Asbestos ceiling tiles

Scott, I think you’ll never really know the answer you are looking for.

If you think the tiles may contain asbestos, say so in the report–with an appropo disclaimer.

If the client really wants to know, it would be his deign to contact a lab for asbestos testing.

If the test proves positive, the client wins because he knows what he’s working with–and has an understanding of the situation.

If the test proves negative, the client **wins **because he knows what he working with–and has peace of mind.

Win–win…sounds good to me.

Ok Guys…maybe know we are getting somewhere.


Your definition of ‘acoustic’ seems to lump t-bar/drop ceiling panels (2’x2’ and 2’x4’) with a 12"x12" ceiling panel.

Here in NE PA:

‘acoustic’ is a 2’x2’ or 2’x4’ panel:

A ceiling tile is 12"x12":

In all the surfing of the internet I’ve done on asbestos content, I haven’t been able to find any mention of 12"x12" ceiling tiles being grouped with t-bar/drop ceiling panels.

So the research continues…

Asbestos not only was a very good insulating material, but it was a very good “acoustic” material, as well. Most concert halls prior to 1979 had acousting panels on the ceilings and walls. Those were commercial applications, though. Acoustic ceiling tiles are quite common in residential construction up to 1979.

When I was doing fundraising for the Houston Symphony and Houston Grand Opera, both of them were in the process of replacing the asbestos acoustic panels (and tiles in the bathrooms and lounge areas) with new stuff. That’s why I was doing fundraising—unexpected expenses.

It’s okay to lump all asbestos-containing materials together since they all contain asbestos. That’s why they are called asbestos-containing materials, such as Johns Manville Transite used on water heater and furnace flues, brake linings used on your car, vinyl flooring, acoustic ceiling tiles, etc.

I think that you are trying to overthink this.

Russel -

Nope!..not trying to overthink this…

Put your ‘Marketing’ hat on for a minute. Wasn’t it you that said you like to ‘think outside the box’??? That’s all I’m doing here. :wink:

I’ve heard and read about asbestos pipe wrap, paste, tape, floor tiles, boiler wrap, furnice wrap, etc. I know about its fireproofing, heat resistant, and soundproofing properties. I know about the cops getting lung cancer from standing in the intersections…All this I have heard and read.

It sound like a lot of 12"x12" got tossed under the assumption they contained asbestos…

Anyway, I shoveled a lot of snow today so this is it for me.

Thanks again


Asbestos-containing materials are not something that need to be thought about outside the box. You’re trying to overthink it.

Nope. Only if other clues indicate so, e.g., age of structure and visual observation of the material. The picture you posted is of commercial acoustic ceiling tiles that contain asbestos, and you indicated that it is an older structure. Those are all the clues I need. No need to think any more about how they were installed. We didn’t know enough back then about asbestos to understand that we probably shouldn’t be damaging it with staples, nails, screws, etc., during installation.

Hey Russel, hope your having a good Sunday…

Hope I’m not frustrating you with this, but I don’t believe I’m over thinking this. I’ve spent maybe 10-15 minutes over the last few days bantering with my fellow HI’s on this board about the subject tiles. Now if I was haunted by all the 12"X12" 's that might have been wrongly tossed…that might be over thinking. :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

You and I, and most everyone 2 weeks ago would have lumped all ceiling tiles together as probably containing asbestos. But you know what? I got a little curious about the smaller tiles because of the situation in my first post. So I started to do some searching (books, texts, internet). When I couldn’t find an answer, I threw it out on this board to my fellow HI’s. I was, and still am trying to document what I assumed was true. Am I trying to set the HI industry on its ear? Not a chance. I’m just trying to answer my own crazy little curiosity.

Now, now Russel, thats not a very ‘outside the box’ kind of statement! Did you really mean to type that? Don’t you agree its good to challenge what we think we know? Critique our assumptions? Shouldn’t we always be thinking outside the box ? Whether its asbestos, mold, metal roofs or EIFS? Or do we just think outside the box when discussing marketing?

So again, the question is…Does anyone have any documentation that 12"x12" ceiling tiles may contain asbestos?..regardless of how they may be attached??

Hope everyone reading this has a great week!


Please don’t lump me in with that statement because I never would have agreed to that. Now if you put the type of ceiling tiles that you posted a picture of, along with the construction date of the building being before 1979, yes, I would have said that it probably contained asbestos. I use the word probably because someone might have done some remodeling in 1992 and replaced the ACM tiles with newer stuff. But I simply can’t ignore that construction date, preferring to err on the side of caution, health, and safety.

Sure, but one also needs the ability to know when not to challenge what we know we know.

Also remember that there were many 2’x4’ panels created to look like 12"x12" tiles, just like we currently do with vinyl flooring made to look like 12"x12" tiles.

Still think you’re ignoring the forest trying to find that individual tree, i.e., overthinking it. The forest is there; the tree died a long time ago.

Hey Russel-

I think you’re getting it!

I am looking for that individual tree !..Thus the question!

Hey Buddy, good chatting w/you. ***Remember: ***Iron sharpens Iron! :wink:

Which, in this case, is definitely overthinking it.

The problem also is that the tree died a long time ago and the Indians used it for firewood. So good luck finding those ashes. :wink:


I’ve never personally had 12x12 ceiling tiles lab analyed. But seems there is ample evidence out there to support a warning to clients.

How about ?
It lists 12x12 ceiling and wall tiles in Stevenson Hall as being ACM.

Or ?
It lists 12x12 ceiling tiles in Keirstead Hall as being ACM (5% Amosite).
And 12x12 acoustic ceiling tiles in [FONT=Arial]MacLaggan and Tilley Hall as ACM (10% Amosite).[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]And [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]“Remember those old 12 x 12 ceiling tiles that you may have grown up with? Chances are they contained asbestos.”[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]“The ceiling and floor contained asbestos and the finish on the walls was a combination of painted drywall, wood paneling, lime green carpet, and 12” x 12” ceiling tiles.”[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Finally,,+12x12&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=88&gl=us [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Particularly Edwin_Boyette’s reply, “12 X 12 ceiling tiles very well contain asbestos, or in some cases arsenic if they are a canec fiber material. Even if the tiles themselves do not contain asbestos, the mastic or adhesive material behind them may…”[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Hope this helps you find that tree.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Ozzy Osborne[/FONT]

As an Asbestos Inspector let me say a couple of things, first only testing can tell you for sure if a tile has asbestos or not; second there are a couple of tiles doesn’t matter what sixe 12 x12, 24 x 24, 24 x 48 that usually will test positive for asbestos one has a red coating on the back and the other has five hole pattern similar to the Chrysler logo. It also does’nt matter if they are stapled, glued or drop in type. Alot of times the glued tiles are not positive but the glue dots are positive so it all goes back to having them tested.