Installing R-Tile Interlocking Floor Tiles: Preparation Guide

R-Tek’s range of high quality flooring systems offer your business an alternative to traditional non slip flooring options such as carpet or sheet vinyl. 

The R-Tile Interlocking floor tile offers a host of advantages ranging from quick and easy to install, to a durable and industrial strength flooring option. Here at R-Tek, we pride ourselves on the quality of our product and the research and development we have put into creating interlocking tiles that will last the test of time. Check out our full range of products for more information and advantages. 

If your business is thinking of installing the R-Tile Flooring system, we recommend considering the following points to determine how your business will get the most out of the flooring system. 

Points to consider before installing R-Tile Flooring Systems

Should the flooring be glued or lay loose? 

R-Tile can be installed over any hard surface and in most situations will not require gluing. However, in some instances we recommended gluing the tiles, here are some situations situations whereby gluing is recommended:

  • Direct Sunlight – It is advisable to glue the tiles in areas subject to direct sunlight such as glass fronted entrance foyers, shop fronts, south facing loading bay doors etc. It is possible that the tiles in direct sunlight will get very hot and expand at a faster and higher rate than the remainder of the floor.
  • Heavy Trucks and/or Tight Turning Circles – Certain forklift and pallet truck designs can cause a problem, heavy trucks with small wheels, especially electric trucks where the battery is located over the main drive wheel. If you use this type of vehicle we strongly advise you to test the tiles with the trucks before making a decision on which thickness to use.
  • External Heat Sources/Catalytic Converters – If your business uses ovens, furnaces and catalytic converters these can make the floor extremely hot and may cause the tiles to expand. To avoid this problem, glue the tiles in the area in front of the oven or where the catalytic converter will sit when the car is parked

Staining & Discolouring 

It’s important to consider the environment where the tiles will be laid as some machinery, direct sunlight and harsh chemicals can result in staining and discolouring. Here are some considerations to help overcome the issue of staining and discolouring: 

  • Staining – It is possible that certain rubber tyres and wheels can stain the tiles, this is due a chemical reaction that occurs between the anti-oxidant used in some rubbers and the plasticiser used in vinyl. The reaction is brown in colour and less visible in certain colours of the tile (dark grey, terracotta, black). Our recommendation is that if your application is susceptible to staining from tyres, hair dyes and any other harsh chemicals, consider applying our anti-colour/anti-stain two-part solvent free waterborne polyurethane sealer. We recommend Dr Schutz products
  • UV STABILITY – R-Tile is not recommended for external use and the colours are not UV stable.
  • BATCH CONTROL – We are unable to guarantee 100% colour consistency between individual production batches. Each individual order will be supplied from a single batch but in the event that you need additional tiles or wish to extend the area, we cannot guarantee subsequent orders will be supplied from the same batch.

What to Do Before Installing the R-Tile Flooring Systems

This recommended method of installation has been prepared as a guide only, the information is supplied in good faith but without guarantee as site conditions vary and are beyond our control. Before preparing to install your interlocking flooring system, please follow the below instructions before installation and what tools you will need for the installation process. 

Preparing to install your R-Tile Flooring System

Step 1: Temperature – Allow tiles to acclimatise

Installation should not take place at temperatures below 15°C. 

Do not try and install the tiles straight after delivery, the tiles must be allowed to acclimatise to the ambient room temperature prior to installation. 

We recommend you allow 24 hours but this will be dependent on temperature, the warmer it is the quicker the tiles will acclimatise. If time is short we recommend you break down the pallet of tiles into small packs to help them acclimatise and settle. 

If installation has to take place at a temperature below 15°C leave a larger expansion gap between the tiles and any fixed point and/or incorporate an expansion gap every 8 to 10 meters.

Step 2: Preparation

Sweep or vacuum the floor to remove any loose impediments. 

Remove any high points in the floor.  

Fill any holes with a rapid setting floor repair compound such as Ardurapid A46 or similar. 

For uneven surfaces that require smoothing use a soothing compound such as Ardex Feather Finish.

Step 3: Setting Out 

Setting out/the starting point is different for the open join and hidden join tiles. 

Important: It is essential for both that the tiles are kept square to each other at all times. 

We strongly recommend that you use a chalk line; laser line or carpenters square to set out the site and ensure you keep the tiles right angled to each other

Step 4: Installation Method

Once you have identified your starting point and created your straight lines, it’s time to start fitting the tiles. 

Our first recommendation is to lay the tiles out on the floor; this will allow them to settle. 

Next, connect the tiles together by offering up the tile and lining up the corner, ensuring the joints are in line. 

Starting from the corner, use a rubber mallet to gently tap the joints together.

Equipment Required to Install R-Tile Interlocking Flooring

To install the flooring system, you will need a non-marking rubber mallet or engineering hammer, chalk line or another method to keep the tiles square and a means to cut the tiles. R-Tile can be cut using several different methods which will depend on preference, experience and tools you have access to but we recommend using the following:

  • Magnum Shear/Guillotine
  • Stanley/Utility Knife with a concave blade – always used a straight edge and cut proof gloves
  • Electric jigsaw with a medium or rough wood blade
  • Table or band saw with medium or rough wood blade

The R-Tile installation process is as simple as putting together a jigsaw puzzle, if joints don’t fit together without you having to force them, you could be doing something wrong. The main sign will always be if tiles do not connect with a simple tap of the hammer, this indicates the tiles are not linked correctly. 

Ready to install your R-Tile flooring system? Follow our installation guide! If you would like a video guide for installing your floor, visit our Youtube channel.