How to Cover Asbestos Floors

Written by alexander poirier
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How to Cover Asbestos Floors
Some older flooring may contain asbestos. (texture floor image by Oleg Verbitsky from

Repeated exposure to asbestos fibres is widely known to be harmful to your health. Unfortunately, asbestos once was widely known as the best insulation product on the market. There are six different minerals that the EPA defines as asbestos, and each was used in the insulation and building of houses at one point or another. Some houses even had asbestos floors installed. Luckily, it's possible to cover these floors to protect those living in the house from any harmful dust or debris.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Respirator
  • Floor-levelling compound
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Mixing gun
  • Interlocking subfloor sheets
  • 2-by-4-inch lumber
  • Hammer
  • Flooring material

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  1. 1

    Put on the respirator before beginning to work around the asbestos floor.

  2. 2

    Mix floor levelling compound and water in a 5-gallon bucket, following the package instructions.

  3. 3

    Pour the levelling compound directly onto the asbestos flooring. Levelling compound is designed to spread itself evenly over the floor, so no spreading is needed. Because of the harmful effects of asbestos, avoid any contact with the asbestos flooring that could stir particles into the air.

  4. 4

    Let the self-levelling compound dry overnight to ensure that it fully seals the asbestos flooring beneath it.

  5. 5

    Lay the subfloor sheets on top of the dry levelling compound, cutting them to fit the room as necessary. Leave a 3/8-inch gap around the perimeter of the room. Lock each piece in place by lining up the interlocking grooves with the pieces laid next to it. Place a piece of 2-by-4-inch lumber on the edge of the piece. Tap the interlocking grooves into place with a hammer.

  6. 6

    Cover the subfloor with your chosen flooring material. Install the flooring according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Tips and warnings

  • Breathing in high levels of asbestos fibres can give you an increased chance of lung cancer and mesothelioma, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Always take precautions to avoid breathing in any amount of asbestos fibres.

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