How to Lay Vinyl Flooring Tiles
How to Lay Vinyl Flooring Tiles
Vinyl tiles have undergone something of a revival in recent years and are now available in a variety of styles and sizes. Some tiles come with a self- backing, otherwise they are laid by bedding them into a special . The quality and longevity of the finished floor will depend on the thoroughness of your preparatory work, so make sure any necessary repairs to the subfloor are carried out before you start to lay your tiles.
Tools for the Job:
- tape measure & pencil
- hammer or cordless drill/driver jigsaw or
- chalk lines
- carpenter’s square
- serrated adhesive trowel
- hot air gun or hair-drier
- trimming knife
- vinyl roller
- wallpaper roller
- Vinyl tiles are ideal for laying on concrete and , but cannot be laid on floorboards. If you have floorboards, cover them over with hardboard or ply before laying vinyl. Cut around any pipes or other obstructions. Nail or the boards every 150mm (6in) in every direction. Ensure fixings finish below the surface.
- Jumble up the tiles from several boxes so that slight variations in colour will not be noticeable. Lay a few out for a trial run — you can often vary the look of the floor by alternating how the surface pattern or texture flows.
- Lay out dry two rows of tiles between opposing walls to form a cross. Leave an even gap between the tile and wall at each end. Mark round the tile at the centre of the cross — this is your key tile.
- Remove the tiles and, using the key tile marks as a guide, snap a chalk line along the length of the floor. Make sure the line is at right angles to any main doorway or window. You might need to adjust the line a little, but provided the temporary layout was correct then any adjustments will be minimal. With the aid of a large carpenter’s square, snap another chalk line at right angles to the first, using the pencil marks as a reference.
- Spread out a quantity of tile adhesive with a serrated adhesive trowel. Cover an area large enough to lay down the first eight or nine tiles, including the key tile. Work from the intersection of the chalk lines, keeping all the adhesive restricted to one quadrant of the room for the moment. Do not apply the adhesive too thickly — spreading rates are generally given on the tub.
- Bed in the key tile, exactly lining up the corners with the right angle of the chalk lines. Then lay tiles adjacent to the key tile, keeping each tile tight to the next. Twist the tiles as you push them into the adhesive – this helps them to bond properly and ensures an even coating of adhesive.
- Continue laying tiles, one quadrant at a time, wiping away adhesive that squeezes out through the joints. End with full tiles, leaving a gap at the edge of the room.
- Lay down the last complete tile then align another tile on top so that it touches the wall. Cut through the bottom tile using the top tile as a straightedge. Discard the offcut, then swap the tiles around before .
- To fit the tiles around pipes, start by making a card template, then copy this onto a tile with a chinagraph pencil and cut out. Cut just one slit down to a pipe hole and spring the tile open as you bed it into the adhesive. Tiles cut in this way should fit perfectly, with little trace of the cut.
- Immediately you have finished tiling go over the floor with a heavy steel roller to ensure full adhesion. Proceed slowly, moving left to right and up and down the length of the room. Wipe up adhesive that oozes from the joins. Any tiles that the big roller cannot reach, press down with a wallpaper roller.
Many tileare petroleum based and give off heavy vapours. Work in a well-ventilated room and extinguish all naked lights.
Tips of the Trade
Vinyl tiles remain stiff when cold. Warming them with a hair-drier or hot air gun makes the tiles more flexible, easier to cut and improves bonding.