Vinyl Floor Tiles – Q & A
- Q: Can I lay vinyl floor tile on top of my existing floor? Or do I need to rip it out first?
A: In all likelihood, you can install vinyl floor tiles on top of your present floor. Because vinyl tiles don’t do a very good job of “smoothing over” imperfections in your flooring or underlayment, then the floor would need to be in very good shape.
- Q: What kinds of flooring are best/worst as underlayment for vinyl floor tiles?
A: Any kind of smooth, seamless surface works well for vinyl floor tile: sheet vinyl, linoleum, etc.
You can install vinyl floor tiles over ceramic tiles, provided that the grout lines are not too wide. Wide grout lines will eventually show through the vinyl.
Wood flooring can also accept vinyl tiles, but it’s not the best. The optimum condition is to have a substrate of one-quarter inch plywood or other smooth underlayment, rather than flooring.
- Q: How do you install vinyl tiles?
A: It’s fairly easy to lay vinyl tiles if you follow these steps:
1. With a chalk snap line and a measuring tape, measure the center points of all four walls. Snap a chalk line between facing walls, so that a cross is formed. Begin laying the tiles from the center point, and working outward within one of the quadrants (it doesn’t matter which one you begin with).
2. Completely fill the quadrant until you almost reach the wall. You’ll almost never have vinyl tiles that exactly reach the wall, leave this gap for now.
3. Fill the remaining three quadrants, also leaving the tile/wall gap.
4. Now, it’s time to fill the gaps. Lay a full tile across the gap. A portion should overlap the outer edge of your vinyl tiles. With a carpenter’s pencil, mark on the loose tile where the edge of the laid tiles fall.
5. With a straight edge, draw a line between the two marks.
6. Using the straight edge again, cut down the line with a utility knife. You may have to cut twice to slice all the way through. Don't cut on top of your new tile floor! Do this on top of a sheet of plywood or thick cardboard.
7. Strip the paper backing from the tile and install it.