Our old home.


I’ve mentioned before, we live in a 90-year-old home. Yup. Well…. I guess she’s 93. Built in 1920. It’s tiny and needs a lot of work is unique. The entry to our home is covered in the UGLIEST pink tile. There’s hardwood under there. I can see a sneak peak of the hardwood every time I come in the house… but we’ve never tried to pull the tile up and check it out.

Last night… I did it. I got tired of staring and decided to just check and see what’s under there. There are 2 layers of tile over the hardwood. I’m pretty sure the tile is glued to the hardwood… which sucks. BUT, anything is better than that pink tile. ALSO, things I didn’t think about before I messed with this bottom tile: asbestos. Oh yeah. that. It’s an old house, so I need to be safe. I have stopped messing with it for now… and plan to make a couple of calls tomorrow. I don’t think it’s asbestos, but I want to be safe.

Have you ever dealt with asbestos? Any advice with testing? Have you tried a home kit?

– Chelsey


  • Natalie on said:

    I do asbestos testing for historic restoration corporations. Send me an email and I can answer any questions you might have.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Thanks Natalie! That's awesome. I just sent in sample of the flooring from the entryway and kitchen. The kitchen has 3 layers of vinyl… OVER HARDWOOD. Oh man. I am 90% sure that has asbestos. It has black glue. I'll email you when I get the test back, I may need some advice on how to find the right person to take it out! 🙂

  • rouge + whimsy on said:

    what is up with older homes and putting things over hardwood? my house was built in 1940– so it's practically brand-new compared to yours– but they covered gorgeous hardwoods with nasty carpet.

    And I totally get the whole "unique" house thing. Sometimes I really dislike my house because of all the work it needs…

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      My husband and I OFTEN question why we bought this house………. 😉

  • sarah on said:

    we renovated a much newer old home (built 1959) and had a room with tiles that looked very much like classic asbestos tile. we had it tested by a professional, just to know what we were dealing with. lucky for us it wasn't a problem. what i know about asbestos tile from many renovations is this: it's only dangerous if it's broken up, since that's when the fibers get in the air and can be breathed in. if it's left alone and intact, it's not an issue (provided it's in good enough shape to not start crumbling on its own) and can/should be covered up. if you want to remove the tiles, though, to get to what's underneath–definitely test, and i'd recommend professional removal if it's actual asbestos. if it was just a couple of consenting adults in the house i'd say that it's no biggie to look into doing it yourself (SAFELY), but with a kiddo it's usually best to err on the side of extra caution. i also second what another commenter said about finding a contractor in the area who will do it without a lot of extra trouble…there are reasonable people out there!

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Thank you! Yeah. I decided to take samples from our entry and kitchen. Cross EVERYthing… and hope it comes back normal. It will be nice to know for sure. <3

  • Justine on said:

    We live in the Boston area and have a home built the same decade as yours. While we haven't personally dealt with asbestos, I agree with the other poster that you want to hire someone to do the work. We've had great luck finding reliable and reasonably priced help on Angie's List. Old houses are unique! But sometimes the work can be daunting. Keep up the positivity!

  • Glamorous Housewife on said:

    Asbestos wasn't really used in tile work, so I wouldn't be too worried about it unless the tiles are actually made out of asbestos. In addition, the cancer causing properties are only harmful if breathed in for a long period of time- like over years. Nonetheless, if you do it yourself, Alyssa S. had some good advice about a mask and gloves, or hiring a professional. Good luck!

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Yeah. I tried to find more info about Asbestos and hard tile… no such luck. But, I guess a test will help ease my mind. 🙂

  • Heather on said:

    The key to asbestos is to keep it wet. It's the dry fibers that you inhale and cause mega problems. Always keep it wet and not dusty. Professional removal will be very expensive because of all the hazard procedures, at least in CA. Do a little online research or find a contractor willing to do it without all the hoopla. It can be done. Just keep it wet!!!! Good luck!

  • Alyssa S. on said:

    Before we moved to Texas, we lived in Boston. My Mom and sister still live there. The fact of life in such an old town is that MOST homes are really old. When my BIL took down their shutters years ago, they were made with asbestos. He had to make sure he wore a mask the whole time that was approved to filter out asbestos. And he wore gloves. Honestly, if I were you, I'd look into someone who is an asbestos removal expert. It won't be cheap, but safety is KEY when dealing with that stuff.

Leave a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.