VAT, or vinyl asbestos tiling, was widely used until the 1980s when they were discontinued because asbestos materials were determined to be hazardous. VAT was replaced by VCT, or vinyl composition tiling. VAT still can be found in older homes. If you need to remove VAT, you will need to call on professionals to handle the hazardous material.
Know the difference between VCT and VAT floor tiling materials. VCT stands for vinyl composition tiling and VAT means vinyl asbestos tiling. VCT flooring is made of a vinyl combination material and is the most popular type of floor tiling on the market.VAT can present a hazard due to the asbestos. It is found mostly in older buildings and homes.
Identify which type of tile you have. VCT tiling comes in 12 inch by 12 inch tiles. Lighter colored tiles are almost always VCT tiles. Also, tiling in homes newer than 1980 probably have VCT tiling, as VAT was not used after that date. VAT tiles generally will be found in 9 inch by 9 inch tiling, but sometimes comes in 12 inch by 12 inch tiles. Older VAT tiles would be dark black or a dark gray color. These are hard to find, but if you come across a tile this color in an older home, it is VAT tiling. Experts claim there is a visual difference between VCT and VAT flooring. VAT flooring cracks and peels easier. It sometimes comes off the floor in layers. Also, VAT was installed with a black adhesive. So a black substance under a tile is a clue it might be VAT.
Install only VCT tile. Never try to take up VAT tiling on your own. Removing VAT tiles by yourself can result in asbestos related health issues. Professionals will need to be called to remove the vinyl asbestos tiles. Removal will include the use of respirators and hazard suits on some occasions. This is due to Department of Environmental Quality procedures for safe removal of any asbestos containing material.