Monday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: We have tile on our floors and we don’t know if they are rubber, rubber-asbestos, or just what. They were put down back in the late 50''s and are brown with white, black, and darker brown. How can we find out just what they are made of?
Short of sending a sample to a test lab, I don''t know of any sure way. However, most old 8-inch square tile from those days are probably an asbestos or vinyl-asbestos composition. I would not suspect rubber.
These may be treated as you would any other floor tile. Scrub and recoat or strip, if necessary. Put down a good quality finish to seal and protect the surface. Pick a finish. It will likely ... — Lynn E. Krafft
, ICAN/ATEX Editor