Our 7-month-old child will soon start crawling. Should we worry about asbestos tile floors?

Asked by Miranda Johnson
Jersey City, NJ

We have a 7-month-old who is about to start crawling. We just learned our kitchen floors are vinyl and are very concerned. We are trying to get our landlord to replace the tiles. I just read on your site that older vinyl floors may have asbestos. How old are the floors that have asbestos? If the tiles were put on in the past 10 years, is it a concern?


Jason Kliwinski

Answered by Jason Kliwinski

Lambertville, NJ

The Green Living and Building Center

June 20, 2011

Asbestos tiles can usually be identified by their size.

  • They are smaller than tile today typically, and are either 8x8 or 10x10.
  • If your tiles are this size, they may be asbestos.

Unless the tiles are damaged or flaking in any way, the asbestos is bound in the product and probably not a concern -- but better safe than sorry, in my opinion.

The best thing to do is take a small sample and send it to a lab for testing. If you are concerned still, have the tiles removed professionally and replaced with something nontoxic like cork, linoleum, or ceramic/porcelain tile.


For more information:

Read "Are national funds available for taking off or covering old asbestos siding? How hazardous is handling old asbestos siding?" a Q&A answered by Rick Goyette.

Also, read "How do I know if the tile in my home is toxic?" a Q&A answered by Gennaro Brooks-Church.

Tagged In: home air quality

Do you have a question about greening your home? GreenHomeGuide invites you to Ask A Pro. Let our network of experienced green building professionals – architects, designers, contractors, electricians, energy experts, landscapers, tile & stone specialists, and more – help you find the right solution.