Do it yourself installation: Installing vinyl floor tile

Replacing your own flooring can be a cost effective measure and allow you the opportunity to have some control over your repairs.

Let’s face it. There are some hideous patterns floating around out there. And as you stand in the middle of your kitchen, contemplating the options, you choose to replace it yourself. Wonderful!

The first step is what will you replace your old flooring with? With so many options today, linoleum, wood, ceramic tiles or vinyl tiles are all viable possibilities. Today’s project will require replacement with vinyl tiles. Many home repair centers sell these squares in boxes and individually. However, before you go, measure the size of your room.

Installing vinyl floor tile

The service staff at these stores will happily figure out your square footage and tell you how many tiles you’re going to need. Most of these stores will also allow you to return your leftovers and receive credit for them. But, you might consider keeping a few, just in case of damage or if a mistake is made along the way. These vinyl tiles also come in good, better and best quality. If this is a temporary measure until your home improvements are completely finished, go with the good tiles. If this is permanent, splurge and get the best quality tiles. They’re more expensive per box; however, in the long run they have the best survival rate and a better selection of patterns.

Upon returning home, open up a box of tiles and lay them out on the floor. Get a good idea of where you will start. If there are appliances in your way, you can either move them and replace the tile underneath it or leave it alone. Just remember that if you ever have to replace that appliance, it may be narrower than your existing item thereby showing the old tile. It would be best to do it now to keep consistency.

By now a portion of your old linoleum may have started coming up, if not, find a corner and start pulling. Using a putty knife with a thin blade will allow you to chip and coax the old floor covering from its glue. As you are going along, occasionally stop and check out the floor underneath. If there is obvious damage from water or shrinkage, you will want to replace those pieces of plywood.

Once you’ve surveyed the exposed plywood and made sure the under floor is in good shape, sweep up any loose shavings of wood and make sure there are no glue chunks lying about. You want a smooth surface for your tiles to lay and stick properly. You will not want to work yourself into a corner, so pick the farthest corner from the entrance and sweep it off one last time with a dust brush. Remove the backing from the tile and firmly affix it to the plywood. Using a rolling pin, press on the tile to insure a firm seal. As you repeat the process, keep in mind you want each tile to fit snugly to the next one. There should be no gaps.

When you reach a wall, pull out the tape measure and measure the gap between the last laid tile and the wall. Take the next tile and confirm that the pattern is going in the right direction. Flip it over, so that the back is facing you and establish a guide based on measurement. Using a pair of household shears, cut the vinyl tile and tuck the cut side underneath your trim piece or where your trim piece will sit. Continue to lay tiles across the floor in the same pattern as you started.

Once you are finished, and you have blisters on your hands and knees, stand back and enjoy the view. You will have a nice, shiny, modern look that may turn that room into your favorite.

Subscribe Scroll to Top