Laying Vinyl Tile the Right Way

Vinyl tile is the oldest floor covering even before the arrival of plastic laminate floor planks. Vinyl tile is popular in today’s market given its vast choice in colors and the fact that it is easy to clean and maintain. Vinyl tiles are best used when installed in baths foyers and utility rooms. They come in a variety of designs and the colors are innumerable. You can design your room with contrast borders or you can create your own design depending on your taste.

Vinyl floors come in two variants. One is the glue down method and the other is self adhesive. Glue down method is considered a very messy process where you have to set the tiles in a bed of mastic, whereas the self adhesive tiles are self explanatory, just needs to peel the sticker and place it on the floors. The self adhesive vinyl tile is best suited for DIY’ers.

vinyl tilesChoosing the right kind of vinyl floors:

The best is to choose the self adhesive vinyl tiles, as it is easier to lay them without any adhesive oozing out of the cracks. Vinyl tile comes in either squares or planks, depending on the size of the room you can decide which one you would like to install. The self adhesive vinyl tile is simple because all you need to do is peel the back cover and stick them to the already existing floor.

The things you will need to start laying your vinyl floor:

  • Tape measure
  • Chalk
  • Blade/knife
  • Degreaser

Step 1: How to prepare your floors:

Firstly take out the trim around the floor. If you plan on using it again after laying your new floor keep the nails from the back and leave it aside. Make sure to clean your existing floor completely and be sure it is clean from dust, dirt, wax any other debris. Another point is to look for any uneven floors or bends; this will cause a problem later on.

Vinyl tile can be installed on concrete floors, ceramic floors and even on existing vinyl floors. If you intend to lay your new floor on the already existing floors but do not want to remove it or if the floor is damaged then cover it with a layer of plywood sheet. This is required where the floor comes in constant contact with water or dampness like in kitchens, utility rooms and bathrooms. Make sure the underlayment is 1/4th inch and see that it doesn’t have any bends or is not uneven.

Step 2: Apply primer:

Primer is basically a thinner that helps the sub floor pores to be sealed and forms a surface where the tile can be easily stick. You need to apply two coats of thinner/primer. One coat should be diluted with water and the second coat should be applied directly without any water. Before you start applying, pour it in to a roller pan and then apply it with a roller. The jib can be done easily.

Step 3: Mark the layout:

After the primer dries out, to find the center of the room, take a chalk piece and draw a line across the room and accordingly draw up squares till you get to the center point. After you find the center of the room, lay tiles as a trial run so that you will have an idea as to the size of the tiles that you will need. If it is setting right move the lines as needed till you find that the edges are met both sides of the room.

Step 4: Set the first tile:

Look at the back of the tile before you lay your first tile. There will be instructions given in the form of arrows that indicate the direction of the grain. Depending on the look you want arrange your tiles either in the same way or alternate way or even face down. Now remove the back cover and place the corner of the tile at the joint of the lines and see that the edges of the tiles are along the lines. Once you have placed it in the right way, press the tile tight against the sub floor and roll it with a roller.

Step 5: Stepped pattern:

Stepped pattern should be followed when laying your tiles as this will help keep to keep your floor in a square. Work crossways from line to the other. Fill up one square before going to the other and press each tile in to its place and roll it using a roller. Once the floor is done completely, roll the entire floor with a roller.

Step 6: Install the trim:

If you want to install a molding trim around the room, do so now, the trim can help secure your edges without giving way.

Once you are done with laying your new vinyl floor, make sure you do not walk on it for at least a day and also do not wash it for 5 days. This will help secure your floor tight without loosening at the cracks.

Laying Vinyl Tile the Right Way was last modified: April 17th, 2015 by Jason Valasek