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ASBESTOS CEILING TILES, Asbestos-Containing
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ASBESTOS DUCTS, HVAC
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 Under the Microscope
CATHEDRAL CEILING INSULATION
CEILING FINISHES INTERIOR
CEILINGS, DROP or SUSPENDED PANEL
CEILINGS, 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 Collapse Dust Photos
This document describes the history of resilient floor tiles and sheet flooring, including the production and ingredients in asphalt-based floor tiles and vinyl-asbestos floor tiles. We list companies producing floor coverings along with historic dates and types of products manufactured. What is the history and age of asphalt flooring? What is the history and age of vinyl-asbestos flooring? How were asphalt floor tiles made? History of asphalt-asbestos floor tile production & history of vinyl-asbestos floor tile production & Photographs of types of floor tiles & floor tile production machines; List of companies that produced asbestos-containing flooring products.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
In the U.S. federal regulations addressing the management of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are issued by two agencies: the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules for the handling and disposal of ACM. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides regulations specifying practices for worker protection.
Our photo at page top (Rosato) shows the "caramel-like" asphalt-asbestos flooring mixture coming out of the rolling machine. See these articles on types, ages, characteristics, ingredients, & inspection of different types of floor coverings:
Our photo (left) shows 1972-vintage 12x12 vinyl asbestos flooring identified by a reader using our online floor tile ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE PHOTO ID GUIDE/FONT> . This article explains the origins, history, production, and ingredients of asphalt-based and vinyl-asbestos based resilient flooring.
Definition of resilient flooring
"Resilient flooring" is defined as materials softer than the non-resilient flooring materials such as stone, slate, brick, ceramic tile that we list just below.. Resilient flooring materials include organic types of flooring: asphalt based floor tiles, rubber floor tiles, vinyl-asbestos floor tiles, linoleum, and plastic tile.
So what's "wood flooring" ? Non-resilient, resilient, or just "wood"? Wood.
Definition of non-resilient flooring: Ceramic tile, stone tile, slate or brick.
"Non-resilient" flooring is defined as hard surfaced flooring material such as stone, brick, slate, or ceramic tile. See FLOOR, CERAMIC TILE).
Major resilient flooring manufacturers or retailers whose products are believed or known to have included asphalt-asbestos or vinyl-asbestos flooring included the floor covering producers discussed below.
In the U.S. the 1940's saw a tremendous expansion in the sales of this flooring material, largely because other materials were more difficult to obtain. At the end of World War II and combined with the reduction in military consumption of the product, asphalt floor tile sales increased to about 12% of the flooring market (1946), selling 41 million square yards. By 1949 the post-war construction boom led to asphalt floor tile sales of 61 million square yards
Armstrong Flooring: In the U.S. Thomas Armstrong, a Scotch-Irish immigrant, began his business as a cork cutter in 1860, delivering hand-carved bottle corks by wheelbarrow. The use of cork expanded to the construction of corkboards (bulletin boards) and cork-insulated brick. By 1909 Armstrong had begun producing linoleum.
"Corkboard led to fiberboard, fiberboard led to ceiling board, cork floor tile led to linoleum that ultimately led to vinyl floor coverings, in both tile and sheet vinyl forms. Armstrong's familiarity with cork grew into today's Armstrong Corporation worldwide as one of the largest flooring producers. " - Armstrong.
One of the most significant flooring producers in the U.S. has been Armstrong World Industries (Lancaster PA), founded in 1860 by Thomas Armstrong. In its original business, Armstrong was at one time the largest cork supplier (their first product: cork stoppers), produced corkboard and brick.
By 1906 Armstrong began producing linoleum, later vinyl flooring and many other flooring products. Asbestos litigation [appears to have] led to a bankruptcy filing in 2000, from which the company emerged to continue as a successful flooring producer.
The Armstrong Flooring company continues today as one of the largest floor covering producers in the world, with plants in Canada, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Spain, and China. The company's modern flooring products do not contain asbestos.
Congoleum - Nairn Corporation, founded by sailmaker Michael Nairn, Kearney New Jersey in 1886 (the same year my grandfather Louis Friedman arrived at Ellis Island from Lithuania), originally produced painted floor-cloth coverings using sailcloth.
The company later produced early forms of linoleum backed by fabric including burlap-like fabrics. (See an example photo left and discussed at the top of our building age determination article: FLOORING MATERIALS, Age, Types - Note that this antique flooring may not be a Congoluem-Nairn product).
According to Congoleum-Nairn, Linoleum, the precursor of modern resilient floors, was a hard smooth-surfaced flooring made of solidified linseed oil and ground cork, adhered to a backing of canvas or burlap such as that shown in our example.
According to some sources, by 1919 Congoleum Art Rugs were in popular demand but the company's website history indicates that it was in the 1920's that Nairn joined with Congoleum (whose asphalt-based raw materials originated in the Belgian Congo) in the 1920's to produce Congoleum, a three-foot wide simulated wood grain floor covering product, and to produce linoleum - Congoleum Gold Seal Rugs and Nairn Linoleum into the 1930's.
Congoleum Gold Seal Rugs and Nairn Linoleum were sold into the 1930's until replaced by vinyl-based products. By the 1950's Congoleum-Nairn was producing 12-foot wide sheet vinyl-based flooring. [Backing on some vinyl flooring products may contain asbestos.] In the 30's Congoleum-Nairn was researching vinyl flooring, a product whose use grew rapidly after 1945.
By the 1950s Congoleum-Nairn were producing twelve-foot wide sheet flooring or modern "linoleum" and the company produced the Vinylbest™ vinyl asbestos floor tile series, and by 1955, the Congoleum Gold Seal inlaid linoleum flooring shown at left, Gold Seal Inlaid Linoleum "Fashion Floor" was featured in Life and other magazine advertisements as both sheet flooring and 9" x 9" floor tiles.
Other Congoleum products included Vinylfloor, Vinyltop (countertops), Congoleum, CongoWall, Ranchtile, Cork tile, Linoleum tile, Vinyl tile, Rubber tile, and Asphalt tile marketed under the Congoleum Gold Seal trademark. The Congoleum Sequin Pattern sheet linoleum provided a scattershot or color fleck pattern.
In 1993 Congoleum-Nairn formed a joint venture with Amtico Floors, also a manufacturer of resilient floor tiles.
Currently Congoleum continues to produce a wide range of residential and commercial sheet flooring and floor tile products, made in the U.S. at the corporation's factory in Trenton, NJ.
These photographs of EverWear Vinyl Asbestos floor tiles were provided courtesy of home inspector David Grudzinski, who reported as follows:
While inspecting this home for a buyer I noticed this box and the tiles on the floor. All over the floor and next to the box are 1 inch holes drilled and filled with tiny plugs. The seller made the plugs to cover termite drill holes from treatment. he had no idea the danger of drilling these tiles and breathing the dust.
As you walk across the floor the tiles crack under your feet. The buyer was going to cover the tiles with a carpet and forget about it. My opinion was that that would be dangerous as the tiles are crumbling and the vacuuming of the carpet would sent the asbestos dust all through the house and be worse. further, the central heating ducts may be filled with the dust from past drilling and the home should be properly cleaned. only testing will tell the level of contamination from asbestos.
Kentile KenFlex Floor Tiles Kentile was founded by Arthur Kennedy in 1898, had its primary location at 58 Second Ave., Brooklyn 15 NY. Kentile produced 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), many of which are shown in our separate article at Kentile KenFlex Floor Tiles - asbestos may be in Kentile products produced through 1986.
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.
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.
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.
See this Kentile flooring page: A brief history of Kentile KenFlex Vinyl-Asbestos flooring and more Kentile and asbestos-containing Kentile and KenFlex flooring photos are found at Kentile KenFlex Floor Tiles
American Biltrite in Trenton, NJ produced asbestos-containing floor tiles from 1 January 1961 through December 1985; the company also produced sheet vinyl flooring whose backer contained asbestos fibers, from 1 January 1962 through 1968 and from 1975 - 1980. if your American Biltrite tile flooring was installed before 1986 it's likely that it contains asbestos. If your sheet vinyl flooring from American Biltrite was installed before 1981 it's likely to contain asbestos in its backer.
American Biltrite was founded in 1908 as the Ewell Rubber Company, originally producing shoe heels and soles. The company began producing flooring in 1917. American Biltrite merged with Congoleum Corporation in 1993-1995. The company also acquired another manufacturer of asbestos-containing flooring, Bonafied Milles, in 1961. Example floor tile markings (reader contribution) include:
Bonafide Milles, manufacturer of asbestos-containing flooring, merged with American Biltrite in 1961.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., in Akron OH produced asbestos-containing floor tiles. I'd make the same suggestion: if your Goodyear flooring was installed before 1980 it's likely that it contains asbestos. Example floor tile markings (reader contribution) include:
Mannington Mills, flooring, founded in Salem, new Jersey in 1915 was, early in its life, a small vinyl-flooring manufacturer
Matico (Mastic Tile Corporation of America) distributed plastic reinforced asphalt tile. Matico advertised "factory waxed" 9x9 floor tiles (1953) produced in plants in Houston TX, Joliet IL, Long Beach CA, and Newburgh NY. The company also distributed Milmark adhesive for floor tile application. (We believe that both the floor tiles and the mastic contained asbestos). Tile thickness (Lot B405-02259A43) was indicated to be 1/8". The Matico 9x9 floor tile packaging and the floor tile photos below were contributed by reader M.Z.
Notice though that the brown and beige floor tiles in the accompanying photos look very much like an asbestos-containing Armstrong Product - see 1957 - Armstrong Excelon Vinyl Asbestos Floor Floor Tiles, Patterns & Color Guide at ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE PHOTO ID GUIDE where we include similar images of Excelon Woodtone 9 x 9 x 1/16" & 1/8" Floor Tiles. In that same article you'll see that by 1973 there were some very similar looking floor tiles made without asbestos.
Montgomery Ward vinyl asbestos tile flooring are described at at Montgomery Ward Floor Tiles. Excepts are below.
Above: photographs of Montgomery Ward Style-House Vinyl-Asbestos floor tiles and floor tile packaging, ca 1965 Montgomery Wards asbestos containing floor tiles and Ever-Wear asbestos containing floor tiles are also described and photographs of these (and other brands of floor tiles and sheet flooring containing asbestos) are provided at ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION and at our ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE PHOTO ID GUIDE
Below our photographs show the embossed pattern on these Sears vinyl asbestos floor tiles. The tiles are solid through in color and material and are about 1/16" thick and 9" x 9" in size. Below right shows these Sears floor tiles installed.
(Photos wanted for Sears Roebuck, Montgomery Ward and other asphalt & vinyl-asbestos floor tile producers or distributors - CONTACT US)
Sears Roebuck Vinyl Asbestos Floor Tiles also sold and sells a variety of other flooring materials including asphalt and vinyl asbestos resilient floor tiles.
Flooring adhesive or mastic (glue) that contained asbestos
Watch out: floor tile adhesives or mastics used for bonding floor tiles and sheet flooring to the subfloor also contained asbestos into the 1970's..
Asphalt -asbestos floor tiles that were manufactured early in the product life (1920's) were either black, near black, brown, or a gray-brown tone.
Dark vinyl-asbestos tiles used, for example, a mixture of 40 parts asphalt or gilsonite, 60 parts asbestos floats, 30 parts powdered limestone, and pigments (parts by weight). Another typical mixture cited by Rosato contained 70% asbestos fiber.
Originally, asphalt floor tile was produced by mixing heavy asphalt solutions with a high percentage of asbestos fiber, hardening the tile by evaporation of the solvent. This procedure produced very dark floor tiles,. To obtain brown or intermediate colors, Gilsonite was used, dissolved in naphtha.
"Modern" asphalt tile (1950 and later) contained little or no asphalt. Rather than using asphalt or gilsonite binders, this later product used synthetic organic resins and additives or plasticizers based on petroleum or vegetable pitches. But asbestos fillers remained the main ingredient in "asphalt" tile. - Rosato.
Our photo (left, Rosato) shows the "caramel-like" asphalt-asbestos flooring mixture coming out of the rolling machine as a soft sheet where the operator pulled the material from the machine and sent it to calendar rolls for thinning before it was hardened and cut into squares. This photo shows the calendar rolls used to thin and polish the asphalt-asbestos floor tile during its final manufacturing stage (Johns-Manville Corp. - Rosato).
Rosato cites another flooring material from the 1950's called asbetic flooring which was a mixture of ground mother rock and the shortest, otherwise unusable asbestos fibers.
Other sources such as the Rotterdam Convention PIC archive,  note that while vinyl-asbestos floor tile ingredient mixes varied by manufacturer, typically vinyl-asbestos floor tiles contained:
Short asbestos fibers may also be among the more hazardous if airborne. Asbestos was also used in a mixture with waterglass (a clear binder used in many chemical applications and even for cementing stove gaskets) as a hard binding compound.
Our detailed photo guide to asbestos containing floor tiles is at see ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE PHOTO ID GUIDE.
The product was similar to asphalt-based flooring, but was more flexible. Vinyl-based floor tile could thus be produced more economically and installed more easily as it was thinner, typically 1/16" to 3/32" (residential) and 1/8" thick "gauge" (commercial) versions.
Our photo (left) shows the calendar roll processing stage for floor tile (Rosato - Johns-Manville).
The use of vinyl as the tile base also permitted a wider range of lighter colors and patterns than was achieved with asphalt-based floor tiles.
Rosato described the principal vinyl-asbestos floor tile production process:
The thick blanket of tile material was cut from the mill, butted to a previous slab, fed into a two-roll calendar to squeeze tile to the required thickness, moving on to a cooling stage and a blanket press where rows of 3 to 5 tiles were cut from the sheet.
Rosato also describes a different vinyl-asbestos floor tile production method:
Armstrong Asphalt Floor Tiles - to mid 1950's
Armstrong 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.
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.
By 1952 "asphalt-asbestos" floor tiles contained much less asphalt or gilsonite. Those binders produced only dark tiles. IN the 1950's manufacturers changed to use of synthetic organic resins and solvents made of vegetable or petroleum pitches. These new synthetic binders permitted manufacture of lighter colored, brighter floor tiles in a wider range of colors. But asbestos continued to be the main filler ingredient in these tiles.
Vinyl asbestos floor tiles were produced from approximately 1954 to 1980. Early vinyl asbestos flooring was made in 9" x9" floor tiles, and also sold as decorative or accent solid color strips, typically 1" wide by 24" long. By 1960 12" x 12" vinyl asbestos floor tiles were produced by Armstrong™, particularly their Excelon™ line. Asbestos was also used in sheet flooring.
By 1973 only a small portion of flooring was produced as asphalt-based floor tiles (9"x9") as vinyl asbestos flooring was dominating production. The size, thickness, color, and patterns of floor tiles can distinguish between asphalt-asbestos and vinyl-asbestos flooring.
While asbestos-containing floor tiles were made in a wide variety of colors and patterns (see ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE PHOTO ID GUIDE), if you encounter black or very dark asphalt floor tiles they are probably particularly high in asbestos fibers. We discuss floor tiles as an asbestos fiber source in buildings in more detail at ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE IDENTIFICATION.
Vinyl Asbestos Flooring Topics
The company stopped manufacturing these tiles with asbestos in December of 1982. Not all adhesive floor tiles produced during this period contain asbestos. It is necessary to know the flooring product model number or collection name of a tile in question, or to submit a sample to an asbestos test laboratory to make a final determination. - information courtesy of Armstrong Corporation.
More about asbestos-containing peel and stick floor tiles can be found at Self-Adhesive Stick-on Tiles.
If you can identify your floor tile collection name or model number, laboratory testing of the sample to screen for asbestos may be unnecessary. (See ASBESTOS FLOOR TILE PHOTO ID GUIDE)
Finally, Rosato described use of a felt underlayment to produce flooring materials:
It is possible that this development is what led to continuous-sheet asbestos-felt-underlayment backed sheet flooring. But we point out that continuous sheet flooring and asphalt tile flooring has an older history.
Asphalt -asbestos tiles manufactured early in their life (1920's) were either black, near black, brown, or a gray-brown tone. Brown asphalt-asbestos tiles were made by substituting gilsonite as a binder. In both cases the tiles were hardened by evaporating a solvent used in the fabrication process, or by cooling of hot asphalt used in the mixture.
Gilsonite could be used to produce a wider range of mixtures, but required some asphalt as a softener. Dark vinyl-asbestos tiles used, for example, a mixture of 40 parts asphalt or gilsonite, 60 parts asbestos floats, 30 parts powdered limestone, and pigments (parts by weight). Another typical mixture cited by Rosato contained 70% asbestos fiber.
Asphalt asbestos floor tiles were popular in the U.S. from 1920 into the 1960's. Asphalt-asbestos floor tiles were produced at first in dark colors using a heavy asphalt binder combined with a very high percentage of asbestos filler fibers. It would be uncommon to find these floors still in use today, but if you encounter black or very dark asphalt floor tiles they are probably very high in asbestos fibers.
(The black tiles shown at left were not dated and may be a newer product, but in general, if you find very old black floor tiles they are probably an asphalt-asbestos product. )
Source of High Levels of Asbestos in Asphalt Floor Tiles:
Asphalt-asbestos floor tiles were produced at first in dark colors using a heavy asphalt binder combined with a very high percentage of asbestos filler fibers. It would be uncommon to find these floors still in use today, but if you encounter black or very dark asphalt floor tiles they are probably very high in asbestos fibers.
Depending on the particular mixture of asphalt, gilsonite, asbestos, limestone, and pigment used, these floor tiles could contain as much as 70% asbestos by weight. One reason that so much asbestos was used in flooring tiles was simply the wish to find an application for asbestos waste product from asbestos mining operations.
As we introduced above, the earliest use of asphalt-based flooring reported by Rosato was as a troweled-on mastic applied as a deck covering for ships in the U.S. Navy in 1917.
Older nine-inch "thicker" vinyl or asphalt-based floor tiles, many more recent 12-inch floor tiles (1960 - 1980), and some more recent sheet linoleum as well as the mastic used to bed or glue down older flooring materials are likely to contain asbestos fibers and should not be disturbed by grinding, sanding, or demolition without taking the appropriate precautions.
We discuss the inspection, diagnosis, and repair of various flooring products at FLOOR TYPES & DEFECTS.
The Wards vinyl asbestos floor tiles shown just below are nominally 1/16 gauge (4mm) in thickness 9" x 9" square.
Armstrong vinyl asbestos 9" x 9" floor tiles may also have been produced in three thicknesses, depending on the cost and durability desired by the consumer: 1/16", 3/32", and 1/8" thickness. Our 9" x9" lab sample of Armstrong vinyl asbestos floor tile was measured at 3/32" (about 2mm) thick. The 1/8" thick floor tiles were considered commercial or heavy-duty grade.
Armstrong also made 12" x 12" vinyl asbestos floor tiles beginning in 1960. By 1972 most Armstrong vinyl asbestos floor tiles were sold in the 12" x 12" dimension. From 1973 to 1980 all Armstrong Excelon vinyl asbestos floor tiles were sold in 12" x 12" size.
Key to Thicknesses or Gauges of Vinyl-Asbestos Floor Tiles & Floor Tile Application or Usage by Thickness
Below we show a photo of the Armstrong© Stamp found on the under-side or "back" of 12 x 12 "stick-on" self-adhesive floor tiles produced by Armstrong.
We have split this guide to Armstrong Asphalt Asbestos or Vinyl Asbestos Floor Tiles into the individual year range pages (dates of production) below in order to cut web page load time. If you prefer to see all of the reference photos in a single scrollable file, contact us and we can provide the full list in a single big and slow-loading file.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about types of floor tile, their composition, history of use, and asbestos or other hazardous material content
Question: I removed some 6" ceramic tiles that I estimate were from the late 70's or early 80's - would these ceramic tiles contain asbestos?
A few years ago I removed an area of ceramic tiles from the floor of my house. They were about 6inches square and 0.5 inches deep and were ceramic or possibly concrete. I am unsure of there age but estimate late 70s early 80s Would it have been likely that these tiles contained asbestos or were asbestos containing tiles restricted to the vinyl type? If it makes any difference our location is England. Any information you could give would be gratefully received Thanks - A.H. PS - your website is great and really useful
Reply: asbestos-ceramic tile risks, history in the UK, recommendations
From the age you give, and considering that the ceramic tiles could have been in stock for some time before they were installed, having been thus made in the 1970's, they indeed could have contained asbestos, but we have been unable to find an authoritative source that confirms that asbestos was ever used as a component of ceramic floor tiles or wall tiles.
Watch out: A more likely asbestos hazard one might encounter when removing ceramic floor or wall tiles would be an asbestos-containing tile mastic - the glue that was used to secure ceramic tiles on walls and floors in a thin-set installation methods. You would not expect to find asbestos below ceramic tiles at an older installation at which the tiles were bedded directly into cement - the "thick set" method for tile installation.
The history of asbestos use and regulation in the UK could have permitted your ceramic tiles, installed in the 1980's, to contain asbestos.
A brief-history of asbestos usage and asbestos regulation in the UK
A documented asbestos-related death in the UK occurred as early as 1906. Asbestos regulation began in the UK in 1931, and in 1965 mesothelioma had been documented there. Imports of asbestos into the U. K. peaked in 1967.
By 1970 the UK had banned the import of raw crocidolite and amosite asbestos was banned (voluntary ban) in 1980.
More strict licensing regarding asbestos handling and remediation did not begin in the UK until 1980s. And the first licensing regulations date from 1983, while in the U. k. asbestos-containing product prohibitions date from 1985 with UK asbestos material regulation amendments in 1988, 1992, 1994 and onwards to a final "comprehensive ban" in 1999. Silverdell, 
The actual hazard of their removal would have depended on their condition, how they were removed, and the quantity. Generally the asbestos released from ceramic tiles removed relatively intact should be quite low.
Please take a look at CERAMIC TILE, ASBESTOS in? , where we discuss ceramic floor tiles that may contain asbestos, the hazards and some recommendations.
At References at the end of this article we cite authoritative sources for that information.
Questions & answers or comments about the history and production of asbestos-containing flooring and floor tiles
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