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Laying Vinyl Tile the Right Way
Vinyl tile is still one of the most popular flooring options for kitchens and bathrooms. Ceramic tiles are great, but the cost of having a professional install them can be low. The answer, vinyl tiles installed by you. You will save a lot of money that you can spend on the home renovations you want to do.
Vinyl tile is a good choice for a number of reasons. There are beautiful options of all shapes and sizes. There are so many different styles and colors to choose from that you may want to take your time when choosing something that will enhance the beauty of your kitchen or bathroom.
In addition, vinyl tiles are better than linoleum for practical purposes. With a linoleum floor, one accident and the whole floor is literally ruined, because it’s all one piece. When you buy vinyl tile, you buy extra squares. If an accident damages one or two tiles, you replace them.
In this article I will help you learn how to install your vinyl flooring with confidence. I’m going to teach you the old school way of laying this beautiful floor covering. I call it old school, because I learned from tires that have been doing it for years before I started.
First, we need to start with the basics. I don’t know what’s on the floor where you plan to install vinyl tile, so I’ll show you our plans for the installation. We need a nice smooth surface to lay our vinyl tiles.
Some people stick to the existing tile. This can be good, but it is not a preferred choice. To do this, you need to remove everything from the floor that is there now, until you have a smooth cement or wooden floor.
If there are any cracks and valleys or uneven areas, they should be filled and smoothed before you start laying your vinyl tiles. On cement or wood, you can use cement to fill and smooth the surface. You can also install plywood over the existing surface to meet the requirements of your vinyl flooring. You insert it into all the layers after installing the plywood. You can also use Durok.
The goal, as I said before, is to have a smooth surface before you start installing vinyl tile. Otherwise, your tile will crack wherever pressure is placed on the tile on the existing hard surface.
Now, buying the vinyl tiles you want is next. There are self-adhesive vinyl tiles that are very affordable. However, remember that you get what you pay for. The adhesive on these tiles is not very good and you will have to replace them often. They are usually very thin, so they are easily damaged.
The more vinyl tiles, the more expensive and durable they are. That is the rule of thumb. Choose vinyl tiles that are 1/8″ thick or higher and you will have a floor that will last a long time. So choose your style and color wisely.
Now, the tools you will need are as follows. You won’t need a tire cutter. That’s not the old school way. Using a tire cutter is tedious and slow, and your edges won’t be as tight. You will need a good scissor knife, a small butane torch, a trowel with teeth on one edge to apply the adhesive, old rags, and mineral spirits.
Most professionals will tell you to always start in the middle of the room when installing any type of tile. However with kitchens and bathrooms, this is not always or often the best option. Starting on one wall and working your way around your cabinets is best, as most of your tiles that need to be cut are under the invisible cabinet edges.
Starting at one wall, roll up your adhesive, making sure there are ridges using the edges of your teeth. Don’t go too far from the wall because you will be laying tiles there and you don’t want to reach that far.
Let the glue dry for 15 minutes for maximum adhesion. Place your first tile in the corner and continue laying the line, making sure your tiles are aligned. When you reach the end of your row, don’t worry about the space left where all the tiles won’t fit. We’ll take care of the latter. However, remove the glue from the area so it doesn’t dry before we go back.
The glue you applied should go a little further than the tile row itself, so now you have a row, with a little glue space waiting for the next row.
Now start back at the beginning. Apply a little more adhesive than the width of the row, let it dry, then apply another row of tiles, again making sure you align the tiles to each other so that your rows are straight.
When you finish the floor, except for the areas where all the tiles will not fit together, leave the floor until tomorrow. Don’t let anyone walk on the floor. Adhesives take time to dry.
Now, when the adhesive is dry, we are ready to cut a section of your vinyl tile project. You have to carefully walk on the tiles without moving them here. If not, you may have used too much glue and you have to wait a long time, until you are sure that it is dry.
Now, let’s cut to it. Go where your first row ended with a small space left. Apply the adhesive to the area, including the floor, on the wall where you will install the vinyl tile pieces. Let it dry, like you did before for 15 minutes.
Now, take the vinyl tile, and match it to your floor tile, leaning against the wall. Let me explain so you understand. You place the tiles on the edge of the last tile in the row as if you were about to put it on the floor, but just leave them to lean against each wall.
Now, you need your scissors and your small butane torch. Be careful with the small torch so you don’t burn anything, please. If you are not comfortable handling a small flashlight, this option is not for you.
Place the fingers of one hand on top of the tile on the side of the wall and slightly lower down. Move the flame back and forth between the tiles where you want it to bend. Do not let the flame sit on the tile to melt it. Keep away from heat.
The heat, the pressure of your fingers will start to push the vinyl tiles down, binding them in place. Once the tiles are bent all the way to the floor and the rest to the wall, put your lamp on, point it carefully away from anything or anyone, and take your scissor knife and cut the curve. wall. It will cut like butter.
Now the tile fits perfectly into the wall. Also, because of the gentle pressure you used when pressing it down, it has strengthened the entire line, so the vinyl tiles will not separate later. This is a floor that will last a long time and answer the problem of separating tiles later.
Continue doing the same for each row and wherever the tiles need to be cut. Then clean it. You are now an old-school vinyl tile installation expert!
One last caveat, as I said before, if you are not comfortable using a flame, you should continue using a tire cutter. It may not be strong, but you can still do a good job with it without risking it. This article is designed to present an old school technique that I learned and have used to lay many beautiful tiles that have been around for years. I hope that by passing it on to you, the old way will not be lost.
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