Self-Adhesive Vinyl Tiles 4 - Floor Preparation Self-Adhesive Vinyl Tiles 4 - Floor Preparation

Preparing the Floor

Margin of Error: Floor should be level within 1/8 inch and with gaps no larger than 1/4 inch

Most Common Mistakes

  1. Not making needed repairs before beginning the job.
  2. Not leveling the floor and/or applying an underlayment, if needed.
  3. Not purchasing 5 to 10 percent more tiles to account for border waste.

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Self-adhesive tiles require a bit more floor preparation than sheet vinyl. They need a flat as well as a smooth surface upon which to adhere.

When laying a tile floor, you will have a more balanced floor if you work from the center of the room outward. You will need to establish layout lines and find the center of the floor. You must also be sure the seams in the tiles do not line up directly over seams in the under floor.

First, measure to find the midpoints of two opposing walls. Stretch a chalk line between the midpoints of these walls and snap it (Line A/B). Measure for the midpoints of the other two opposing walls (Wall C and Wall D).

Before snapping the second line (Line C/D), place a carpenters square in the center where the two lines would intersect If necessary, adjust the second line (line C/D) so the two intersect at a 90-degree angle. These lines must be perfectly square. You can check this easily with the 3-4-5 triangle technique.

3-4-5 Triangle: Start at the intersection of the layout lines and measure 6' along line A/B. Then measure 8' along line C/D. The measurement between points A/B and C/D will be exactly 10' if the lines are perfectly square. (You can use any multiple of 3-4-5, but it is best to use the longest possible, to assure the greatest accuracy.)

If the lines are not perfectly square, adjust Line C/D until they are. Do not adjust Line A/B! Lay loose tile from the center point along Line A/B to the wall. If the space between the last tile and the wall is less than half a tile, offset Line C/D one-half tile (6 with 12 tiles) closer to the one wall and snap a new Line C/D. Repeat this process by laying tiles along Line C/D and adjusting Line AB. This will assure equal borders on opposing walls. And all borders will be more than half a tile.

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