Step one in installing peel and stick tile floors starts with a clean, flat and dry surface. You can lay the new tile over the old tile or linoleum. The old surface needs to be secure to the floor. It needs to be thoroughly cleaned and dry and free from any irregularities.
When installing peel and stick tile on a plywood or OSB surface, it is imperative that you secure the nails. Working themselves back up they will show through the tile. This can be accomplished by driving down nails that are above the surface. Fill the holes with a fast drying filler available at your local hardware or big box store such as Home Depot or Lowe’s. This is a very time consuming process but must be done if nails have been used.
Remove the molding that is running along the walls. Looks best when you install the tile directly up to the wall.
Installation Begins with a Clean Smooth Surface
- Step two in installing peel and stick tile find the center point of the room. You can accomplish this by using a tape measure and a chalk line. Measure the width of the room at each end. Make a mark exactly half way across the room splitting that end of the room in half. Go to the other end of the room and do exactly the same.
- Secure the end of the chalk line to the first mark with a small nail. If you have a friend working with you have them hold the end of the chalk line securely to the first mark.
- Stretch the chalk line across the room to the other mark. Pull the line as tight as you can. Hold it securely on the second mark you made which is dividing the width of the room in half opposite the first mark.
- Lift up on the chalk line and let it snap back to the floor leaving a nice straight line of chalk. This divides the width of the room exactly in half.
- Go through the exact same process dividing the length of the room in half and snap a chalk line. This will divide the length of the room exactly in half. It does not matter the size of the room. The chalk line process should be used. You need to start your first tile exactly in the center of the room and work out from there.
- This process should have left you with a clean, dry and flat surface with 2 chalk lines that are 90 degrees apart. The lines will fit exactly on corner of the first piece of tile.
The third step
Start installing your tile on the floor.
- Take your first piece of tile and turn it over to the thin paper side. You will notice that there are arrows on the paper all pointing in the same direction. The reason for this is so you get all the tiles pointing in the same direction during installation. Keep this in mind as you install each square. Before you peal the paper off the back, check the direction of the arrows first and rotate the tile accordingly.
- The first tile you place will go exactly where the chalk lines cross in the middle of the room. Place the corner of the tile exactly on the crossing point while lining up each edge with the chalk line. Press the tile down. The positioning of the first tile is very important. At this point the tile can be shifted slightly to make it exactly line up with the chalk lines.
- You can purchase a roller tool at the big box store. If you don’t have one, take a bakers wooden rolling pin and roll and press down on the tile. As you roll over the tile to secure it to the floor. Be careful not to shift the tile while you are doing this.
- Now take each new tile keeping in mind the direction of the arrows. Place it tightly up against the first tile on the floor and carefully set it down. Roll over each tile with the roller securing it to the floor keeping all edges tight and lined up. Do not rush this process as the tighter the fit the better the finished job will look.
Fourth and Final Step
Cut the edges to fit tightly against the walls. For this you will want the following tools:
- Large thin board to use as a cutting board
- Sharp construction knife
- Metal straight edge
- Measuring tape for all the odd corners you might run into around cabinetry and doors.
- Use each tile as a template. Slide it up to the wall with the paper still attached. Keep in mind the direction of the arrows.
- At this point the arrows need to be pointing in the opposite direction of what they normally go. The reason, you will be flipping the tile so that the cut edge goes up against the wall. You will later cover it with molding.
At this point in installing peel and stick tile all the arrows will be going in the same direction. Work your way around the room taking your time. Keep each piece tight and roll them, securing them tightly to the floor. While you are doing this process you may find areas where the adhesive is on the surface of the tile. This can easily be removed with a cotton swab and some finger nail polish remover. Replace the molding around the room and you have a new floor that you can enjoy for years.