Do It Yourself Home Remodeling: Vinyl Floor Tile For The Garage

You can save yourself installation money if you lay down new vinyl tile on your garage floor yourself! Update your garage on a small budget with this instructional guide.

Laying down vinyl floor tile can spiff up an old concrete garage floor. There are many styles and designs to choose from, so you can find something that will complement the rest of your home.

As with any flooring project, you must first inspect the bare concrete garage floor to make sure it is sound. That means it must be free of cracks, holes, divots, and other imperfections. In order to fix the floor, you must first sweep or vacuum it to remove all dirt, dust, and debris from it. Then, you'll need to use a floor cleaner - a degreaser, if necessary- and a scrub brush to remove any grease spots, oil, et cetera, from the floor. Allow the floor to dry thoroughly before you proceed.

If your garage floor has already been covered with vinyl tile, you'll need to remove the existing tile before you install the new product. You'll first need to remove the baseboard around the diameter of the room. Then, to remove the tile, you'll need a floor scraper. This is a device that has a sharp metal scraper at one end, and a long handle on the other end. Before you start, you should wear protective eyewear and an air mask. Then, scrape the vinyl tiles up from your garage floor. If need be, you can loosen stubborn vinyl tiles by holding a hair dryer over them. The heat will help the adhesive let go so you can remove the tiles. Follow the removal by cleaning the bare concrete floor using the above-described procedures.

Now that the floor has been cleaned, it's time to use a good-quality, premixed concrete patch to fill-in and repair any cracks, holes, divots, and other imperfections. Read and follow the manufacturer's directions on the container in order to achieve the best results. Allow the concrete patch to dry thoroughly before you proceed.

Before you actually place adhesive on the vinyl tile and lay it down permanently, you should "lay out" the room first. This means, you'll need to figure out if you'll need to cut tiles to fill in the areas near the walls. If the vinyl tiles are twelve inches square, and your concrete garage floor measures twelve feet square, for example, then you shouldn't need to cut any tiles. If, however, your garage measures twelve feet, four inches square, for example, then you'll need to cut and fit in tiles around the perimeter. You'll need to figure out how wide the perimeter tiles will be by dividing the excess inches by two. Following the example, you'll have to cut two-inch tiles to fill in around the perimeter of the entire room. Use a chalk line to mark out the fill-in area on all four sides, if applicable to your garage floor measurements.

Now that you have prepared the floor, and you know the lay out of the room, it's time to start laying full vinyl tiles. Start by "dry" laying -without using an adhesive yet- full vinyl tiles at a corner where two chalk lines come together. Lay the tiles side by side across the width of your concrete garage floor, as well as across the length of it. Check to make sure that the tiles are going to fit well if they are laid out as you have planned it.

Then, use a good-quality adhesive that's made especially for vinyl tiles and a concrete floor to start gluing the tiles down. Read and follow the manufacturer's directions on the container in order to achieve the best results. Basically, though, you'll need to use a trowel to apply the adhesive onto your garage floor. Don't apply more adhesive than you can cover with vinyl tiles in about ten minutes. Otherwise, the glue will start to dry, and it won't hold the tiles as securely as necessary.

After you have laid all of the full tiles, then you'll need to cut and lay down the fill-in tiles around the perimeter of your garage, if applicable. To cut the vinyl tile, a sharp utility knife or a cutter will do the trick nicely.

Finally, after your new vinyl tile is completely laid on your garage floor, allow the adhesive to dry thoroughly for a couple days. Then, reinstall the baseboards around the room, and enjoy your new floor!

© High Speed Ventures 2011