Kentile vinyl asbestos floor tile pattern using black, gray, and red (C) Inspectapedia (Kentile 1950's advertisement)Kentile KenFlex Vinyl-Asbestos Floor Tiles Identification Photo Guide
     

  • KENTILE KenFlex Floor Tiles - CONTENTS: extensive photo-catalog helps identify Kentile asphalt asbestos / Kentile vinyl asbestos floor tiles or other flooring that may contain asbestos fibers. Identifying photos of old or discontinued asbestos-containing Kentile floor tiles. Asbestos Kentile floor tile patterns, photos & Kentile flooring history, dates of production & Kentile KenFlex floor tile patterns. Asphalt asbestos Kentile & vinyl-asbestos Kentile or KenFlex floor tile identification and advice 1917 - 1986. Asbestos-free Kentile flooring products, 1986-1992.
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs on Identifying KenTile or KenFlex Flooring
  • REFERENCES

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Kentile Flooring identification photos, history, asbestos content:

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.

We report on both asbestos-containing Kentile flooring and later Kentiles tested and found asbestos-free.

Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2015 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.

Kentile Floors: KenFlex Asphalt-asbestos & Vinyl-Asbestos Floor Tiles - 1950's - 1986 Photo Guide

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.

Kentile flooring sample 1963 Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification Photos KenFlex KentileKenFlex 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.

At KENTILE DAMAGE WARNINGS we report on concerns when an asbestos-containing Kentile floor has been badly damaged.

In the article below at KENTILES ASBESTOS-FREE we also report on asbestos-free Kentile flooring products produced between 1986 and 1992.

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.

Kentile vinyl asbestos floor tile (C) InspectApedia Kentile vinyl asbestos floor tile (C) InspectApedia

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:

I recently bought some tile at a garage sale. It wasn’t until I was loading it and turned it over that I read the word asbestos. So now I have this tile. Is this tile safe to install? I’ve attached pictures of the box and tile. It is Kentile Vinyl Asbestos Tile 12x12 sheets in Tan Portilla (716) color. The box also has 1K298C on it. I just wanted to know if these should be disposed of or if they are safe. R.R. 9/6/13

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

Kentile vinyl asbestos floor tile (C) InspectApediaThe 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.

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:

  • Kentile (asphalt floor tiles of vinyl-asbestos floor tiles),
  • Kencork (cork floor tiles), and
  • Kenrubber (rubber floor tiles) (at least) as 9" x 9" resilient flooring including patterns and in 23 bold colors (1949) and in 26 colors (1952).

Kentile VAT flooring from a 1941 home (C) InspectApedia & J.S.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.

  • In 1949 Kentile was producing asphalt-based floor tiles.
  • In the early 1950's, Kentile produced mostly asphalt-based floor tiles but also some cork-based floor tiles.
  • In 1951 a 8' x 9' room floor cost $10.95 when it was consumer-installed.
  • In 1969 Kentile was producing vinyl sheet flooring.

Kentile green and beige floor tiles 1958

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

Kentile flooring advertisement Popular Science 1954[Click to enlarge any image]

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.]

 

...

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification Photos KenFlex Kentile Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification Photos KenFlex Kentile Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification Photos KenFlex Kentile Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification Photos KenFlex Kentile Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification Photos KenFlex Kentile Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification Photos KenFlex Kentile

  • Kentile KenFlex Crystalite Asphalt-asbestos & Vinyl-Asbestos floor tiles very popular, 1950's - 1960's.
  • Kentile MARBELIZED - a straight grain shown in a gray installed floor, above left (similar to Armstrong Straight Grain - below)
  • Kentile THEME TILES 9" x 9" x 1/8" & 3'16" thick were also produced in a variety of designs such as those shown above in groups of four shown in 3 examples beginning 2nd from left, above.
  • Kentile KENSERTS 18" x 18" x 1/8" & 3'16" thick (2nd from right, above)
  • Kentile CARNIVAL KenFlex Ovation - 9" x 9" vinyl asbestos a smaller round/ovate spatter pattern (similar to Armstrong Centennial 1961 & later (above right), but with smaller spots) e.g. Ovation 942, from August 1956 - floor tile samples were also manufactured and distributed in 3" x 3" size.
    Here is a PHOTO of what is most likely Kentile Carnival Ken-Flex Ovation pattern flooring in a 1941 home.
  • Kentile CORKTONES - (shown also below).

Kentile ca 1963 (C) D FriedmanThe brick-red solid border Kentile shown at left was observed in a Virginia home built in 1963. 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,
  • Veined Carnelian
  • Verde Antique,
  • Regular pattern,
  • Marbelized, and die-cut theme tiles and s
  • Solid color feature strips.

Kentile colors/patterns below include:

These colors and patterns are from 1949 - 1952 and appeared in Kentile advertisements in Life magazine, Popular Science, in various newspapers and other publications.

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification Photos KenFlex Kentile Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification Photos KenFlex Kentile Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification Photos KenFlex Kentile

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification Photos KenFlex Kentile Kentile cork pattern asphalt asbestos tile (C) InspectAPedia.com

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]

Kentike flooring patterns 1950's Kentile asphalt asbestos floor tile patterns


Kentike flooring patterns 1950's Kentile asphalt asbestos floor tile patterns


Kentike flooring patterns 1950's

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.

Kentile asphalt asbestos floor tile patterns

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 asphalt asbestos floor tile packaging (C) InspectApedia Kentile asphalt asbestos flooring packaging (C) InspectApedia

Kentile flooring original packaging (C) InspectApedia Kentile asphalt asbestos flooring in cork pattern with original packaging (C) InspectApedia

Kentile Theme Tiles

Here are Kentile die cut accent tiles installed in the basement.

Kentile die cut clown pattern (C) InspectApedia Sara Oshkosh Kentile die cut asphalt asbestos flooring (C) InspectAPedia Sara Oshkosh

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

Kentile die cut playing card pattern (C) InspectApedia Sarah Kentile shuffleboard die cut pattern (C) InspectApedia Sarah in Oshkosh

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

Gray speckled Kentile asphalt asbestos flooring in a bathroom, Oshkosh WI (C) InspectApedia Sarah Kentile asphalt asbestos gray speckle pattern (C) InspectApedia Sarah Oshkosh

Kentile Flooring ID Requests & FAQs

Possible Solid Color Hexagonal Kentile? Vinyl Asbestos Flooring

Hexagonal vinyl asbetos tile, maybe (C) Daniel FriedmanThe floor tile photo shown here was provided by Meryl Silvers as a possible example of Kentile flooring that is being investigated.

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:

In 1984 I put vinyl tile in my foyer and powder room. I was thinking of putting more in my laundry room, and even though it was a long shot, I did an internet search to see if I could find the same thing. Although I do not remember for sure what I have, the name Kentile popped in my head. Needless to say I was quite upset to discover that my tile may contain asbestos, and what happened to the company. How can I determine if my tile was Kentile, and if it has asbestos.

As you can see from the picture, one of the tiles has a chip.(which I read could make it dangerous) I have an extra tile could be used for testing. Any suggestions you can give me would be quite helpful. I'm not sure who I should be turning to for help. If it turns out I do have Kentile and you can use the pictures for your site , please do so. - M.S. 10/26/2010

Reply:

The approximate age of your Kentile flooring products (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

Thanks! I did not remove any tiles..I happen to have a few brand new ones. There is no writing at all on the back. Each of the 6 sections measure 4 inches. The tile is 8 inches wide and 7 inches long.The tile is very thin. I think it is measures 1/8th of an inch.From the side 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)

Since there are no Kentile pictures on the site you mention that look like mine it is hard to tell what I have.
I would not describe my floor as damaged in any way. If you look very carefully you can see some fine scratch lines, and one of the tiles has a chip. Otherwise I think it looks pretty good for it's age.

I will look into sending a tile somewhere to be tested. If it does turn out to have asbestos, is it safe for me to live with it the way it is? The area is large(175 sq feet), and it will probably cost several thousand dollars to cover it since I would probably want to use ceramic tile. Thanks so much for your help. Let me know if you need any more information. - M.S.

A flooring man was recently at my house.He told me that he used to rep Kentile, and he is pretty positive the vinly tile I have is from another company.(He couldn't remember which) He said Kentile did not make that shape, especially in that size. Of course that doesn't mean my tile does not have asbestos, ... M.S. 11/19/10

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.

Kentile Buckskin Pattern Floor Tile packaging photo (C) InspectApedia.com Kentile Buckskin Pattern Floor Tile packaging photo (C) InspectApedia.com

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.

Reply:

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.

Kentile Buckskin Pattern Floor Tile packaging photo (C) InspectApedia.com Kentile Buckskin Pattern Floor Tile packaging photo (C) InspectApedia.com

Below is the Kentile buckskin color and pattern flooring installed in the same home.

Kentile Buckskin Pattern Floor Tile packaging photo (C) InspectApedia.com

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.

Kentile Floor tile Blue Cerulian D-222 (C) InspectApedia.com BG Kentile Napoleon Gray Flooring C222 (C) InspectApedia BG

These are 9" factory-waxed Kentile floor tiles for which Bob also provided this original packaging image shown just below.

Kentile asphalt or vinyl asbestos floor tile packaging details (C) InspectApedia BG Kentile asphalt or vinyl asbestos floor tile packaging details (C) InspectApedia BG

Reader Question: Identify this as Kentile Flooring?

Unidentified flooring quesitoned as Kentile (C) InapectApedia WFI 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.

I had been told, by a local flooring store (I live near Pasadena, CA) that this was a "new" solid vinyl tile and was the top quality available back in about 1986. It is a center blue tile with a modern pattern of white dots (not large polka dots) and then there are three pickets of vinyl "wood" in two colors surrounding each square.

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.

Am I about to have an asbestos product removed from my house? Is this dangerous or has it been dangerous to my family? Perhaps the man at the store misidentified it. He hadn't seen it, just heard it described. Mr. Friedman, can you identify this tile? - 1/18/2011 W.F.

Reply:

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. Kentiles produced approximately between 1986 and 1992 may not contain asbestos, as we found at KENTILES ASBESTOS-FREE.

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)

  • The flooring company you consulted might be correct about an asbestos free floor product, but while I am continuing to research this question, I have not yet found an authoritative or confirmed indication that Kentile stopped using asbestos in their products before the company was bankrupt.
  • In the U.S If a vinyl tile floor product was made (we emphasize "made" or "produced" as opposed to "installed") asbestos was used commonly into 1989 and was banned "entirely" by the US EPA in 1990 (The Asbestos Ban and Phase Out Rule) but that rule was overturned by an industry lawsuit in 1991 (Corrosion Proof Fittings v. EPA, 947 F.2d 1201 (5th Cir. 1991) - some products continue to legally contain asbestos.

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?

Color pattern sample of Kentile vinyl asbestos flooring (C) InspectApedia.com GK

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
greatly appreciated.

The house was built in 1963.
The tiles are 12"x12" and are approximately 1.6 mm in thickness.
The last picture shows the back of the tile. - G.K. Cleveland, Ohio USA 4/16/2011

Reply:

G.K. - 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

Reply:

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.

Reader follow-up:

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.

Reply:

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

Reply:

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?
And over what type of base or subfloor are they to be reinstalled?
Typically we can use thin-set mortar or a latex-based tile adhesive and if you are indeed working with ceramics, a color matched grout to finish the job.

[Photos pending]

Reader Question: suspected Kentile Flooring

Armstrong-like vinyl asbestos floor tile (C) InspectAPedia JSMy 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

Reply:

J.S. the flooring in your photo is probably an Armstrong vinyl asbestos floor tile product. You can see similar patterns at

ARMSTRONG Asphalt-Asbestos & Vinyl-Asbestos Floor Tiles Identification Photos - 1975-1979

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?

Boxes of unidentified floor tiles possibly with asbestos (C) InspectAPedia LWI purchased a home that was built in the 1970's and recently had water damage and the insurance adjuster asked me to remove the tile so that the flooring underneath could dry.

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

Reply:

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
ASBESTOS FLOORING REMOVAL GUIDE
ASBESTOS PHOTO GUIDE to MATERIALS
ASBESTOS REMOVAL, WETTING GUIDE.

Reader Question: is this brick pattern flooring Kentile?

Brick pattern floor tile containing asbestos (C) InspectAPediaGreat 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

Reply:

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

0.5% of Anthrophyllite

Perhaps that information could be useful to someone somewhere! - H.C.

Reply: Really?

Brick pattern floor tile with low asbestos content (C) InspectApediaIt's a very interesting finding and one that would bear further discussion.

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

  • Sebastien, P., J. Bignon, and M. Martin. "Indoor airborne asbestos pollution: from the ceiling and the floor." Science 216, no. 4553 (1982): 1410-1412.
  • Hendry, N. W. "The geology, occurrences, and major uses of abestos." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 132, no. 1 (1965): 12-21.
  • Thomson, J. G., R. O. C. Kaschula, and R. R. MacDonald. "Asbestos as a modern urban hazard." S Afr Med J 37, no. Jan 19 (1963): 77-81.
  • Lange, John H., and Kenneth W. Thomulka. "An evaluation of personal airborne asbestos exposure measurements during abatement of dry wall and floor tile/mastic." International Journal of Environmental Health Research 10, no. 1 (2000): 5-19.
  • Dunn, Harris W., and Joseph H. Stewart Jr. "Quantitative determination of chrysotile asbestos in building materials by X-ray diffractometry." Analytical Chemistry 54, no. 7 (1982): 1122-1125.

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.

Reader follow-up:

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.

New, Un-Used Kentile Flooring Quincy Slate pattern marked as soild vinyl

I have 120sq feet of brand new kentile flooring from the late 70's/early 80's. Pictures attached, it's advertised as "solid vinyle tile" does this mean no asbestos?

I didn't see the photos in your collection so I thought I would forward. - G.P. 8/8/2014

Kentile quincy slate vinyl flooring (C) InspectApedia GP Kentile quincy slate vinyl flooring (C) InspectApedia GP

Reply:

After years of digging through research, catalogs, field reports, some lab test results, and the company history, I have no evidence that Kentile produced any flooring that did not contain asbestos. The tile obverse side stamp gives some additional details: this was an 1/8" thick vinyl [vinyl-asbestos] floor tile in the Quincy Slate pattern. One sample was Quincy Green - Q400 ut at least two other colors are shown.

Not all floor tiles nor sheet flooring necessarily carried the term "asbestos" in the product name. Early in the history of asbestos-containing flooring, asbestos was considered a positive product feature (durable, fire resistant). Later the term does not always appear.

It would be prudent to treat these as Presumed Asbestos Containing Material or "PACM".

That's not to say it's highly hazardous - in un-damaged form. Dont' cut, saw, grind, sand the material. And under normal circumstances I would not install it in a building.

Reader Question: Does this Kentile-Like Flooring Contain Asbestos?

Kentile like floor tile: see Kentile's Carnival pattern (C) InspectApedia - K.S.

Can you tell from this picture if this tile is asbestos or not?

Reply: floor tile pattern resembling Kentile's Carnival series

K.S., the tile in your photograph resembles the Carnival pattern of Kentile vinyl asbestos floor tiles. It would be helpful to know the floor's age and the size of the tiles.

A safe approach would to treat the flooring as presumed to contain asbestos.

See ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION

for advice that includes options for keeping the flooring in place (leaving it alone is safest) but perhaps covering it with new flooring or with a clear hard sealant.

Earlier in this article we noted:

Kentile Carnival KenFlex Ovation - 9" x 9" vinyl asbestos a smaller round/ovate spatter pattern (similar to Armstrong Centennial 1961 & later (above right), but with smaller spots) e.g. Ovation 942, from August 1956 - floor tile samples were also manufactured and distributed in 3" x 3" size.


What to Do About Damaged or Crumbling Asbestos-Suspect Floor Tiles

Reader Question: These Kentile Floor Tiles Identified by Stamping on Back are Cracking & Crumbling - how do I minimize the risk to our kids?

I am writing this email because we are renting a house in Cresskill, NJ. The home was built in 1941 and has tiles in the basement that are cracking and crumbling. We have a 1 month old baby, a 3 year old, and a 5 year old, and want to see if these tiles pose an immediate risk to us and them. I was able to lift up one of the tiles and found the insignia "Kentile" stamped on the back. I've included some pictures for your review.

Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification Photos KenFlex Kentile Vinyl asbestos floor tile identification Photos KenFlex Kentile

I know the best way to determine if they are Asbestos based, would be to have them tested. We don't have the money for that right now, but hope the photos will provide adequate information for positive identification. Please see attached images. I look forward to hearing from you! Thank you for your very informational website! - J.S. 13/01/01 /P>

Reply:

A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem such as other hazards that might be a particular concern for folks with a baby. That said, here are some things to consider:

In my OPINION there is not a reason on earth to spend on testing Kentile floor tiles - it is entirely reasonable, given the identity of the flooring and its age to treat the floor as PACM (Presumed Asbestos Containing Material).

While more often my OPINION is that floor tiles should be left in place and covered or sealed, I agree that from your photo these Kentile vinyl-asbestos floor tiles are in bad shape, breaking up, and should be cleaned up.

The actual hazards to you from airborne asbestos from this source are typically not great as long as you are not creating a dusty mess by demolition or using power tools or sanders, grinders etc. to attack the flooring. But as you say that the flooring is loose, doubtless some wetting and cleanup and re-covering of the floor would be appropriate.

Watch out: do not do something stupid like running a household vacuum cleaner in this area to try to clean up the dust and mess from the broken flooring. Unless the vacuum is a HEPA rated and non-leaky unit, you may simply increase the level of airborne dust and asbestos. Instead, take a look at these articles to minimize the hazards to you and your family

Certainly don't create a dusty mess, but also don't panic - the result would be getting gouged by someone.

Reader follow-up: how can I best preserve this old vinyl floor?

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.

Comment:

I 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 Leave in Place Strategy: how to clean, restore & seal vinyl-asbestos flooring for a floor rejuvenator and sealant that we have used with very good success.

Reader Question: did all Kentile flooring contain asbestos?

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. - R.F. South Dakota, 6/2/2014

Reply:

Roger, 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.

I'd [ be glad to take alook at ] photos of the flooring and of any packaging you've got.

Reader Question: possible asbestos-containing floor tile holding up sale of home?

Kentile Carnival KenFlex Ovation Flooring in a 1941 home (C) InspectApedia.com SG14 Nov 2014

We are trying to identify if this tile has asbestos. Our house was built in 1941. Is there anyway you can help us identify this?
Please let me know if you need any additional information.

Hopefully you can get back to me ASAP, we are trying to sell our house and this has been a big issue. Any help you can provide would be extremely appreciated! - [Anon - email]

Reply:

Your tile looks like and probably is Kentile Carnival KenFlex Ovation pattern -
see KENTILE KenFlex Floor Tiles

Here is a close-up of Kentile Carnival KenFlex Ovation flooring in a sales publication

Even if we did not know the certain identification of the flooring, based on its age one would be smart to treat this flooring as "PACM" - presumed asbestos-containing material.

Should an owner or home buyer be scared of this material? In my opinion as long as this floor tile is undamaged - that is, it is not breaking into small pieces, nor being cut, ground, sawn to make a dusty mess, then one would or should be hard pressed to claim justification for making the flooring material a "big issue" in the sale of a home.

Every expert source we have reviewed recommends leaving intact asbestos-containing floor tile in place as the least costly and least disruptive approach to minimizing the risk of asbestos exposure.

The floor can be coated with a clear sealant if the owner wants to preserve the original decor and style, or it can be coated with an epoxy paint or a new floor can be installed over top of the existing floor -
details are at ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION

Further, even if someone chooses the option of installing a new layer of flooring over this one, that cost is surely a very small fraction of the value of the home. If a buyer feels that they cannot afford to purchase a home because they want or need to install new flooring in some areas, they may be purchasing a home that is considerably beyond their means.

After all, expenses, both anticipated and surprises, are going to arise in the ownership of any home, new or 80 years old. We need to be able to meet them without financial disaster or we need to find a home in a different price range that leaves a margin for repairs and improvements.

I worry when a home buyer becomes very nervous (if they are) about a very manageable potential hazard such as flooring lest that fear - real & less likely asbestos hazards in buildings cause someone to miss a more immediate and serious hazard such as unsafe steps and rails, electrical wiring, fire hazards &c.
See ASBESTOS ENVIRO-SCARE

Asbestos-Free Kentile Flooring, 1986-1992: Solid Vinyl Terresque

Reader Question:

Kentile flooring packaging, non-asbestos (C) InspectApedia JG Kentile flooring packaging, non-asbestos (C) InspectApedia JG

Can you help to identify if this Kentile flooring tile has asbestos or what year it was made? Thanks! - J.G. 4 January 2015

Reply:

John,
All Kentiles contained asbestos. I'll take a closer look at your photos - please me images of both sides of an example tile. - DF

Really? Not so. See the Kentile Flooring testing results provided by this reader just below. - DF

Reader follow-up: Asbestos test lab reports no asbestos in Certain Kentiles Produced Between 1986-1992

Kentile flooring without asbesto (C) InspectApedia JG Kentile flooring without asbesto (C) InspectApedia JG Kentile flooring without asbesto (C) InspectApedia JG

Hi Daniel,

I went and got the tiles and the adhesive tested in a lab and found out that this particular version of Kentile has no trace of asbestos. Apparently about 5% of 9x9 tiles were made without it. It must have been made between 1986 and 1992 when Kentile stopped using asbestos. I am attaching some photos to this email in the hope they can be of help to others for future reference.

Thanks again for your help. - J.G.

Reply:

Thanks so much for this follow-up John. It is very important, particularly since my research had not previously been able to confirm the non-asbestos claim. I will be sure to add this data to our library. If you want to be identified I'll be glad to cite you as a contributor, or you can remain anonymous - which is our default mode for readers.

It would be most helpful if you could email me PDF copies of the asbestos test lab reports. I want to be able to defend this assertion. I will of course also in that data keep your information private.

 


Continue reading at ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION

For a detailed photo guide to individual vinyl-asbestos floor tile patterns, brands, sizes, and years of manufacture, see ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION PHOTOS by YEAR.

Readers should see ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION

Also see FLOOR TILE HISTORY & INGREDIENTS for a discussion of the ingredients and production of asbestos-containing flooring.

 

Continue reading at MONTGOMERY WARD ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.

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

Suggested citation for this web page

KENTILE KENFLEX ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE GUIDE at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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