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How to Lay Self-Adhesive Vinyl Floor Tiles

by Jessica Ackerman on Apr 27, 2012

When many people think of laying Self-Adhesive Vinyl Floor tiles they envision beginning in a corner, peeling back the paper, and sticking tiles to existing flooring until reaching the other side of the room. Laying self-adhesive vinyl tiles is easy, but this is not the way to achieve professional looking results. It is possible to save money by installing self-adhesive vinyl floor tiles, but the way in which they are laid is important not only for the quality of the finished appearance, but also to help extend the life of the flooring.

Consider the following tips and advice before installing self-adhesive vinyl floor tiles. With a few simple tips and easy installation tricks, it is possible to turn an ordinary do-it-yourself project into a professional looking job that will add practicality and long-lasting style to the home. Best of all, you will save money hundreds of dollars over professionally installed flooring.

Necessary Supplies for Laying Vinyl Flooring

To lay self-adhesive vinyl floor tiles you will need a powdered chalk snap line, a sharp utility knife, a metal straightedge and square, a tape measure, a sharpened pencil, a kitchen rolling pin or a vinyl tile roller, and knee pads for comfort. You will also require enough self-adhesive vinyl floor tiles to complete the job, plus several extras to store in case any of the tiles are ever damaged and require replacement.

A number of flooring specialists and interior designers still recommend choosing vinyl tiles with small patterns for a small room, and larger patterns for a large room, but this is a design misconception. It is not necessary to choose tile patterns according to the size of the room. If you like the look of large stone patterns in a small bathroom, by all means choose that style. If you prefer the look of small square tiles on larger self-adhesive vinyl squares, select that pattern. Let your preference be your guide, and choose the tile pattern you prefer no matter the size.

Procedure

Begin by removing old flooring, molding, or baseboards that could get in the way of removing and installing flooring, and take out any removable fixtures such as a bathroom toilet. Sweep the floor thoroughly to get rid of any dirt and debris that would keep the self-adhesive floor tiles from sticking.

Next, measure to find the center of each wall, and snap a chalk line to form a 90-degree angle where the lines intersect in the middle of the room. Check the lines with a square, and if they are not 90-degrees, brush away the chalk and try again until the proper angle is achieved. This will ensure the tiles are straight and well aligned when they are placed.

Before placing the tiles, keep in mind that at least half of the last row of tiles should be visible to achieve a professional looking appearance. Before removing adhesive backing, lay tiles against the chalk lines in both directions to determine the width of the last row when reaching the walls. If necessary, create new chalk lines to achieve tiles a half-width in size or larger for the best overall look around the perimeter of the room.

Contrary to popular belief, instead of beginning in a corner along a wall, lay the first self-adhesive tile in a corner where the chalk lines intersect, and work outward to form a pyramid. Do this in all four sections from the center out until reaching the edges of the room. At this point it will be necessary to measure and cut the last pieces to fill in the perimeter. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons many people avoid laying self-adhesive tiles, but it really is very easy to measure and cut the tiles for a perfect fit.

The easiest way to measure the last tiles is by placing a complete tile over the last one placed. Place another tile about one-quarter inch away from the wall and over the stacked tile on the last one placed. Use the top tile as a guide, and create a line along the edge with a pencil. Cut the marked tile with a sharp utility knife, and press the tile into place. Repeat this process around the perimeter of the room, and complete the job by going over all of the tiles with a tile roller. This will ensure the self-adhesive tiles are in place and no air bubbles remain.

Lastly, replace any baseboards or molding that had to be removed, and stand back and admire the finished self-adhesive tile floor. This job really is easier than most people realize, and doing it without the help of a professional is a way to save a great deal of time and a considerable amount of money.

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