Self-Adhesive Vinyl Tiles 6 - Replacing Trim Self-Adhesive Vinyl Tiles 6 - Replacing Trim

Margin of Error: Exact

Most Common Mistake

  1. Installing the trim before the tiles are all in place.

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Once your newly laid, self-adhesive tile flooring is in place, you can replace the trim pieces and door thresholds. Where it was necessary to install an underlayment, you may need to use a reducer strip. Install this, according to the manufacturer's instructions, where the newly laid floor meets another that is not exactly at the same level. Another option for trim is a self-adhesive vinyl wall base, available in 2 1/2 x 48 and 4 x 48 sections.

Dry Tiles

Dry-back flooring tiles that need an adhesive can be laid the same as sticky-backed tiles. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for specific preparation, adhesive and trowel use, and drying time. This type of flooring, like the full-spread adhesive sheet vinyl, can be difficult to remove later.

Tip: To keep the pattern from shifting while you work, cut little triangles in various areas of the paper. Then, tape it to the floor with masking tape pressed over the cutouts.

Applying Vinyl Over Concrete

When faced with a situation in which you must apply sheet vinyl or tiles over concrete, note the following special considerations.

The concrete must be dry. New concrete should be cured to a hard, dry, non-powdery finish. New concrete should also have a minimum of a 4-ml. moisture barrier between the ground and the concrete slab.

To be on the safe side, test all concrete sub floors for moisture. I recommend you test at a time that is most likely to produce moisture - a rainy month, for instance. This test can be done in three different ways. Perhaps the easiest is to completely tape down 2' x 2' poly-film squares in a variety of places on the floor. Leave these for 24 to 48 hours; then check for condensation under the plastic.

A second test involves chipping small sections of concrete from the floor in several areas. Apply to each chipped area a 3 percent Penophalen in alcohol solution. This can be purchased at most drugstores. A red color reaction indicates moisture is present in your floor. Chipping the concrete protects against the possibility that a concrete sealer had been applied without your knowledge.

The third test involves the use of calcium chloride crystals, also available from a druggist. Make a 3" diameter putty ring on the slab, place 1/4 teaspoon of the calcium chloride within the circle, then cover this with a water glass to seal off the crystals from the air. If the crystals are dissolved within 12 hours, the slab is too wet.

To effectively carry an applied floor, a concrete sub floor should have a density of 90 pounds per cubic foot or more. A lighter slab tends to hold moisture longer, as well as retain a scaly or chalky surface. Either moisture or retention of concrete dust can lead to problems.

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