How to Install Vinyl Flooring
Follow these step-by-step instructions for installing a vinyl floor.
Create a reference line. You want to see a full tile on the longest run, so lay down a full tile off the wall and mark the reference point. Measure in 1/4" to allow for wiggle room in case the wall isn't square. Mark the second reference point (Image 1) and snap a chalk line.
Note: A little hairspray on the chalk line will prevent smearing.
Dry fit a row of tiles with feature strips (Image 2) at each reference point to make sure that you have the proper layout. You do not want to end up with a skinny piece of tile at the other end.
When you purchase your glue for the tiles, it will tell you what kind of trowel to use. Using the trowel, apply the adhesive to the floor. Start in the corner so that you can get out! Angle the trowel so that the notches contact the floor and pull out from the edges to get a smooth, even coat on the floor. Do not be afraid to go back over your work to remove puddles or streaks.
Note: Read the directions on the adhesive label. Adhesive dries in approximately 20 minutes. It should be tacky to the touch.
Set the first tile down at the reference point. Be sure it is correctly aligned. Then, set down the feature strip and the next tile. Once you have three full tiles down, you work your way out from the sides (Image 1).
Note: Install tiles before glue skins over and starts to dry.
Tiles cut easily with a 12" vinyl tile cutter (Image 2) that you can rent for approximately $35 a day.
Use a utility knife to cut the feature strips to the correct length (Image 3).
When you have a piece of tile that has angles you need to cut, you can heat the tile with a torch (follow the line) to make it more flexible, then cut along the line with a utility knife (Image 4).
Note: A torch will work on most vinyl tiles, but test it first on an extra tile to make sure.
Once the entire floor is glued down, use a floor stripper to get rid of excess glue and dust and then cleaned the floor a couple of times to get the stripper off. After that, apply two coats of a polish sealer — the first coat going in one direction and the second coat in the opposite direction to fill in all the remaining cracks.