Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Vintage Floor Tile is To Die For.

SO many options! Gee, should I choose cancer or mesothelioma? Source
Normally I talk about the fun parts of decorating and home ownership, but today we're going to talk about the nasty stuff. Ever since our indoor rain adventure, I've learned much more than I ever wanted to know about water damage, insurance, and asbestos. Quick recap: My upstairs neighbor's water heater popped like bubble wrap and flooded our kitchen. His insurance company refused to cover the damages caused by the flooding, but my insurance has me covered, so it's all good.

Here are the Cliff Notes:
Water = Mold and rot, so get that shit professionally dried ASAP.
Water + Hardwood Floor = buckling and warping, so get the subfloor dried, then get a new floor.
Asbestos = Call a professional, but don't bother to put on a Biohazard suit. It's not necessary.

My ceiling will be dried and repaired, but in order to dry the subfloor, my hardwood floor has to be ripped out and then completely replaced. Yes, I get a new hardwood floor for Christmas! Even though the water only went into the kitchen, the hardwood floor runs through the dining room and hall, and all of it has to be replaced so it all matches. To pry it up, the baseboards have to be removed. New trim too, yay!

But--here's the fun part--they found 
asbestos tile under the hardwood floor.
Except for those gold curtains, I could live here. Those curtains have got to go. Source 
So much for loving vintage design, right? Asbestos tile was pretty standard until the 1970s, and my place was bulit in 1967. A lot of us probably live with asbestos and don't even know it.  I've been doing a lot of research, and the tile isn't dangerous to us as long as it isn't broken. Unfortunately, it's dangerous to people who work around it--think lung disease, cancer and death. And before the subfloor can be dried, the asbestos tile has to be removed by an asbestos specialist. This is getting complicated.

1. Rip up hardwood floor.
2. Asbestos specialist removes the asbestos tile.
3. A water damage specialist dries the subfloor.
4. New hardwood floors and trim go in, YAY!

So I've been dealing with insurance, water removal, flooring, and demolition/asbestos specialists. All of these things are done by different companies that visit at different times to examine, estimate, sample, and test various bits of my home. So I haven't been blogging much, and it's only going to get worse for the next week: As I type this, I'm watching my beloved hardwood floor get pried up and put into garbage bags.

My only respite was over the weekend, when I went to Lauren of Lladybird's house and met so many awesome Nashville bloggers. Yes, I got to see Lauren's sewing room, and it's even prettier in person! The ladies behind Old Red Boots, Let's Go Ride a Bike, Blooming Leopold, KittyKat Stevens, Blackberry Jelly, She Was a Bird, Mode Stylist, Simply Allis, and more were there, and they are awesome. And get this: one of those ladies and I grew up in the same part of Illinois and attended the same obscure history camp as children, where we dressed like characters on Little House on the Prairie and churned butter. I was so excited to meet her and find all these things in common. Small world!

Stay tuned, y'all. Important design choices might need to be made soon!


  1. i'm so bummed i missed the party! and even more bummed you can't get that great vintage tile asbestos free. we had to tear out an old cast iron heating unit and allllll the pipes to it in our basement because of the asbestos. it was such a pain to deal with! i hope your new floors go in quickly and perfectly!

    1. I know, right? I missed you on Saturday! Did you have asbestos insulation? I've heard that's even worse to deal with. How long did your project take?

  2. Nice tile all over the floor. When old thing goes, it seems that someone old friend is going out.
    Thanks for sharing all.


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