Commercial grade vinyl tile is much more resilient than your typical home type peel and stick type. It is designed to withstand more foot traffic, making it a really great option for homeowners. In the past, the designs were very basic, certainly not worthy of putting in most nice homes. Times have changed, as businesses are looking to offer a more aesthetically pleasing shopping experience for their customers. For this reason, you can now find commercial grade vinyl tile that will look really great in your home. Luckily, installation can be accomplished, even with only basic skills and abilities. Let's take a look at how to install this flooring, and some other tips you may want to consider. The process is different than laying homeowner grade peel and stick flooring.
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If math is not your strong suit, you may want to get some help, because you will need to use it before you install your commercial grade vinyl tile floor. You need to figure out how many square feet of flooring you will need. You are really working on more of an estimate, so it's okay if you are off slightly.
To determine how many square feet of commercial grade vinyl tile flooring you will need, measure your room. Since you will need to account for some waste, and order extra flooring, it may be easiest to simply round up to the nearest foot with all measurements. Multiply the length by the width, assuming you have a fairly square room, and you will know how much you need. If you have coves or cubbies, figure those out separately, and add them to your totals. It's important to order enough commercial grade vinyl tile, so you don't run out. TIP: Be sure to order about 15% more than you need to account for waste and allow a few extras to be on hand, in case of future problems.
Getting the flooring:
You will be able to get the product in a number of places. You can order commercial grade vinyl tile online, or go to your local hardware or home improvement store. You will not run out of options when you search.
TIP: It may be wise to order locally, just in case you run into any issues. This way you can also buy more than needed, even when adding 15%, and return the excess. If you make only a few mistakes, you will be glad you have the extra commercial grade vinyl tiles on hand.
Before you start:
For this article, I will assume you are working with a sturdy and very well swept subfloor. If you are not, be sure to sturdy it up and remove all debris and dust. This process can be harder than laying the commercial grade vinyl tile, and should not be ignored.
Before you lay your commercial grade vinyl tile flooring, you will need to find the center of your room. Starting in the center instead of by any walls will allow you to hide any imperfections from a room that isn't square. Since few rooms are truly square, it's always a good idea. To find the center of the room, measure the length and width against the WALLS and mark the center. Using a chalk line, snap the line. You will now have 4 quadrants to work with, and a nice straight center line to use when you lay your commercial grade vinyl tile floor.
Be sure to remove trim, so you can get a really clean look with your commercial grade vinyl tile. You can reinstall the trim later. This will also help cover up minor gaps.
Laying the adhesive:
When you lay commercial grade vinyl tile, you need to use an adhesive. TIP: Never skimp on quality when you buy adhesive. This will make or break your results. Be sure you spend the few extra bucks so you get quality.
Spread the commercial grade vinyl tile adhesive with a notched trowel, per the manufacturer's directions. This will really vary a lot, so be sure you specifically read the label carefully. Only spread in the first quadrant you work with, unless you are very confident you will have no issues. Try not to go over the lines of your quadrant too much, and be sure to spread in arcs, sort of like little rainbows. Be sure you don't have any "blobs" of adhesive. No spots should be thicker than the notches in the trowel. TIP: Don't paste yourself into a corner when you spread the adhesive. Many people have done this. Be sure to allow the appropriate dry time recommended for the commercial grade vinyl tile adhesive.
Starting to lay the floor:
Once you have allowed the right amount of dry time, and the adhesive is tacky to the touch, you can begin to lay your commercial grade vinyl tile flooring. You will normally have 4 to 8 hours to lay the flooring before the adhesive is too dry. Check the label. You should be able to see your chalk lines, so this is where you will start.
Lay your first commercial grade vinyl tile in the corner of the quadrant, so you can use both chalk lines to make sure you are spot on. TIP: The first square is the single most important square to get right. Take your time, and make sure it follows the chalk lines perfectly. Continue to lay the flooring, but hold off on any areas you need to make cuts on.
You are going to make really great progress until you get to the point where you need to cut your commercial grade vinyl tile to fit.
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Cutting the squares to fit:
This is the hard part of installing commercial grade vinyl tile. You need to measure twice and cut once. It will be harder as you have squares that need multiple cuts and angles, so start with the single cuts first.
TIP: Turn the commercial grade vinyl tile upside down. Place one end on the wall and mark where the square touches the installed flooring. This will be where you cut. Be sure you place the factory edge against the flooring, and the cut edge against the wall.
It's pretty easy to cut commercial grade vinyl tile. Simply use a straight edge, and run down with a knife. Once you have a good score, you can simply snap them in half at the line. You don't need to cut all the way through. TIP: Cut the top, not the bottom. When you snap it down the cut line, the side not scored may fray a little.
Continue this process until you have finished installing your flooring.
Never match a factory edge to a cut edge with you install commercial grade vinyl tile if possible.
Fill gaps by walls, up to about 1/8" thick with caulk. If you have trim, you may be able to avoid this. (caulk will seal the gaps and is a good idea, even if the gap is not noticeable)
Always order extra product and be sure to keep some extra commercial grade vinyl tile on hand, in case you have an issue down the road.
Subfloor prep is really important. Never skimp in this area.
Get a high quality commercial grade vinyl tile. Your floor will last for years and will be covered by a warranty.
Work with a friend whenever possible