How Tos, Tips and Advice

How to Properly Lay Vinyl & Carpet Tiles

Planning & Preparation

  • In this article, we’ll show you how to properly lay vinyl tiles with self-adhesive backing and how to ‘dry’ lay carpet floor tiles without adhesive. We’ll also show you how to cut tiles and how to fit them around obstacles
  • Soft vinyl floor tiles are hard-wearing and relatively simple to lay. However, they are not usually recommended for laying over a floor with underfloor heating or a timber floor that has been treated with wood preservative
  • Some vinyl tiles have a peel-off self-adhesive backing, making them easier to lay, whereas other types require you to apply tile adhesive yourself. Carpet tiles are usually laid ‘dry’ without adhesive
  • Tiles must always be laid on a level surface that is clean, dry and smooth with no nails or screws sticking up. Thorough surface preparation is key to ensuring a long-lasting and high-quality finish
  • If you have floorboards, these need to be screwed down then covered with flooring grade hardboard (smooth side up) or plywood. The hardboard or plywood needs to be securely fixed in place using 25mm ring-shanked nails at 150mm intervals
  • Plywood, hardboard and other porous surfaces, like concrete, will need to be sealed with a suitable primer before you start tiling. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions
  • To work out how many packs of tiles you need, calculate the size of the area in m² (length x width = number of metres squared) and then check the coverage of the pack. Remember to account for any alcoves that will be tiled
  • Purchase an extra 10% to allow for wastage, and so you can keep some spare tiles afterwards in case any need replacing in future
  • It’s best to buy all the tiles you need at the same time, with the same batch number, to avoid possible colour variations between batches
  • Store the tiles in the room where they are to be laid for at least 24 hours before laying them so that they can acclimatise to room temperature
  • As most rooms are not perfectly square, it’s a good idea to plan the position of your tiles before laying them down

Doing it right

  • Always tile from the middle of the room outwards, not from a corner, as walls are often not straight and corners are not always perfectly square
  • Adjust the starting position slightly to avoid having to cut thin strips of tile at the edges of the room; this can be fiddly, look messy and thin slivers of vinyl tile may not stick down well
  • If you are using any tools or materials that are left over from previous jobs, then check the use-by date

Playing safe

  • Use a pipe and cable detector to check the areas where you are nailing or screwing anything into the floor
  • Whilst not essential, we would recommend wearing knee pads as a lot of kneeling is involved


  • When cleaning the tiles, only use products that are suitable for the material of the tile, as using the wrong product could cause permanent damage

Leave a Reply