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Flooring Installation Workshop: Rubber Floors

Posted: Monday, September 27, 2010

Rubber flooring is a fantastic alternative to vinyl in storage areas, workshops, even playrooms. Anywhere you need some cushion, extra grip, and extreme resistance to moisture.

Rubber flooring comes in sheets like linoleum and in tiles, either as a pinned-together tiles in a floating application, as glue-down tiles, or as a glue-down sheet. Its a perfect project for the weekend warrior and transforms a space with low expense, low mess, and no special equipment.

The tool list for rubber flooring (adjusting as you need for your application) is as follows:

  • Pins (for floating applicationtiles are pinned together)
  • Serrated trowel and rubber floor adhesive (for glue-down application
  • Chalk line for layout
  • Jamb saw to cut door trim
  • Tape measure
  • Framing square
  • Utility knife with sizable supply of good replacement blades

Glued Tiles
Start with a measurement of the room and a center line. This ensures that you have equal partial tiles at the edges. If youre doing a storage barn and dont care about symmetry, skip this step.

Lay the rooms tiles in quarters. Snap a dividing line with your chalk box that is centered in the room. Trowel out rubber flooring adhesive in this quarter and let it set for 30 minutes.

Starting in the center of the room and using the chalk lines to establish an edge, lay your center tile first and work toward the back corner of the room. At the wall, use a straightedge and your knife to shape the pieces at the wall. USE CAUTION WHEN CUTTING TILES. Utility knives are responsible for more stitches in DIY-ers than probably any other tool. The key here is control and a very firm grip.

Repeat this process for each of the other three quarters of the room.

Floating Tiles
If you like the idea of the rubber tile floor, but want to eliminate the glue and the mess, consider a floating rubber floor. This type of floor uses pins that connect the tiles to create an interlocking, thick rubber floor, perfect for exercise rooms.

The process is a little different, working out of the corner of your choosing. This is definitely the easiest of the rubber floors to install, though due to its inherent thickness, its not appropriate everywhere.

Sheets of Rubber Rubber sheets install just like linoleum. Refer to the linoleum and vinyl posts in this series.