How to Remove Asbestos Floor Tile & Mastic


Asbestos should be taken seriously and if any is found in your home, it should be removed as soon as possible. Often floor tiles and the underlying mastic contain asbestos. If you want to remove the flooring yourself, limit the number of people who are present. Inhaling asbestos is extremely hazardous, so choose a high quality respirator mask that indicates it is safe for use near asbestos.

Things You'll Need

  • Disposable hooded overalls
  • Slip-on boots
  • Respirator mask
  • Scraper
  • Shovel
  • Spray bottle
  • Solvent
  • Asbestos waste container
  • Tape
  • Plastic bag
  • Put on disposable hooded overalls, slip-on boots and respirator mask.

  • Use a scraper for small areas and/or hard-to-reach places. Press the blade between the tile joints. Bang the handle of the scraper with a hammer if the tiles are fit tightly together.

  • Lift the tiles by pushing the scraper underneath. Work slowly and patiently to avoid snapping the tiles.

  • Remove large areas of tile with a shovel. Stand with the tip of the shovel between the tiles and push until they release from the floor.

  • As you remove the tiles, mist the floor underneath with a spray bottle filled with water.

  • Soften the mastic after all the tiles have been removed. Pour solvent onto the mastic and let it soften for several minutes.

  • Gently scrape the mastic off the floor. If the mastic doesn't come up easily, let the solvent stay on the mastic for a few more minutes.

  • Dispose of the tiles and mastic in an asbestos waste container, and tape it closed. Put the container into a plastic bag, and place the bag into an approved hazardous materials disposal bin.

Tips & Warnings

  • Put up warning signs around the work area to notify others of the presence of asbestos.
  • Do not remove the respirator mask at any time when working near asbestos.

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  • Photo Credit Tiled floor image by Simon Amberly from
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