When laying self adhesive vinyl floor tiles, the quality of the finish is entirely dependent on the quality of the preparation work you’ve put in. It’s not difficult, self adhesive vinyl tiles are designed to be a DIY product but if you cut corners, eventually it will show and you’ll regret it. We've put together a rough guide to help you fit your new vinyl tile flooring.
Put them in the room, in their boxes, where you intend laying them. Make sure the boxes are laying flat and not on their ends. Leave them there for two days to allow them to acclimatise. Make sure the room is warm. The adhesive will not work fully if the tiles are cold. When removing the tiles from the packaging, check they are straight. If, after acclimatisation they are a little curved, bend them so they aren't!
The intended laying surface is sealed plywood. That is, plywood painted with a 1:5 PVA/Water solution. Make sure the ply is firmly attached to the floor underneath and all screw heads are countersunk.
The tiles will also stick to:
The tiles WILL NOT stick to old floorboards or the big chipboard flooring sheets one finds in new builds.
First of all, make sure the tiles and the room are warm before you start. This is perhaps the most important thing to note - cold glue will not work.
Best laying method is to find the mid point on each wall and using a chalk line, mark a cross at the centre of the floor (For detailed instructions – google ‘chalk line’). In the angle described by the two crossing lines start sticking your tiles. Keep checking that you’re not trapping grit under the tiles – it will show through and cause uneven wear. Once you’ve laid your tiles, go over the whole floor with a tile roller or if you don’t fancy renting one of those, a humble domestic rolling pin and lots of effort!
You will probably find a few black marks and sticky bits as you go. The tiles start out as a sheet and in the cutting process, glue can sometimes find its way onto the surface. It will wipe off with WD40 and kitchen towel.
For straight cuts a metal rule and Stanley/craft knife is best. Score a line in the surface of the tile and then simply snap and slice through the backing paper. If you need to make a complicated cut – round the bottom of a door frame for instance – make a template with thin card, gradually snipping away until you get a good fit and then trace onto the tile. A good pair of scissors will easily go through the tile although it’s best to snip at the tile in bits rather than try and follow the line with the scissors in one cut, if you find it heavy going try warming the tile further with a fan heater or hairdryer.
And that’s it. Providing you make sure that what you lay the tiles on is entirely flat, smooth, sealed, continuous and free from dust, and both the room and tiles are properly warm, you will get a perfect finish.