Step 7: Trim tiles around heat registers

trimming tiles around heat registers
Photo: Shaffer Smith Photography
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If you come to a heat register (where a duct emerges from beneath the floor), remove its grille to expose the rectangular hole.

Mark a precise cutout for the hole on the vinyl tile by laying a full tile on top of the hole, pressing it tightly to the wall and penciling where it overlaps the duct.

Use an electric heat gun to soften the tile, then cut it along the line with a utility knife (as shown).

Test-fit the tile before peeling off the backing paper.

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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