I would like to put something over the asbestos tile flooring in my rental house and have thought about sealing them with varnish, polyuthane or shellac whichever would work the best. Is this a good idea?
Go with something more commercial - like the very thick, clear finish used on the floors at Lowe's or HD. A regular poly or varnish will wear and flake, meaning that you'd then have to remove it all to refinish to get a decent look. Something durable is especially important in a rental house
Are you trying to cover the asbestos just to make a smooth surface or to change the look? Because you could also install a floating floor directly on top.
Laminate, loose laded linoleum, linoleum, rugs, almost anything would be better then trying to seal it with any form of poly.
Thanks Guys, I've put so much money in this money pit and getting to the end and running out of money for the floors so was trying to come up with a cheaper method. I really wanted the laminate so will find the money from somewhere...Thanks again. You told me what I needed to know.
The danger from asbestos flooring is way overblown IMHO. A good coat of wax is all that is needed. The asbestos in the floor will not become airborne unless you start to sand or grind it to remove it. Even scraping it isn't going to release dust into the room because the tile breaks into large pieces that can't become airborne. Undisturbed the asbestos is encapsulated in the floor and isn't going anywhere.
If you want to update the floor I'd go with a floating laminate over the asbestos tile especially in a rental.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
I agree with you on the danger being overblown. I've really never known or heard of anyone that came down with cancer because of asbestos flooring. I'll check prices on the floating laminate but its a big house.
the one thing about using a metallized commercial floor wax is that to strip it when it peels/bubbles/streaks, you need a coarse buffer pad on a floor machine and straight ammonia (28%). I can tell you from experience that's a bit of a job, and then you have to vacuum the slop up before it hardens again.
better to overlay the floor, or take it up. take it up wet, and even when it breaks into little pieces as you wiggle the wide putty knife under it, you're not in danger. with a floor machine, it is possible to kick the random loose fiber around while scouring with black pads, using the wet vac, or cleaning the wet vac.
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?