Last week, I shared all the reasons why we went with vinyl tile as opposed to other types of flooring. We wouldn't hesitate to use it again for certain projects, but you'll have to read that post to find out which ones!
Today, I want to show you how easy it is to install vinyl tile yourself. Unlike laminate, or hard wood, you won't need a lot of special tools, or a ton of time. It took Joseph and I about 7 hours to install the tiles from start to finish, which isn't bad, considering the bathroom also contains a laundry section.
1. Prep work
Like any project, there's always things you need to do before you start with the good stuff. Can I tell you how much I hate that?
Anyway, we had ugly nasty pinky-mauve carpet in our bathroom. Gross. So make sure you rip out whatever is in there before – carpet, tile, you-name-it. We want to start with a clean slate.
You may need to remove the toilet as well, but make sure you set it on some old towels just in case it leaks, and possibly buy a new gasket ring for the bottom when you put it back.
Then scrub the floor with a wet rag (water will do) to get rid of the grit and grime left from the previous flooring. If you don't do this part, the vinyl will have a much harder time sticking to the floor and staying there.
Start measuring in a place that is already straight, and draw a grid on the floor with a pencil. I want to mention here that this is a very important part.
If you start out with one full tile against the wall, you might end up cutting 1/2″ pieces to fit on the other side when you get there. By measuring, you can adjust for that, and instead have half a tile on one end and 3/4 on the other. It's so much easier to work with. I hope that makes sense!
Measuring will help you get the most of full tiles as you can. Tedious, I know, but once this part is done, you are basically just laying puzzle pieces down!
2. The install
Measure and cut the tile according to the size of each grid piece on the floor. Then apply glue with a spreading tool to each section, making sure not to get too far ahead of yourself. You don't want the glue to set before you can get to it.
Also, make sure the glue is not clumpy – smooth even strokes.
Peel off the tile backing and lay down, making sure it lines up with your grid and other tiles. This part can go pretty seamlessly if you have one person measuring and cutting while the other one glues, sticks, and straighten.
You might be wondering, Why do you need to use glue if the back of the tile is already sticky? Answer: Because we want to make sure these things won't ever move.
Measure, cut, glue, spread, lay, repeat…..DONE!
I'd also recommend you caulk around the toilet and tub when you're finished. We don't want water getting into the cracks and producing mold.
3. The before/after
Though we still have that ancient wall paper in there, at least the floor looks better, and is a lot more sanitary. Plus, we rent out that house now, so we don't have to look at the flowery paper every day anyway!
- Tiles (2 1/2 boxes at $20 per box) – $50
- 2 Buckets of glue (1 qt each) – $13
- Spreading tool – $3
Total cost for the project was $66.00. Very inexpensive project with maximum impact I'd say!
Have you ever installed a vinyl tile floor yourself?
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