Vinyl Floor Tile

Vinyl Floor Tile

Vinyl Floor Tile

The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Installing Vinyl Floor Tile

1. Prepare the Surface

Any tile installation is only as good as the surface on which it is installed. THEREFORE WE RECOMMEND THAT VINYL FLOOR TILE NOT BE INSTALLED OVER RADIANT-HEATED FLOORS OR OVER SUCH SURFACES AS PARTICLE BOARD, HARDBOARD, CHIPBOARD, OR FLAKEBOARD. NOTE: VINYL TILE IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR ANY EXTERIOR USE. Color Tile recommends only the following surfaces for the installation of vinyl floor tile.

Color Tile Underlayment Panels or Approved Plywood Underlayment — Installing new underlayment is essential for project success if your existing subfloor is damaged, not level, unsuitable material, or an unsuitable thickness. A minimum subfloor thickness of 3/4 inches or greater in two layers is required. Please consult our experts if you’re unsure about your existing subfloor. To install new underlayment, cut and fit panels to area. Fasten the panel at 6″ intervals along the edges and throughout the center using 1-1/4″ underlayment nails. Countersink nails slightly below surface level. Refer to our free underlayment installation guide for additional instructions.

Existing Approved Plywood Underlayment — Existing approved plywood underlayment is a suitable subsurface for vinyl tile installation only if the total subfloor thickness is 3/4 inches or greater in two layers. If not, install an approved plywood underlayment as previously described to increase the thickness to 3/4 inches or greater. If new underlayment is not needed, check for loose areas on existing surface and secure with 1-1/4″ underlayment nails.

Resilient Flooring — Resilient flooring such as sheet vinyl, linoleum, vinyl composition and asphalt tile can be used as subsurfaces if they are in good condition and adhered solidly to the subfloor. It is imperative that factory «no wax» finishes and other waxes and dressings be completely removed with a Color Tile recommended cleaner *. If existing resilient flooring is cushioned, heavily textured, or in otherwise poor condition, you should remove it or cover it with one of the previously-mentioned recommended underlayments. This will ensure a smooth surface for your new flooring and will prevent cracking and tearing and assures that underlying blemishes will not show through your new flooring.

Concrete — Vinyl tile can be installed over concrete that is in good condition and structurally sound. Newly poured concrete must cure for a minimum of 28 days before you begin any tile installation. Well bonded paint, concrete sealers, and other curing agents must be thoroughly sanded prior to installation. Concrete surfaces must be dry before, during, and at all times after installation. Excessive moisture or hydrostatic pressure in concrete will prevent proper adhesion of tile to the subsurface. IT IS THE CUSTOMER’S DIRECT RESPONSIBILITY TO DETERMINE IF EXCESSIVE MOISTURE OR HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE IS PRESENT.

If your particular surface is not described here, consult with experts for advice on preparation. Regardless of the subsurface to be used, it must be clean, dry, and structurally sound, with no «give» to it.

Remove all furniture, appliances, base shoe molding, and doorway thresholds from the room. When installing vinyl tile in a room with plumbing, such as a kitchen or bathroom, check for and repair any plumbing leaks beforehand. Before starting a bathroom project, remove the toilet after shutting off the water supply and draining the tank. After project completion, replace the toilet using a new wax seal and a new screw and bolt set.

We recommend the use of knee pads for maximum comfort during the preparation and installation process.

A. Clean

Ill-prepared subsurfaces prevent proper bonding of the adhesive and can result in project failure. Degloss old paint and varnish with sandpaper or deglosser or both. Factory «no-wax» finishes, or other waxes or dressings, must be completely removed with a recommended cleaner *. If there is old adhesive on the surface, remove it with old adhesive dissolver using a broad knife. Remove all dirt, grease, wax, and oil with a recommended cleaner *, mixed in a bucket of warm water.

B. Patch

Smooth, even surfaces are critical to project success. To obtain a level surface, fill all holes, cracks, countersunk nails, underlayment seams and low areas with latex patch* applied with a broad knife. Allow to dry thoroughly and smooth with sandpaper .

C. Prime

Priming maximizes the adhesive strength between subsurface and flooring material. Apply two coats of latex floor and wall primer * over all subsurfaces, allowing ample drying time between coats. Allow final coat to dry completely.

2. Mark Working Lines

Measure the length of each wall around the area to be tiled and find the wall’s center point. Mark the center point on the floor next to each wall. Stretch a chalk line, from one center point to the opposite center point and snap it. Repeat the process for the other two walls. Before snapping the second line, use a carpenter’s square to ensure that the line intersects the first line at a 90 degree angle. Then snap the line.

Before applying adhesive, lay loose tile from the center point along one line to the wall. If the space between the last full tile and the wall is less than one half tile, adjust the working line one half tile closer to the wall and snap a new line. Repeat the process for the other line. This procedure avoids «narrow cuts» around the perimeter, resulting in easier tile cutting and a uniform look in the finished room.

A. Dryback Tile

Dryback tiles require specific additives * depending on tile composition, subsurface, and type of installation. Consult experts for the right adhesive * for your product.

Maintain adhesive, subsurface, and tile at 60 degrees F or higher for 24 hours before, during, and after the installation. Beginning at the intersection of the working lines, apply adhesive* with a notched trowel* held at a 60 to 80 degree angle. Wear rubber gloves to keep hands clean and prevent possible skin irritation. For tiles less than 3/32″ in thickness, use the smaller notched side of the trowel* and for tiles 3/32 » or greater in thickness, use the larger notched side. Spread adhesive* with the notched edge of the trowel*. forming ridges, and pulling off excess adhesive so it will not come out between tiles. Spread adhesive* up to, but not covering, the working lines.

Use masking tape to cover areas that may accidentally come in contact with adhesive. Refer to label on adhesive container for open time, waiting period and other installation requirements for that specific adhesive.

B. Self-Stick Tile

Self-stick tile has become the floorcovering of choice for do-it-yourselfers, because it eliminates the needs for applying adhesive. The adhesive is already on the back of the tile, making installation fast and easy.

Maintain tile and subsurface temperature at 60 degrees F. or higher for 24 hours before, during, and after installation. Begin the installation at the intersection of the working lines. Protective wax paper covers the adhesive backing on self-stick tile. During installation, peel paper back to expose adhesive on one half of the tile. After correctly positioning a corner of the tile, press first half into place. Peel off remainder of paper and press tile firmly into position. This method of installation helps minimize adhesive transfer to hands and tile surface .

C. Set Whole Tile

Set whole tiles first starting at the intersection of the working lines and working outward to the corners of the room. Careful, accurate placement of the first tile is essential for a professional looking installation as it determines the exact placement of all other tiles. Set tile in pyramid fashion .

Set each tile in place with enough downward pressure to ensure it makes complete contact. If your tiles have arrows on the back, install tile with all arrows pointing in the same direction. DO NOT SLIDE TILES INTO PLACE. Press a corner of the tile down first. When sure of alignment, press remainder of tile into place. Continue installing whole tiles in this manner, working in one section of the room at a time.

Occasionally, adhesive will transfer to the tile surface. After completing a section, examine the area for excess adhesive and wipe the surface with adhesive remover applied to a clean dry cloth. Using products other than adhesive remover could cause possible damage to the tile surface.

Look over each section to be sure the tiles are aligned properly. Make necessary adjustments while the adhesive is still tacky. Periodically, check the last tile installed to determine that a minimum 90% adhesive transfer to the back of the tile has occurred.

D. Cut and Fit Remaining Tile

When all whole tiles are installed, cut and fit the remaining tile. A contour gauge will help you to fit tile around such irregularly shaped objects as door jams and cabinets. Carefully determine the shape of the object with the contour gauge then trace the shape onto the tile with a pencil. Score and carefully «work» the cut piece from the tile. Fit the cut tile into place.

Another way to fit tile around doorframes is to saw through the base of the frame. Place a tile under the saw to determine the thickness of the cut. Carefully saw through the frame and remove debris. Cut and fit tile into place.

4. Finish the Installation

Allow at least 24 hours for the adhesive to properly dry. Walking on newly installed tiles can cause them to slip out of place. If you must use an area. cover it with a loose piece of plywood or heavy cardboard before walking on the floor.

A. Apply cove Base and Other Molding

After 24 hours, such accessories as vinyl cove base. metal molding. baseboard, and shoe molding may be installed.

1. Cove Base. Before installing vinyl cove base. be sure surface is smooth and free from old adhesive, oil, grease, loose paint, or other foreign matter. Cut and remove any wallpaper up to 1/2 inch below the top of the cove base. For newly painted surfaces, allow at least two weeks curing time before installing cove base .

Apply cove base adhesive to the ribbed back side of the cove base with a spatula. Leave a 1/4″ space at the top edge. Do not spread adhesive on the bottom curved edge.

Set the cove base into place and press it firmly against the wall with the palm of your hand. Be certain the bottom edge touches the floor so you do not have to slide the cove base down the wall. Press the toe of the base firmly against the wall using a straight piece of wood.

2. Apply wood and Metal Molding. If you are installing wood baseboard and shoe molding, nail material into wall and not into flooring. Install metal molding on all other exposed areas such as doorways for protection.

B. Apply Caulk

Use color coordinated caulk around bathroom fixtures, moldings, door jambs, or any other areas requiring protection from moisture.

C. Move Furniture and Appliances Back into Room

After 24 hours, appliance or heavy furniture can be moved back into the room. Heavy objects should be careful moved into place over plywood panels or with a moving dolly to protect your new floor. DO NOT SLIDE THEM ACROSS THE FLOOR! Once in place, attach appropriate floor protectors to prevent possible damage to your floor. These should be wide and flat to distribute the weight evenly.

D. Maintenance of Tile

All floor cleaners and finishes are not the same. Color Tile has conducted extensive research on floor maintenance products and offers the cleaners and finishes best suited for your new floor, backed by or Goof Proof™ Guarantee. Ask our experts for details.

You may want to place mats with non-rubber backings at entrances to the room from the outside. This will help prevent dirt and tar buildup on your new floor. Regular maintenance and proper care will preserve your floor’s beauty for years to come.

Vinyl Floor Tile

The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Installing Vinyl Floor Tile

1. Prepare the Surface

Any tile installation is only as good as the surface on which it is installed. THEREFORE WE RECOMMEND THAT VINYL FLOOR TILE NOT BE INSTALLED OVER RADIANT-HEATED FLOORS OR OVER SUCH SURFACES AS PARTICLE BOARD, HARDBOARD, CHIPBOARD, OR FLAKEBOARD. NOTE: VINYL TILE IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR ANY EXTERIOR USE. Color Tile recommends only the following surfaces for the installation of vinyl floor tile.

Color Tile Underlayment Panels or Approved Plywood Underlayment — Installing new underlayment is essential for project success if your existing subfloor is damaged, not level, unsuitable material, or an unsuitable thickness. A minimum subfloor thickness of 3/4 inches or greater in two layers is required. Please consult our experts if you’re unsure about your existing subfloor. To install new underlayment, cut and fit panels to area. Fasten the panel at 6″ intervals along the edges and throughout the center using 1-1/4″ underlayment nails. Countersink nails slightly below surface level. Refer to our free underlayment installation guide for additional instructions.

Existing Approved Plywood Underlayment — Existing approved plywood underlayment is a suitable subsurface for vinyl tile installation only if the total subfloor thickness is 3/4 inches or greater in two layers. If not, install an approved plywood underlayment as previously described to increase the thickness to 3/4 inches or greater. If new underlayment is not needed, check for loose areas on existing surface and secure with 1-1/4″ underlayment nails.

Resilient Flooring — Resilient flooring such as sheet vinyl, linoleum, vinyl composition and asphalt tile can be used as subsurfaces if they are in good condition and adhered solidly to the subfloor. It is imperative that factory «no wax» finishes and other waxes and dressings be completely removed with a Color Tile recommended cleaner *. If existing resilient flooring is cushioned, heavily textured, or in otherwise poor condition, you should remove it or cover it with one of the previously-mentioned recommended underlayments. This will ensure a smooth surface for your new flooring and will prevent cracking and tearing and assures that underlying blemishes will not show through your new flooring.

Concrete — Vinyl tile can be installed over concrete that is in good condition and structurally sound. Newly poured concrete must cure for a minimum of 28 days before you begin any tile installation. Well bonded paint, concrete sealers, and other curing agents must be thoroughly sanded prior to installation. Concrete surfaces must be dry before, during, and at all times after installation. Excessive moisture or hydrostatic pressure in concrete will prevent proper adhesion of tile to the subsurface. IT IS THE CUSTOMER’S DIRECT RESPONSIBILITY TO DETERMINE IF EXCESSIVE MOISTURE OR HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE IS PRESENT.

If your particular surface is not described here, consult with experts for advice on preparation. Regardless of the subsurface to be used, it must be clean, dry, and structurally sound, with no «give» to it.

Remove all furniture, appliances, base shoe molding, and doorway thresholds from the room. When installing vinyl tile in a room with plumbing, such as a kitchen or bathroom, check for and repair any plumbing leaks beforehand. Before starting a bathroom project, remove the toilet after shutting off the water supply and draining the tank. After project completion, replace the toilet using a new wax seal and a new screw and bolt set.

We recommend the use of knee pads for maximum comfort during the preparation and installation process.

A. Clean

Ill-prepared subsurfaces prevent proper bonding of the adhesive and can result in project failure. Degloss old paint and varnish with sandpaper or deglosser or both. Factory «no-wax» finishes, or other waxes or dressings, must be completely removed with a recommended cleaner *. If there is old adhesive on the surface, remove it with old adhesive dissolver using a broad knife. Remove all dirt, grease, wax, and oil with a recommended cleaner *, mixed in a bucket of warm water.

B. Patch

Smooth, even surfaces are critical to project success. To obtain a level surface, fill all holes, cracks, countersunk nails, underlayment seams and low areas with latex patch* applied with a broad knife. Allow to dry thoroughly and smooth with sandpaper .

C. Prime

Priming maximizes the adhesive strength between subsurface and flooring material. Apply two coats of latex floor and wall primer * over all subsurfaces, allowing ample drying time between coats. Allow final coat to dry completely.

Vinyl Floor Tile

2. Mark Working Lines

Measure the length of each wall around the area to be tiled and find the wall’s center point. Mark the center point on the floor next to each wall. Stretch a chalk line, from one center point to the opposite center point and snap it. Repeat the process for the other two walls. Before snapping the second line, use a carpenter’s square to ensure that the line intersects the first line at a 90 degree angle. Then snap the line.

Before applying adhesive, lay loose tile from the center point along one line to the wall. If the space between the last full tile and the wall is less than one half tile, adjust the working line one half tile closer to the wall and snap a new line. Repeat the process for the other line. This procedure avoids «narrow cuts» around the perimeter, resulting in easier tile cutting and a uniform look in the finished room.

A. Dryback Tile

Dryback tiles require specific additives * depending on tile composition, subsurface, and type of installation. Consult experts for the right adhesive * for your product.

Maintain adhesive, subsurface, and tile at 60 degrees F or higher for 24 hours before, during, and after the installation. Beginning at the intersection of the working lines, apply adhesive* with a notched trowel* held at a 60 to 80 degree angle. Wear rubber gloves to keep hands clean and prevent possible skin irritation. For tiles less than 3/32″ in thickness, use the smaller notched side of the trowel* and for tiles 3/32 » or greater in thickness, use the larger notched side. Spread adhesive* with the notched edge of the trowel*. forming ridges, and pulling off excess adhesive so it will not come out between tiles. Spread adhesive* up to, but not covering, the working lines.

Use masking tape to cover areas that may accidentally come in contact with adhesive. Refer to label on adhesive container for open time, waiting period and other installation requirements for that specific adhesive.

B. Self-Stick Tile

Self-stick tile has become the floorcovering of choice for do-it-yourselfers, because it eliminates the needs for applying adhesive. The adhesive is already on the back of the tile, making installation fast and easy.

Maintain tile and subsurface temperature at 60 degrees F. or higher for 24 hours before, during, and after installation. Begin the installation at the intersection of the working lines. Protective wax paper covers the adhesive backing on self-stick tile. During installation, peel paper back to expose adhesive on one half of the tile. After correctly positioning a corner of the tile, press first half into place. Peel off remainder of paper and press tile firmly into position. This method of installation helps minimize adhesive transfer to hands and tile surface .

C. Set Whole Tile

Set whole tiles first starting at the intersection of the working lines and working outward to the corners of the room. Careful, accurate placement of the first tile is essential for a professional looking installation as it determines the exact placement of all other tiles. Set tile in pyramid fashion .

Set each tile in place with enough downward pressure to ensure it makes complete contact. If your tiles have arrows on the back, install tile with all arrows pointing in the same direction. DO NOT SLIDE TILES INTO PLACE. Press a corner of the tile down first. When sure of alignment, press remainder of tile into place. Continue installing whole tiles in this manner, working in one section of the room at a time.

Occasionally, adhesive will transfer to the tile surface. After completing a section, examine the area for excess adhesive and wipe the surface with adhesive remover applied to a clean dry cloth. Using products other than adhesive remover could cause possible damage to the tile surface.

Look over each section to be sure the tiles are aligned properly. Make necessary adjustments while the adhesive is still tacky. Periodically, check the last tile installed to determine that a minimum 90% adhesive transfer to the back of the tile has occurred.

D. Cut and Fit Remaining Tile

When all whole tiles are installed, cut and fit the remaining tile. A contour gauge will help you to fit tile around such irregularly shaped objects as door jams and cabinets. Carefully determine the shape of the object with the contour gauge then trace the shape onto the tile with a pencil. Score and carefully «work» the cut piece from the tile. Fit the cut tile into place.

Another way to fit tile around doorframes is to saw through the base of the frame. Place a tile under the saw to determine the thickness of the cut. Carefully saw through the frame and remove debris. Cut and fit tile into place.

4. Finish the Installation

Allow at least 24 hours for the adhesive to properly dry. Walking on newly installed tiles can cause them to slip out of place. If you must use an area. cover it with a loose piece of plywood or heavy cardboard before walking on the floor.

A. Apply cove Base and Other Molding

After 24 hours, such accessories as vinyl cove base. metal molding. baseboard, and shoe molding may be installed.

1. Cove Base. Before installing vinyl cove base. be sure surface is smooth and free from old adhesive, oil, grease, loose paint, or other foreign matter. Cut and remove any wallpaper up to 1/2 inch below the top of the cove base. For newly painted surfaces, allow at least two weeks curing time before installing cove base .

Apply cove base adhesive to the ribbed back side of the cove base with a spatula. Leave a 1/4″ space at the top edge. Do not spread adhesive on the bottom curved edge.

Set the cove base into place and press it firmly against the wall with the palm of your hand. Be certain the bottom edge touches the floor so you do not have to slide the cove base down the wall. Press the toe of the base firmly against the wall using a straight piece of wood.

2. Apply wood and Metal Molding. If you are installing wood baseboard and shoe molding, nail material into wall and not into flooring. Install metal molding on all other exposed areas such as doorways for protection.

B. Apply Caulk

Use color coordinated caulk around bathroom fixtures, moldings, door jambs, or any other areas requiring protection from moisture.

C. Move Furniture and Appliances Back into Room

After 24 hours, appliance or heavy furniture can be moved back into the room. Heavy objects should be careful moved into place over plywood panels or with a moving dolly to protect your new floor. DO NOT SLIDE THEM ACROSS THE FLOOR! Once in place, attach appropriate floor protectors to prevent possible damage to your floor. These should be wide and flat to distribute the weight evenly.

D. Maintenance of Tile

All floor cleaners and finishes are not the same. Color Tile has conducted extensive research on floor maintenance products and offers the cleaners and finishes best suited for your new floor, backed by or Goof Proof™ Guarantee. Ask our experts for details.

You may want to place mats with non-rubber backings at entrances to the room from the outside. This will help prevent dirt and tar buildup on your new floor. Regular maintenance and proper care will preserve your floor’s beauty for years to come.


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