This story covers how to install self-stick vinyl tile.
Self-stick vinyl tile (also called peel-and-stick tile) is a do-it-yourselfer's dream material. It requires only basic skills, minimal time, and a few tools. It also requires a precise eye when setting the first tile and those in the first row adjoining it. How straight the remaining installation looks depends in large part on the accuracy of the first row. The steps shown here include the application of a primer. Some manufacturers don't recommend a primer. Others do, but only on porous surfaces such as plywood. Once the tile comes into contact with the floor, the adhesive is unforgiving; you won't be able to adjust the tile's position. If you misalign a tile, you'll probably have to pull it up and replace it. The tile will likely be damaged, but you might be able to find a place for it as a cut tile in a corner. The paper backings on self-stick tile are slippery underfoot. Place a wastebasket at your side as you lay the tiles. Don't remove the tile backing until you're ready to set the tile. Dispose of the backing immediately.
About 2 hours for an 8x10-foot floor
Long-handled roller, tape measure, heavy-duty scissors, putty knife, utility knife, chalk line, straightedge, square, seam roller
Laying tile accurately, cutting tile
Repair, clean, and lay out floor.
Primer, self-stick tile, cove molding
Arrange the tiles loosely along the layout lines with the arrows (grain) facing in the same or opposite directions (depending on the look you want). Starting at a corner of the tile and working slowly, peel away the paper backing. Don't pull fast; you might tear the backing, and a fresh edge is difficult to raise from the center of the tile. Set the corner of the tile at the intersection of the lines and press it down. Then roll it with a small roller.
Using the layout configuration of your choice, continue setting the tiles, making sure each one butts squarely against its neighbors on two sides. Don't forget to maintain the arrows consistently. If you mistakenly lay a tile with the wrong orientation, warm the tile with a hair dryer to soften the adhesive and pry it up immediately with a wide putty knife. The tile is likely to be damaged.
To fit an inside corner, score the back of the molding with a utility knife and cut a V-notch in the coved base. If you can't get the molding tightly in the corner, cut the material on your score marks. Cut and install all corners first, then cut and install straight runs to fit between them.