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FAF Blog

Kentile Floors Asbestos Floor Tile

By FAF Staff Writer, (349 words) Posted in Vinyl Flooring on October 8, 2009
There are (16) comments permalink

Kentile floors commenced manufacture of floor tiles in Brooklyn, New York in 1898. The tiles the company produced for many years included a material known as asbestos.

Asbestos is a material that had already been in use for a couple of hundred years. It gained prominence during the American Industrial Revolution for its pliable property and its ability to withstand very high temperatures. It was also non–flammable in nature which made it a popular additive in products exposed to high temperature environments.

Asbestos comes in a number of varieties, but the basic properties are the same. All types contain small fibers that adhere together in a crystalline manner. Asbestos fibers easily come apart, can float freely and tend to cling to almost and type of surface. People in the vicinity can inhale these dangerous asbestos fibers. The fibers further have a tendency to cling to clothing and other personal effects because of which they can be transported unwittingly to other locations where they can again be set free to be breathed by others.

The hazardous nature of ingested asbestos was unknown till around the mid 1970’s when it was found, even in small quantities, to seriously affect the human respiratory system. A further study revealed that the condition gave rise to mortal illnesses like Asbestosis, mesothelioma and even lung cancer. This resulted in substantial loss of life, even with people who used linoleum asbestos flooring of which Kentile floors were one of the manufacturers. Like other manufacturers, Kentile too sold its vinyl asbestos in the form of tile flooring.

In 1981 there were 6 major U.S. manufacturers of vinyl asbestos tiles who took immediate steps to stop the use of asbestos. Kentile floors however continued and only stopped using asbestos in 1986. Kentile floors regretted that decision because several cases of fatal mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos were traced to their tiles. This resulted in a number of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits which the company was unable to sustain. In 1992 Kentile Floors filed for bankruptcy. Kentile’s executives made several attempts to restart the company with other flooring products but their efforts were futile. Kentile Floors was then closed permanently.

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Comments (16)

floor tiles uk posted on: October 28, 2009

Ceramic Tiles

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floor tiles uk posted on: October 28, 2009

Ceramic Tiles

Historically these have been the main type of tile available and are used as both wall tiles and floor tiles. Ceramic floor tiles are not generally suitable for outdoor use due to the change in temperatures from season to season. However the ceramic tiles glaze used on the top surface makes it ideal for use as kitchen tiles and bathroom tiles as it prevent moisture penetration when the right grouts and adhesives are used

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