Around The Kitchen | » Decorating & Remodeling | 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 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.

To Skylight in the Kitchen or Not to Skylight – That’s the Question

With so many fairly non-invasive and relatively inexpensive ways to add light into your home, would having a skylight in your kitchen be a selling point if you ever sold the house or something people would rather not see. Is this something that is desirable in a kitchen?And the answer in a word is NO!  While having a skylight may be just what you like, for the majority, it is a drawback. You don't have to look any further than the food court at your local mall. Notice the tables under the skylights? Those are the last ones to fill up. People won't even sit there unless there is no other choice. Nobody wants the sun in their eyes.And for many of us, the kitchen is the hub of the home. Lots of games, meetings and meals are enjoyed at the kitchen table. A great selling point would be excellent pendant lighting, preferably with adjustable height and intensity - not a skylight.
Around The Kitchen | » Decorating & Remodeling | Every Gadget and Tool You Could Possibly Need In Your Kitchen