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How to Lay Soft Floor Tiles

How to Lay Soft Floor Tiles

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Published by Bob Kowalski

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Published by: Bob Kowalski on Jun 02, 2010
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05/25/2012

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HOW-TO
1
HOW-TO
HOW-TO LAY SOFT FLOOR TILES
Tiles: cork, carpet or vinylThreshold stripsSelf-levelling latex screed compound for concreteand asphalt floorsAdhesive, to suit the tiles and conditions(see
‘Adhesives’
page 4)Polyurethane, acrylic floor varnish or two-partcold-curing flooring lacquerAbrasive paper, coarse and fineRed insulating tapePVAadhesiveHot air gunBench plane, No.4Hand saw, fine-tooth, hard-pointJunior hacksawClub hammerBolster chisel, 100mmFirmer chisel, 6mmScrewdriver, 4mm flat bladeFlat file, fine cutBradawlSteel screeding trowelPaint scraper, 100mm wide2 trimming knives, one with a heavy-duty straightblade and one with a hooked bladePVAadhesive
MATERIALSTOOLS
Steel rule, 300mmCombination try square‘MimicProfile template toolOld paint brushSoftwood block, 25mm longer thanthe tiles x 100mm x 25mmCork blockChalk linePencilDamp clothBucketDustpan and brushVacuum cleanerHeavy-duty gardening glovesSteel tape measure, 5m
 
HOW-TO
2
BEFORE YOU START
Please read
How-To:Lay Hardboard or Plywood Floor Overlay.
IMPORTANT
Read
all
the instructions on
all
the labels on all the products you are going to use
before
you start work.
ESTIMATING
Measure the width of the room and into alcoves and door thresholds
(F2)
and multiply by the length to find themain area. Add to or subtract the area of any bay window or chimney breast from the main area.Each pack of tiles states the area it will cover. Divide the area of the room by the area of the tiles in a pack,rounding up to the nearest whole number. Add 5% or 1 pack for every 20 or less and this is the number of packsto buy.Buy all of the tiles at the same time.
IMPORTANT
Ensure tiles have the same batch number and that they are suitable for the use to which you want to put them.As a general guide, cork, vinyl and carpet tiles are suitable for living rooms, bathrooms and kitchens. Be careful inconservatories. Intense sunlight and temperature can cause some tiles to fade and shrink. Also, adhesives willsoften and cause the tiles to lift.
SHUFFLE AND ACCLIMATISE
When you get the tiles, check that the batch numbers are the same. Take one tile in turn from each pack. Keepdoing this until the tiles are shuffled. This makes any discrepancies in colour less noticeable. Leave the tiles in theroom where they are to be laid for 24-48 hours to acclimatize at the normal temperature.
F2
 
HOW-TO
3
PREPARATION OF WOODEN FLOORS
Remove old floor coverings. If these are tiles stuck onto hardboard or plywood, use a hammer and bolster chiselto get under the base overlay and remove it in large sheets.
PREPARATION OF CONCRETE AND ASPHALT FLOORS
On old solid floors, remove all old floor coverings except well-stuck cork, ceramic tiles or parquet. Remove oldlino, vinyl and thermoplastic tiles using a hot air gun and a wide-bladed paint scraper. Remove as much adhesiveas possible as you proceed.
SAFETY
To avoid burns and blisters, wear heavy-duty gardening gloves.New concrete floors must be smooth, absolutely dry and have an integral damp-proof membrane. This is a sheetof plastic laid under the concrete to stop rising damp. The room must be warm and well ventilated in order for theconcrete or screed to dry. Minimum drying times for concrete: 50mm thick takes 2 months, 75mm thick takes 4months and 100mm thick takes 6 months.
1
Repair damaged areas and cracks and remove high spots.
2
Chop out the damage with a bolster chisel.
3
Paint the hole with dilute PVAadhesive (thoroughly mix one part PVAadhesive to five parts water).
4
Fill the hole with sharp sand and cement mortar: 1 part cement to 4 parts sand, mixed with the 1:5 PVAsolution.
5
Allow it to dry thoroughly.The floor, including ceramic or parquet, may now be covered with self-levelling latex screed, applied with ametal trowel.
1
Lay the screed 3mm thick, as smooth as possible. Most marks will disappear as the screed dries.
2
You cannot stick tiles onto an asphalt sub-floor. Use a wire brush to abrade the asphalt, giving it a ‘key’(a crosshatch pattern that improves the bonding between surfaces).
3
Spread a self-levelling latex screed 3mm thick. Make sure the latex screed is compatible with asphalt.
4
After 24 hours lightly abrade the screed with coarse abrasive paper, wrapped round a cork sanding block, toensure a smooth surface.
5
Vacuum the floor before laying the tiles.The new floor may stop doors from opening and shutting properly. If so, you will have to remove some wood fromthe bottom of the door. Use a tile to mark a line on the bottom of the door and add on 3mm
(F1)
to provide adequateclearance. Remove the door. Remove surplus material with a plane or saw and re-hang the door.
F1

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