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Remodeling condo kitchen-asbestos concern

Katie Williams
6 years ago
last modified: 6 years ago


My husband and I own a very small condo (681 sq ft) built in 1974 and want to remodel the kitchen. We had a contractor from Lowe's come out to measure and give us a quote for demo and installation of cabinets. He wants to charge us $900 to test our ceramic tile floor for asbestos. And if asbestos is found, it will cost a ton of money to remove since we need to use special contractors for the demo.

My first question is, do we really need to have this testing done? Or is he trying to make some money off us? What are the chances that ceramic tile contains asbestos? Should we have an independent tester come out rather than using the Lowe's contractor?

Second question...can we leave the tile intact and put flooring over it? From the research I've been doing, it seems it's better to leave the tile alone rather than disturb it and kick up the dust. The only problem I anticipate with that is we want to use the same flooring throughout the living room and kitchen, and currently the living room is laminate wood flooring. Would it be too difficult to keep the floors at the same level?

Okay, last question...part of the kitchen counter is going to be removed completely, can he claim that there is a danger of asbestos exposure by removing this and disturbing the ceramic tile? I've attached a photo that isn't great, but it's the only one I have that shows the part of the counter that I want removed. Toward the front door and the refrigerator, there is a section of counter that juts out and I want that removed because it makes the clearance between counter and refrigerator so small when the fridge door is open.

I hope what I've said makes sense and I should also mention that this is our vacation home and we do not live there full time, so don't want to spend a large sum of money on this project. We are contemplating selling in a year or two to upgrade, so that is another consideration with how we complete the remodel.

Any advice would be most appreciated!

P.S. We live in Oxnard, CA if anyone knows a reliable and reasonably priced contractor who doesn't mind working on small projects!

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