Celotex™ Sheathing & Insulating Boards: Company History, Products, Dates
Our photograph of brown, white-imprinted Celotex cellulose-based insulating board, possibly bagasse, used as an insulating sheathing board on both the exterior and interiors of buildings.
[Click to enlarge any image]
Celotex Corporation produced the first fiberboard made from bagasse in 1920. (Jester 2014). Other records indicate that the company was founded a year later, in 1921.
Celotex Insulating Lumber, the company's first product, was a cellulose fiber board made from bagasse or sugar cane fiber using a felting process, and produced in Celotex's New Orleans LA plant.
Celotex described their Celotex Insulating Lumber as an exterior sheathing product intended for use as a base beneath plaster or beneath a stucco building exterior as well as for roof insulation. Celotex insulating lumber was sold in 7/16" thicknesses (and possibly other thicknesses), in 4 foot width boards at lengths from 8 ft. to 12 ft. and weighing about 60 pounds per square (100 sq.ft.).
Celotex continues to operate in the present, producing various building sheathing and insulating products, having passed through various reorganizations and changes listed below in this article.
Dates & Events in the History of Celotex
Celotex was a Delaware corporation reincorporated in 1964, which manufactured and distributed roofing and building products for residential and commercial use.
1921: Celotex Corporation Founded in the U.S. with Celotex Company of Great Britain established in the same decade. Importer of bagasse fibergoard used to make a variety of wood-cellulose-based insulating sheathing products.
1925: The Celotex Company of Great Britain started trading in 1925 from offices located in Australia House in The Strand, London.
The business was a subsidiary of its parent company, the Celotex Corporation of America, and soon established itself as an importer of bagasse fiberboard insulation from the original Celotex manufacturing plant in Marrero in the state of Louisiana, America.
1933: Carey Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Celotex, was engaged in the mining, milling and processing of asbestos fiber from 1933 or earlier. We found citations describing Carey (president George Crabbs) and others named in hearings and litigation as early as 1933 and continuing in 1944. (Castleman 2005)
Philip Carey also operated an asbestos-insulation products manufacturing plant at Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania until the closure of that facility in 1962.
The Carey mine is part of asbestos deposits following the Pennington sheet on a NE strike roughly parallel to route 112. The Carey mine, located between 3e Rang and the 4e Rang, is the largest open pit in the region, almost 1km long by 0.5km. These deposits were discovered in 1907 and they were worked on and off until 1986. Coordinates: 46.254 -71.04- https://www.mindat.org/loc-205395.html 2017/11/08
1930: Celotex opened a U.K. manufacturing plant at Stonebridge Park in the 1930's. The Celotex insulating board and hardboard product lines were introduced in the 1950's.
1938: Celotex assumes control of Certain Teed building products
1943: Celotex wood fiber board and gypsum board products saw increasing use in construction due to the scarcity of building materials during WWII. At Left: advertisement for various Celotex sheathing board products as appearing in Architectural Record, October 1943, p. 16.
1944: in proxy fight R.W. Liazars takes control of CertainTeed from Celotex.
1964: Celotex purchased by Jim Walter & reincorporated as Celotex Corporation of America.
1967: Philip Carey Manufacturing Company was restructured and became a subsidiary of the Rapid American Corporation. [Disclosure: the InspectApedia.com website publisher's father's clothing company in Richmond, VA, Friedman Marks Clothing Co., though they had nothing to do with asbestos mining, was also purchased by the Rapid American Corporation around this time.]
1968: In the U.K. the Stonebridge Park Celotex manufacturing facility was closed and a warehousing / distributing site was opened at Hadleigh (1968).
1970: The Celotex Corporation of America introduced an isocyanurate foam ceiling tile  (not an asbestos-containing product). By this year, asbestos was widely used as fireproofing in roofs, floors, ceilings.
In the U.S. the Celotex Corporation of America introduced isocyanurate foam insulating tiles in the 1970's.
In the U.K. Celotex began producing rigid poyisocyanurate foam insulating board (PIR foam board) at a manufacturing facility at Hadleigh, Suffolk.
1980: In the U.S. in the 1980's Celotex Thermax insulating board was described by the Celotex Company (Jim Walters corporation, Tampa) as an insulating sheathing board with an R-value of 5.4 for a 3/4" thick board: higher R than its competitors at the time as it was compared with foam insulating board sold by Dow, WR Grade and Simplex
1986: Celotex-owned Carey Canada Inc., asbestos mine closed. The mine's production had fallen from 240,000 tons at capacity to under 100,000 tons of annual output and the number of employees had already fallen from about 550 down to 189.
Mike Prus, president of Carey Canada, succinctly explained the problem. ''There is an overproduction of asbestos,'' he said. ''The prices are very low. Our costs are too high. We cannot compete.'' - (Martin 1986)
1989: U.S. Jury award to Marion George in lawsuit concerning her husband who worked as an asbestos insulation contractor/distributor
1990: Celotex and Carey Canada bankruptcy filing, under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code - 12 October 1990
On October 12, 1990, U.S. Celotex Corporation and Carey Canada Incorporated filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The company's reorganization was completed more than six years later on 9 December 1996.
The Trust was created as a result of the bankruptcy. The Trust is organized to process, liquidate and pay all valid asbestos personal injury claims in accordance with the Claims Resolution Procedures (CRP) approved by the bankruptcy court.
1996: Celotex Corporation reorganized, 9 December 1996
1997: Celotex Corporation reorganized
1998: Celotex trust fund created ($1.246 million). Claims against Celotex and its asbestos mining subsidiary Carey Canada for asbestos exposure and mesothelioma claims.
1999: US EPA Asbestos Materials Bans: Clarification. This document makes clear that EPA has no existing bans on asbestos-containing products other than items listed in this document: ACM ceiling tiles were not banned. Note: however because of public resistance to purchase or use of ACM products, many manufacturers discontinued of asbestos in various products, particularly after 1976. Check the individual product MSDS for confirmation of its content. - Ed. In this year Great Britain banned the sale or re-use of white asbestos. 
2000: BPB PLC of the U.K. purchased the Celotex ceiling and wallboard operations
2000: CertainTeed acquired Celotex Roofing.
In 2000 BPB PLC, a U.K. firm, purchased Celotex's ceiling product line and Celotex's gypsum wallboard operations.
In the U.S. Celotex® foam board insulation was later purchased by Dow Chemical who continues to market polyisocyanurate foam insulating board.
2001: Dow Chemical Corporation acquired Celotex's rigid foam insulation business In July 2001. See CELOTEX THERMAX ASBESTOS? for details.
2002: In the U.K. Celotex and Sundeala had merged and de-merged by 2002, resulting in move of the U.K. Celotex headquarters to Hadleigh, Suffolk.
2003: In 2003 the Celotex Asbestos Settlement Trust paid New York City for property damages of schools and buildings based on over 400 claims.
2008: Celotex production of laminated plasterboard PL4000 was begun as a product used for dry-lining installations. In 2008 Celotex introduced a Class O fire rated board product FR4000, a PIR product available only from Celotex.
2012: Celotex Corporation continues operations in the U.K. selling foam board (polyisocyanurate foam) insulation.
In September 2012 Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction markets, acquired Celotex. Celotex continues to market polyisocyanurate insulating foam board (PIR) in the U.K.
The company's current products include rigid polyisocyanurate (PIR) foam boards bonded to
plasterboard, for use as insulating dry lining for internal
wall applications in existing domestic and non-domestic
Sources for History of Celotex Corporation & Its Products
Bruce, Daniel C., "Composition of matter." U.S. Patent 1,804,245, issued May 5, 1931.
The putty described by this invention was comprised of water, flour, borax and glycerine as well as a hydrocarbon such as gasoline or kerosene or benzene to form a preservative soap emulsion.
This invention relates to a composition of matter and it is an object of the invention to provide a composition of a soft putty consistency and which is particularly intended to be used as a filler in connection with the application of commercial wall board manufactured from fibres obtained from cane, asbestos, wood, flax, straw, or other absorbitant fibres such as, and including, the wall 1 board now used and manufactured and known as Celotex, Beaver board, Sheetrock, Best-wall, Masonite, Insolite, Gypsolite, Rockboard, Cornell, or Upson wall board, and other boards made from cane, asbestos,
wood, flax, straw, or gypsum.
Another object of the invention is to provide a composition of this kind which is particularly intended for use in the filling of joints, covering nail heads and coating the surface of wall board, etc.
An additional object of the invention is to provide a composition of this kind which is adapted to produce an invisible joint; to take the place of plaster, coating, or paint;
and upon the omission of fibrous matter to produce a liquid composition for sizing walls before the application of paint or wall paper. ...
There is then added one pound of comminuted fibres taken from cane fibre or Celotex wall board fibres obtained from asbestos, wood, straw, or other absorbitant fibres. These fibres are thoroughly mixed with the admixture and kneaded until it forms a putty-like product.
In order to match the Celotex Wall board in color when cane fibres are used, suitable coloring matter soluble in water may be added to the first named admixture to obtain desired tints although ordinarily the composition when dry, owing to the action of the whiting or powdered chalk, causes the fibres to dry light in color and thus prevent water stain[s].
Castleman, Barry I. Asbestos: medical and legal aspects. Aspen Publishers, 2005.
Celotex Trust retrieved 2017/11/08 original source: the Celotex Trust, Website: http://www.celotextrust.com/ Tel: 800.708.8925
Celotex UK, History of Celotex, Celotex, Lady Lane Industrial Estate, Hadleigh, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP7 6BA U.K., Email: email@example.com, Tel: 01473 822093 Technical enquiries (lines open 8am - 5.15pm): 01473 820850 Retrieved 2017/11/08 original source: https://www.celotex.co.uk/about/history
Celotex, "Cemesto, Five Tested Ways to Meet Today's Building Needs with Minimum Use of Critical Materials", The Celotex Corporation, Chicago, Architectural Record, October 1943 p. 16 [Advertisement] The ad describes several Celotex wallboard and sheathing products including:
Celotex Asbestos Board builds walls fast. This new Celotex product is a hard, durable combin ation of portland cement and asbestos fibre, 3/16" or 1/4" thick, available in boards 4' x 8', for fast erection of interior walls and ceilings. Can also be used for exterior finish on temporary or permanent structures.
Celotex gypsum interior wall units save studding, save time. These extra-thick gypsum wall board are either 1" or 1 1/2" thick, and building strong, sturdy, good-looking interior parttions in the shortest possible time, with only a simple wood framework. Known as "single wall construction" this method saves much critical lumber.
Celotex insulating board sheathing comprised of 1/8" Cement-asbestosboard for exterior and interior finish, a water and vapor proof bituminous adhesive, Celotex Ferox-treated Cane-Fibre Insulation.
Cemesto, Cemesto combines strength, insulation, interior and exterior finish, sold in panels from 4' x 4' to 4' x 12'. "Cemesto is a revolutionary building material that comes in panels from 4' x 4' to 4' x 12' to provide a complete fire-retardant wall or roof unit. Thickness ranges from 1 1/8", 1 9/16" to 2". Today, Cemesto with 12 years of research behind it is speeding construction ofmillions of dollars' worth of wartime homes, housing projects, factories, shops and hangars using a minimum of critical material. Can be sued with either wood or steel framing. Saves time, labor, lulmber and nails.
Celo-Siding combines siding, sheathing, insulation. This new multiple function insulating siding consists of cane fibre insulation, coated on both sides with moisture-proof asphalt, with a weather surface of crushed mineral granules in colors to provide a permanent exterior finish. It is applied direct to studding. Two thicknesses 7/8" and 5/8".
Celotex Gypsum Roof Slabs replace wood roof decks. These new laminated gypsum roo9f deck slabs are offered in 1", 1 1/2" or 2" thicknesses, 2' wide, 8, 9', or 10' long, rigid, strong, light in weight and easy to handle. The big units cover roof areas quickly, saving important time. Roof covering can be applied immediately.
CELOTEX INSULATION CELOTEX PIR PLASTERBOARD THERMAL LAMINATES Agreement Certificate [PDF] retrieved 2017/11/08, original source: https://www.celotex.co.uk/assets/plasterboard-laminates_bba-certificate_sep2016.pdf
This Agrément Certificate Product Sheet(1) relates to
Celotex PIR Plasterboard Thermal Laminates, comprising
rigid polyisocyanurate (PIR) foam boards bonded to
plasterboard, for use as insulating dry lining for internal
wall applications in existing domestic and non-domestic
Hipchen, Donald E., Michael J. Skowronski, and Joseph R. Hagan. "Structural laminate and method for making same." U.S. Patent 4,118,533, issued October 3, 1978.
Martin, Douglas, "Asbestos Decline in Canada", The New York Times, 6 February 1986, retrieved 2017/11/08, original source: http://www.nytimes.com/1986/02/06/business/asbestos-decline-in-canada.html?pagewanted=all
Ohashi, Takashi, Toru Okuyama, Akira Suzuki, and Katsuhiko Arai. "Asbestos-metal surfaced urethane modified polyisocyanurate foam." U.S. Patent 4,292,361, issued September 29, 1981.
760 F. 2d 481 - Van Buskirk v. Carey Canadian Mines Ltd J Neal R J 82-1608 Asbestos - Open Jurist [Website] retrieved 2017/11/08, https://openjurist.org/760/f2d/481/van-buskirk-v-carey-canadian-mines-ltd-j-neal-r-j-82-1608-asbestos-corporation-limited-82-1622
Popular Mechanics, October 1984, advertisement p. 139 for Celotex wallboard
Sandberg, Lynn, "Celotex in Upper Michigan", Forestry Division, The Michigan Tech Forester, Forestry Club, Michigan College of Mining and Technology, Houghton MI, Vol XII (1961) pp. 16-17. [No mention of asbestos in this article.]
For commercial installation, Celotex markets
the well known line of Acousti -Celotex acoustical
ceiling tile and suspension systems including
economical fiberboard tiles, incombustible
mineral fiber panels [possibly containing asbestos - ed] and efficient steelbase
sound-absorbing tiles. The firm manufactures
asphalt shingles, roll roofing and asphalt
Celotex is also a major manufacturer and
supplier of Celo-Rok gypsum wall board, sheathing
and plaster; mineral wood insulating blankets
and Handi-Pak home insulation; insulating siding;
decorative interior hardboard panels and exterior
hardboard siding; and indus rial fiberboard for a
wide range of other applications such as packaging
of delicate or irregularly shaped items and as a
component of other products.
Tuscaloosa News, 14 June 1944, p. 7, classified ads, Excerpt: " For Sale - Make your own fan, limited lot ... Celotex celling tile board, Celotex insulation board, Celo-rock wall board for walls and celling, plaster, plaster lath. Kern-tone Miracle paint, ... All kinds of building materials. J. Oviatt Bowers Co., Phone 4456 14-3tp"
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Do some Celotex® ceiling tiles contain asbestos?
We bought a house that was built in the 50's - it has what I THINK is a Celotex ceiling (or some copy of Celotex) - it's in horrible shape and needs to be taken down - what are your thoughts on it containing asbestos, considering the age? - Saundra
Reply: Yes. In the article above we provide a list of Celotex® fiber-board, ceiling covering, acoustical, sound control & other products that may contain asbestos
Keep in mind that Celotex and other insulating board panel and ceiling tile and panel manufacturers produced a range of products, many of which may contain asbestos, but others made of organic fibers, wood fibers, cane fibers may not contain asbestos. The Celotex ceiling products division was sold to Certainteed Saint-Gobain beginning in 1999. Certainteed continues to produce and sell both fiberglass and mineral-fiber ceiling products, as well as gypsum based ceiling materials. You may find look-alike products by searching that company's product catalogs.
Modern ceiling products do not contain asbestos. Using Certainteed as an example, [www.certainteed.com] you can obtain an MSDS (Material Data Safety Sheet) for each of the company's products. Common modern ceiling product ingredients include fibrous glass wool, urea formaldehyde resin, and fiberboard products contain slag wool, starch, cellulose [wood fibers], perlite, crystalline silica, and clay. It's worth noting that even modern building products can present health hazards if they are not handled properly. For example crystalline silica can cause nose, throat, and lung irritation. 
If you are not sure of the product brand and age of the ceiling covering, and are not sure whether or not the product contains asbestos, and if we accept as a "given" that your ceiling covering needs to be removed, there are two reasonable ways to proceed:
Dampen and remove a small sample of the material (about 1 sq.in.) and send it to a certified asbestos testing lab for identification. Typically the test is inexpensive (less than $100), and the result can close any argument about how to proceed with handling the material.
Assume based on age (for example an acoustical ceiling installed before 1973) that the material may contain asbestos and handle its removal accordingly. To be safe, I'd assume that an acoustical ceiling product made before 1981 contains asbestos, and I'd keep in mind that a ceiling installed even in the few years after 1981 could have made use of old stock made before that date.
For most projects and certainly any area as large as a basement ceiling, we recommend hiring a professional company who knows proper demolition and cleaning procedures. An amateur job of asbestos removal, even if it is legally permitted in your area, risks not only health hazards to the workers, but also the creation of a still more costly cleanup job if proper dust and debris control procedures are not followed.
To elaborate your question about asbestos-containing products made by Celotex, the company produced a wide range of fiber-based insulation products such as insulating boards and panels and the company continues to produce modern (non-asbestos-containing) versions of those products today.
At FIBERBOARD SHEATHING, Celotex Homasote & Other we include identifying photographs of some Celotex products.
Question: is it safe to clean Celotex board ceilings in our 1935 church?
Is it safe to clean the ceiling of our Church which has celotex boards and believed to have been installed in 1935? - Len Taylor 10/25/12
"Safe" depends - the greatest hazard of cleaning a church ceiling is falling off of a ladder. I don't know what kind of cleaning you are talking about, nor what the concern was; But if you avoid aggressive cleaning that damages the material and creates fibers and dust, you should be ok. Celotex fiberboard insulating panels are not an asbestos product - as you can read at SHEATHING, FIBERBOARD
Question: Asbestos in paper HVAC duct wrap
(May 24, 2015) Anonymous said:
What kind of asbestos was used in paper duct wrap in 1908? Was it chrysotile or another form?
Question: asbestos in Louisiana-Made Ceiling Tiles from 1971?
(Aug 5, 2015) Melanie said:
I need to find out if our ceiling tile contains asbestos. They were manufactured in Marrero, LA in 1971. Numbers found on the box are: 32286 and 270. Can you help? Thank you.
Check with Louisiana Acoustical & Drywall Materials is a subsidiary of GMS, 2601 Samford Ave
Shreveport, LA 71103
Question: need to know if Celotex mineral wool contains asbestos
(Nov 9, 2015) homeowner said:
I need to know if Celotex mineral wool contains asbestos. This is loose fiber insulation in walls and attic found in home that was renovated with this product in 1959. There is a package that says "Celotex Mineral Wool,fire retardant" in the home.
Mineral wool is not an asbestos product. Only if yours was cross-contaminated might we expect to find asbestos in it.
See inspectapedia.com/insulation/Rock_Wool_Insulation.php for details.
(Jan 30, 2016) jane said:
We are rehabbing a house that has Celotex tile board as the ceiling in the upstairs. I'm guessing it was put up in the early 1940's. I have a box with a label and wondered if you could tell me if they contain asbestos. Type No.91 Joint Es Size 1/2x16"x16" sq. Ft.88.89 No.Pieces 50
Jane, please use the page bottom CONTACT link to send some pictures of the box labeling on all sides and the tile bith sides and we can comment further as well as researching further.
Question: Realtor says ceiling panels are made of sugar cane not asbestos
(May 28, 2016) tclark said:
I'm looking at purchasing a home built in 1929. All of the walls and ceilings are finished with panels that our realtor is calling Celotex panels. She states that they are a by product of sugar cane which would not be surprising as the town in which it is located produces sugar cane. I see on this site that this product does not contain asbestos. How can I be sure that this is actually the product that was used vs one of the others that do contain asbestos? Also, how is this material repaired when needed? I can post photos if it will help
Your realtor may or may not be correct as cellulose-based (wood-based) insulating board panels were made from a variety of products, not just sugar cane.
But as you may read in the article above, she is right that some Celotex was made of that material. Or perhaps she was sugar coating the sale for you. Did you ask the realtor how she knew for sure what the material was, who made it and what were its constituents and how she knew that it was made at a plant that was not at risk of asbestos cross-contamination.
To know for certain if a product contains no asbestos, with no more data than your question, you'd have to have a sample tested by a certified asbestos test lab (about $50.) though it may not be justified in this case.
You can use our page top or page bottom CONTACT link to send me photos. The Comment Box software does not yet let readers post photos, though many of us have asked for that feature.
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Celotex ceiling products division was purchased by Ceiling Products & Gypsum Wallboard (BPB) of the U.K. beginning in 1999
Celotex roofing products division was purchased by Certainteed Corporation (Valley Forge PA) beginning in 1999
 Certainteed Ceilings, Adagio fiberglass/mineral fiber composite acoustical ceiling product MSDS, web search 11/22/2011, original source: certainteed.com/resources/Adagio_MSDS_2010.pdf
 "Board of Education for the School District of the City of Detroit v. Celotex, et al., Circuit Court of Wayne County, Michigan, No. 84-429634-ND"
 Celotex [UK] History, Celotex Insulation Specialists, web search 6/30/12, original source: http://www.celotex.co.uk/celotex-history [Copy on file as Celotex_History_UK.pdf ]
 Wikipedia provided background information about some topics discussed at this website provided this citation is also found in the same article along with a " retrieved on" date. NOTE: because Wikipedia entries are fluid and can be amended in real time, we cite the retrieval date of Wikipedia citations and we do not assert that the information found there is necessarily authoritative. Web search 6/30/12: "Ceiling Tiles"
 U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (USDOL) (1994). In Occupational Exposure to Asbestos:
Final Rule, FR Vol. 59, No. 153:40964–41162. Materials, Report 2OT-2003. USEPA, Washington, DC.
 U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(USDOL) (1986). In Occupational Exposure to Asbestos: Tremolite,
Anthophyllite, and Actinolite: Final Rule, FR Vol. 51,
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (1990). In Environmental Asbestos Assessment Manual, Superfund Method for the Determination of Asbestos in Ambient Air, Part 2, Technical Background Document, Report EPA/540/2-90/005 b. USEPA, Washington, DC
 "Directive 2003/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 March 2003 amending Council Directive 83/477/EEC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work". Publications Office of the European Union. 27 March 2003 Web search 6/30/12, original source: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32003L0018:EN:NOT,
EPA Guidance for Controlling Asbestos-Containing Materials in buildings, NIAST, National Institute on Abatement Sciences & Technology, [republishing EPA public documents] 1985 ed., Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
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