1888 and I know they were definitely laid prior to 1963.

Is it likely they contain asbestos? - Anon by private email 11/1/2017

London floor tile that does not contain asbestos 9x9" before 1963 (C) InspectApedia.com DR London floor tile that does not contain asbestos 9x9" before 1963 (C) InspectApedia.com DR

Reply: possibly, up to 1999 flooring in the UK could contain asbestos; need lab test to know for certain

The UK Asbestos (Prohibitions) (Amendment) regulations came into force on November 24, 1999 (The E.U. followed in 2004).

So the flooring could contain abestos but I add that in hearing from other U.K. readers, it is certainly the case that not all pre-1999 vinyl flooring in the UK contained asbestos. You'd need to have a certified asbestos test lab to know for sure.

In any event, if the floor is well-adhered, usually you can cover over the floor as an approach with the least possible hazard.... [Our original email reply contained additional advice and asbestos haard reduction article links.]

The photographs shown just above illustrate a 9" vinyl floor tile installed in a London home before 1963.

Reader follow-up: no asbestos found in this UK flooring

According our reader (Anon) who submitted these photos, later asbestos tests performed by a U.K. asbestos testing lab found that this flooring did not contain asbestos. She wrote:

Great news! No asbestos detected in tile or glue.

Still, readers dealing with older floor coverings should do what you can to avoid making a dusty mess as in any case exposure to high levels of demolition dust can be harmful, asbestos or no.

Possible Asbestos in Asphalt / Vinyl Floor Tiles in the UK 1970-1985

Asbestos floor tile ESTIMATED as from 1970-1980 in Kent in the UK (C) InspectApedia.com  T.H.

Question: do these floor tiles in an older home in Kent contain asbestos?

Hello hope you can help identify these tiles I have noticed during the install of a new Carpet please see below many thanks in advance.\

I live in the UK. My house is a cottage which was originally built in the late 1800’s. I’m in Kent south east of England - 2018/06/12, anonymous by private email.

Reply:

Asbestos floor tile ESTIMATED as from 1970-1980 in Kent in the UK (C) InspectApedia.com  T.H. I do not recognize the exact pattern of your flooring, and can't see much of the floor tile pattern nor dimensions in your photo.

From the colour and general pattern the flooring in your photo, in a UK home, I am GUESSING that the floor would have been installed between 1965 and 1980.

As you'll read in ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION 1950's or LATER in the U.K. we have had reports of flooring of this type as early as 1963 that tested as "asbestos free".

Chrysotile had been the only type of asbestos permitted in the UK since amosite and crocidolite were banned in 1985.

And Crocidolite was the predominant form of asbestos used in UK floor tiles.

Crocidolite asbestos was widely used both in small powder particle form as a filler and in longer fibrous form as a strength reinforcement in both asphalt and vinyl floor tiles in many countries including the U.K. up to 1985.

Asbestos was used in some other forms in buildings in the UK up to 2000.

Although a UK vinyl or asphalt-based floor tile installed after 1985 is not likely to contain asbestos, it could, from "new old stock" for example. For that reason, for flooring that has not been tested or otherwise identified as asbestos-free, and for floors installed before 2000, my advice is to treat the floor as presumed to contain asbestos.

Advice for UK Floor Tiles Installed before 1986

For buildings with floor tiles that could be assumed to have been installed in the U.K. before 1986 it would be prudent to treat the flooring as "PACM" or "Presumed Asbestos Containing Material".

The presence of known asbestos-containing flooring does not mean we should panic nor that we should 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 with a coating or with another layer of flooring.

See ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION.

If your floor is basically un-damaged and well-secured to the subfloor or slab below, I would consider coating it with an epoxy sealant (see ASBESTOS FLOORING LEFT IN PLACE) or simply covering it with new sheet flooring.

If other areas of your floor (not shown in your photos) are crumbling, badly damaged, or absolutely must be removed for other reasons, 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 can not identify it through our guides, then you have a sample tested.

In that case see ASBESTOS TESTING LAB LIST

Vinyl Floor tiles in the UK after 1985 & before 2000

This topic has moved to UK FLOOR TILES AFTER 1985 BEFORE 2000

Newer U.K. Floor Tiles that Do Not Contain Asbestos - 1987-1988

This section has moved to U.K. FLOOR TILE 9x9" 1985 NOT ASBESTOS

Which forms of asbestos are most-common in Asphalt or Vinyl Asbestos Floor Tiles?

This discussion has moved to U.K. ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE COMPOSITION

Advice for Handling U.K. Flooring that May Contain Asbestos

This discussion has moved to U.K. ADVICE for POSSIBLE-ASBESTOS FLOORING - what if removal is necessary?

ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION - recommends various approaches that minimise the risk of asbestos hazards in U.K. buildings

Or for a floor that is in poor condition or that must be removed for other reasons such as renovations, 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

...


Continue reading at ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE PHOTO ID REQUESTS - home, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION 1950's or LATER - UK FAQs - questions and answers about UK flooring asbestos posted originally on this page.

Or see DUST SAMPLING PROCEDURE to collect a sample of settled dust to have tested for asbestos

Or see DOES THIS FLOOR CONTAIN ASBESTOS?

Or see FLOOR TILE / SHEET FLOORING PHOTO GUIDES

Or see ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION COLOR KEY

Or see ASBESTOS TESTING LAB LIST

Or see U.K. ASBESTOS REGULATIONS

Suggested citation for this web page

ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION 1950's or LATER in the U.K. at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES: ARTICLE INDEX to ASBESTOS HAZARDS

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