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Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Composite vinyl tile (aka VCT tiles)

Composite vinyl tile, also known as vinyl composition tile, is an easy-to-clean and very durable flooring option that works well in high-traffic areas like office kitchen, office corridors or general building hallways. Its installation, however is not as simple as peel-and-stick vinyl tile. Installing vinyl composition tile takes some preparation and additional installation time, but the result will be a long-lasting floor for tenants, office personel or employees to enjoy.

Plan Carefully

Before selecting VCT material, office managers and facilities personel should measure the rooms requiring installation to estimate the total square footage necessary. It helps to draw a scale diagram on graph paper or using a free software to estimat tile layouts. Add about 15 percent more flooring tiles to your total estimate to account for cutting and possible mistakes. When ordering VCT tiles, facilities managers need to purchase latex adhesive that is specifically designed for use with VCT flooring. It is a glue that is  easy to spread and will give plenty of time to work because it doesn't dry too quickly. Generally, adhesives can also removed with room-temperature water when still wet and doesn't give off any strong fumes. 

Prepare Floor

Once flooring tiles and adhesive or glue are selected, installers will prepare the floor for installation. VCT tiles can be layed over a variety of flooring materials, including bare concrete and wood. If commercial building floor has existing vinyl tile in its common areas, it's best to leave it in place and tile over the old material it since older vinyl tile and adhesive may contain asbestos, which is be extremely hazardous and require proper removal process by qualified personnel.  Before installing, all flooring surfaces, subflooring, and substrate must be cleaned and dried prior to installation. When installing over a concrete subfloor, the surface should be leveled by filling in holes with floor-leveling compound or scraping away all bumps. To level an even wood floor, installers typically place an underlayment layer of plywood over the flooring. Also, door thresholds, base moldings and other trim work have to be removed prior to installation to properly set the flooring and its adhesive. 

 

Loose Lay Tile

For homeowners willing to install VCT tiles themselves at their home, we would recommend inexperienced installers to do a trial run and lay their flooring tile without glue, first. To ensure there is enough material, and to verify where tiles need to be cut. A basic contractor utility knife and straightedge are all what installers really need to cut VCT.

 

Glue Tiles Down

Before applying any adhesive on the floor, it should be swept a final time so there isn't any dirt or debris that might affect any parts of the installation. For the easiest installation, flooring professionals will start in the farthest corner of the room and use a heavy duty notched trowel to spread the adhesive. Allow the glue will need to set until it is dry and clear and it will then take almost 10 hours before the adhesive starts to set. Once the floor is set in place, tiles should be cleaned up with mineral spirits. Typically, it si recommended to let the floor sit for about five days before cleaning and sealing it. Floor sealing is done with acrylic floor sealer or polish works.