Carefully measure the room to find the middle of the floor and mark this initial starting position with a pencil.

Starting with the corner of a tile on the midpoint, position tiles towards one of the side walls. Don’t stick the tile down at this stage.

If this results in a narrow gap between the last tile and the wall, move all the tiles away from the wall by about half a tile’s width. Adjust your starting position mark by the same amount.

Repeat this process of laying tiles from the starting position to one of the end walls and adjusting the starting position, if necessary, to avoid having to fit thin strips of tile.

Once you have established the starting position, measure carefully, then use a straight edge and draw a pencil line parallel to the nearest side wall.

From the same starting point, use a combination square and straight edge to draw another line perpendicular to the first, which will be roughly parallel with the end walls.

If you are using self-adhesive vinyl tiles, peel the paper off the first tile to reveal the self-adhesive surface. If you are using tiles where you apply adhesive yourself, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Place one corner on the starting point where your two lines join and align two edges of the tile with the lines.

Press the tile down firmly. Use a rolling pin and a wallpaper seam roller to firmly secure the edges.

Place one corner of the second tile onto the starting point so that one edge is butted against the first tile, but on the other side of the line. Secure it firmly, as above.

Align subsequent tiles with those already laid, stepping back occasionally to check that the lines are perfectly straight.

Lay all the whole tiles in one half of the room, and then the other half, before you start cutting tiles for the edges or around fittings.

Place the tile that needs to be cut exactly on top of the last whole tile. Then place another whole tile on top but position it so that that one of its edges touches the wall.

Place the tile you need to cut onto an offcut of board. Position a straight edge along the line, then use a retractable knife to carefully cut through the tile.

Keep the backing paper on whilst you check that the tile fits neatly into the gap. If all is well, remove the backing and fix the tile.

Cut a piece of paper to the same size as a whole tile, then cut a series of 5-10mm wide slits where the paper ‘tile’ touches the obstacle.

Place the paper ‘tile’ into position, pressing it down against the obstacle and folding back the slits.

Draw a pencil line onto the paper, following the shape of the obstacle. Then, cut the paper along this line so that you have a template of the tile you need.

Check that the paper ‘tile’ is a good fit, then tape it to a real tile. Use a chinagraph pencil to carefully mark the intended cut line onto the tile.

Keep the backing paper on whilst you check that the cut tile fits neatly against the obstacle. If all is well, remove the backing and fix it into position.

Laying carpet tiles is very similar to laying vinyl, with the only difference being that double-sided carpet tape is used to secure the tiles, rather than adhesive. Find the starting point in the same way as described for vinyl tiles.

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When laying carpet tiles, pay attention to the ‘pile direction’ arrows on the back of the tiles and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You can lay the tiles in the same direction or, alternatively, in a checkerboard pattern.

If you need to cut carpet tiles, then place a strip of masking tape onto the carpet tiles that needs to be cut and mark the cutting line onto that rather than marking the carpet.

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