Alterna engineered tile flooring is faster, easier and cleaner to install than traditional tile. Learn what to expect before, during and after installation, including how to determine if you should hire a Pro, or learn how to install groutable tile yourself.
Before You Buy
Know your installation options.
While the steps are similar to those required for traditional ceramic tile, installing engineered tile is much faster, easier and cleaner.
Depending on the final look you prefer, Alterna can be installed with or without grout. Every Alterna engineered tile product we offer is installed using a full-spread adhesive — see instructions for details.
Consider potential installation challenges.
Alterna engineered tile is a suitable flooring for any room in the home and can even be installed over minor subfloor irregularities.
However, if you're creating a backsplash, accent wall or other non-flooring focal point, there are some restrictions. We do not recommend tiles be installed on shower walls, fireplace surrounds or any wall application that exposes them to continuous saturation or temperatures above 300° F. Refer to product instructions for guidance.
Create an accurate budget.
Don't forget to account for things like removal and disposal of your old floor, subfloor repairs, additional tools and materials, and even the cost of moving furniture when budgeting for your project.
Decide whether to DIY or bring in a Professional.
If you’re an advanced DIYer who enjoys a challenge, it's certainly possible to handle the installation yourself — especially if you already know how to install groutable tile. It requires fewer specialty tools than ceramic, porcelain tile and natural stone, and the adhesive and grout come premixed and ready to spread.
If you're a beginner DIYer, or you'd prefer the peace of mind that comes with guaranteed results, we recommend having your floors professionally installed. One benefit of Alterna engineered tile over natural stone, ceramic and porcelain tile is that Alterna installation can be done in a day, while the others can take up to five. This means that even if you hire a Pro, you'll probably still enjoy savings on time and labor.
Hiring a Pro? Find the best one for the job.
Ask your retailer to connect you to a local Armstrong Flooring Certified Installer. These contractors are exclusively trained to install our products, so you can rest assured that your new floor will not only look great, but will be installed correctly with guaranteed results.
Read the installation instructions.
Carefully review the detailed instructions for your flooring to learn what you'll need and what to expect. Do this well in advance.
Prepare the room.
Clear out furniture. Remove and dispose of old flooring if necessary. Gently remove any wall base, millwork or trim that you'd like to reuse.
Prepare the subfloor.
Be sure the floor you're laying over is dry, clean and flat. If repairs are needed, make those before starting the installation.
Gather additional materials and tools.
Your list could include coordinated grout, underlayment leveler, adhesive, spacers, utility knife, trowel, 100 lb. roller and other tools. Check your installation instructions for specifics.
Acclimate flooring according to instructions.
Engineered tiles do not typically require acclimation. Review your installation instructions, because there may be certain circumstances, such as extreme temperatures, when a short period of acclimation is necessary. This step gives the flooring time to adjust to the environment of the room where it will be installed.
Read every step of the instructions provided with your product. They outline important details that might not be obvious, except to an experienced professional, including: subfloor requirements, how to plan the room layout and establish a starting point, and the proper grouting process.
If you or your professional installer has questions before or during installation, contact our Customer Service team.
Once your new floors are in place and optional grout has been applied and dried, clear tools and materials from the area and follow instructions for removing grout and cleaning the tile with the recommended cleaner for engineered tilee.
Got an installation question we haven't answered?
Chat with our Customer Service Team, or give them a call at 1-800-233-3823.