Vinyl tile can be laid by most amateurs, but there are tricks to getting it done right when it comes to properly gluing vinyl flooring. It is sometimes recommended to lay new vinyl over older vinyl floors rather than removing the old one, as adhesive glues used before 1980 contained asbestos. You can cover the old vinyl with 1/4-inch plywood to reduce the risk of exposure from old glues. Lay the new vinyl directly on top of the plywood subflooring.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Sander (optional)
- Vinyl tile or roll
- Vinyl adhesive
- Notched trowel
- Warm water
- Soft cloth
- Heavy roller
Prepare the base flooring to ensure it is smooth and even before laying the new vinyl flooring. Remove any high or low spots in the subflooring and sand any areas as needed.
Read the manufacturer's instructions carefully on the adhesive for the "open time" you need to leave the adhesive on the floor before laying the tile down. If you attempt to put the tile down too quickly, the excess solvent will bubble and cause problems. Properly ventilate the area before using the adhesive.
Choose a notched trowel that is properly sized and recommended for the type and style of vinyl tile you will be laying.
Hold the trowel at a 60 degree angle to the floor when spreading the adhesive over the subflooring, making sure to put grooves with the trowel in the glue when spreading.
Spread the glue around the perimeter areas first. Continue to apply an even coat to the middle, making sure to spread to the sides, nooks and corners of the floor.
Avoid leaving any bumps or globs of glue on the floor when applying; this can cause an uneven floor.
Apply glue for rollback vinyl sheet flooring on the underlayments in a single coat, avoiding double layering of the glue as you unroll and work further into the sheet. Excess adhesive will show up as a line in the middle of the floor if you double coat when applying.
Clean up any excess adhesive with warm water and a soft cloth immediately; dried adhesive is difficult to remove and will require the use of harsh solvents.
Flatten the tile by using a heavy rolling pin for small areas, or rent a 100 pound roller when doing larger areas of rollback vinyl. Begin in the centre of the tile and work towards the ends.
Work carefully to remove as much of the bubbling as possible. Some bubbles may dissipate naturally, but it is best to try to remove them with the roller.
Tips and warnings
- Bubbles that are not removed through rolling may dissipate naturally. If not, they may be removed by slitting the bubbles with a thin razor blade, rolling them out and applying a sealer to the seams.
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