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Laying Soft Floor Tiles (page 2 of 2)

Follow these steps to install vinyl, cork or carpet tiles in your home.
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

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Cut Curves (or Irregular Corners)

For curves or non-square corners, use a paper template to make a precise guide line. First, cut a piece of paper to the size of your tile (Image 1).

Cut a number of slits into the paper, slightly longer than the portion of tile to be removed (Image 2).

Place the paper tile in position, with its slits against the curve (here, a sink pedestal). Crease the slits against the curve, and draw a pencil line across (Image 3).

Remove the paper tile, and cut along the line. Place the template on a new self-adhesive tile, and draw around the guide line (Image 4).

Using a utility knife, cut the tile along the guide line, and remove the unwanted section (Image 5).

Check that the tile fits snugly around the curve. Remove the backing and stick the cut tile in position (Image 6).

Cut Irregular Shapes

For irregular shapes, a profile gauge gives the best guideline. If possible, place its corner where the tile’s corner will go. Push the gauge into the irregular edge and butt it up. Position the gauge on a tile, lining up the corners for an accurate fit. Trace around the irregular shape. Cut along the guide line using a craft knife and remove the unwanted section (Image 1).

Check that the tile fits, and then remove the backing to stick the tile in place (Image 2).

Tip: Laying Carpet Tiles

Some carpet tiles are laid dry, and can be regularly moved to even out wear. Planning and cutting is the same as for other soft tiles.

Tip: Laying Soft Tiles That Require Adhesive

For soft tiles designed to be laid using adhesive, the principles shown in this how-to for planning the layout and for cutting sections of tile are exactly the same. The adhesive may be applied to the back of each tile, or to the floor. If you apply adhesive to the tile, do it carefully so that it does not spill over to the front of the tile surface.

The soft tile being applied below is cork. Before being laid, natural tiles such as cork should be left for 48 hours in the room where they will be laid, so that they acclimatize before being positioned. Once the floor has been completed, some cork-based tiles will require a sealant to be coated over the surface (Image 1). The packaging will specify if this is necessary.

Adhesive being applied to the floor for cork tiles

Sealant being applied to laid cork tiles

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Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009