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Mr. Done Right's Blog

Laying Vinyl Tile The Right Way

Vinyl Tile is still one of the best floor coverings to choose for kitchens and bathrooms. Ceramic tile is great, but the cost to have a professional install it can be prohibitive. The answer, vinyl tiles installed by you. You will save a lot of money you can use toward other home improvements you want to do.

Vinyl tile is also a great choice for other reasons. There are some beautiful choices of both style and color. There are so many different patterns and colors to choose from that you will want to take your time in choosing something that will enhance the beauty of your kitchen or bathroom.

In addition to that, vinyl tile is much better than linoleum for practical reasons. With a linoleum floor, one accident and the whole floor is ruined basically, because it is all one piece. When you buy vinyl tile, you buy extra squares. If an accident ruins one or two tiles, you replace them.

In this article I will help you learn how to install your own vinyl tile floor with confidence. I’m going to teach you the old school way of laying this beautiful floor covering. I call it old school, because I learned from tile layers that had been doing it for years before I started.

First, we need to start with the basics. I don’t know what is on the floor where you plan to put down vinyl tile, so I’m going to show you what our preparation goals are. We want a nice smooth surface to lay our vinyl tile on.

Some people will tile over existing tile. This can be okay, but it is not the preferred choice. To do this right, you need to remove whatever flooring is there now, until you are down to either a smooth cement or wooden surface.

If there are cracks and valleys or unleveled surfaces, they need to be filled and smoothed out before we can start laying your vinyl tile. On cement or wooden surfaces, you can use cement to fill in and smooth the surface. You can also install plywood over the existing floor to achieve the surface your vinyl tile needs. You caulk in all the joints after installing the plywood. You can use Durok as well.

The goal, as I said before, is to have a smooth surface before you begin to lay vinyl tile. Otherwise, your tile will crack wherever pressure is placed on the tile over existing rough areas.

Now, buying the vinyl tile you want is next. There is self-adhesive vinyl tile that is very inexpensive. However, remember you get what you pay for. The adhesive on these tiles is not of great quality and you will be replacing them often. They are usually very thin as well, so they are easily damaged.

The thicker the vinyl tile, the more expensive and durable it is. That is the rule of thumb. Choose vinyl tile that has about 1/8” thickness or above and you will have a floor that will last a long time. So choose your style and color wisely. It will be with you awhile.

Now, the tools you will need are next. You will not need a tile cutter. That isn’t the old school method. Using a tile cutter is tedious and slow, and your edges will never be tight. You will need a good razor knife, a small butane torch, a trowel with teeth along one edge for applying the adhesive, some old rags, and some mineral spirits.

A lot of experts will tell you to always begin in the center of the room when laying any kind of tile. However with kitchens and bathrooms, this is not always or even often the best method. Starting at one wall and working toward your cabinets is much better, because most of your tiles that need to be cut will be under the edge of the cabinets and not seen.

Starting along one wall, trowel on your adhesive, making sure there are ridges by using the toothed edge of your trowel. Do not go too far away from the wall as you will be laying tile there and don’t want to have to reach while doing so.

Let the adhesive dry for about 15 minutes so it’s very sticky. Lay your first tile at the corner and continue to lay a row, making sure you keep your tiles aligned. As you get to the end of your row, do not worry about the area that is left over where a whole tile will not fit in. We will take care of that last. However, remove the adhesive from that area so it won’t dry before we get back to it.

The adhesive you applied should have gone just a little further out than the row of tile itself, so now you have a row, with a little adhesive area waiting for the next row.

Now start back at the beginning. Apply a little more than a row’s width of adhesive, let it dry, then lay another row of tile, again making sure you align the tiles with each other so your lines are straight..

Once you have done the entire floor except those areas where a whole tile would not fit in, let the floor dry until tomorrow. Do not allow anyone to walk on the floor. The adhesive takes time to dry.

Now, once the adhesive is dry, we are ready to do the cutting in portion of your vinyl tile job. You should be able to walk carefully on the tiles without moving them by now. If not, you may have used too much adhesive and will have to wait longer, until you are sure it is dry.

Now, let’s cut it in. Go to where your first row that ended with a little space left over. Apply some adhesive to that area, plus on the floor, along the wall where you are going to put in your cut pieces of vinyl tile. Let that dry, just as you did before for 15 minutes.

Now, take a full vinyl tile, matching it up with your tiles already on the floor at the bottom, lean it at an angle to the wall. Let me explain so you are sure to understand. You place the tile against the edge of the last tile in the row as if you were about to lay it down, but just let it lean against the wall at whatever angle it has to.

Now, you will need your razor knife and your small butane torch. Be careful with the little torch that you don’t burn anything, please. If you are not comfortable with handling a small torch, this method is not for you.

Place the fingers of one hand on the top of the tile along the wall with very slight downward pressure. Wave the flame of the torch back and forth across the center of the tile about where you would like it to bend. Don’t let the flame linger on the tile to melt it. Keep a distance so it only gets heated up.

As it gets hot, the pressure from your fingers will begin to push the vinyl tile downward, bending it into place. As soon as the tile is bent to the point where it is flat against the floor and the rest against the wall, set down your torch, pointing it carefully away from anything or anyone, and take your razor knife and cut along the bend right at the wall. It will cut like butter.

Now that tile fits perfectly to the contour of the wall. It also, because of the light pressure you applied as you pressed it down, has tightened up that entire row, so the vinyl tiles will not separate later. This is a floor that will last a long time and answers the problem of the tiles separating later.

Continue that same process for each row and everywhere the tiles need to be cut in. Then clean up. You are now an old school master at laying vinyl tile!

One last warning, as I said before, if you are not comfortable using flame, you should go ahead and use a tile cutter. It may not be as tight, but you can still do a good job with it without endangering yourself. This article was intended to pass on an old school method I learned and have used to lay many beautiful tile floors that lasted for years. I hope that by passing it onto you, the old way will not be lost.

Thank you for taking the time with me to learn more about what Mr. Done Right, the handyman / contractor does for you.


Don Fenton

(AKA) Mr. Done Right

For more information on handyman or contractor work in the greater Austin area (or beyond), please contact your premiere handyman, Don Fenton, AKA Mr. Done Right Handyman Contractor of Austin, because Mr. Done Right ensures any repairs and/or remodels get Done Right the first time! Call us now for a free estimate! 512-659-8931



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Breathe Life into your old vanity

If you can’t stand the look of your vanity and want to breathe some new life back into it, you should consider trying to spruce it up. Aside from what you may have heard, an old vanity cabinet can be overhauled with little to no money. While you could always invest in a new cabinet, you’d be amazed at the kind of satisfaction a small amount of elbow grease and time can bring about.

Probably the most lucrative option for those with an unsightly bathroom vanity cabinet is to paint it. Most vanities can be painted with standard paints available at home improvement stores. If you’re unsure as to what type of paint your project will require, it’s best to talk to an employee at your local home improvement store. The employee should be able to give you some insight into the materials you’ll need to execute your project.

If painting’s not something you’re looking forward to, you should consider replacing the hardware on your vanity. Swapping out your bathroom vanity cabinet’s old hardware, with new and shiny hardware can bring about astonishing results. It really doesn’t take much to revitalize a room’s focal point.

If neither the above options appeal to you, you have the option of replacing your vanity’s countertop. The countertop is one of the bolder elements of a countertop and can thus work to enhance its appearance or utterly annihilate it. If your vanity’s current countertop is simply no longer cutting it, you should seriously consider replacing it. Those that are willing to spend more money should consider purchasing real stone countertops. If the budget’s a bit tight, you can also go with a laminate countertop. Both will get the job done – just at varying prices.

Giving your vanity a new look isn’t as hard as it initially appears. If you’re willing to dedicate a little time and patience, the possibilities for revitalizing an old vanity are endless.

Add Scented Jar Candles To Any Room In Your Home

Any room in your home can benefit from the addition of some fantastic scented jar candles. The style of scented jar candles will never fade and they are durable and long lasting. The majority of scented jar candles will last anywhere from 50 to 120 hours. They always look great and they are some of the most affordable candles on the market today.

Everyone loves nice scented jar candles, that is why they are so popular and hard to keep on the shelves of stores. If you look in any home décor magazine you are gong to see plenty of these scented jar candles in all different rooms. Decorators suggest putting scented jar candles in your bathroom to get rid of any lingering unwanted smells, in your front hall so that guests are greeted with a warm and inviting scent and eve the dining room.

When you choose some scented jar candles for the dining room or the kitchen you should take the time to choose the scented jar candles that will promote an appetite. You do not want to choose a smell that will make people not want to eat. A more subtle scent is usually the kind that you want to go for in any room where eating will be done.

You can even use scented jar candles to create a romantic mood between you and your lover. Everyone like to forget their troubles for awhile and what better way to do this than to light up some scented jar candles and sit back with the one you love. Perhaps have some wine and listen to some soft music or even just talk to each other. I am telling you that scented jar candles could make all of the difference to your night any day of the week. Light some up tonight and relax with your partner, you both deserve it.

Scented jar candles are easy to find and are very affordable. You can purchase scented jar candles online or by mail or even at your local grocery store. The best place to get scented jar candles for cheap is the internet. There is a huge market for these fantastic candles online. You will find many different brands for much less than you would find them for anywhere else. If you don’t believe me check it out for yourself, you will be amazed at the savings that you can find on scented jar candles online.

If you do not yet have any scented jar candles in your home, there is no time like the present to get some. Start shopping for your scented jar candles today and get in on the after holiday savings, you will not be disappointed. Scented jar candles can really change the whole feel of your home for the better.

Thank you for taking the time with me to learn more about what Mr. Done Right, the handyman / contractor does for you.


Don Fenton

(AKA) Mr. Done Right

For more information on handyman or contractor work in the greater Austin area (or beyond), please contact your premiere handyman, Don Fenton, AKA Mr. Done Right Handyman of Austin, because Mr. Done Right ensures any repairs and/or remodels get Done Right the first time!  Call us now for a free estimate! 512-659-8931


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