Installing floor tiles or vinyl flooring is relatively easy for the “do-it-your-selfer”. You just need some basic tools, which you probably have on hand already, a little determination, some “stick-to-it-ivness” and some knowledge. When you buy your flooring materials, make sure that you read the manufacturers’ instructions thoroughly. The elements and chemicals that are used in the materials are so diverse, that one application will sometimes not work for another one. Always follow the manufacturers’ advice first.
Remember that during the early stages of planning your flooring project, you will need to check the local codes and building requirements in your city, county or state. These codes vary considerably and regulate everything from the size and type of framing you use to build your house, to the type of interior walls that you can install. It always pays to check first!
If you have wood floors, old tile floors or even concrete floors in sound condition, you can create a brand new floor! Before you start to re-lay your floor, inspect it and correct any faults. If any tiles are loose, reglue them. If your wooden floor is uneven, use a plane to make it level, or sand it. If you have a concrete floor with a moisture problem, it should be moisture-proofed and a layer of sub flooring such as plywood or particle board should be installed over the concrete floor. Remember to remove any existing molding carefully before laying out and installing your new flooring.
Your first step is to lay out your floor by striking two intersecting guidelines. These guidelines will connect the mid points of the opposite sides of the floor. Next, temporarily lay the corner of a tile at the center of the floor. Temporarily form two rows of loose tiles to form an “L” to the end of the walls. If the last tiles at either wall measures less that half of the tile width, then adjust your guidelines by backing the entire “L” half a tile’s distance.
Next will come the installation procedure. If you’re using self-adhesive tile, this is relatively easy. Remembering your “L” guidelines, place the tiles the same way you did before, except actually install them permanently. Make sure that you butt each tile tightly against its neighbor by lowering it, not sliding it into place. Carry on with placing the tiles in the other three sections. When your floor is filled in with the tiles, you will now need to “trim” the edges, since the courses will almost never come out exact. To do this you need to position the tile that needs to be trimmed directly over another one in the next-to-last course. Then place another tile flush against the wall and overlap the first tile. This top tile will be your guide. Score the tile under it and cut the piece off. This will fill in the remaining space and finish that course.
Once you’ve laid the entire floor down, you need to nail the floor molding back to its original position. Nail it to the footings and studs in back of the wall and not to the floor! Now you can stand back and admire your brand new beautiful floor that will give you years of satisfaction!