Frank Lloyd Wright Quote

"Form follows function-that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union"

Frank Lloyd Wright

Friday, July 6, 2007

Marmoleum Installation: Part 1

I figured since I had the day off for the 4th, I may as well start installing the Marmoleum Click tiles for the kitchen floor. I will use this post mainly to describe the layout process. I'll add a second part when the floor is done.

Step 1: Choosing your First Focal Point

When installing tile on the floor, whether it is ceramic, porcelain, or in this case Marmoleum, you need to plan the layout so the finished product looks nice. This is especially true with a strong pattern like the checkerboard we have going in our kitchen.

For a typical square room, you should have two focal points; one for each dimension of the room (length and width). For our kitchen, the first and most important is the main entrance from the dining room. It is a 36" wide pass-through. If I had not considered this as a focal point, I would have started laying tiles against the cabinets on either the left or right side of the doorway, which would have left the pattern off-center in the doorway. That would not be nice to look at every time I walked into the kitchen!

Once I determined this would be my first focal point, I simply marked the center of the doorway on the floor. Since I am running full tiles down the middle (instead of having a seam in the middle), I measured a half-tile's width to one side and marked that as my reference seam. I setup my laser level on a tripod to mark this line.

Step 2: Choosing your Second Focal Point

Now that I chose the first focal point, I could have just started running full tiles centered in the doorway, but that would leave an off-center pattern somewhere else in the kitchen, in this case the sink. That means the next step is to find the center of the sink base. Since I centered a full tile in the doorway (instead of a seam), I also chose to center a full tile on the sink. I marked the center of the sink, and then placed a tile on the laser reference line from Step 1. The full sized light colored tile centered on the sink was the first to be laid. I then measured for the cut tile that goes behind it (leaving 3/8" gap per instructions). Starting at the center and the working my way back to the doorway will leave cut tiles at either end of the row.

Here you see me working my way from the center of the sink toward the door.

Continue to Part 2.

The Marmoleum click tiles are available from

Van Gogh



  1. I've heard good things about these Click tiles before. Would you recommend them? I think they might work well in my basement bathroom. I installed a small section of sheet Marmoleum in a bathroom a few years ago, and the install was a major pain (and the results mediocre - my fault). After recently putting in a click-together laminate floor, I really like the concept of floors that come in little sections. I look forward to your "finished" post.

  2. So far, I would definitely recommend the Marmoleum-Click product. It goes together fairly easily and the seems are nice and tight. I really like the feel of it underfoot. It is "Aquasafe" and rated for kitchen installations, but you might want to check the documentation before you install it in a bathroom.

  3. Looks pro to me. Nice work. Couple questions.. how thick are these, and how expensive (or inexpensive) are they? Do they come in a large assortment of tiles? Thanks!

  4. The tiles are 9.8mm thick. I picked them up at my local Colortile and paid somewhere around $5.35/sq-ft. The Marmoleum website has all the info you need.

  5. Wow, that checkerboard pattern looks great! I'm looking forward to seing the result.

    We are also thinking of laying linoleum/marmoleum in the kitchen and your post is definitely an inspiration. Thanks!

  6. Could you share the names of the colors you used? I love the way your floor looks, but I'm sitting here with a pile of marmoleum samples feeling overwhelmed by the many, many shades of yellow. Is that Natural Corn and Barbados, or Butter?

  7. I went through the same dilemma. The one thing I noticed about Marmoleum is that you need the actual samples. The colors on their website aren't close enough to be very useful.

    We have the Barbados (the lighter color) and Van Gogh (the darker color)