The thought of installing vinyl flooring in your home may sound daunting at first, but it’s actually simple to do yourself. I have personally completed a bathroom by myself, and the results were amazing. I will share my experience, with my own methods, and there is also a very informative article on www.doityourself.com, entitled Install Vinyl Floor Tiles, which offers handy advice.
At a former home a few years back, I removed the bathroom carpeting and laid vinyl floor tiles. The previous owners had cats that had “sprayed” on the carpet, resulting in a horrid odor that no amount of cleaning would cure. Aside from the odor, with small children in the home, I didn’t feel carpeting was a great idea for the bathroom, so I decided to rip it up and install peel and stick vinyl tiles.
When purchasing tiles, measure your room, length times the width, to get your square footage. Many tiles come in perfect squares, which makes it easy to calculate how many you’ll need. Purchase a few extra, to allow for mistakes in cutting or if you mess up the pattern and need to remove a tile that tears in the process. Also, in the future, if you need to replace a tile, the manufacturer may no longer make your color or pattern, so it’s good to have some extras on hand for such purposes.Home improvement stores such as Menards and Lowes are good places to purchase vinyl floor tiles.
If you do not have a tape measure, box cutter, or utility knife, this would be a good opportunity to purchase those when selecting your tiles. When buying vinyl tile, keep in mind the area in which you are using it, and for what purposes. Peel and stick vinyl tiles come in a variety of prices, so do you want less expensive to save on costs, or do you want to spend a little extra for a longer lasting and more durable tile for a heavily used area?
Let’s take this from the point of having removed and discarded any carpeting or old layers of flooring that were on the floor. Now you will need to thoroughly prepare your work surface. Make sure that any dips on the floor surface are leveled, possibly using spackle or other filler material. Level it with a trowel you might use for grouting. Fill in any cracks in the surface as well. Then make sure your floor is clean, dry and free of any debris.
Begin by starting with full tiles in the center, or main area of a room which will show the most. Begin placing your tiles, keeping the adhesive back covered at this point, to really get a feel for the placement. Measure and ‘eyeball’ it to see if this is how you want them to appear. When satisfied with the placement, pencil or use a marker since the area will be covered, and outline the area of the first tile to be placed. Peel off the covering of the adhesive, and place the first tile. After the first one, as long as it’s evenly placed, the others will easily follow,as you are working with perfect squares.
Working your way toward the walls, after you have placed all the full squares of tile that you can, begin to measure from the last tile to the end of the wall, and cut your pieces accordingly, taking care not to cut yourself, or cut through to a good tile you’ve just placed. When encountering the toilet, some people choose to remove the toilet while tiling, I simply cut out a triangular area of a tile and gradually trimmed it so that it fit right into place around the toilet. If you make a tiny mistake around the cut out for the toilet, a simple band of caulk around the edge will fix it.
All in all, this project goes quite fast after you initially get moving. After all flooring is laid, make sure to walk all over it, pressing heavily, to be sure that each tile is sticking firmly to the floor’s surface. With normal cleaning and upkeep, your new vinyl flooring should last you for many years to come.