How to Install Vinyl Tile With Grout

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(Image: Tiled floor image by Simon Amberly from Fotolia.com)

Groutable vinyl tiles seek to offer the best of both worlds: flexible, self-adhering tile with grout to seal them in. Grouting a vinyl tile differs dramatically from grouting a ceramic tile for a few reasons.

Vinyl tiles use a special acrylic grout that is able to flex with the vinyl, rather than a cement-based product. Vinyl tiles are also thinner than ceramic tiles, making the grout joints more shallow. If care is taken to accommodate these criteria, groutable vinyl tiles can offer years of durability.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinyl tile cutter
  • Vinyl tile roller
  • Acrylic grout
  • Grout float
  • Grout sponge
  • Water

Lay the tiles out on the area you will be installing them. Pay attention to the edges of the vinyl tiles to see how they connect to one another. Some groutable tiles have rounded edges and can be spaced like ceramic tiles. Other groutable tiles have beveled edges that are meant to but into one another; the grout goes on top of this space.

Continue laying out each row of tiles to ensure coverage of the area and determine which tiles to cut.

Cut tiles to fit the edges of the floor with a vinyl tile cutter. Position the vinyl tile on the bottom of the cutter, and press the handle with a smooth, downward motion. This will slice the tile cleanly through.

Take the tiles up from the floor and begin to install them by peeling away their backing. Place the tiles back down in the same order you removed them, with the proper amount of spacing between each one.

Roll the tiles with a vinyl tile roller. Stand with the roller pointing away from you, and push the handle to move the roller across the tiles several times, adhering them to the ground. Let the tile adhesive dry overnight.

Mix the grout according to the manufacturer's specifications, and scoop out a small amount with the grout float. Place the grout directly onto the grout joints of the vinyl tiles, and hold the float at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Drag the grout along the joints with the float, pressing the grout into each joint. Take care that the grout remains level with the tiles and does not slump down.

Clean the tiles of grout using a damp grout sponge. Wipe the tiles in toward the grout joints, using the rounded edges of the grout sponge to shape the joints. Take care not to get the grout joints wet, as they are shallow and this could wash the grout out of them again. Let the grout dry for 24 hours before walking on the floor.

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