I have a house that was built in 1911. I am renovating the 1st floor bathroom (removing drywall, plaster, then lath boards. While removing the plaster in the ceiling I noticed that there is some insulation between the floors. It resembles blown in insulation but I do not see any port holes so I am assuming its original. It appears to have a cotton like texture but I have not touched it yet. Does anyone know if I should be concerned about asbestos exposure? Anyone have any theories why they would insulate between floors?

  • 1
    I have remodeled quite a few homes built in the late 1800's and after 1906 earthquake in sanfrancisco every one of these had lead paint and some kind of asbestos. It would be best to have the material you plan to remove tested so you know what precautions to take.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 0:40

1 Answer 1


Insulation between floors is often for sound isolation, but hard to know for sure with the original owners/builders presumably long since dead.

Asbestos is both easy and annoyingly expensive to know for sure - collect a sample and send it to a lab, if you can't just leave it alone, undisturbed. You can't tell just by looking at it, unless you have the right sort of fancy microscope and training in its use. It could also be in your plaster, sadly. Might not be in either place, but without testing, you can't know.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.