Introduction

Laying a Vinyl Tile Floor tout »
Long before the advent of resilient sheet flooring and plastic-laminate planks, there was vinyl tile. Originally produced as an alternative to linoleum, vinyl tile grew in popularity because it was colorful, easy to clean and crack resistant.

Vinyl tiles remain popular today and are commonly installed in baths, foyers, laundry rooms and mudrooms. The 12x12-inch tiles come in dozens of colors, patterns and textures, making it easy to create checkerboard designs and floors with contrasting borders.

There are two types of vinyl tile: glue-down and self-adhesive. Glue-down tiles are set into a bed of mastic, which is a rather messy process. Self-adhesive vinyl tiles are a peel-and-stick product, making them ideally suited for do-it-yourselfers.

Here, we asked Jimmy Tiganella, owner of Classic Tile in Oakville, Connecticut, to demonstrate how to install a long-lasting vinyl tile floor, a job that starts with covering the old floor with plywood underlayment.

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    Tools List

    • electric heat gun
      Electric heat gun,
      for softening tiles so they're easier to cut with a utility knife
    • tile cutter
      Vinyl tile cutter,
      available at rental shops for about $15 a day
    • chalk line
      Chalk line
    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • undercut saw
      Undercut saw (for trimming bottoms of door jamb and casing
    • push broom
      Dust broom
    • framing square
      Framing square
    • sanding pad
      Sanding pad with 100-grit paper,
      for sanding leveling compound
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • rolling pin
      Rolling pin or J-roller

    Shopping List

    1. ADHESIVE-BACKED VINYL TILE

    2. LEVELING COMPOUND

    for underlayment



    3. PLASTIC BUCKET AND 6-INCH DRYWALL KNIFE

    for mixing and spreading leveling compound



    4. KNEEPADS

    5. SHOE MOLDING

    to conceal gap along baseboard



    6. 1 1/2-INCH (4D) FINISHING NAILS

    to attach shoe molding