Summary: Learn how to lay vinyl floor tiles, calculate the number of tiles needed, prepare the floor, lay the tiles, cut vinyl floor tiles, cut an L-shaped tile for a corner and cut curves and irregular shapes.
Vinyl is hardwearing and cleans easily making it an excellent floor covering for kitchens and bathrooms. Vinyl floor tiles are extremely popular and can either be self-adhesive or may need to have adhesive applied. Vinyl tiles vary in thickness and provide different benefits. Thinner tiles will feel harder underfoot but they are more hardwearing, while cushioned vinyl floor tiles are more comfortable to walk on and better insulated, but can be easily damaged.
When calculating the number of vinyl floor tiles you will need, multiply the length of the room by its width to get the area in square metres (or square feet). Dividing the area of your room by the surface area of one tile will give you the exact number of tiles needed to cover the floor. Always add on 10% to compensate for the wastage that will occur from trimming.
Before you begin laying the tiles ensure the floor's surface is suitable for vinyl tiles. If the floor has a rough surface you may need to put in a sub-floor over the main floor to create a flat surface on which to lay the tiles. If you have a concrete floor a self-levelling compound will have to be applied. A rough wooden floor will need to have a hardboard sub-floor fitted.
When satisfied with the surface of the floor, sweep and wash it thoroughly before you start laying the tiles, as even a small piece of debris will show through a tile, spoiling the overall finish. Let the floor dry before laying the tiles.
Do not make the mistake of laying the vinyl floor tiles directly against the nearest or longest wall. If the wall is not straight you will have to make adjustments the further across the room you go, which will become exaggerated and look unsightly.
To find a starting point divide the floor into four equal sections by making a straight chalk line from the middle of one wall to the opposite wall and again in the other direction.
Carefully position the first tile against your starting line.
Use the edge of the top tile to mark a straight pencil line on the face of the dry tile beneath it.
Without rotating the tiles slide them across to cover the last whole tile nearest to the corner on the adjacent wall and repeat the marking out process.
To cut vinyl tiles to fit around curved obstructions e.g. a sink pedestal, you need to make a template of the curved obstruction.
With the flaps pressed against the obstruction carefully mark the outline of the curve onto the card.
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