Self-Adhesive Vinyl Tiles 1 - Introduction Self-Adhesive Vinyl Tiles 1 - Introduction

What You Will Be Doing

In this section we'll discuss the variety of vinyl flooring materials on the market today and the techniques used to install them. There are now more patterns, colors, styles, and installation choices than ever before, and vinyl floors are an easy, affordable way to customize your floors. We will detail and illustrate floor preparation, and complete instructions for installing a self-adhesive tile floor. Finally, we discuss the application of vinyl flooring over concrete.

Self-Adhesive Vinyl Tiles

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Self-adhesive vinyl tiles are perhaps the easiest type of floor to put down. Because of the sticky backing, there is no need to mess with gooey adhesives and seam sealers. You need only acclimate the tiles to the room's temperature by storing them there overnight in open boxes. This is especially important when installing floors over concrete. Also, when you purchase tile, you want to have about 5 percent more tile than the total area you plan to cover, to account for border tiles.


  1. Provide adequate ventilation with window fans when using adhesives, as some are toxic.
  2. Extinguish pilot lights and any open flames when applying adhesives which can be flammable.
  3. The proper respirator should be worn when using substances with toxic fumes.
  4. Wear rubber gloves when working with solvents.
  5. Keep blades sharp. A dull blade requires excessive force, can slip, and cause accidents.
  6. Goggles or safety glasses should be worn whenever hammering, prying, or cutting materials.
  7. Many older existing floor materials may contain asbestos fibers. Avoid sanding or dry scraping them, because inhaling asbestos fibers or dust may cause asbestosis or other bodily harm.
  8. Use the proper protection, take precautions, and plan ahead. Never bypass safety to save money or rush a project.

Useful Terms

Full-spread adhesive. Requires trowel and application of adhesive under the entire vinyl floor.
Ledging. A condition where one side of seam overlaps another.
Parameter bond. Attached only at walls and seams where flooring shrinks after installation to tighten over the floor.
Template. A paper pattern used to assure accurate error-free installation.
Underlayment. A layer of plywood applied under the vinyl to level and flash, or even out a deteriorated floor.

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