Let’s get the bad news out of the way early: there’s no way that anyone can tell you what it’ll cost to remove contaminated tile or any other material from your home as it depends on way too many variables such as where you live, how the tiles or flooring were installed, the amount to be removed, etc.
But we can provide you some very general answers and steer you in the right general direction as far as getting quotes and bids for the abatement and removal work of the asbestos-containing material.
This assumes that you’re looking for average costs for hiring a licensed contractor certified to handle materials with asbestos in them, and that you’ve already had a test performed and confirmed the tile or flooring has asbestos in it. If not, have the test done, as it’s the only way to know for sure and could save you thousands of dollars.
The Removal Process
Many abatement companies will require that an initial inspection and report is completed by a third-party company, to establish initial levels of contamination and confirm the presence of asbestos.
Once that’s complete, the contractor will begin work, usually installing floor to ceiling plastic sheeting and bringing in air equipment to artificially lower the air pressure to keep fiber dispersal to a bare minimum.
All material to be removed will be kept wet during the entire process and will be double bagged in 6 mil contractor bags or securely wrapped in equivalent plastic sheeting. All workers on the site must be properly certified for asbestos work and not just those handling the material.
The area where work is performed will be thoroughly cleaned after completion, often with specialized vacuums. Several air tests will be performed to ensure that asbestos levels are safe. No official standard for safe levels in homes have been set by the EPA or others but a general standard is that they’re below .01 asbestos fibers per cubic centimeter of air (0.01 f/cc).
All waste material will be properly labeled and disposed of in a landfill that accepts asbestos waste.
Factors that Impact Cost of Tile Removal
Various factors impact the average cost you’ll pay, including where you live, how many licensed remediation companies operate in your area, the size of your home and amount and location of the tile or flooring, the type of material you’re having removed, and the condition it is in and how it was originally installed.
Like any renovation work, different contractors will likely give you wildly varying bids for the same job, taking into account all of the above as well as a simpler factor that often comes into play: how much do they think you’ll pay.
That means your knowledge level will impact the cost in some cases, as if you’re familiar with all the steps you’ll be in a better position to understand what’s required and not be completely ripped off by someone banking on your fear of asbestos leading you to pay any amount to have it out of your house.
So What Will it Really Cost?
Most abatement companies prefer larger industrial jobs as that’s where they really make their money, so it’s common for them to charge a set minimum of at least $1,500-$2,000 for any residential job — no matter how small — to cover the cost of setting up their equipment and getting necessary permits and approvals and licensing for workers.
For removing asbestos tiles from a single room in an average home, expect to pay around $2,000-$3,000 in most parts of the US. Larger jobs will be more expensive depending on the square footage and other factors mentioned above, costing $5,000 or more in some cases.
Keep in mind that these costs are just for removal, as you’ll still need to factor in the cost of replacement flooring once the asbestos-containing material is gone in order to get a true cost for the entire project.