Stick-down tile is also known as peel-and-stick tile, vinyl tile, resilient tile flooring or adhesive tiles. This type of tile is not ceramic and therefore not very hard, it is actually flexible and bends in your hand. Ideal for kitchens or bathrooms, peel-and-stick tiles offer a more forgiving surface layer than traditional tiles. An alternative to traditional tiles, they install over existing vinyl floors, linoleum, a concrete or a wood sub floor.
Sub Flooring for Peel and Stick-Down Tile
A cement floor or a wood sub floor provides the best installation surface for stick-down tiles as long as the surface is very flat and smooth. If your cement floor is not smooth, apply a layer of cement to create a smooth surface and let it cure before installing the tiles. Since stick-down tiles have a peel-off backing with adhesive already applied to the back, it is very difficult (if not altogether impossible) to grout the tiles to the floor. If your floor is painted concrete, it’s still possible to install the tiles. If you are willing to install another flooring layer on the concrete, this also provides an ideal installation surface.
Installing the Sub Floor for Adhesive Tile
After you have your plywood, lay it on the floor piece by piece until you run out of room, then cut the final piece so it fits snug up against the wall. To secure wood sub flooring to the cement, use cement screws or anchors. The boards should lay edge to edge, and not overlap. In addition, each board lays flat on the floor. If for some reason the boards do not produce a flat surface, remove the boards and trowel on a layer of cement to even out the floor. Then install the boards again after the new cement layer is cured.
Install the Stick Down Tile
Installing the stick down tile requires less work than ceramic or porcelain tiles. The first step is to dry-fit the tiles in the room. It is possible to cut stick down tiles without taking the backing off, so you might as well do all your cutting first, then just lay the peel and stick tile exactly as you want before you stick a single one to the floor.
Quick Tip: Lay out the entire peel and stick tile floor without taking the adhesive backing of the tiles. You can even measure and cut all the stick down tiles for the installation.
Once you are ready to complete the installation, just start taking off the adhesive backing from the peel and stick tile and press the tiles firmly to the floor. As long as the floor is clean and free of dirt the stick-down tile adhesive will secure the tile in place fairly easily.