How to Lay Peel-and-Stick Vinyl Tile Flooring
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 wanted a new floor for 15 years, and now after spending $100 and about six hours of work, I'm wondering why I waited so long. I used these peel and stick tiles, and that's about as easy as it gets.
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
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 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). Fixall
Placing Vinyl Tiles Step-by-StepClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Lay Your Tiles
- 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.
- Don't try to 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
This is the brand of vinyl tiles I used on my floor. No glue is necessary. They are inexpensive, very easy to work with, and they come in a wide 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 someday 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.
My Brand New Kitchen Floor
How to Lay Peel-and-Stick Vinyl Tyle Flooring
An Update Six Years Later
I have recently moved out of my home where this old kitchen was, so unfortunately I cannot include photos of what it looks like today. In my opinion, the floor held up better than I expected.
There is one spot where the tiles cracked. It was a high-traffic area, and the floor was uneven underneath it. That just goes to show how important careful preparation is. If I put down peel and stick tiles again, I will be meticulous in making sure the floor underneath is a smooth as possible.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Can I put vinyl stick tiles over linoleum, and should I apply tile glue or not?
You can put them over linoleum. If it is not in good shape, you need to cut away rough edges, and fill in any holes. Make the surface as smooth and level as possible. You won't need glue; the self-stick tiles will adhere nicely to linoleum.Helpful 15
does peel and stick vinyl tile need to aclimatize?
Does vinyl flooring stick to painted floors?
Yes, self-sticking tiles will stick to a painted floor. Any loose or peeling paint should be scraped off. Light sanding is a good idea. The main thing is that the surface should be as smooth and level as possible.Helpful 3
© 2012 Sherry Hewins