Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Floor Tiles (Adhesive Type)


The home that we inherited in Dallas in the early 90's had all of the warmth and comfort that anyone could ever want to raise a family in. The neighborhood was built in the late 1940's and the remaining residents from then were either elderly, retired in Florida, or no longer with us. The neighborhood of fine older homes was undergoing a rebirth as new families moved in and modernizes their new homes. This home was the place where the extended family always met for holidays when I was a kid growing up.
Part of the process of bringing this old home back to life included re-doing the family room floor. The room had been dark fifty years, with thick, dark stained wood 5 inch wide overlapping pine. The ceiling was stained 3 inch wide tongue and groove pine. The floor was the original dark brown patterned linoleum. The room was gloomy.There had been years of cigarette and cigar smokers to make matters worse.
We decided that the easiest way to brighten up the room was to replace the floor covering with white adhesive tiles. It was a 12 by 24 foot room rectangle, so no cutting or trimming of tiles was needed.



Self Adhesive Tiles
Box Cutter
Rolling Pin
Tape Measure

This is for a floor that is not too damaged to cover over. Measure the room and get the right amount of tiles. Each tile is 12 inches by 12 inches, which makes determining the amount to get easier.

Clean the floor of all dirt and accumulated grime. This took some time for us because the floor was the original old one and had seen lots of use and abuse. We finished the floor cleaning job by using Windex and paper towels. You may be amazed at what Windex will clean. It may be necessary to use a putty knife to scrape down any high spots you find. Use a filler to fill holes or cracks that might remain in the old floor to make them level and flush with the rest of the floor.

Floor molding will probably have to be removed. If you want to re-use it, then be careful not to break it as you pry loose the toe nailed molding. Start at a corner as you remove the molding, and mark on the back of the molding its position on the floor, i.e. 1,2,3,4 as you remove them. It makes replacing them easier.

Open a package of floor tiles. Be careful not to drop or bend the corners too hard because they are brittle enough to break the corners off if mishandled. Don't take the paper backing off yet. Visualize the way that the pattern will lay on the floor, and lay the first row up against your starting wall without adhering them. Leave about a 1/8 inch space between the tiles and the wall for expansion. The gap you leave will be covered by the molding. If you are using a tile with a pattern, make sure that all tiles are lined up in the right direction. When you are satisfied with the look of the row, it's time to begin the adhesive process.

If the room is wider than tiles will fit evenly in one foot increments, ( i.e. 12 X 18 ½ ) you will need to have a beginning and ending row on the 18 ½ foot side that is not a one foot wide tile, but a 3 inch wide tile row. In other words, you will have 18 full one foot wide rows and a 3 inch row in width on either end to make the tile floor 18 ½ feet in width to look balanced after installation. Make sure that the pattern matches on the ends if you have to cut tiles to a smaller size.
Carefully remove the cover from the adhesive and place the tile together in a row on the starting wall. Remember, be careful with the corners. Use a rolling pin to "iron down" the tiles for a good bond with the floor being covered. The rolling pin won't go all the way to the wall. Place a length of 1X4 against the tile that you can't roll, and step on it firmly.
Repeat the process of placing tile, rolling, and placing tile until the floor is covered.
Replace the molding and put back your furniture. It's a good idea to use floor coasters under any heavy furniture or couches that will be on the floor.

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