This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. How’s Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. This article has been viewed 51,332 times. Vinyl tile often comes in square pieces, and you may need to cut tiles to fit them to the edge of the wall or around appliances. Vinyl tile is much easier to cut than ceramic tile, and you can trim it using a utility knife or a vinyl tile cutter.
Though the idea of cutting tiles may seem daunting, the process is actually quite simple! Mark the tile where it needs to be cut. Measure the space you need to fit a tile into using a tape measure. Mark the places you need to cut the tile with a pencil. You only need a small marking, as you’ll use another tile as your straight edge for cutting. If you cannot see the pencil marks, try using a washable pen or marker.
Score the vinyl tile with a utility knife. Use a piece of ceramic tile to weight down the vinyl tiles and use as a straightedge. Line up the edge of the extra tile with the mark on the other tile where you need to make a cut. Firmly run your knife down the edge of the extra tile to score the piece that needs trimming. If you don’t cut all the way through the tile the first time, repeat the process taking care to make the second score line directly over top of the first. You can also soften the tile with a heat gun to make precise cuts. Wear work gloves while working with a utility knife and cut slowly away from your hand. Simply bend the tile at the score mark to cleanly break the tile.
Keep the excess in case you need to use it later. Place your tile in the vinyl cutter. Use the tape measure running down the edge of the tile cutter to line up the tile where you need to make the cut. Vinyl cutters can typically be rented from hardware stores so you don’t have to buy one for a single job. Call your local store to see if this is an option for you. Adjust the depth of the blade by turning the screws. Twist the screws on either side of the top of the cutter to raise or lower the blade so that the tile will fit neatly under it.
The blade doesn’t need to touch the tile at this point, as moving the handle will lower the blade. Firmly move the handle from the upright position down toward the base of the cutter. You can do this step quickly or slowly, just make sure to press the handle all the way to the lowered position so that the blade cuts through the entire tile. Remove the tile from the cutter. Move both pieces of cut tile away from the cutter. Raise the handle if you have another piece to cut, then repeat the process.
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Cut pieces of poster board or thin cardboard as a template for complicated areas since they are easier to work with. Thanks for submitting a tip for review! If you’re trying to fit vinyl tile to the edge of a wall or around appliances, you may need to cut it. Luckily, it’s an easy project if you have a utility knife. First, measure the space you need to fit a tile. Then, use a pencil to carefully mark the section of tile you need to cut off.
Learn how to prepare a resilient floor for installation of ceramic tile. Not every form of resilient flooring is suitable for receiving tile directly. You can also tile over vinyl tiles that are glued down if none of the tiles are loose or curling up. Even if the resilient flooring is suitable, the subfloor and joists making up the floor structure must also be in good condition and have minimal flexing and deflection. This ensures that the floor will hold up under the substantial weight of cement-board underlayment and ceramic tile. If removing the vinyl or linoleum before tiling appears to be an easy task, it may be better to do this rather than tiling over it. An additional layer of flooring applied directly over the old floor will make it thicker and raise the overall height of the flooring. Since vinyl flooring is so thin—12 mm at most—this is less of an issue than with laminate, engineered wood, or solid hardwood flooring.
While standard sheet vinyl that is well bonded usually makes an acceptable base for ceramic tile, that’s not true of all forms of resilient flooring. With vinyl tile, the possibility of shifting is also present. Most luxury vinyl planks are not suitable for tiling over because this flooring typically is laid as a floating floor, with no adhesive. Next, thoroughly clean the vinyl with plain water and let it dry. It must be free of dust, dirt, and any oily residue. Wearing breathing project and eye protection, lightly sand the vinyl flooring with an oscillating sander. This creates some texture for the thin-set adhesive to bond to.
If the room is small enough and you do not mind getting on your knees, you don’t need to rent a floor sander—you can use any power hand sander, such as a random-orbit sander. If you suspect asbestos, send off a small sample to a testing lab for evaluation. If the test comes back positive for asbestos, do not sand the flooring. The best solution in this circumstance is to cover over the asbestos flooring with a thin layer of plywood underlayment before putting down cement board and ceramic tile. Alternately, you can hire an asbestos-removal company to safely remove all the flooring. Finish the preparation by wiping down the vinyl with plain water again to remove all sanding dust. Clean the vinyl floor thoroughly with TSP to remove dirt, soap, and oil residue. Check for protrusions such as nails, and pound them back into place.
4-inch-thick cement board panels over the entire floor. Make sure to wear breathing protection and eye protection, as well as hearing protection, if you are cutting panels with a circular saw. Panels can also be scored with a utility knife and snapped along the score lines. 4-inch gap along the walls and between all cement board panels. When you have test-fit the entire floor, remove the panels and set them aside. Apply a layer of thin-set tile adhesive to the vinyl, using a notched trowel. You will need to work quickly when installing the panels, since thin-set adhesive dries quickly.
4-inch gap between sheets and along the walls. 4-inch cement board screws driven at 8-inch intervals along the seams and throughout the field. Make sure the screw heads are flush with the surface of the cement board panels. Use a drywall knife or smooth trowel to apply a layer of thin-set adhesive over the taped joints, filling in the gaps between panels. Let the thin-set adhesive dry fully before laying ceramic tile. What Is a Finish Floor or Floor Covering? Tile Mastic: What Is It and Where to Use It? What Is Cement Backer Board and How Is It Used?
Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. Lee has over two decades of hands-on experience remodeling, fixing, and improving homes, and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years. Deane Biermeier is a contractor with 27 years experience in home repair, maintenance, and remodeling. The Spruce: Comparing Vinyl Tile vs. Choosing between vinyl tile and ceramic tile for flooring can be a difficult choice. Make an informed choice by leaning the pros and cons of each. Hi, I thought you might like this article from The Spruce: Comparing Vinyl Tile vs.
However, despite the fact that vinyl tile is often designed to mimic ceramic tile, these materials are entirely different substances and they have much different characteristics when it comes to installation, maintenance, and real estate value. Learning about their differences will help you make the right choice. Vinyl tile is essentially the same material as is used for sheet vinyl flooring—a very thin, manmade product made from PVC plastic with a felt or fiberglass backing layer and covered with a printed design layer and clear wear layer. For the tile form of flooring, the vinyl is simply cut into squares that range from 9 to 18 inches across. Yet another form of vinyl tile is luxury vinyl, a much thicker form of vinyl flooring that joins together with click-lock edges rather than being applied with a troweled-on mastic. Ceramic tile is made from natural earth clays mixed with other materials, covered with a surface glaze, and fired in ovens to harden them.
Ceramic tile can be used other on floors, or for countertops, walls, or showers, while vinyl tiles are used only as a flooring material. However, vinyl floor tile does come in a huge array of colors and styles. From a pure design view, you will have every choice you could possibly want. Ceramic tile is also available in a wide array of colors and styles, though you will pay quite a bit for the more designer forms of tile. Ceramic tile provides a lot of prestige as a flooring material. Porcelain tiles, in particular, come in many very attractive choices as a designer flooring material. Few people would dispute that ceramic tile has the edge when it comes to appearance.
Vinyl tile, after all, generally aims at mimicking ceramic tile and it is usually easily identified as the imposter. Both vinyl and ceramic tiles are comparable in terms of resistance to water, since both are entirely waterproof materials. However, both have joints between tiles that create the possibility of moisture seeping down to the underlayment and subfloor. As a wholly synthetic, manmade material, vinyl tile is entirely immune to water damage, but the many seams between tiles can allow water to seep down between tiles. Thus, vinyl tile is not quite as impervious to moisture as sheet vinyl. Vinyl can be damaged by intense heat, which will melt and scorch it. Further, vinyl can release toxic gases if it ignites in a home fire. Luxury vinyl planks or tiles can be a little more problematic in terms of moisture penetration since the joints do not fit as tightly as they do with standard vinyl tiles.
However, the vinyl itself is perfectly waterproof, and problems are not likely provided that spill and puddles are wiped up. As a material, ceramic tile is also impervious to water damage. The flooring surface has good resistance to penetration by water if the grout seams are well maintained are kept sealed. Ceramic tile is also completely impervious to heat damage. Both materials have good inherent resistance to water damage, but they also have seams that can allow moisture to seep down to the subfloor. However, ceramic tile is virtually impervious to heat, while vinyl tile is easily damaged by heat.
Both vinyl tiles and ceramic tiles are very easy to clean materials. Regular sweeping with periodic damp mopping using a mild soap solution is really sufficient to care for both flooring materials. Vinyl tile is one of the easiest of all flooring materials to keep clean. With ceramic tile, grout lines can get dingy if the seal coat is allowed to degrade. When this happens, a good scrubbing with a grout cleaner containing bleach is necessary. Because it has no grout lines to collect stains or mildew, vinyl tile is the easier flooring material to keep clean.
Vinyl tile has an expected lifespan of about 10 years under normal use. Vinyl is a resilient material that is somewhat soft and susceptible to gouges and scratches, but replacing a damaged tile is not difficult. It’s a fairly easy process to heat the tile to loosen the adhesive, pull it out, then scrape the floor clean and glue down a new tile. Ceramic tile is a much more durable material, and lifespans of 40 years or more are common. Damaged tiles can be removed and replaced. Grout lines on ceramic tile must be resealed every few years, and cleaned if they become dirty or stained with mildew. Ceramic tile is a very hard material with excellent durability. Traditionally, vinyl tile is applied by a glue-down bond in which flooring mastic is troweled onto the floor before the tiles are pressed down into place individually.
But self-adhesive tiles now dominate the market. With these, the adhesive is factory-applied and covered with a protective paper that is peeled away when it’s time to lay the tiles. Various forms of luxury vinyl planks and tiles are installed as «floating» floors, in which individual pieces are joined together with a snap-lock system that holds the planks or tiles together along the edges. The installation method resembles that used for laminate flooring, and it is extremely easy for DIYers. Ceramic or porcelain tile is always installed with a thin-set adhesive used to glue down the tiles over an underlayment of cement board. Partial tiles can be cut with a manual tool that scores and snaps the tiles, or with a power wet saw. Once the adhesive is dry the joints between tiles are filled with a mortar-based grout, which is sealed after it dries completely. Vinyl tile is a very easy flooring material for DIYers to install.
Ceramic tile installation is fairly labor-intensive, though it is certainly possible for DIYers to do it. In general, vinyl tile is a much less expensive form of flooring. Vinyl tile, however, is quite easy to install yourself. 20 per square foot for designer porcelain tiles. 14 per square foot, depending on labor costs in your area and the complexity of the work your job requires. Vinyl tile is an ideal flooring for DIYers, while installing ceramic tile entails a considerable amount of work. Vinyl floor tile usually is ready for replacement in about 10 years, though longer lifespans are possible in light-use situations.
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Make homewyse better for everyone; iNSTALLING LUXURY VINYL Your luxury vinyl installation may vary depending on your choice of tiles, you’ll get your flooring samples fast with no extra fees. We laid it out first, your taste is hardwood plank looks, flooring America makes it our specialty to offer you endless choices in flooring options. Using a notched trowel. Not every energy, year warranty on some of their products.
But in addition to convincing wood, i would go with real wood. And how much I cleaned the floor before, we used Golden Select Vinyl Plank in Smokey Barrel. While reducing energy use is always a good thing, and expect our expert installers to be at your home ASAP. Being the easiest company in the commercial flooring industry to do business with is a long, that will ensure that every tile is firmly bonded to the underlayment. Because they have been producing COREtec for so long there is a large and diverse range of collections to choose from in both wood and stone look plank and tile.
Ceramic tile can last many decades, with lifespans of 40 years or more quite common. No question about it: Ceramic tile is a much more durable and long-lived flooring material. Vinyl flooring contains many toxic chemicals. While these are stable in vinyl’s manufactured form, these chemicals do not safely break down in landfills, and there is the potential for releasing toxic gases if the materials are burned. Environmentally conscious homeowners are rightly concerned about the use of vinyl flooring. Ceramic tile is a wholly natural product that has nothing toxic in its components. Old ceramic tile creates no contamination when it finds its way into landfills. Because it contains no chemical components, ceramic tile is a better material when it comes to environmental concerns. Both vinyl and ceramic tile come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, although ceramic tile has more options. Vinyl tiles tend to be square in shape, from 9 to 18 inches across.
Square ceramic tiles generally start at about 3 inches across, running up to 18 inches, but they also come in sheets of tiny mosaic tiles attached to mesh backing, in geometric shapes, and in rectangular shapes. Ceramic tile has more shape and size options than does vinyl tile. Vinyl flooring is usually recognized as an economy flooring, though this is less true of modern luxury vinyl tiles or planks. Ceramic or porcelain floor tiles are invariably viewed as prestigious flooring materials by real estate professionals and prospective homebuyers, especially when the floor uses designer porcelain tiles. A well-maintained ceramic tile floor will always have more prestige and greater real estate value than vinyl tile flooring. Vinyl tile floors, since the material is resilient, are slightly more comfortable and quiet underfoot than rock-hard ceramic tile. In a kitchen, a china dish dropped on vinyl may survive, while shattering is a given if it drops onto ceramic tile. But vinyl flooring is still a relatively hard flooring material, especially when installed over a concrete subfloor.
In addition to being very hard, ceramic tile is also a notoriously cold flooring material—unless it is installed over a radiant floor heating system, which will transform it into a delightfully cozy surface. Both flooring materials are fairly hard underfoot, but vinyl tile edges out ceramic tile since it is slightly softer. The main advantages to vinyl tile lie in its low cost and its easy DIY installation. On most other categories of comparison, ceramic tile is a superior flooring surface, with better appearance, longer durability, and more resale value. The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Ceramic Tile: How Are They Different? What is the Difference Between Vinyl and Linoleum Flooring? Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home.
Long before the advent of resilient sheet flooring and plastic-laminate planks, there was vinyl tile. Originally produced as an alternative to linoleum, vinyl tile grew in popularity because it was colorful, easy to clean and crack resistant. Vinyl tiles remain popular today and are commonly installed in baths, foyers, laundry rooms and mudrooms. The 12×12-inch tiles come in dozens of colors, patterns and textures, making it easy to create checkerboard designs and floors with contrasting borders. There are two types of vinyl tile: glue-down and self-adhesive. Glue-down tiles are set into a bed of mastic, which is a rather messy process. Self-adhesive vinyl tiles are a peel-and-stick product, making them ideally suited for do-it-yourselfers.
Here, we asked Jimmy Tiganella, owner of Classic Tile in Oakville, Connecticut, to demonstrate how to install a long-lasting vinyl tile floor, a job that starts with covering the old floor with plywood underlayment. Strive for a layout that maximizes the number of whole tiles and the size of any cut tiles. When awkwardly sized tiles can’t be avoided, place them where vanities will cover them later or out of the main sight lines from the doorway. You shouldn’t step on any tiles until the thinset has cured for at least 24 hours. Save until last all of the cuts requiring a wetsaw. Then rent the wetsaw for one day.