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Kentile Floors

Kentile Floors manufactured asphalt and vinyl flooring containing asbestos until approximately 1986. The company has since gone out of business but has established an asbestos trust fund for the benefit of workers and others who its products have harmed.

Case Dam

Legally Reviewed By: Case A. Dam
Senior Attorney | Mesothelioma & Asbestos

Case Dam

Legally Reviewed By: Case A. Dam
Senior Attorney | Mesothelioma & Asbestos

Kentile Floors was founded in 1898 by Arthur Kennedy and produced floor tiles with an asbestos content of up to 25 percent, according to Inspectapedia. Kentile floor tiles were originally made from asphalt and eventually vinyl and cork. The asphalt tiles and many of the vinyl tiles contained a combination of whole asbestos fibers and powdered asbestos fibers.

Kentile flooring was popular because it was inexpensive and easy to install, even for a do-it-yourself homeowner. The asbestos in the tile made it resistant to grease, stains, and scuff marks. It was considered a dream to clean. Despite its desirability, it was a carcinogenic product, especially during manufacture, installation, and rip out.

When did Kentile produce floor tiles with asbestos?

Asphalt floor tiles were Kentile’s primary product in the 1940s, 1950s, and most of the 1960s. The company produced cork and rubber tile in the 1950s and later. It used vinyl sheet flooring by 1969. Asbestos was used in asphalt and vinyl tiles until at least 1986 but possibly longer.

Asbestos was not part of the formulation for cork or rubber tiles, but tiles manufactured in the same facilities as Kentile floor tiles with asbestos have been found to be contaminated with asbestos. It is therefore safe to assume that all Kentile flooring products manufactured before 1987 contain asbestos.

Kentile flooring went out of business in 1992, according to the New York Daily News.

How to Identify Kentile Flooring

At its peak, Kentile Flooring was a popular product for both commercial and residential applications. According to Inspectapedia, the standard size of Kentile floor tiles was 9-by-9 inches, but larger sizes, including 12-by-12 and 18-by-18, were also used.

The thickness of Kentile floor tiles was typically 1/8 or 3/16 inches. However, there were a few non-conforming tiles that may have been 1/16 or less. As a rule, tiles manufactured before 1987 that are thicker than 1/16 inches should be presumed to contain asbestos, especially if they are also the standard 9-by-9 size.

Kentile Floors marketed its commercial asbestos tiles under the following brands:

  • KenFlex
  • Kenlite

Kentile’s residential line was simply marketed under the Kentile brand name. Their asphalt tiles were sometimes advertised as styrene-reinforced tiles.

Buildings with Kentile Flooring

Kentile flooring may have been used in the following buildings prior to 1990:

  • Schools
  • Homes
  • Hospitals
  • Public buildings

The asbestos in these tiles posed the most significant dangers to workers who manufactured, installed, and removed these tiles. However, damaged tiles or tiles that had simply worn down could also release asbestos, posing a hazard to all building occupants.


Occupations with Workers Exposed to Asbestos
in Kentile Flooring

While no level of asbestos is safe, higher levels of exposure to asbestos over an extended period precipitate the most increased risks of developing asbestos-related diseases later in life. Workers in trades that manufacture and process asbestos products fall into this category.
Workers in the following trades who handled Kentile flooring products likely faced sufficient asbestos exposure to result in disease:

  • Asbestos abatement rip out professionals
  • Commercial/residential builders
  • Construction rip out workers
  • Floor tile and linoleum layers
  • Remodelers
  • Tile grinders
  • Tile helpers
  • Tile installers
  • Tile layers
  • Tile workers

Homeowners who have installed or removed Kentile flooring also may have experienced significant asbestos exposure. Even if the tiles themselves did not contain asbestos, they might have been in the adhesive used to glue them to the floor.

Are asbestos floor tiles hazardous if they are undamaged?

The two basic forms of asbestos are friable and non-friable. Friable asbestos can be crumbled upon contact and easily become airborne. Non-friable asbestos is encapsulated so that it does not become airborne unless the encapsulation becomes damaged. The asbestos in flooring is considered non-friable.

However, as asbestos flooring becomes worn, chipped, or otherwise damaged, the asbestos becomes friable and may be released into the air. When this occurs, it can be inhaled. It can spread quickly within a building through the heat and air system. The fibers are small enough that most air filters cannot stop them.

What should I do if I have Kentile flooring in my home or office?

Asbestos flooring should only be removed by licensed asbestos abatement professionals. In many cases, professionals recommend that you leave the tile in place and cover it with different flooring materials. If you choose this route, you will need to disclose the presence of asbestos to future buyers if you sell your home or office building.

Has Kentile Floors established an
asbestos trust fund?

Kentile Floors established the Metex Asbestos PI Trust in 2014 as part of the company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. This allows eligible asbestos exposure victims to file claims for compensation without having to use the civil court system.

Am I eligible to file a trust fund claim?

You are eligible to file a claim as long as you can do the following:

How much is my Metex trust fund claim worth?

The value of your trust fund claim is individually determined based on your illness, degree of exposure through Kentile Floors, and the financial effects of your disease.

Presumptive Asbestos-Related Illnesses

The Metex trust categorizes claims according to the type of asbestos-related illness you have. If you have contracted an illness that is commonly associated with asbestos exposure, you may have a condition known as a presumptive condition. The types of diseases are divided into eight levels.

Level VIII


Level VII

Lung Cancer 1: Lung cancer with related non-malignant conditions and proof of significant asbestos exposure by Kentile Floors asbestos

Level VI

Lung cancer without related conditions and with evidence of some degree of exposure to Kentile Floors asbestos prior to December 31, 1982

Level V

Other cancer, including colorectal, laryngeal, esophageal, pharyngeal, or stomach cancer, with evidence of an underlying non-malignant asbestos-related disease

Level IV

Severe asbestosis

Level III

Moderate asbestosis and pleural disease and significant occupational exposure

Level II

Mild asbestosis with an underlying nonmalignant asbestos-related condition

Level I

Diagnosis of a bilateral asbestos-related nonmalignant disease or malignancy other than mesothelioma that doesn’t meet the above criteria

Levels VIII, VII, and IV typically qualify for the highest payouts, while levels I, II, and III qualify for minimal payouts.

Payment Percentage

After your claim value is determined, the settlement offered will be reduced to the applicable payment percentage, which is currently 7.25 percent of the claim value. These adjustments are made to ensure the trust retains sufficient funds to pay all present and future claimants.

Types of Claims

After your claim value is determined, the settlement offered will be reduced to the applicable payment percentage, which is currently 7.25 percent of the claim value. These adjustments are made to ensure the trust retains sufficient funds to pay all present and future claimants.

Expedited Claims

If you have a presumptive condition and meet all the criteria for that condition with no extraordinary circumstances, you may qualify for an expedited claim. These claims are processed more expeditiously than individual claims because they require less review. Claim values for expedited claims are fixed.

Individual Claims

Filing an individual claim requires a manual review, which takes more time. Individual claims are required in some circumstances and advantageous in others.

If you are filing a secondary exposure claim, Level VI (lung cancer 2) claim, or a foreign claim, you must file an individual claim. If you have extraordinary circumstances, you will need to file an individual claim in order for these to be considered.

Factors considered for individual claims include the following:

  • Age
  • Disability status
  • Employment status
  • The disruption of the disease in your household
  • Family or recreational activities
  • Dependents
  • Monetary losses caused by your illness
  • Pain and suffering

The history of settlements and verdicts in the legal system as well as the history of funding in the trust will also be considered.

When you file an individual claim, you may receive a higher award than the expedited claim allowed if the trust determines your circumstances warrant it. However, it is also possible to receive a lower award. An experienced mesothelioma attorney can determine the type of claim that is most appropriate in your case.

Extraordinary Claims

Your claim value can be increased if you qualify for an extraordinary claim. You may qualify for this type of claim if you meet the following criteria:

  1. Your exposure to asbestos occurred primarily during your employment in a Kentile Floors manufacturing facility that manufactured asbestos products, or
  2. Kentile Floors is responsible for at least 75 percent of your asbestos exposure and you are unlikely to recover compensation through any other liable party.

Extraordinary claims must be filed as individual claims.

Exigent Hardship Claims

You may be eligible for a hardship claim when you can show an immediate financial need has been created due to expenses from the asbestos-related disease diagnosis. Hardship claims receive priority processing over all other claims.

Can I file an asbestos exposure lawsuit if
I qualify for a trust fund claim?

You are entitled to file a mesothelioma lawsuit if you were exposed to asbestos through a company other than Kentile Floors that have not filed for bankruptcy. You cannot file a lawsuit against Kentile Floors because the company is protected under bankruptcy laws.

How can The Lanier Law Firm help me with my
Kentile Floors asbestos exposure case?

The Lanier Law Firm can determine which type of trust fund claim you should file and help you file that claim so that you receive maximized compensation. We can also help you identify additional liable parties who owe you compensation for exposing you to asbestos and causing your illness.

Our law firm maintains an extensive database of asbestos products and companies. We use this database to aid you in remembering additional sources of exposure. You may have been exposed to products that you didn’t know contained asbestos, but you will be able to identify them in our picture library.

Why should I choose The Lanier Law Firm?

Mesothelioma claims are a specific area of law that requires representation by a lawyer with experience handling asbestos exposure cases. The Lanier Law Firm has more than 25 years of experience handling asbestos exposure claims.

We have witnessed the harm that asbestos-related illnesses cause, and our compassionate attorneys are determined to ensure you are properly compensated. The trust fund does limit the amount of time you have to file a claim, so it is important that you reach out to us as soon as possible after your diagnosis.

Contact The Lanier Law Firm today to review your options regarding a mesothelioma lawsuit and trust fund claim.

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