Vinyl Tile Installation
For years, vinyl flooring was only available in large sheets, which were cumbersome and difficult to install. Today, vinyl comes in sheets but also in tiles, which come in wonderful colors, patterns, textures, and sizes. Because vinyl tiles are much easier to handle, they also make a great do-it-yourself project. Therefore, if you want to save a little money by installing your own floor, vinyl tile would be an excellent option.
For this particular installation job, you will need to start by measuring the floor and then choosing the style of flooring you want. Make sure you always purchase extra just in case a tile should become damaged. Then, unless you go with the self-adhesive type of vinyl tile, you would need to purchase adhesive, usually going with the brand recommended by the tile manufacturer. Next, you need an adhesive trowel, leveler, smooth-edge trowel, tape measure, pencil, chalk and chalk line, utility knife, and a standard kitchen rolling pin.
The most important part of the job is to make sure the subfloor is prepped correctly. First, make sure your vinyl tile is stored indoors for 48 hours so it can become acclimated to the temperature, which should be no cooler than 65 degrees. If you are installing the vinyl tile on a heated floor, ensure the temperature is no greater than 85 degrees. The floor should be smooth and dry, whether concrete, wood, etc. In addition, go over the subfloor, checking for levelness, cleanliness, and void of any dust or oil.
Now, most manufacturers of vinyl tile suggest you keep the resilient floor in place, simply installing the new tile right on top. This gives you a better subfloor and durability. Of course, if the resilient flooring were in bad shape, it would need to be removed. Even if the flooring is embossed, you can use patching material and an embossed leveler to create a good subfloor surface. Another option would be to cover the resilient floor with a suspended wood floor.
Most importantly, if you are going to use an existing resilient floor, never dry sweep, sand, drill, saw, dry scrape, bead blast, or chip it, especially if the flooring were installed prior to 1978. The reason is that some older homes were built with asbestos materials. Creating dust would put the asbestos in the air, which is then inhaled. As we all know, asbestos is a cancer-causing agent that should be avoided at all costs. If the resilient floor is old and must be replaced, you should hire a professionally trained individual to come in and do the removal for you, just in case.