Problems with vinyl self-stick floor tiles

Written by sarabeth asaff
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Problems with vinyl self-stick floor tiles
Self stick tiles are a perfect do-it-yourself application. (wooden texture of the floor - ideal background image by Elnur from Fotolia.com)

Vinyl self-stick tiles are a convenient product for do-it-yourself homeowners that want to install a quick and easy floor. Unfortunately, these tiles frequently have drawbacks that can give rise to some problems either immediately or down the road. If you're planning to install vinyl self-stick tiles, consider both the pros and the cons before beginning.

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They Require Perfectly Level Subfloors

Most vinyl self-stick tiles are installed by homeowners, not professionals. Therefore, you may not realise that what you install the tiles on must lay completely smooth and level. Since there is no additional layer of adhesive that could potentially even out the surface on which the self-stick tiles are installed, any imperfections will show through the tiles, which can cause the tiles to miss making contact with the subfloor in some areas. In turn, this will result in a tile that is not perfectly adhered to the floor, leading to its coming up in time.

They Don't Always Adhere Well

It takes pressure for any vinyl tile to adhere well to the substrate because the tiles are flexible, and motion such as walking on their surface could cause them to flex. If the self-stick tiles are not pressed completely into the subfloor, with the right distance between the tiles and the right amount of pressure on all the corners, the tiles can curl or peel away from the substrate. Self-stick tiles also have different backings. While some brands may adhere extremely well, others will not adhere at all without a heavy floor roller pressing them into place. Check the manufacturer's recommendations to avoid some of these problems.

They Are Difficult to Remove

In the case of self-stick tiles that are put down properly and adhere well to the substrate, the problem lies in their removal. Vinyl tile adhesive gets stronger as it gets older, so a floor that was put down as a temporary solution five years ago may not come up again today. Removing the adhesive takes a lot of time and effort, if it is properly bonded to the floor, to pull up again. So following the installation instructions to the letter may mean a tougher job of removing self-stick vinyl floor tiles down the road.

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