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Can You Put Hardwood Over Asbestos Tile? (How To)

Asbestos tiles were commonly used in the 60s and, as a result, they’re still in older homes, posing a health risk to homeowners. If removing the asbestos tiles isn’t an option for you, you can still try to keep your family safe by covering the tiles with new flooring.

It is possible to put hardwood over asbestos tiles when the right preparations are made and the right kind of planks are used. It isn’t recommended that you install solid hardwood over asbestos tiles. The installation itself should be pretty simple when using click-locking hardwood planks.

Wooden flooring

You have to take the right steps to ensure you install the wood planks correctly and if you do, you won’t experience any issues.

Should You Put Hardwood Over Asbestos Tile?

Wooden flooring

Asbestos in the home is never a good thing, but asbestos tiles aren’t as hazardous. Still, if you want to avoid exposing any of the carcinogenic minerals from the tiles to the air your family is breathing, you have to cover them in some way or another.

Putting hardwood planks over asbestos tiles is a good solution to this problem, and installing them is fairly straightforward and simple. The cost of asbestos removal can be rather high, so covering it up might be your only true solution.

What Tools Do You Need to Put Hardwood Over Asbestos Tile?

Wooden flooring

Having the right tools for your installation will make the entire project go smoothly and you’ll be done pretty quickly.

You won’t need many tools to install hardwood click-locking planks over asbestos tiles. It will be necessary to measure the room so you know you have enough planks, though. Also, you’ll need cleaning supplies to clean the tiles before installing the planks.

As such, a measuring tape, mop and bucket, and broom should be all the tools you need apart from the planks, of course.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on December 23, 2022.

What Preparations Do You Need to Put Hardwood Over Asbestos Tile?

Wooden flooring

Although installing hardwood planks over asbestos tile isn’t a complicated task, you still have several preparations to make before you take on this kind of project.

You need to keep the hardwood planks dry before you install them and you need to acclimate them to the room’s temperature as well. It’s also a good idea to add a barrier between the asbestos tiles and the new flooring.

One of the biggest concerns when installing hardwood planks over asbestos tiles is moisture. Moisture has a nasty way of causing trouble for hardwood, leading to the planks buckling.

You will need to take a moisture test in the room where you want to install the new flooring to get an idea of the humidity level. For wood flooring to sit comfortably, the humidity should be between 40% and 50%. Anything below or beyond that will be bad for the wood. 

The general temperature should be between 68 degrees and 72 degrees. With these temperatures, the wood will be in what is called a ‘comfort zone’. If possible, use a dehumidifier in the room while you’re doing this project to ensure the wood stays as dry as possible for a successful installation.

It is also a good idea to have a barrier between the asbestos tile and your hardwood planks. Any kind of moisture vapor barrier will go even further to ensure moisture doesn’t ever become a problem.

Red rosin paper is a good option, but you should also consider a layer of trowable moisture barrier that you spread over the tiles before the installation. This will go a long way toward keeping the moisture out.

Clean the asbestos tiles and make sure they are all even and there is no debris that can cause problems when the wood planks are installed.

And finally, it’s essential that you let the wood planks acclimate before you begin with the installation. Fail to do this, and your planks will warp after installation, causing frustration and headaches that could have been avoided with a little bit of patience.

Wood can absorb moisture from the air and this can lead to warping or shape changes. As such, you should put the wood in the room where it must be installed for a day or two so it gets used to the humidity and temperatures. That way, the planks will be fully adjusted once you start installing them.

A room that has the recommended 30% to 50% humidity will cause the wood planks to expand a little bit. As a result, you may see gaps in the joints, so starting the installation immediately would be a mistake.

How to Put Hardwood Over Asbestos Tile

confused man standing

Once you have ensured that your hardwood planks have acclimated, cleaned the asbestos tiles so they are even, and kept the planks dry, you can start installing them. This won’t be a complicated or overly difficult task.

It is recommended that you avoid solid hardwood and only install click-locking hardwood planks over asbestos tiles. This kind of plank doesn’t need a lot of prep work and can be installed with ease.

The process of lying down click-locking hardwood planks is a simple one. All you have to do is ensure the planks are facing the right way and then you will attach them together so they can lock in place. 

You may have to do some cutting to make the planks fit in odd corners and around furniture that may be in the way, such as cabinets. Measure the parts that you need to cut and use a sharp utility knife for this cutting task. You may have to cut around other obstructions such as vents as well.

Lay the planks down from left to right, making sure the tongue side of the individual planks is facing the walls. Ensure that all the planks snap into place securely as they should. It is recommended that you stagnate the ends about six inches apart to give the room an aesthetic appearance with the planks.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on December 23, 2022.

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