How to Install Dry-Backed Resilient Tile, Part 1 How to Install Dry-Backed Resilient Tile, Part 1

What You'll Need
Utility knife
Straight edge
Tape measure
Chalk line
Self-leveling compound
Nail gun

Dry-backed resilient tile is a very durable flooring option that looks great once it is installed. If you are about to install the tile yourself, you will need to understand the basic process of how it works and have the proper tools for the job. Here are the basics of how to install dry-backed resilient tile.

Step 1 -- Surface Preparation

Start out by preparing the floor for installation. If you have a concrete subfloor, make sure that it is completely level and smooth. If there are some imperfections in the floor, use self-leveling compound to even it out. If you have a wood subfloor that is not level or smooth, you may need to install 1/4-inch underlayment. This can be done by using a nail gun and nailing it down to the plywood subfloor.

Step 2 -- Reference Lines

To install the tile properly in the room, you need to create some reference lines to go by. To do this, use a chalk line and your tape measure. Take your tape measure and determine where the center of the wall is in both directions. Then snap a chalk line in both directions. This should form four equal quadrants in the room. 

Step 3 -- Design

You should most likely spend a little bit of time coming up with a design for your floor. Get a piece of paper and a pen and draw a diagram of the room. By spending a little bit of time in preparation, you will potentially be able to save some time when you start installing.

Step 4 -- Dry Fit Tiles

Before you actually start installing, it is a good idea to lay some of the tiles out to see how they look. Start laying tiles in the center of the room in one of the corners of the chalk line intersection. Then work your way out towards the wall. Lay one of the quadrants so that you can see how it will look when you are done. Make sure that you are careful with the tiles during this process so that you do not scratch or break them. 

Step 5 -- Make Adjustments

Once you have some of the tiles laid out, you may find it necessary to make some adjustments. There are a lot of different patterns and designs that you can use when laying this kind of tile. You might want to utilize a brick pattern, a checkerboard pattern with two colors, or some other type of design. During this stage is the time to play around with the pieces and see what looks best. Once you get out the adhesive, it is generally too late to change the design. At that point, the adhesive will dry relatively quickly and you do not want to have to change the floor after you have already spread it out.

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