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We finished up the bathroom flooring of our NY house quite a while ago, and I just realized I had actually never written about it here. But first, I want to share some of the reasons we went with vinyl tile.
Hardwood is awesome, but expensive. Laminate a good alternative, but requires heavy installation knowledge. I knew we had to go with some sort of tile, but didn't know which kind to buy.
With the vinyl, I thought the tiles might look too cheap – you know being flimsy plastick-y boards and all, but I stand corrected. They actually turned out really well, and there are a lot sturdier options out on the market now than before.
Here's why I would recommend you try them before you knock them:
1. Less expensive
Like I said before, I wasn't sure about vinyl, but even the high end products are still less than other types of flooring.
Prices range from $.88 to $1.99/sq ft, but if you check out the clearance section (yes, Lowes and Home Depot both have one!), you can sometimes find boxes that are only $.68/sq ft.
2. Easy to install
Even if you're not a hardcore do-it-yourselfer, you can still figure this out. All you need is special glue, a spreader, a tape measure, and a good eye.
Because you draw your grid on the floor before you even lay down any tiles, you know exactly where they should all go. The “hard” part is to keep the corners and lines level with each other so your tiles don't wander, but I like detail work and found it enjoyable.
Sometimes you have to cut the tile to fit in a smaller space, but in those cases, a pocket knife is all that's needed. Yay for no special tools!
3. No grout to mess with and maintain
Although the glue for the tiles are sticky, and you have to be careful not to get it everywhere, you don't ever have to re-grout vinyl. I don't know how many times I hear homeowners complain about re-grouting their tiles every couple of years.
If you do end up getting glue on some of the tiles, it wipes right off with Goo Gone. Love that stuff!
4. Availability of samples
With many flooring choices, you have to buy a whole box and pray that you'll like the finished product when it's actually installed. With vinyl tiles, you just buy 5 or 6 different colors, and temporarily place them in the room.
I really encourage doing this before splurging on 2 or 3 boxes. Otherwise you end up taking a whole bunch of them back because it looks different under your own lighting.
When you're done with the samples, you can return them no problem. Then you can buy what you actually need, now that you know what you want.
5. Perfect for rental properties
If you own a rental property, you really don't want to install the best of the best in there. No matter how well you think you know your tenants, things happen.
Vinyl can take a beating and still look decent, which makes it the perfect choice to install in a property you want to rent.
6. Uses after the project
You're always going to have extra tiles floating around after you're done. But what to do with them? Besides keeping a few for future repairs, you can also use them for other projects.
In the July 2012 issue of This Old House, they suggested using them as a backsplash, plant coasters, or to protect against leaks under your sink, just to name a few.
Vinyl tiles might not be right for every flooring project, but with this criteria in mind, you'll hopefully be better able to tell when. Come back next week for the step-by-step!
What types of flooring do you have in your house?
Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.