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How to Install Interlocking Flooring Tiles

How to Install Interlocking Rubber Flooring Tiles in a Few Simple Steps

Puzzle tiles used for a pop-up clothes shop floorFor the lot of us that are less adept with hands-on projects, anything that promises do-it-yourself ease is most likely an invitation for disaster. If you ever attempted your own oil change, hemmed your own jeans, or cut your own hair you probably know what I’m talking about. Fortunately, setting up some interlocking rubber flooring tiles is a nearly foolproof DIY project. Using the interlocking mechanism on rubber tiles is, quite literally, a snap.

There are two types of interlock flooring tiles: rubber puzzle mats and pin-mechanism interconnecting tiles. In this guide, we’ll walk through a couple of steps to effectively install puzzle mats.

Before you begin to assemble the puzzle mats, make sure that the floor area you are covering is free of excess dirt, dust, and debris. Also, eliminate any moisture, grease, or oil that may interfere with an efficient installation.

After clean-up, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Puzzle mats
  • Sharp utility knife
  • Straight edge
  • Rubber mallet

Now, let’s get to installing interlocking rubber flooring tiles:

  1. Rubber Tile floor under gym equipment outsideProvided you have enough rubber puzzle mats to cover the area of your desired location, loosely lay the mats over the entire area to get a general idea of how the mats will be laid.
  2. Start by laying out the first row against the area’s border. For the border tiles, you will need to cut the protrusions on the side of the borders, so the border sides are flat and flush with the wall.
    • To cut the tiles, use the straight edge as a guide to remove the puzzle protrusions. Make sure to cut the base of the protrusions; you shouldn’t cut any of the main area of the tile.
  3. Next, align the protrusions of the first tile with the next border tile. Repeat step #2 to cut the protrusions off the border side. Connect the tiles by aligning the protrusions from one tile with the recesses in the other. The tile should be flush with the wall.
    • Use the rubber mallet to connect the tiles, if necessary.
  4. With the first row set up, connect the tiles that will cover the inside area of the mat (the non-border tiles that would not need trimming).
  5. Finally, trim and connect the remaining border tiles.

Interlocking rubber flooring tiles are an easy DIY flooring solution. With the exception of cutting the tile’s protrusions, putting together rubber puzzle mats is something that you probably learned as a kid when you put together a jigsaw puzzle! By setting up your own interlock flooring you save plenty of coin that would otherwise be spent on costly professional installers. With the money saved, you can now get a proper oil change, a new pair of jeans, and a symmetrical haircut!