Peel and stick vinyl tile is some of the most accessible floorings to install. It takes work, but, with the proper instructions, even a complete novice can create a professional looking floor.
The first step to creating a professional looking tile floor is the preparation. The floor must be bare and clean, the visual center of the room must be marked, and the tile should be ready to install.
You will begin by laying the first four tiles. These tiles are the hardest to lay, and they must be right for the rest of the floor to fall into place. As long as these four tiles are placed properly, the rest of the floor will go together beautifully.
During your preparation, you should have drawn an “X” or cross on the floor where the first tiles are going to be placed. You will place each tile in one section of your mark. Just peel the backing paper off of the first tile and holding the tile up off the floor; slowly lower the first corner to touch the center of your mark. Make sure that your tile is lined up with the lines of your mark and slowly lower the tile to the floor. Once the tile is in place, press firmly over the entire tile to ensure that the tile will remain in place.
For the next time, you will follow a similar process. After removing the paper from the second tile, you will hold the tile up off the floor and again slowly lower the first corner to the center of your mark. You will then lower the closest edge of the tile so that it is tightly against the edge of the first tile you placed. You can then lower the tile slowly to the floor, making sure that it continues to rest firmly against the edge of the first tile and that the tiles are lined up exactly. Once the tile is in place, again press the tile firmly into place. You will follow this procedure for the third tile, also.
To place the fourth tile, before removing the paper, lay the tile in place and double check that the tile fits snugly between the first and third tiles with no gaps. If the tile fits into space correctly, you can remove the backing and lower the first corner into the corner created by the first three tiles. Once the tile is in place, press the tile firmly into place. You should now have a square formed of your first four tiles.
The Rest of the Floor
To place the rest of the tiles, continue working outward from the initial four tiles. Be careful to line each tile up exactly with at least one previously placed tile and be sure to keep your tiles tightly against each other with no gaps between the tiles.
Do not lay your tiles in lines out from the original tiles. You can work in a number of patterns to lay the tiles, but you must lay each tile against a previously placed tile, and it is easiest to lay a tile in a corner created by two tiles. By placing a tile into a corner as soon as one is created, you will ensure that your tiles are continuing to line up properly and that the remainder of your tiles will fit into the floor pattern properly.
Edges and Corners
Vinyl tiles can be cut easily with scissors or a utility knife and they bend easily. If you remove baseboards and kick plates, you can hide any jagged edges caused by cutting the tiles. This will help to ensure a professional looking finished floor.
Once the baseboards, kick plates and other trim pieces that rest on the floor have been removed, you can begin planning and place your edge tiles. If you are unsure of yourself, I recommend cutting a cardboard box or other stiff paper product into multiple pieces the same size as your tiles. You can then use these pieces as templates for cutting your tiles.
Place one of your template pieces into space for your tile. Fold or cut the template to fit the tile space. Lay the template on your tile and use your utility knife to follow the lines created by the template to cut the tile to the correct size and shape. Lay each tile as you cut it, do not cut all of the tiles and try to remember where they go.
Finishing your Floor
Once all of your tiles are properly placed, replace all of your trim that you removed to place the edge tiles. Sweep your floor to remove any debris that may be on the tiles. Do not mop your floor.
Wait 24-48 hours at a minimum before you mop your floors to allow the adhesive to set. Generally, a week is ideal if you can wait that long. Once the adhesive has set and dried, you can sweep and mop your new floor as often as you wish. Do not use any products that are not made for vinyl flooring to avoid damage to the thin protective coating on the tiles.
You will now have a beautiful floor to be proud of, and when people ask you who did your floor, you can smile and proudly tell them that you did.
November 14, 2017