Tools you will need:
- A sharp knife fitted with a heavy duty blade
- A2 Notched trowel
- Chalk or Pencil
- Cutting board
- Tape Measure
On arrival at site, the tiles should be stored, together with the adhesive, at a minimum temperature of 18ºC for at least 24 hours
To achieve best results, site conditions should be a working temperature of between 18ºC and 26ºC for 24 hours prior to, and during, the laying period and for 24 hours afterwards.
Conditioning areas and laying areas should be of similar temperature, to prevent thermally induced dimensional changes.
In installations where under floor heating is used, this should be switched off from 48 hours prior to installation until 48 hours
afterwards. It should then be brought slowly back up to the working temperature, a maximum of 27ºC.
The work area should now be prepared to receive the rubber tiles. Ensure all other trades have completed their work and removed all their equipment and materials. Remove all debris and sweep or vacuum the whole floor area. Check the condition of the subfloor and make good as necessary. Remove any surface contaminants that may affect adhesion. Sweep or vacuum again prior to laying. Good lighting is essential.
It is important to note that commencement of work is deemed by many as acceptance of the site conditions as being suitable for laying floor coverings.
If the subfloor is concrete than a latex smoothing compound needs to be laid and left to dry before the tiles can be laid. The latex needs to at least 3mm thick, and applied so that it is perfectly smooth.
If the subfloor is wood, then Ply board needs to be laid to the full floor area, and must be secured using staples. It is recommended to use a 4mm marine ply board.
1 LAYOUT OF RUBBER TILES
The layout of the tiles can be critical to the success of the installation. Working from the centre of the room and loose lay the tiles to check the layout will make the final appearance correct from any viewpoint. This is especially important where a geometric design is incorporated into the floor.
2 MEASURING AND MARKING OUT
- Measure the room to be laid in both directions, including any alcoves etc.
- Mark a chalk centreline A-B ensuring that it is square to the wall with the doorway.
- Loose lay tiles away from the centreline A-B and check that no small strips will have to be
laid at the perimeter of the room. If small strips do result, move the centreline in either direction,
keeping it parallel to the line A-B, so that the perimeter tiles will only require a small piece cutting off.
- Mark a chalk centreline C-D, ensuring that it is square to the line A-B. Check squareness with a
large square, trammels or geometrically.
- Loose lay tiles away from the centreline C-D and check that no small strips will have to be laid. Adjust centreline C-D as described for A-B.
3 SPREADING THE ADHESIVE
The amount of adhesive that can be spread at any one time depends upon the prevailing site conditions, such as temperature, humidity and through flow of air – all of which affect the open time of the adhesive. Adhesive manufacturers provide details of the open time, and their instructions should be followed. Ideally, the floor area should be divided into workable sections, leaving the perimeter tile areas unadhered until the main body of the floor has been laid. The trowel used for spreading the adhesive must have a maximum of 2mm teeth for spreading adhesive to the correct level.
4 ADHERING THE MAIN FIELD OF TILES
Ensure the backs of the tiles are free from dust prior to laying. This can be done whilst waiting for the adhesive to “go off”. Once the adhesive is ready to accept the tiles, place the first tile at the starting point, which is the intersection of the two centrelines. Press well down in the centre of the tile and then run a thumb around the edge, ensuring all air is expelled. Place the next tile in position, alternating the colour if necessary, and proceed down the centreline, laying two tiles wide i.e. one tile either side of the centreline. It is essential to keep the tiles exactly on the centreline.
Repeat the sequence along the centreline at right angles to the first. Then, working from the completed centrelines, finish the section taking care that tile bond is maintained throughout. Any excess adhesive should be removed as work proceeds.
5 CUTTING THE PERIMETER TILE
Two techniques are commonly used for cutting perimeter tiles. The choice is mainly dependent upon the run out of the wall.
5.1 Overlapping Method
Used when there is little or no run out of the abutting wall.
- Place the tile to be cut exactly over the last tile laid, ensuring the colour is correct.
- Place another full tile on top of the tile to be cut, with its “top edge” against the wall
- Scribe a line onto the tile to be cut, using the “bottom edge” of the top tile as a guide.
- Cut the tile to the scribed line, loose lay into position and check the fit. Repeat along the whole wall.
5.2 Scriber Method
Used when the wall run out is quite severe or when the wall profile cannot be picked up using a straight edge.
- Place the tile to be cut exactly over the last tile laid ensuring the colour is correct.
- Set the bar scriber to the size of the tile being laid.
- Trace the profile of the wall onto the tile to be cut, ensuring the bar scriber is kept upright and square to the edge of the tile. Cut the tile to the scribed line, loose lay into position and check the fit. Repeat along the whole wall.
Note: Both the overlapping and scriber methods can be used to fit around projections such as door frames. Similarly, a template can be made or templating guide containing movable pins used for awkward shapes.
7.6 ADHERING THE PERIMETER TILES Once a wall edge has been fitted and loose laid; turn all the tiles inward so as not to lose their position. Spread the adhesive right up to the edges. When the adhesive has lost sufficient moisture, lay the perimeter tiles. Wipe up excess adhesive as work progresses.