Do you remember back in the early 2000’s when all the builders were putting in beige tile everywhere? I mean, like, everywhere. We have it in all three of our bathrooms (including the master bath floor, tub surround and shower), our laundry room and our entry way. Thankfully they didn’t put it in our kitchen too. I had it in our old house too and loved it at the time. And it has it’s place. That place just isn’t in my house. At least not on every bathroom floor. And I know this look will go out of style someday too. And then there will be another post on how to change it up!
Something had to be done. If you remember back a few posts ago I started with the guest bathroom shower. We decided to paint it and I’m so happy with how it turned out! (you can see that post here.) Originally my plan was to paint the floor tiles as well and use a stencil to give it the same kind of effect but then I saw these awesome looking vinyl tiles that seemed like they would install a lot quicker.
*SPOILER ALERT: So the question you probably have is “how are they holding up and is it worth it to install them?” Unfortunately for me it isn’t a cut and dry answer. Would I install them again? Yes. Actually I’m going to put them in the kids’ downstairs bathroom.
If you want a permanent solution then I would absolutely say “no”. These are going to be a quick, cheap, temporary fix until you are ready to pull out the tile and replace it. You will likely have a couple that start to peel up in the corners. We have a spot in our bathroom where some water leaked out of the water line and I’ll have to pull up those two tiles and replace them. But it will be super easy and I can use leftover tile I have. In our master bath I’m going to try some hardwood, groutable vinyl tile that I think will be a little more durable. You can see a full Pro’s and Con’s list at the bottom of this post.
Let’s get to the project!
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Peel n Stick vinyl tiles – I used Floor Pop 12″ tiles
A contour gauge like this if you need to make odd cuts.
Silicone Caulk and Caulking Gun.
I’m labeling this as an optional step, but it’s one I personally wouldn’t skip. I think it would be so much harder to get a nice good-looking cut around the toilet and vanity. I know it’s a pain, and we were going to be replacing the vanity anyway, but it will just give you a better looking finish. And while you’re at it, replace that toilet ring! We didn’t do that and now I’m going to make my husband take the toilet back off to replace it. Sorry hun!
Next your need to clean your floors. Sweep and vacuum them to make sure all the dirt and dust is gone. The clean them with a de-greasing cleaner and wipe down with a clean, wet cloth. You want your surface clean so that both the leveling compound and the vinyl tile will stick.
You’ll need to fill in your grout lines and any place that isn’t level. You could skip this step. I didn’t want to risk having my vinyl start dipping everywhere there was a grout line. There were also a few places where the tiles met in the middle of the grout line and I don’t know how well they would have stick in those edges. I used Henry Patch n Level to fill in the grout. I filled in the grout likes like I would fill in with Spackle or wood filler and used a putty knife to smooth it out. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I just wanted to get the major dips filled in. Follow the manufacturers instructions for dry time and then give the floor a quick wipe down.
Before you start going to town on installing your tile you will want to set it all out to get the best layout. You may find that starting in the corner doesn’t give you the best fit all over. Or starting at that point in the middle that you planned on gives you too small of an edge. You’ll also find that the patterns on the tiles don’t always match up super well. As I set out my tile I just tried to get the closest match possible, switching some that were more obvious. It was frustrating while I was laying it out, but honestly I haven’t noticed it since I installed it. And anyone who sits on your toilet and judges your work has their own issues to work out, so don’t get too hung up on matching the pattern perfectly!
Now it’s time to lay those suckers down!! I love how quickly this comes together. The cutting can be a bit of a pain, especially around the door frame and the toilet, but I love that once it’s laid there’s no waiting for anything to dry. It’s all done! I started with the middle tile closest to the tub and then worked my way out and toward the door. I laid all the whole pieces first and saved the hardest cuts for the end. When making straight cuts, like next to a wall, flip your tile over and mark where you need to cut. (see video)
You can also use a contour gauge to mark odd cuts like this. Use a scrap piece first to make sure you get the right cut and don’t waste a whole tile.
If you start installing your tile and you find that they don’t stick well, especially in the corners, try using some carpet tape. I didn’t use any for this bathroom, but I know some people have had success with that. I may try that for the downstairs bathroom to give the corners some extra support.
After installing I added some white silicone around the edges that touched the tub and baseboard. I also added some clear silicone along the inner tile seams near the tub to protect against rogue water drops during bath-time. It gets a little intense in that bath! The tiles near the tub have stayed down nicely.
Our tile has been down for about 9 months now, and I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised. I went into this project knowing it might not work well. I read review after review and knew that the tile might pop up at any time. Again, the only spot I’ve had much trouble is right under the water line that brings water to the toilet. I think when we re-installed the toilet some water dripped down and release the glue. It will be an easy enough fix.
All in all I call this project a win! What do you think? Would you use vinyl tile??