Vinyl Tiles - Self Stick or Adhesive?

Many people choose peel-and-stick vinyl tiles when installing a floor because they are so easy to intall. Others choose a vinyl tile where you have to apply the adhesive separately. Some tiles are set into a bed of mastic, whereas Self-stick vinyl tiles are a peel-and-stick product.The difference between the two is largely based on personal preference, as each option will provide the same durability, versatility, and affordability. If you’re unsure which option to choose, examine the pros and cons for each option:

 

Self Stick

Adhesive

Must prep the floor

Yes

Yes

Must prime the substrate

Yes

Yes

Must divide the floor into sections

Yes

Yes

Requires extra tools (notched trowel)

No

Yes

Messy to install

No

Yes

Available in many colors and appearances

Yes

Yes

Requires hand rolling after installation

Yes

Yes

Requires precise measurement and planning

Yes

Yes

Simple installation

Yes

Moderate

Requires extra materials 

No

Yes (adhesive)

As you can see, many do-it-yourself floor installers will choose the self-stick vinyl tile because it is less messy and doesn’t require extra adhesive. The choice to add the adhesive yourself allows you full control of the amount of adhesive used. For areas that are prone to spills, for example, you can add an extra layer of adhesive. Still, there is little difference in the final look of the floor. The naked eye could not differentiate a self-stick or added adhseive. 

Whether you choose the self-stick or adhesive option, make sure to prime the floor with a latex floor primer before any sort of installation occurs. Unlike adhesive that you trowel, the adhesive on self-stick tiles never fully dries. Adding the primer creates a surface where the tile is able to cling to the floor. This creates a less porous surface and can extend the lifetime of your vinyl floor.

If you’ve never installed a vinyl floor then consider the self-stick vinyl tile option for your project. On the other hand, if you’re confident in your ability to install a vinyl floor and don’t mind manually applying adhesive then an adhesive vinyl tile may be the right choice for you.

More Resources:

DIY Network, "How to Install Vinyl Flooring"

This Old House, "How to Lay a Vinyl Time Floor"

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