Tips for Laying Self-Adhesive Vinyl Tile

Updated February 21, 2017

Installing a self-adhesive vinyl tile floor can be a simple way for any homeowner to present a new look to any room in the house. Vinyl tiles can take on the look of marble, decorative stone or even hardwood. Self-adhesive vinyl tile comes with the adhesive already applied to it for quick installation. But before you start laying the tile, there are a few tips you might want to learn first.

Room Temperature

Room temperature can run anywhere from 15.6 to 21.1 degrees Celsius. If vinyl tile is too cold when you install it, it will crack. If it is too hot when you install it, cutting and working with it could prove difficult. Before you install your self-adhesive vinyl tile, allow it to sit in the room it will be installed in for at least 48 hours. Ensure the room is kept at between 60 and 70 degrees, and leave the vinyl tile in its packaging to protect it.


Prior to installing self-adhesive vinyl tile, you need to do a thorough cleaning of the surface that the tile will be installed on. Remove all old tile and tile adhesive, any large debris and sweep the surface thoroughly to remove smaller debris. Run a powerful vacuum cleaner over the surface as well. When you install self-adhesive vinyl tile, you do not get a second chance. Once you lay the tile down, the adhesive will hold it in place. Debris left on the installation surface will result in bubbles, and eventually cracks, in your floor.


Prior to buying and installing the tile, create a drawing of your room and plan how you want the job to look. If you want to create patterns with the tile, preform a preliminary installation where you leave the protective film on the adhesive before doing the actual install. Measure and line up corner pieces and other cutting requirements carefully before making the final installation.


If you do not have a heavy roller, rent one for this project. You will need a roller to smooth out your tiles and flatten them to the floor once your installation is over. Perform the flattening immediately after you lay your last tile to ensure the adhesive is still sticky. To flatten down corners and cut places, set a thick tile over the area, put a small piece of plywood down and use a hammer, gently hitting a board that is placed on the plywood to tap down corners. Take care not to damage the tile as you are flattening it by going slowly.

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About the Author

George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.