How to Lay Peel & Stick Vinyl Flooring


Self-adhesive vinyl tile was developed as an alternative to linoleum. The tiles are backed by factory-applied glue that is covered with an easy-to-remove paper backing. According to This Old House, the tiles grew in popularity because they resist cracking, are easy to clean and are colorful. Peel-and-stick vinyl flooring tiles are simple to install and are a durable, inexpensive flooring option.

Things You'll Need

  • Crow bar
  • Paint scraper
  • 1/4-inch plywood
  • Hammer
  • 1 1/4-inch underlayment nails
  • Leveling compound
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper pad
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Peel and stick tile
  • Undercut saw
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk line
  • T-square
  • Vinyl tile cutter
  • Baker's rolling pin
  • 1 1/2-inch finishing nails
  • Shoe molding
  • Pry up shoe molding from the floor using a crow bar. Shoe molding is a protective trim that is placed against baseboards next to a wall to protect the baseboards.

  • Remove any existing flooring, including carpeting and underpadding or linoleum and adhesive. Use your crowbar to pry up any floor tiles that will not come up on their own. Use a paint scraper to remove adhesive.

  • Place a new underlayment of plywood over your old sub floor by nailing sheets of 1/4-inch plywood to the old floor using 1 1/4-inch underlayment nails. Stagger the joints where the plywood meets.

  • Spread a thin layer of leveling compound over the joints using a putty knife. Wait 30 minutes for the compound to dry.

  • Sand the leveling compound smooth with 100-grit sandpaper. Use a sanding pad for easier sanding.

  • Place a peel-and-stick tile face down next to your doorway trim. Saw through the trim at a height slightly above the tile using an undercut saw. Repeat this process for all door trim and door casings in the room.

  • Measure your room with a tape measure. Mark the center of the room with a pencil on the underlayment along all walls with a pencil. Mark the center lines of the room by pulling out a chalk line so that each end aligns with the marks on the floor. Snap the line to transfer chalk to the floor. The chalk lines should be perpendicular to one another and should divide the room into four quadrants.

  • Mark along the chalk lines in pencil using a carpenter's T-square as a guide. Sweep the floor clean of dust and chalk.

  • Peel the backing from the first tile and place it into the 90-degree angle made by the intersecting chalk lines in the center of the room. Peel the next tile and set it so that it is flush with the first tile and one end aligns with the line drawn on the floor. Work outward from these tiles in a step pattern until you reach the last row of tile along each wall. Then start on the next quadrant.

  • Measure and mark cutting lines on the tile so that it will fit into the last empty row by placing the tile over the point where it will stick and marking where that tile intersects the one below it. Cut the tile using a vinyl tile cutter. Peel off the backing and slip the tile into place.

  • Roll the floor with a baker's rolling pin to ensure good contact between the sub floor and the adhesive.

  • Nail shoe molding in place between the flooring and the wall using 1 1/2-inch finishing nails.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid washing the floor for a week to allow the adhesive time to cure.

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  • Photo Credit wooden texture of the floor - ideal background image by Elnur from
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