Last weekend Tony started ripping up the carpet in the little half bedroom off the master in preparation for our guest bathroom install. He expected to find plywood subflooring, but instead he found 2 layers of linoleum flooring. The surprise was underneath those – hardwood floors! It didn’t look very pretty, but the wood was solid!
The top layer of linoleum broke away and came up easy-peasy, but that bottom layer was stubborn! Tony scraped and prodded, but it just wouldn’t come up. I mean, there’s a good chance it had been there for 60 years, so I can see why it would want to stay put! Finally though, Tony purchased a heat gun and chiseled that linoleum away a square foot at a time. Eventually the flooring itself came up, but there was this nasty black goo left all over the floor boards.
Tony cleaned up, swept, vacuumed, then sat down to determine how to get the goo off. That’s when we learned that the paste used to secure laminate flooring was often made with asbestos. While asbestos is still quite common in homes, and perfectly safe if left undisturbed, there are several things you’re not supposed to do if you suspect that the laminate you’re trying to remove was secured with asbestos-glue… and between the removal itself, the sweeping, the vacuuming, etc., we’d already done just about all of them. At that point, Google was no longer my friend as images of 60 year old Lindy with lung cancer from the old linoleum in her home were quickly painted by the results of my search.
Tony found a place that tests for asbestos and sent in a sample. Thank the Lord, we are in the clear! No asbestos was present! Within hours of receiving that news, Tony had rented a drum sander and was halfway done with the goo removal when I arrived home.
Since we’re using this space for a bathroom, we don’t want to waste these beautiful board by covering over them again. Wood floors in a bathroom just seem like a bad idea to me. But, we have quite a few places around the house where boards really need replacing. We’re going to salvage these boards and use them for that purpose. Then we’ll put in a tile floor for the new bathroom!
In the meantime, There’s lots of tearing up to do!