DIY: Rubber Flooring

Written by sal marco
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DIY: Rubber Flooring
Rubber flooring is an eco-friendly flooring option. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Rubber flooring comes in interlocking tiles, tiles or one-piece sheets. Rubber floors are easy to install and require only a few basic tools. Homeowners install rubber flooring in basements, kitchens, bathrooms, garages, mudrooms and other living spaces. Rubber floors provide a slip-resistant surface and offer a softer covering for walking, working and standing. They are durable and simple to maintain while offering a hypoallergenic covering. They are available in a wide range of styles, colours and patterns, making them a good fit in home decor.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Broom or vacuum
  • Mild detergent
  • Mop
  • Hydraulic cement
  • Putty knife
  • Joint compound
  • Moisture test kit
  • 6-mil polythene vapour barrier
  • Utility knife or linoleum knife
  • Construction adhesive
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk line
  • 45.4kg. floor roller
  • Kraft paper
  • Masking tape

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  1. 1

    Bring the rubber flooring material into the home and allow it to acclimate to the temperature and humidity of the home for 24 hours before installation. Unroll one-piece rubber sheet flooring to allow it to flatten.

  2. 2

    Sweep or vacuum the floors to remove surface debris and dirt. Wash the floors with a mild detergent and allow them to dry completely.

  3. 3

    Inspect the subfloor for cracks, holes and moisture. Repair cracks and holes in concrete floors by pressing hydraulic cement into the damage with a metal putty knife. Allow the patch to dry for six to eight hours before installing the floor. Apply joint compound with a putty knife to wood-based floors and allow the compound to set for four to six hours. Use a moisture test kit to check for excess moisture, especially on concrete basement floors.

  4. 4

    Roll out 6-mil polythene sheeting over the floor beginning at a wall and ending at the far wall. Make cuts to the vapour barrier with a utility knife. Tack the vapour barrier to the floor at beginning and ending edges with construction adhesive. Roll out the second row of the vapour barrier, overlapping the first row by 6 inches. Tack the beginning and end in place with construction adhesive. Continue to lay the vapour barrier, overlapping each row by 6 inches and tacking in place with construction adhesive until the vapour barrier covers the entire subfloor. Only lay a vapour barrier if there is a moisture problem.

    Tiles and Interlocking Tiles

  1. 1

    Measure the length of two opposite walls and mark their halfway points. Stretch a chalk line from the halfway point across the room to the other halfway point and snap the chalk line. Repeat for the two remaining walls. The point at which the lines intersect is the middle of the room.

  2. 2

    Position the first tile with the edge of the tile lining up to a line both next to it and below it. If they are interlocking tiles, lay in place. If the tile requires adhesive, apply dots of construction adhesive to the back of the tile every 2 inches, set in place and smooth with your hand. Continue to lay tile fitting pieces together or applying adhesive and setting the tile in place following the chalk lines to keep the tiles straight until rubber flooring covers the entire subfloor. Make cuts as necessary with a utility knife.

  3. 3

    Roll a 45.4kg. floor roller over the rubber tile to adhere the tile firmly to the floor and set the rubber tiles.

    One-Piece Rubber Flooring

  1. 1

    Join several pieces of heavy kraft paper together with masking tape. Fit the large paper over the floor to create a pattern of the entire floor.

  2. 2

    Place the pattern over the rubber flooring with the good side facing down. Trace the pattern directly onto the back of the rubber flooring. Cut out the pattern along the lines with a utility knife or linoleum knife.

  3. 3

    Flip the rubber flooring over with the good side facing up. Test fit the flooring and make cuts as necessary with a utility knife or linoleum knife.

  4. 4

    Roll a 45.4kg. floor roller over the floor and make any other necessary cuts.

  5. 5

    Lift the edge of the rubber floor and apply construction adhesive to the subflooring around the entire perimeter of the room. Press the rubber flooring in place as you apply adhesive. Roll the floor roller over the adhesive-bonded edges to gain good adhesion.

Tips and warnings

  • Work in a well-ventilated room when using adhesive.
  • Use a metal straightedge as a guide when cutting long, straight lines.

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