Checker Board Tile Floor
There's nothing that say's "Vintage" like a checker board tile floor.

The first thing you need to install a VCT (vinyl and composite tile) tile floor is a solid flat surface. Here is a floor like many where the original tile has cracked and become loose. I used a utility knife and trimmed off the loose tile.

Then I used Bondo to fill the gaps.

Now we can get ready to lay the tile. The first impression when you enter the trailer is the most important. You don't want to see thin 2" strips along an edge if you can help it. So, I'm laying it out so that I've got almost 2 full squares through the entry way and I've got full squares on the opposing wall. This is the most important part of laying any tile.
So, once you've decided how you want the tiles layed out, you need to mark your starting points. You're going to start laying the tile in the middle of the floor and all the other tiles will be lined up to the first tile. So X marks the spot. Draw a line front to back, and side to side where the first tile will be. Making sure they are parallel to the walls.
Now you can start applying the adhesive. Use a 1/8" notched trowel. Fill in the entire front corner away from the doorway. The glue needs to dry about 20 minutes before you start setting the tiles. It will change from a glossy surface to a dull surface.
   
Just press the tile into place lining it up with your guide lines.
To cut the next tile to fit, place the next tile (the white tile) directly on top of the tile you just layed.
Then take another tile ( the black tile) and put it against the wall.
Using a utility knife, put a score line on the white tile.
A score line is a deep scratch. (sorry, this is a different cut. So I'm cutting the black tile here.)
Once it's scored, you can just break it in two.
If it's a corner that you're cutting out, make your scores lines where you need them and use a pair of tin snips to cut along the score lines.
Once your tile is cut, put it in place taking care to line it up snug to the first tile. Black, then white, then black, etc :-) .
You'll score it both directions for corners.
Clean up excess glue with paint thinner .
For round corners, use a similarly shaped object to make your score line, then cut it with your tin snips. Don't worry about making perfect cuts as you'll need to put a trim around the edges.
Move to the rear corner opposite the entry. You want to make sure you don't back yourself into a corner.
Then do the opposite rear corner, the remaining front corner and the doorway. Always lining the new tiles with the previously installed tiles. They are precisely cut. And perfectly square. This makes your job allot easier.
And then end result is quite stunning. See Wood Floors for information on installing the trim.
Copyright 2009