Good Questions: Is it Safe To Pull Up the Vinyl Floor?

Good Questions: Is it Safe To Pull Up the Vinyl Floor?

Maxwell Ryan
Aug 24, 2007

Hello AT,

I am in the process of buying my first apartment, a 1920s co-op in Queens. From the looks of it, the apartment has barely been renovated since it was built. The kitchen is especially awful, with at least 2 layers of peeling vinyl on the floor...

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I'm not going to hire a contractor and will be doing everything on a very strict budget. The rest of the place appears to have the original oak floors, and my guess is that the kitchen has oak floors underneath all that gross vinyl. I would love to pull up the vinyl and refinish the wood floor(if that's what I find), but I've been warned the vinyl may be full of asbestos, given the age of the place.

Is it safe to pull up? Should I have it tested? Alternatively, I thought about laying down a floating cork floor in the kitchen. Could I leave the vinyl layers underneath then? How would I prep the floor for this?

Thanks! Tamar


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