Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
ASBESTOS CEILING TILES, Asbestos-Containing
ASBESTOS CEMENT ROOFING
ASBESTOS CEMENT SIDING
ASBESTOS DUCTS, HVAC
ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION
ASBESTOS FLOORING HAZARD REDUCTION
ASBESTOS FLOORING REMOVAL GUIDE
ASBESTOS-FREE INSULATION MATERIALS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN buildings
ASBESTOS LIST of PRODUCTS
ASBESTOS MATERIAL REGULATIONS
ASBESTOS PHOTO GUIDE to MATERIALS
ASBESTOS REMOVAL, INCOMPLETE
ASBESTOS REMOVAL CERTIFICATION
ASBESTOS REMOVAL, WETTING GUIDE
ASBESTOS RISK ASSESSMENT
ASBESTOS TESTING LAB LIST
ASBESTOS UNDER the MICROSCOPE
CATHEDRAL CEILING INSULATION
CEILING FINISHES INTERIOR
CEILINGS, DROP or SUSPENDED PANEL
CEILINGS & WALLS, PLASTER TYPES
CERAMIC TILE, ASBESTOS in?
FLOOR TILE HISTORY & INGREDIENTS
FLOOR TILES ASBESTOS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
METAL LATH, PLASTER & STUCCO
PLASTER TYPE IDENTIFICATION
SAFETY HAZARDS & INSPECTIONS
WORLD TRADE CENTER 9-11 DUST PHOTOS
How to identify asbestos-containing Kentile or KenFlex floor tiles: here we provide a photo guide to Kentile asphalt-asbestos flooring & Kentile vinyl asbestos floor tile identification photographs, a list of product names, styles, colors, and vinyl-asbestos floor patterns, and colors for asbestos-containing floor tile products - flooring materials that are reported to or have been confirmed to contain asbestos in asbestos fiber or asbestos powder-filler form. Kentile floor tiles that containd asbestos 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.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2014 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Asbestos is safe and legal to remain in homes or public buildings as long as the asbestos materials are in good condition and the asbestos can not be released into the air.
KenFlex floor tiles were produced by Kentile Floors, a Brooklyn NY company that filed bankruptcy in 1992. (founder Arthur Kennedy 1898) (at least) as 9" x 9" resilient flooring in a variety of patterns (left) and shades as we illustrate in photographs in this article.
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. 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.
Photos below illustrate Kentile floor tile packaging label data. Click any image to see an enlarged, detailed version.
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 and also see FLOOR TILE HISTORY & INGREDIENTS for a discussion of the ingredients and production of asbestos-containing flooring.
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.
At left is a known Kentile 12"x12" vinyl asbestos floor tile sample taken from the Kentile new old stock box shown above, in Kentile style Portilla Tan, lot no. 1K298G.
KENTILE KENFLEX ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE GUIDE, Founded by Arthur Kennedy in 1898, had its primary location at 58 Second Ave., Brooklyn 15 NY.
Kentile Flooring Product Lines
Kentile produced the following flooring lines:
In addition to the known Kentile-brand vinyl asbestos floor tiles shown here, some of which are shown at ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION PHOTOS by YEAR - asbestos may be in Kentile products produced through 1986.
When did Kentile Floor Tile & Sheet Flooring Production Shift from Asphalt-Based to Vinyl or Cork
Our photo (left) illustrates Kentile flooring from a New Jersey home built in 1941, thanks to reader J.S. who noticed Kentile markings on the back of this flooring.
We discuss his floor and include more photographs in the FAQs section at the end of this article.
Some of Kentile's 26 colors/patterns included Breccia, Carnival (multi-color), Dog Tooth, Fleecy Cerulean, Gaiety, Genoa Green, Greek Skyros, Lamartine, Ovation, Toledo Red, Verde Antique, regular pattern, Marbelized, and die-cut theme tiles and solid color feature strips.
At left our illustration shows green and beige Kentile floor patterns from 1958.
Kentile's sign, along the Gowanus Canal (Brooklyn New York, ca 1949) has been considered an important landmark in its own right. In Canada Kentile flooring was distributed by T. Eaton Co., Ltd.
The company filed bankruptcy in 1992, ceasing operations in 1995.
As illustrated by thie 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 elnarged, detailed version.]
Kentile colors/patterns below include: Veined Carnelian with Theme Tile & Feature Strip (below left), Greek Skyros & Breccia, Green with white feature strips, and four kentile samples. These colors and patterns are from 1949 - 1952 and appeared in Kentile advertisements in Life magazine, Popular Science, in various newspapers and other publications.
(Additional Kentile vinyl asbestos tile floor covering photos wanted - CONTACT US)
Possible Solid Color Hexagonal Kentile Vinyl Asbestos Flooring
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)
Kentile Buckskin Marbelized Asbestos Floor Tile Photos
Reader question: I have a floor that has a Kentile, tile floor. The numbers on the box are [ 551 Buckskin Marbleized 1H122C ] the floor was installed in 1978 or 1979. Can you tell me if these tiles contain asbestos without being tested. Thank You - R.F. South Dakota, U.S.A., 2/11/2014
The following Kentile identification photographs of both the floor tiles and their packaging were provided by reader R.F. We show Kentile pattern No. 551, Buck Skin, Marbelized, in lot No. 1HT22C, packaging.
Here is all the info & pics of the box along with a pics of the tile. They also show the tiles in place along with a new tile. I would like to know if these tiles contain asbestos, you would think with all the info we have that there would be on a list if some kind.
R.F., as far as I have been able to determine from reading the company history, there was no Kentile flooring that was free of asbestos. Also the years you cite were when companies were still producing that form of flooring.
These photos will assist other readers in identifying asbestos-containing Kentile flooring in the Buck Skin color and marbelized pattern. Thanks so much, R.F.
Continuing with R.F.'s photographs of original Kentile floor tile packaging we have data that makes for virtually certainly-correct floor tile identification. Below left is more packaging at below right is a photograph of an individual Kentile Buck Skin marbelized floor tile pattern.
Below is the Kentile buckskin color and pattern flooring installed in the same home.
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.
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>
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.
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.
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: 8" x 8" Kentile Floor in Satillo Natural
I've been told we have Kentile vinyl tile in our kitchen 8 x 8 squares, "Satillio Natural" color (terra cotta color). I was told they are commercial grade, would have been installed when the home was built in 1985, and will still be in great shape 30 years from now. (Just need periodic waxing).
What are the chances they contain some asbestos?
Sarah asbestos may be in Kentile flooring including yours. If you come across an extra tile or a broken fragment it's inexpensive to have a certified asbestos lab test it for you but in this case it is reasonable to assume the tiles contain asbestos.
Watch out: Don't run power tools, grinders, saws, or steel wool buffers; don't let an idiot try demolition, creating a dusty contaminated mess.
Also see the article titled ASBESTOS FLOORING REMOVAL GUIDE where we discuss using a floor rejuvenator product on vinyl asbestos flooring
Try the search box just below or if you prefer, post a question or a comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Search the InspectApedia website
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.