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Peel-and-stick vinyl is a simple and cheap way to give a modern and fresh look to your floor. It’s so easy to install–kind of like putting big stickers in place on the floor. It’s also easy to cut–you can cut the tiles with a good pair of regular scissors! You can even use grout on some kinds to get a real tile look. Though, in this tutorial, we’re skipping the grout.
And it looks absolutely amazing when you’re done.
This is the sequel to my post on removing old linoleum. If you haven’t removed the existing flooring and prepped your sub-floor, be sure to read about that process here: 5 Steps to Remove Old Linoleum Flooring
If you’re reading this post, your sub-floor should be prepped and you’re ready to start installing your peel-and-stick tile!
So let’s dive in to the 6 easy steps:
Step 1 – Open all the boxes of tile and sort by design.
This is a little fact that I discovered when installing peel-and-stick tile in my first bathroom. (I’ve done 4 rooms so far.) I noticed that there were repeating designs on the tiles! No big deal, but I didn’t want to put like tiles next to each other on the floor.
It will look better if you mix these designs and place them randomly.
There were 6 different designs on all of our marbly tiles and I wanted to ensure they were random throughout the floor when I stuck them down.
So, the first thing you should do is open all of the boxes of tiles that you need for your floor and then sort them by design.
Also check out the backs of the tile – there’s usually an arrow on the sticky paper. When you apply the tiles to your floor, you want to ensure they are all placed with the arrows in the same direction.
Step 2: Find and mark the middle of your room.
Next, you want to find and mark the middle of your room. That’s where you’re going to start putting down the tiles.
Play with tile placement, paying particular attention to how small the tiles would need to be cut along the walls in the room.
You want the tiles to be left as big as possible with no tiny tile edging.
Also remember to mix up the tile designs as you lay them out on your floor.
See picture below for example:
Once you’ve determined the middle of the room and you’ve marked where you want to place the first tile, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Step 3: Start peeling and sticking the tiles that do not need to be cut.
In this step, we’re only placing the tiles that don’t need to be cut.
Start with the tile that you designated for the middle of the room in the previous step. Then work your way out to the walls as far as possible with your full sized tiles (that don’t require cutting).
Be careful to ensure that every tile is placed straight, smooth, and without cracks between them. Take a step back and look at your work after placing each one.
In this photo, you can see how close I was able to get to the edges while placing just the full sized tiles:
Step 4: Measure and cut tiles to place along edges of the room.
This is the hardest step. You are going to measure and cut the tiles for placement around the walls and toilet.
I discovered two tips to make this process go a little more smoothly so you don’t waste a lot of tiles.
1 – Just cut your vinyl tile with regular scissors instead of a utility knife. It’s easier and faster.
2 – Use paper to make a templates for cutting tiles around the toilet bowl. Cut strips part-way into the paper. Then, when you put the paper up against the edge of the toilet, you can fold the strips up, and use a pencil to mark your stencil. See photo below:
Take your time and measure everything twice.
Also, make sure to add a quarter inch to your measurements around the walls. By doing that, you’ll have just enough extra tile to hide the cut edge of under the lip of the wall.
Tada! All the tile has been placed in this photo!
It’s looking great! But we still have a couple steps to go.
Step 5: Caulk edges.
Next, you need to caulk the edges along the tub, toilet, and sink. Basically, wherever you don’t have a finished edge, the caulk is going to give it that finished look.
To get that professional look, you’ll want to use a pro caulk tool kit. That’s the little blue tool that you see in the picture below.
Step 6: Install your transition strip.
And the final step was trimming and nailing down the carpet transition strip. I’m afraid of saws so my dad stepped in and helped me out with this step, though I screamed in my head the whole time in fear he would lose a finger.
In the end (a few minutes later), all was well and he did a fine job cutting that metal strip.
This particular transition strip had holes to mark where the nails needed to be hammered through.
So that made it really easy to install.
Just line up the transition strip in the bathroom doorway where the carpet meets the new tile. Then hammer nails through the transition strip holes.
And now you can take a step back and really take in the beauty of your new tile floor!
In this collage, I show the original flooring (1), the subfloor (2), and then the newly installed vinyl tile (3).
Isn’t it amazing how much it looks like real tile?
I’ll be sharing a post where I’ve installed peel-and-stick vinyl tile with grout soon. And it’s even more impressive to see!