Asbestos tile

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Any floor tile that contains Asbestos as a Filler material. Vinyl asbestos tiles (VAT), introduced in the 1930s and popular in the late 1940s and early 50s, were composed of a vinyl chloride-vinyl acetate copolymer filler with asbestos fibers and pigments. The asbestos added significant wear strength to the tiles. Vinyl asbestos tiles were recommended for applications below above and on grade. But since the tiles were permeable to water, they were usually adhered to the floor with a water resistant asphaltic adhesive.

Synonyms and Related Terms

VAT; vinyl asbestos tiles; tuile en fibrociment (Fr.); ladrilho de asbesto (Port.); asbestos floor tile


Asbestos containing vinyl tiles are considered a health hazard when the flooring is removed. Tiles in good condition can be left in place and protected with a sealer.

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Generally 9.9 inch square and 1/8 inch thick.
  • Permeable to water.

Resources and Citations

  • Kimberly Konrad, Paul Kofoed, "Vinyl Tile", in Twentieth-Century Building Materials, T. Jester (ed.), McGraw-Hill: New York, 1995.
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996