I've seen professional installers leave a small gap 2-4mm between vinyl tiles(Please see pic).

This would expose dried glue which would come into the air space(even if a little) and you could basically see the glue in the gaps. Why do they do this? Surely it's better to have the tiles as close together as possible so you can neither see, smell it or let it comes up into your air space?

enter image description here

I have done some reading and it seems these are referred to as seams

1. Why leave a big gap when u can have them right close together?

2. How should one fill them up? Grout, caulk, silicone or some other way? I’d want to use a method where off gassing chemicals expires sooner.


  • 1
    I have never seen floor tile installed like that. It looks to be substandard work to me and those gaps will just trap dirt.
    – jwh20
    Apr 28, 2020 at 12:07
  • Due to their uniformity, it looks to me as though the installer intended for those gaps to be grouted - but I've never seen vinyl tile installed that way.
    – brhans
    Apr 28, 2020 at 12:14
  • @jw20 I have seen it in other places though gaps are not as wide as that. Are you saying they should always be joined right up? Perhaps a benefit of leaving a gap is so you can fill it in completely whereas if you join them there will always be a fine seam which would be much harder to fill with a substance. Apr 28, 2020 at 13:00
  • I have never seen that large of a gap, they do make a filler that can fill the seam but I usually butt them together (or used to don’t do much vinyl tile these days).
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 28, 2020 at 14:24
  • 1
    Is this a new install? Some vinyl tile can be grouted to look like ceramic, and manufacturer recommendations should be followed. If that's the case, that's a rather narrow gap.
    – isherwood
    Apr 28, 2020 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


No. Professional installers do not lay vinyl tile squares like that. These are literally the easiest tiles in the world to install. These are butted right next to each other.

The only reason they could be installed like this is the dumb*ss doing the install watched a tile install video and thought it applied to vinyl squares too.

Side note - there is really nothing you can do. There is nothing that will fill the crack that will stick well and function in a kitchen. You could poly over the whole floor but that could be creating more of a problem.

  • Why do you say nothing will stick well? Would putting silicone not simply fill the gap and stay in there? Apr 29, 2020 at 11:02
  • @JamesWilson - Polyurethane is the only thing that will stick after a very very good cleaning. But it will cover everything. I can't even imagine silicone between the tiles. It wouldn't lay flat, once it dried it would start to pull up once bumped/walked on, and you would have pieces of dried silicone all over in weeks. Honestly the way the tiles were installed silicone grout may go hand in hand :) - a picture would certainly make those DIY disaster pop-up ads... you could be famous, well your floor.
    – DMoore
    Apr 29, 2020 at 16:12
  • @JamesWilson - just to be clear - for sure not suggesting polyurethane, just mentioning it is the only thing that will stick that will not require another floor. I would simply just install a vinyl sheet (cheap) or vinyl planks (better more expensive).
    – DMoore
    Apr 29, 2020 at 16:14

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