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Browsing Tag: Vinyl Floor

Which floor makeover is right for you?

Are you ready to update your flooring but aren’t sure which options are right for you? You’ve come to the right spot! I’ve used a few different options on the abundance of tile in my house and I definitely have some opinions on which option is my favorite. We’ll look at the pro’s and con’s of painted tile, vinyl tile and vinyl planks. I’ll cover budget, ease of installation and durability. If you just want my opinion on which is best feel free to scroll to the end.

Painted tile-

The first transformation I did to a portion of the tile in my home was painting the tile shower surround. Most of the tile in our house is the builder grade brown that you see a lot of in homes that were build in the early 2000’s. We had it in our old home that was remodeled before we moved in and it was definitely in style during that time. And at the time I loved it. But our bathrooms don’t have any windows in them (something that my husband and I would both love to fix someday but just isn’t quite in the budget at the moment) so the need something brighter and a little modern.

So to start off we decided to paint the shower surround white. Yup. We painted our shower tile. If you want to see how we did it you can read about it here. And you know what? I would do it again. In fact, we’ll do it again to the tile surrounding our master bath tub. Over the last year and a half it has held up amazingly well. Granted, it’s not a bathroom that is used frequently for showers, but we do have a couple of kids who make quite the ruckus during bath time. And we haven’t had a single scratch in the paint.

Now, as far as painting floor tile, I can’t say for certain. I have seen a number of people who have done it and done it quite successfully. (You can check out this blog to see how their painted tile held up) I imagine that it would hold up splendidly, especially in a bathroom situation where you might not have as much shoe traffic as say an entryway or a kitchen. Out of the three methods, though, I expect it is by far the most time consuming option, so if you have a lot of tile that may not be the route you want to go.

Painted tile shower surround
Before and after of the painted tile

Vinyl Floor Tile

Vinyl Floor Tile may not be a new idea but up until a year and a half ago I definitely never considered it for my floors. Especially not for covering existing tile flooring. If you do a google search of vinyl floor tiles you will find a wide range of vinyl tiles ranging from downright ugly to beautifully chic and modern. You also have options of groutable vinyl, peel and stick vinyl and vinyl you can glue down yourself. I went with the peel and stick option, as it seemed the easiest and it had the widest assortment of styles I liked. I have to say, I’m still intrigued by the groutable vinyl and I just may have to do that to my laundry room someday. I’m seeing hexagon groutable tiles in my future! To see my vinyl tile makeover click here.

Vinyl tiles in the bathroom.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

This is probably the most common flooring you will see in new homes, as least in my area of the U.S. When we were on the house hunt a couple of years ago we usually found that brand new homes had vinyl plank in all of the common areas of the house. I didn’t, however, realize that you can put vinyl planks directly over existing tile. Who knew?! Well, probably everyone except me. That was a game changer for me. I knew we had to try it right away, and since I was getting ready to work on the master bath I figured the timing couldn’t be better. Off to Lowe’s we went to pick our planks. You can see that project here.

Vinyl planks in a bathroom


Now that you have a little introduction into each of these options I want to grade them based on a few criteria. If your first priority is budget, it’s important to know what you need to expect in terms of cost. These are just my experiences based on the amount of material I had to get for the space I was working on. Yours will be different and you’ll want to calculate your own estimated costs. Hopefully I can give you a better idea of what you’ll need to expect.

For the painted tile, you’ll obviously need paint. But you’ll also need a really good primer. I used Stix. Keep in mind a really good durable primer can be pricey. You’ll also need a water-based polyurethane, which can also be expensive. If you already have painting supplies that will help, but if not you’ll need those as well. For this project I used foam rollers. If you’re doing a stencil on the floor you’ll also need an accent paint and a few stencils. You’re most likely looking at $100+ for a small bathroom. (Again, you’ll want to do your own calculations.

For vinyl floor tiles the price can range greatly. We used floor pop tiles and they were very budget friendly. At the time of purchase we spent $20-30 on the tiles. We also had to purchase a floor leveling compound (we used Henry’s floor leveler). In total we spent around $60 for a small bathroom floor. If you’re strictly looking for a budget friendly flooring this could be a great option for you.

Vinyl plank flooring is likely to be your most expensive option. I will say, however, that if we had done our smaller bathroom rather than our larger bathroom, we probably could have done it for under $100 since we likely only would have needed one box. It will all depend on the price of your planks (which ranges as much as the tiles) and how large a space you’re doing.

Ease of Installation

When you’re doing a project yourself there are times when budget may be the only factor you can consider. In our old house we sometimes had to do the harder project because it was the cheapest option for us. We were also younger and putting in a significant amount of time and elbow grease was easier than I find it these days. If you’re not solely focused on budget you may want to consider the ease of installation.

I would say, by far, the most time intensive option would be painting the tile. Not only is there more prep work, but you’re also accounting for multiple layers and drying/curing time. I know that once I start painting our master bathroom shower it will be unusable for a few days. Honestly that’s the main reason I’ve been putting it off for so long.

Installing vinyl floor tiles also involves a bit of prep work. Since the tile has to stick to the floor you have to make sure it is well cleaned and then you have to level the floor. If you don’t level it you’ll have dips where the grout lines were. Once you have all the prep work done, laying the tiles isn’t too hard.

Installing the vinyl plank was the easiest of the three. Once we had the installation tools we were able to quickly get to floor down. There was minimal prep work, since the floor is actually floating and not stuck to the subfloor.


Assuming you’re not looking for a temporary fix, you want to know how each will hold up. Out of the three options I would definitely say that the vinyl tile is the least durable. Now I don’t want to discount it as an option, because it’s been great, and for the most part it’s actually held up really well in the last year or so since we put it in. The only part that has started coming up is right behind the toilet where I think we had a leak in the pipe the connects to the toilet. Otherwise it’s held up great! Vinyl tile is the one I worry most about when the kids are in the bath and splashing everywhere. Surprisingly around the bathtub has done well too. I did add some clear silicone in the cracks near the tub to try to keep any water from getting under the tiles.

When I painted our bathroom tile I wasn’t sure how the painted tile would hold up. I worried about scratches or pealing. But in the last two years I haven’t had a single scratch or pealing. The painted tile I have, though, is on the bathroom walls and not the floor. I have hear great things from people who have done it on the floor though! So if you’re leaning towards painting the floor and you’re worried about durability I think you’ll be okay if you take all of the precautions of prep work and sealing properly.

In my opinion, I think the vinyl plank flooring is the most durable. Though I haven’t had issues with the painted tile, and I’ve had minimal issues with the vinyl tile, I just worry less about the vinyl planks. They’re waterproof and are built for the wear and tear of everyday living.

Who wins?

It depends. Haha. I know that’s the last thing you want to hear after reading that novel. It will depend on what your goals are. If you are concerned about budget vinyl tiles may be the way to go. And I’d really like to try groutable vinyl tiles. I think that would make them more durable with less concern about the tiles pulling up. But if budget isn’t a concern and you just want to get the job done and have a super durable floor, I would absolutely go with the vinyl planks all the way.

I hope this helped in your search for the best flooring option for your needs! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!

How to Install Vinyl Tile over Existing Tile

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!

*This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you purchase something from one of my links, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

What you need

Floor cleaner

Henry’s patch n level

Peel n Stick vinyl tiles – I used Floor Pop 12″ tiles

Utility knife



A contour gauge like this if you need to make odd cuts.

Silicone Caulk and Caulking Gun.

1.A. Remove the Toilet and Vanity (optional)

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!

1.B. Clean the Floors

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.

2. Level the Floor

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.

Using leveling compound

3. Lay Out Your Vinyl Tile

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!

4. Cut and Install the Vinyl Tile

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)

Marking the Floor Tiles to Cut

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.

A couple last minute tips:

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.

Pro’s and Con’s:

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.


  1. This is a super quick project. If you didn’t put down the leveling compound you could be walking on it the same day. Even with the leveling compound it doesn’t have to be more than a two day project.
  2. You don’t need any power tools to install these floor tiles.
  3. It’s not a permanent solution. You could rip it out and replace it at any time. And if you don’t put the leveling compound down you could probably take it off and have your tile back just as it was. (I’ve never removed the tiles, so I can’t vouch for the state the floor would be in after the tiles were removed)
  4. Affordability. When I purchased the vinyl tile they were about $1.50 per square foot. It’s hard to beat that price when you’re looking at a modern flooring options.
  5. The feel. I actually love walking on these vinyl tiles, despite how I feel about walking barefoot on bathroom floors. They are soft and they don’t get as cold as tile.


  1. It’s not a permanent solution. I know, I know. This is on my “pro’s” list too. But it had to go on this list too, because if you’re looking for more of a long term solution you want it to last long term. I have to say, this is my main point on my “con’s” list. They’re pretty great other than this.
  2. The corners come up sometimes. This is sort of a tag on to number one, but aside from this not being a long-term solution, even in the short term you may have to deal with a few corners not wanting to stay down. This is where carpet tape or some kind of glue might come in handy.
  3. The patterns don’t always line up. For me this isn’t as big of an issue, but for some people it might really bug them.
  4. The tiles are really sticky. I know, this is how they’re supposed to be, but there were some tiles that came out of the box stuck to each other. I just used those ones for edges and corners, but still…

All in all I call this project a win! What do you think? Would you use vinyl tile??

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