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How to Lay Peel-and-Stick Vinyl Tile Flooring

Updated on October 24, 2016
Sherry Hewins profile image

DIY home improvement is a very satisfying activity. Once a project is done, it makes your life better every day.

A Quick and Easy Kitchen Floor Project You Can Do

This past weekend I got myself a new kitchen floor and a great sense of accomplishment as I installed my new vinyl tile flooring all by myself. I've been wanting a new floor for 15 years, and now after spending $100 and about six hours time, I'm wondering why I waited so long. I used these peel and stick tiles, and that's about as easy as it gets.

My Brand New Kitchen Floor

Finished peel and stick vinyl tile floor
Finished peel and stick vinyl tile floor | Source

Husbands Don't Know Everything

I have been trying for years to get my husband to install a new kitchen floor for me. He envisioned it as part of a whole kitchen remodel, which of course meant a lot of money and pushed it years down the road. Meanwhile, I've been living with this ugly floor that never looks clean, no matter how much I clean it.

I finally decided to take matters into my own hands. He warned me that these cheap tiles wouldn't last long and said I was wasting my time. I was undeterred by that, I was tired of waiting. Once the floor began to take shape, he was actually impressed by how much better it looked, and now he says he doesn't know what took me so long.

I do have to give him credit for advising me about how to lay out the tiles, that was very helpful of him.

My Old Floor

Floor before replacing with vinyl tiles
Floor before replacing with vinyl tiles | Source

How to Prepare the Floor

When you come home, all excited, with your new flooring, I know it's tempting to start sticking those tiles down right away, but taking a little time to plan and prepare will make your floor come out better.

  • You'll need to get the floor as clean as you can and let it dry.
  • If there are any bumps or holes in the floor, you need to get them as smooth as you can.
  • Any nail heads sticking up will work their way through the vinyl, so either pull them out or make sure they're pounded in really well.
  • You can use a product like Fixall if you have holes to fill. It works on wood, concrete, or just about any surface. You just make a thick paste with it and smooth it into the hole. I had one fairly large hole I patched with it, and it was dry enough to tile over in 24 hours (I actually was not able to contain myself for that long, and I tiled around it till it was dry enough).

Placing Vinyl Tiles Step-by-Step

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Beginning to place vinyl tilesFilling the floor in with vinyl tilesMeasuring tiles for cuttingCutting vinyl tilePlacing vinyl tile around cabinet
Beginning to place vinyl tiles
Beginning to place vinyl tiles | Source
Filling the floor in with vinyl tiles
Filling the floor in with vinyl tiles | Source
Measuring tiles for cutting
Measuring tiles for cutting | Source
Cutting vinyl tile
Cutting vinyl tile | Source
Placing vinyl tile around cabinet
Placing vinyl tile around cabinet | Source

How to Lay Your Tiles

  1. The next thing you have to do is figure out how you're going to want to lay out the tiles. I started from the doorway, thinking I didn't want to have cut tiles in that very visible spot. You need to mark a nice straight line toward the center of the floor to use as a guide.
  2. Don't try use the edge of a wall or cabinet, they may not be perfectly straight or square. If you have a chalk snap line, that is ideal, if not you need something long with a straight edge so you can mark a straight line to build off of. I measured three feet out from the existing living room floor on each side of the doorway, and that's where I snapped my chalk line.
  3. Lay your first line of tiles carefully right along that straight line, then you can build off of those tiles aligning each one carefully. If you make a mistake with sticking a tile down, you can reposition it by peeling it up if you do it immediately. Once you have your tile in position, press it down firmly, making sure to squeeze out any air from underneath it and paying special attention to the edges.
  4. Fill in the center of the floor, placing all the tiles that don't need to be cut first. When cutting the edges around cabinets, with the paper backing still on, hold the tile snugly up against the cabinet and mark where to cut at both edges with a sharpie. Use a straight edge to draw a cutting line.
  5. I used scissors to trim the vinyl. It was easier and less dangerous for me to use than a utility knife, and I found it more accurate. When placing the cut tile, make sure to turn it around so the factory edge butts up against the edge on the next tile. Be sure the piece fits before peeling off the backing. You can trim a little with the scissors if you need to. If you have a complex shape to cut, you might want to make a paper template first.

Achim Home Furnishings FTVMA42020 Nexus 12-Inch Vinyl Tile, Marble Beige Terracotta, 20-Pack
Achim Home Furnishings FTVMA42020 Nexus 12-Inch Vinyl Tile, Marble Beige Terracotta, 20-Pack

These are the tiles I used on my floor. They come in a variety of colors and patterns.


Use a Roller to Squeeze out the Air

When you're all through laying the tiles, go over the whole floor with a rolling pin. Press firmly to squeeze out any trapped air. This step will help your new floor adhere firmly.

Tiling Under Major Appliances

I know that with sheet vinyl flooring, you have to let it sit for a couple of days before you can move a refrigerator across it, or the flooring will tear. The box didn't say anything about it, but just to be safe I did the same with these tiles, waited a couple of days, then pulled the fridge out and tiled behind it. Of course then I had to wait a couple of days before I could put it back. I'm not sure if this was necessary, but better safe than sorry I say.

I cheated a little under the stove. I pulled it out a little, then tipped it back so I could slip the tiles underneath the front of it. I still have some tiles left, so I can pull it out and put tiles underneath some day if I want to. But for now, it doesn't show, so I'm happy.

How long my floor will last I can't say, but maybe by the time it wears out we will be ready for that long-promised remodel. In any case it's a vast improvement over what I had, I don't care if I have to redo it every year. I can't stop smiling every time I look at my new kitchen floor.

How to Lay Peel-and-Stick Vinyl Tyle Flooring

© 2012 Sherry Hewins


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    • Davesworld profile image

      Davesworld 5 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

      Setting yourself up as an expert has consequences :-) I have done this once before with pretty good results. However, this time I have a problem that I hesitate to tackle. The floor is a utility room and the old tile is coming up - it got good and wet several times until I fixed the water problem. At one end is a drain with a funnel like area surrounding it and I'll have to bend the tile, somehow to go down to the drain. I don't have a clue on how to do that. Do you?

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I've never dealt with that problem Davesworld, and I'm hardly an expert as I've done this exactly once. I did put new sheet vinyl on my mom's floor, and her old flooring was very torn up. I got the floor very wet, and used a square nosed shovel to remove all of the old flooring, exposing the concrete that was underneath, it was a lot of work. As for the drain area, maybe you could cut the tile in triangles so they fit together nicely? Or as an alternative, maybe you could paint the floor with that garage floor paint. Good Luck!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      I can imagine the pride you felt when you finished this project! I love "do it yourself" projects, too. Good job.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      It is a great feeling mary615. Anyone who's thinking of doing this I highly recommend it.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 5 years ago from Sweden

      A new floor makes such a difference to a room and it is so fun to do such things yourself! It makes you feel good on the inside for a long time afterwards. Inspiring hub with good instructions! Your new kitchen floor look fantastic, what a change! voted up,


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