Floor sanding

Asbestos warning.
Some floor tiles contain Asbestos
Some of black mastic glues used contain Asbestos
Get it checked if you are in doubt.

During the kitchen renovation we pulled up the poorly installed floating floor revealing nice clean floor boards. In front of the kitchen sink we found the area covered in tacky peel and stick tiles.IMG_0828

The tiles didn’t look that old so I started pulling some of them up. It was only after I thought I wonder if there is still a chance of Asbestos. Looking on-line I realised even if the tile was safe, the backing probably had Asbestos.
Luckily none of them broke and no dust was created at this stage, so I sent off a tile sample and a backing sample for testing.

The results came back a few days later, showing no Asbestos.
It was a close call, but at least I could get down to pulling them all up.

Removing the tiles was easy with a heat gun and scraper. But it left the black mastic glue behind. To get the bulk of the mastic off, I used the heat gun and scraper but there was still a sticky mess.

A number of people I spoke with recommended using glue remover.
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From the local hardware store I picked up a tin, costing around $50 and went to work.
The glue remover was useless, it filled the room with fumes and made a sticky mess which was even harder to remove.
I also realised that the process would take a few hundred dollars worth of glue remover for the entire floor.

I thought surely I could sand it. With my belt sander and some 60g paper I started attacking the glue. Surprisingly enough, it actually worked. This was going to be a slow process but it removed the glue nicely. The belt sander sort of melted the glue and flung out the back. These rolled up bits of glue were then easy to sweep up.

It still took a couple days but it worked.

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