We are planning on tearing out our upstairs bathroom and relocating it so we make room for an extra bedroom. The bathroom is in really bad shape: last remodel was in the late 80's, but at some point since then a tile floor (that super cheap, really ugly 1.5"X1.5" square, ivory, box store crap) was put on top of some hideous linoleum which is on top of intact asbestos. My house is 110 years old. Yep. Three layers of flooring. Typical I guess.

Obviously, adding yet another layer is unacceptable. Besides the weight issue (I would think), our plan would eliminate the wall between the hall and the (former) bathroom leaving an almost 3" difference in height in what would be the middle of the room. Adding more flooring to the hall area is just stupid and would make our already low ceilings (it's a 3/4 story upstairs) seem lower.

Is it feasible to remove the tile (at least) and it's subfloor (1/8 inch unidentified substrate) without disturbing the asbestos? I can deal with covering the linoleum layer with a new 3rd layer of carpeting or laminate but refuse to put a 4th layer of flooring in this area. Ideally, I'd like to also remove the 2nd layer (linoleum and plywood) and just have to deal with re-encapsulating the asbestos, but I am willing to take what I can get here.

I really can't afford to even think about abatement. My budget is already maxed out w/the plumbing necessary for this project.

For clarification, the floor layers in the bathroom are as follows from the top down: ceramic tile (thinset), 1/8" subfloor, linoleum, 1/4" plywood, asbestos, asbestos containing adhesive (I presume based on age of the house and typical installation), subfloor of unknown thickness/type.

I have 4 children (12, 7, 5, and 1.5) in the house, so safety is a priority, but like I said, I have a budget and I can't spend it all on an all out abatement project. I just want to know if I can expect to have less than 4" of flooring when this project is done.

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  • Check the laws in your area and study up on the approach needed (if allowable) to do self abatement. Perhaps some investigation in that area would yield reasonable results you can afford. Be safe.
    – noybman
    Feb 10, 2018 at 2:34

1 Answer 1


The recommended procedure for linoleum asbestos is to encapsulate it. Assuming it was properly encapsulated before the previous flooring were placed down, you should be able to rip out the tile down to the upper layer or non-asbestos linoleum without problem.

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