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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default What is this material under carpet padding on stairs?

    I started to remove the carpet from the stairs that lead to my basement. Under the carpet is a foam padding, but under that is a dark, hard, speckled material. I'm scared to remove it as I have no idea what the material is. It doesn't seem to be glued to the stairs from what I can tell.

    Does anyone know what it is, why it's there and if it's safe for me to remove it?

    My house was built in 1950, but I have no idea when the carpet was installed.

    Image can be seen here: flickr.com/photos/75964940@N07/6969296269/in/photostream
    Last edited by thjk; 03-10-2012 at 09:23 AM. Reason: add picture

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Wink Re: What is this material under carpet padding on stairs?

    What you have there under the padding is an early type of flooring called VAT, or Vinyl Asbestos Tile, or it is a formica hardboard flooring that also contains asbestos, this is original to the home and is probably why they carpeted over it. You can leave it and carpet over it ,but do not break it up or apart, if you want it removed then you need to explore your options, and asbestos removal team would be expensive, but this is a type 1 removal, so all they would do is wet it down and seperate it from the stairs and bag it up, this is all after they tape off the surrounding areas and run a negative pressure air cleaner. This is not an easy decision, I would get a few opinions and go from there! Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Re: What is this material under carpet padding on stairs?

    Thanks for the quick reply. Guess I'll be looking to get it re-carpeted. Ugh.

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