Asbestos: A Love (-Hate) Story

So, remember the den floor? (You can read about ripping out the carpet here, ahem, two years ago.)

old linoleum floor

A few weeks back, Husband decided it was time to rip out the linoleum to install new floors. EXCITING! I couldn’t wait. Then one night, I couldn’t sleep, and the idea of asbestos started rolling around in my brain. I googled it and concluded there was almost no chance of our linoleum NOT having asbestos. I informed him of my findings the next morning. He said he was sure it would be fine, that he would wear a mask and tarp off the den. I texted my brother, and he suggested doing an asbestos test. I donned a mask and gloves, ripped up a corner of the floor, and drove it out to a lab in Sacramento. One hour and $100 later, my suspicions were confirmed.

I set about getting estimates for “asbestos abatement”. OH. MY. GOSH. It is so expensive. Like, there-go-our-new-floors expensive. But I knew I wouldn’t rest until all of the asbestos was removed properly. And I was fine with it. “Maybe we can just paint the subfloor for a while and get new floors next year?”

Although, to be honest, I have been not-so-secretly hoping that hardwood floors were under the linoleum. I know, a crazy thought, but the part where I pulled up the corner to be tested looked promising. I held out hope. We made a bet. Husband thought I was crazy.

asbestos warning

About a week later, the abatement crew arrived. They tarped over all the den openings, set up a double layer in the garage with a zipper (just like the movie, E.T.), and hooked up negative air machine (apparently called a “hog”) to keep everything clear.


We stayed gone for the morning – not because it was dangerous but mostly to help my paranoia about the whole thing. When we got back, one of the workmen, Alex, came around to tell me they were almost done and that the testing company would be there in a couple of hours to test the air. “You’ll be back in by this afternoon.” Yea! So happy. We were initially told it would be at least 36 hours, but it was looking like less than eight. Then, almost as an afterthought, Alex said, “And you know there’s hardwood under there, right?”

Now, imagine my reaction. I’d spent the last week resigning myself to the fact that we would be living without ANY floor for, well, a while. This was HUGE. Alex seemed a little uncomfortable with my outburst of excitement. My voice was loud. I might have done a little dance. I stopped myself from hugging him. Huge relief doesn’t begin to describe how I felt. Even with holes (there are several), even if some planks would need refinishing (only two), we had a floor! That was so much better than we were expecting. (And also, why would you do that? Why would you put linoleum over finished hardwood floors, just after the house was built? And only in this one room? It’s hard to imagine.)

new old floors

I messaged Husband with photos immediately, but he said he would only believe it when he saw it in person. I asked him if he remembered what our original bet was, and he didn’t, so I said it was probably some Rombauer. “Sure,” he said.

Rombauer Chardonnay

It’s a win-win for both of us – original hardwood floors and our favorite oaky Chardonnay to celebrate my victory. Cheers! Now on to the next project….



6 thoughts on “Asbestos: A Love (-Hate) Story

  1. I am SO happy for you!! What a fun discovery- and a great story to go along with it. I can’t wait to see what you do next with that space. Happy decorating!!


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s