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Laying self-adhesive vinyl floors on tiles | Tips & Tricks!

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

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If you move into an older building, you will often face a problem: Tiles wherever you look! These are usually not chic natural stone tiles in a modern design, but dark and small patterned tiles. If you want to refresh the old image of the room or have had enough of your existing tiles, self-adhesive vinyl planks are right what you need.

In renovation projects, the choice often falls on the elastic vinyl covering. Self-adhesive vinyl, in particular, offers a wide range of applications and a convincing range of decors. But is the universal design floor with the adhesive side also suitable for use over tiles? We have summarised the most important facts and answered the question of whether you need to get rid of your stable stone tiles in order to sit on the new fashionable vinyl floor

Self-adhesive vinyl panels - advantages, which make them unique

Even before you become familiar with the various installation possibilities, you should find out what the properties of self-adhesive vinyl flooring are. The individual advantages of vinyl floors should be matched to individual requirements in order to guarantee an optimal interior design. Only this way the product can function well in all conditions and provide a lasting, attractive appearance. It is therefore important to check the self-adhesive properties of a vinyl floor in advance and determine whether the product can meet your requirements.

Complex design options - Self-adhesive vinyl panels in various decors

The choice of self-adhesive vinyl flooring motifs is almost unlimited. The practical vinyl floor is available in a wide range of shapes and colours. From authentic wood imitations to elegant stone reproductions, everything is available. There are no limits to interior design. Both tried and new trends can be impressively enhanced with elegant design floors with self-adhesive properties.

Self-adhesive vinyl - quick and easy installation

While other floor coverings are complex and expensive to install, self-adhesive vinyl panels are easier to install than almost all alternatives. You don't need much to assemble. The adhesive is already included with the purchased floor and does not have to be purchased separately.

The foil that protects the self-adhesive side of the vinyl has to be removed and eventually the boards are attached to the floor. When the first board is on the floor, all other boards can simply be attached to the initial board. A gap has to be kept in between the planks so that no unattractive damage will occur in the future due to the expansion of the vinyl floor.

Laying self-adhesive vinyl floors is very easy. This not only saves you a wide range of tools but also time. Even people with little experience in renovations will easily achieve an attractive effect.

Correct preparation of the ground

It is important for the installation of self-adhesive vinyl to prepare the surface properly. Due to the particularly low construction height, irregularities are easily visible on the surface. The elastic properties of the vinyl flooring, which stick to the smallest particles are making the irregularities visible. The substrate for self-adhesive vinyl flooring should be completely even. Dust and dirt must also be removed beforehand; otherwise, the strength of the adhesive can be weakened.

Maximum stability

Many manufacturers recommend the use of a self-adhesive underlay for laying self-adhesive vinyl floors. The purpose of an adhesive underlay is to make the bond between the subfloor and a self-adhesive vinyl floor even more stable and durable. With the example of the Gerflor Primer, the attachment of the floor can be significantly improved while neutralising dust and grease. This ensures optimum attachment to the subfloor, and the self-adhesive vinyl floor cannot slip, even under the most difficult conditions.

Comparison of techniques for the installation of self-adhesive vinyl

To better understand the advantages and disadvantages of self-adhesive vinyl floors, we have compared the most common installation methods. Vinyl floors are usually available in three different types. In addition to self-adhesive vinyl, there is also vinyl click flooring which is very easy to install and the traditional glue-down vinyl flooring. Each installation variant has many unique advantages that can be used according to your own needs.

Self-adhesive vinyl panels vs. click vinyl panels

Unlike self-adhesive vinyl floors, the click floor installation is completely free of glue. The panels are equipped with a click mechanism, which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Installation is as simple as installing a self-adhesive vinyl floor and there is no need to consult professionals here either. The connection stability is as high as in the self-adhesive version and promises a seamless and precisely matched effect. Unlike self-adhesive vinyl floors, the click-on system is available in different versions.

Reinforced with an HDF carrier plate, the vinyl can also be easily laid on uneven surfaces. Due to the thickness of the HDF carrier plate, small dirt is not visible on the surface and is gently levelled. In addition, most click vinyl panels have integrated sound insulation. This layer, which often consists of cork, provides better acoustics and a more pleasant walking experience.

If the vinyl click is a solid material, the substrate requirements are as precise as for a self-adhesive floor. Here as well, the surface must be completely levelled and free of any elevation. Although dust and dirt do not provide the same reduced adhesion for solid vinyl click as for self-adhesive vinyl, it is nevertheless recommended that the entire surface is cleaned.

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Self-adhesive vinyl vs. glue-down vinyl flooring

Glue-down vinyl is very similar to self-adhesive vinyl in its properties. Both achieve their characteristic strength through the use of glue. Unlike self-adhesive vinyl floors, they are not integrated into a self-adhesive vinyl floor and the glue must be purchased separately. Both these vinyl floors have a similar construction height. Both have a particularly low overall thickness and are therefore ideal for all renovation work. Even with self-adhesive vinyl, the substrate must be prepared as thoroughly as possible. In the worst case, irregularities become clearly visible on the surface and lead to permanent damage to the floor covering over time.

Although you don't have to be a professional to lay self-adhesive vinyl flooring, you should have an expert at hand for glue-down vinyl flooring. Glueing is very demanding and requires precise planning. The vinyl boards are placed in the adhesive layer and can only be introduced after they are completely dry. It is important that the correct amount of glue is laid and selected. Otherwise, the self-adhesive vinyl will look uneven and unclean in the end.

And what now - can self-adhesive vinyl be laid on tiles?

In rented flats, tiles often cannot be ripped out or damaged. If a new floor covering is going to be laid, it must be removed without leaving any marks before moving out. Vinyl flooring has a reputation as the ideal renovation floor. In fact, a flexible vinyl floor is particularly recommended for house renovation and remodelling.

But can self-adhesive panels also be laid on tiles? In order not to delay the answer to your question, here is a clear reply: Self-adhesive vinyl flooring is in most cases not suitable for laying on tiles.

This is due to the typical characteristics of self-adhesive vinyl floors. The individual properties of the product ensure that laying the tiles will lead to a worse result that will ultimately not help anyone.

Installing self-adhesive vinyl panels on tiles - Why, where, and how?!

Why can't self-adhesive vinyl be installed on tiles, has it to do with the low construction height of the vinyl floor? Due to the extremely thin material, irregularities are clearly visible. After some time, the joints between the tiles have become noticeable on the surface and clearly visible. If you decide to cover your tiles with another floor covering, you simply do not want them to remain visible. In addition to the optical aspect, the load-bearing capacity of the self-adhesive vinyl floor is also reduced by pressing the joints. Sooner or later the vinyl floor will be permanently damaged by uneven tiles, so it will have to be replaced at a high cost.

If you are planning to get rid of your tiles, it is better to choose an alternative. Self-adhesive vinyl flooring is not a permanent solution for hiding stone tiles. If you want to be on the safe side, you should use another floor covering for your renovation project. Luckily, we also have a few recommendations for you, so you will not be left empty-handed!

Why you should use vinyl anyway.

Although self-adhesive vinyl flooring is not suitable for laying on tiles, vinyl flooring is a good choice! Tearing up the tiles is a difficult task. Stable tiles are difficult to remove from the floor. The whole project also involves a lot of dirt and noise, which can easily be saved. Some types of vinyl can be easily laid on tiles and are a simple and pleasant alternative to the floor. Old tiles do not need to be removed and vinyl flooring can be used without any adhesive properties.

The vinyl floor, which can be laid on tiles

It is important to choose a vinyl flooring that has a thicker construction. In this way, small joints of old tiles can be easily smoothed out and do not look unattractive on the surface. The vinyl click floor with an HDF carrier plate has a particularly clear construction height. The durable backing plate easily compensates for unevenness and provides a beautiful appearance. Product thicknesses can be up to 10 mm and are therefore much thicker than the self-adhesive vinyl version.

In addition, in most cases, the sound insulation is already integrated, making the HDF carrier board even more comfortable. If you plan to cover your bathroom tiles with HDF vinyl, you should apply an additional sealing layer. This protects the carrier plate from moisture damage and prevents annoying swelling.

Our favourites and recommendations from BRICOFLOR

Thanks to our many years of experience in the field of flooring, we already have some of our favourite ways of laying stone tiles. We particularly recommend vinyl click floors with the Gerflor HDF carrier plate. The Gerflor Topsilence Design collection is particularly suitable for laying tiles and allows your room to shine in a modern and attractive design. The multi-layered vinyl floors of the Wineo 400 Multilayer Collection are also characterised by their great stability, which allows you to walk carelessly through everyday life. Say goodbye to old tiles and create a new atmosphere in your four walls using vinyl flooring with HDF carrier plates!

If you have any questions or would like an individual consultation, please contact us! Our friendly and competent team is available via e-mail, telephone or our contact form! We look forward to hearing from you! Why not check out our Instagram page for some inspirational pics? Follow us at

See you next time. Your BRICOFLOR team!

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