I've got some ceramic tiles I removed for a bathroom remodel. Home was built in 1967 so asbestos was a concern, the floor tiles are vinyl 8x8" and possibly contain asbestos so I am leaving those there and laying over them, but the wall also had a different 4x4" ceramic tiles. I've read that black floor adhesive contains asbestos but what about non-black wall tile glue? Here is a picture:

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I've not been able to find any info on if this kind of tile glue can contain asbestos, but just wanted to make sure for others more experienced than I. I'm trying to determine if I should scrap off the glue, or just cut off the drywall completely.

Then again, I also read some plasters and drywall muds could contain asbestos too, seems like so much can contain it. I just read this comment on a youtube video fro removing drywall: "Most people don't know this but drywall that was installed up to the early 1980s may contain asbestos especially at the joints in the joint compound so the dust can be very dangerous to breath."

Should I be concerned about this too?

  • get a disposable suit - kit. Remove the drywall in large pieces - see my answer.
    – Ken
    May 20, 2017 at 17:35
  • @SventoryMang Did you have the glue tested (from top photo)? What were the results? Thanks in advance!
    – Emily Mac
    Jul 27, 2017 at 12:46

3 Answers 3


Yes you are definitely limiting your exposure by removing the drywall and NOT SCRAPING.

Even removing the Drywall - asbestos dust can fly around.

  • Get a disposable suit so that you don't get any fibers on your clothing.
  • Get a good respirator suitable for asbestos protection.

I am not affiliated in any way with the below link but providing as an example

Or buy the Kit not expensive at all - reasonably priced: https://www.pksafety.com/lead-asbestos-removal-pro-kit.html

Lead and Asbestos Removal PPE Kit

  • Thanks Ken, good thing is, I already did this so far for the demo, got all the things in your picture, Tyverk suit including hood and footies, gloves, and P100 respirator. I just assumed better safe than sorry. Also sealed off the area from the rest of the house and got a vac with HEPA filter. Looks like I will be cutting out the drywall. Which I read can also contain asbestos if it's white inside? From the comment in this answer: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/86359/…? I suppose if I'm already protected it won't be an issue? May 20, 2017 at 18:08
  • With this equipment would I also be clear to remove the floor tile? But if it's the black asbestos stuff, what do I do? Remove the whole subfloor or leave it? May 20, 2017 at 18:10
  • @SventoryMang you can remove the tile and yes removing the sub floor Minimizes your exposure risk fewer particulates vs sanding (think asbestos particulates even though you have a respirator less is more in this case). You can clear it all out at once and be done with it. I was going to suggest it - but tiling over it does not disturb anything. In fact by removing it now - some poor soul (perhaps ignorant of asbestos) 10 or 20 years from now who wants to redo the floor will not unknowingly put himself or his family at risk. Remember wear the respirator when cleaning that VAC out.
    – Ken
    May 22, 2017 at 2:49

Regarding asbestos, the best rule of thumb is: no one can be sure if any material contains Asbestos until it has been analyzed by a certified laboratory. Asbestos is a well known carcinogen fiber that can only be seen under a microscope. Prior to the banning of asbestos in the construction industry, asbestos had a wide open market mostly in every fraction of the construction materials due to its durability, flexibility and bonding capacity. So pretty much one can find asbestos in any single material, from glues (resins) to hard elements like tile, siding and roofing. Asbestos is still is a great product, that still have several uses. It is a great insulator, as we can find it in Home insulation, break pads, gaskets and pipe insulation. Asbestos inspectors are also referred as AHERA Inspectors. By law, they can certainly inspect, sample, and analyze every construction material to positively determine whether it contains asbestos or it is free if it.


I am removing tile from a wall in my bath room in an early 1920's house too. And with all the research I've done; any glue/adhesive used to adhere tile, wallpaper, joints for water pipes and such, before 1980, companies used asbestos in their adhesives to give them strength. I've concluded that there is a very good possibility there is asbestos in this type of adhesive as well. Since there is no way to know what type of adhesive it is, it is best to treat this as a type of asbestos adhesive. Most companies used asbestos in there glues/adhesives for these types of installations.

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