Around The Kitchen | » 2009 » April | Every Gadget and Tool You Could Possibly Need In Your Kitchen

What does it cost to have asbestos kitchen tile removed?

One reader wrote, 'We just bought a house and discovered that there is old asbestos tile under the linoleum in the kitchen. We were planning on putting in hardwood. Is it expensive to remove the asbestos tile? It's not a large kitchen - it's 9' x 10'. I realize you can't give me an exact cost, I'm just wondering what ballpark we're talking about.'

There really isn't a simple answer to your question.   It is difficult to say without knowing what state you live in.  Some states like New Jersey, New York and California have very strict and complicated rules that will add to the cost of removal.

Also part of the cost of removal is the cost of disposal. You can’t just bag this stuff and leave at the curbside on trash day. In New Jersey it can lead to a $10,000 fine and even jail time.

Now for the good news, if you are dealing with just asbestos - vinyl floor tiles, they are not as dangerous as asbestos pipe insulation or plaster with asbestos in it. The asbestos fibers are locked into the vinyl and unless cut with saw or smashed up, the tiles pose a very small health risk.

My first question is how do you know the tile have asbestos in them? Where the tiles tested in a certified lab? I ask because if the tiles really don’t have asbestos in them -then you don’t have a problem.

If your kitchen is in New Jersey, New York or California, then its probably going to cost between 3 & 7 thousand dollars to remove and dispose of the tiles.  But each job will have its own special circumstances and all of the removal companies are private contractors in a business where the demand out weighs the service providers.   So like any other business, they can charge what the market will bear.  And so it will probably be expensive.

Maybe you should start by calling your state department of health.   Many states will give a list of approved contractors for asbestos removal and they should be able to provide you with information on your state’s laws regarding asbestos.   Though some states have almost no rules at all, most will.

What ever you do, keep records of what happened just in case any questions should arise in the future or if you should sell your house.

Also see if your state allows you to sue the former owner of the house for the cost of removal.  Some states demand the seller of a home has to have an inspection and a certification that the home they are selling is free of environmental hazards like asbestos and lead paint.   But again it depends on what state you are in and the terms spelled out in your agreement of sale when you bought the house.

What color to paint the kitchen for good feng shui?

I have recently started reading about Feng Shui and learned that our kitchen is in the worst part of the house (Northwest) and that a kitchen should never be red (ours is cranberry red).   And though I really don't want to repaint our kitchen white, I was open to other colors that are good Feng Shui for attracting good luck, prosperity, wealth, etc.

An online friend who knows quite a bit about Feng Shui decided I have “Fire in Heaven’s Gate”, and had a few suggestions for me.

She said using a lot of Earth as in granite, pottery ceramic vases, stones, in the kitchen as well as earth tone colors such as yellow , tan and ochre would be wise.  Fire ‘burns’ the metal of the NW and will affect the career, money and benefactors for the head of the household.  The earth element will weaken the fire element and nourish the metal element of the NW.  Strengthen the area for the patriarch with a metal statue of a man. Also place some yin water near the stove. That could be still water in a shallow bowl with a wide mouth. The water will extinguish some of the fire energy.

Your situation may not be as bad as you think.  Fire is good for the flying star 8 and that may be in your NW if that is the case , it will outweigh your neg affects of the Fire at Heaven’s Gate.  Also imagine you are blessing your family with a nourishing meal everytime you use your stove.

What color should I paint my kitchen?


One reader wrote, 'I want to update my kitchen. My cabinets are an off white color with antique brass antique handles. I have beige tile and white appliances. I really don't care for the mix of white and beige but I'm planning to put up an Earth/Clay stone back splash with a mosaic border which should tie the two together.

At present I'm thinking of painting the cabinets (cant afford to replace them right now) and want to paint my kitchen a dark brown/cafe color. Any suggestions. My Living area is burnt orange and the dining room is white. I want to paint the dining room too. The dining room is situated between the kitchen and living room; so, I need the colors to flow smoothly between the three rooms. The floor in the living and dining rooms is light color wood. '

Well there are so many ways you could go here. First and foremost a semi-gloss paint - whatever the color would be best. Grays and taupe would go well with the back splash and tie the room together. But those two colors don't necessarily reflect your choice taste. Remember the people from ‘House Beautiful’, ‘Better Homes” and whatever don’t have to live in your house. Go with what you like.

A nice coffee color in the kitchen would go well with the burnt orange and white. But the size of the room and the amount of natural light will be huge considerations when making your choice. Warm colors will tend to make a room look smaller and more cosy and cool colors will make the room look larger but less friendly. Light colors are more cheery while dark colors are more sedate and sometimes even depressing. Are there lots of windows? You may want to bring the outdoors indoors and use earth tones which would also tie in with the living room.

Go to your local home improvement or paint store and get paint swatches that are the same colors as the rooms that you are already happy with. Hold them together and compare them to other swatches that you like. This will give you an idea of how these colors will look near each other. The dark brown sounds nice, but try it out next to the others first. Another option is to buy several poster boards (they’re cheap) and paint them the colors that you are considering. Hang them in your kitchen one at a time for a few days and see how the colors look in the actual area that you are wanting to paint.

Around The Kitchen | » 2009 » April | Every Gadget and Tool You Could Possibly Need In Your Kitchen