Monday, August 26, 2013

Peel and Stick Beauty

Peel and stick isn't something that you usually hear and think, "Wow, must be some classy flooring!" but they have come soooo far, I swear!  The Traffic Master Luxury Vinyl Tile had rave reviews and I just had to see for myself if it was really better than spending all kinds of money on real tile for my bathroom.


Mr. Serene and I came to a decision that our bathroom floor would be on the way out but both came to different conclusions as to how it would be replaced.  See...Mr. Serene is a practical guy.  He didn't want our time to be spent ripping out a bathroom floor, getting in too deep, not knowing what we were doing, and end up calling a professional so his option included skipping all of that and going straight to a pro.  Me on the other hand??? I saw opportunity to learn something new and save a TON of money.
After a bit of convincing, Mr. Serene decided to let me try it out and if it really didn't work out, then he could have it his way.  After all, if I had completely messed up, I would only be out $30.  Totally worth it in my opinion!

I used Traffic Master Ceramica in the Exodus pattern because this was only one of two they had in stock that was groutable-just the look I was going for. It was a great price at only $1.19 sf and I only need about 25sf.
 I had to purchase a few new things for this adventure because I had never grouted anything before.  Of course now that I own the supplies, I want to tile and grout EVERYTHING!!!
Supplies needed:

  • square for cutting
  • utility knife
  • pencil
  • 1/8 tile spacers
  • grout (I used pre-mixed)
  • float
  • sponge
  • bucket 


Carefully choose where you would like to lay your first tile.  Rule of thumb is to start in the middle of the room but I felt that I should have a full tile right at the start of the doorway.  I'm sure there's a reason why you should start in the middle of the room but I can promise that doing it my way didn't cause the apocalypse.
I also chose not to remove the piece that seperates the carpet from the linoleum.  Instead, I just placed the 1/8" spacers up to it and chose to grout where the gap was.  I think it created it clean and uniform line, so I'm happy with my decision.
One of the other things I chose to do when laying this tile was to stray away from a tradtionial layout and instead lay the tile in a staggering pattern.  I felt that this kind of bumped up the "classiness" of the bathroom.  More of a spa feel, I guess.  Eiether way, once you have laid out your pattern and made sure you have enough tile, you should be ready to begin!

Step 1: remove your toilet and old wax ring.  There are tons of videos out there if you have never done something like that.  Make sure you have a new wax ring seal ready for when the toilet goes back in.

Step 2: thoroughly clean your floors!! I can't stress this enough.  The last thing you want is to go through all of that work only to find out that a tile didn't stick properly due to a dirty floor.

Step 3: start by peeling the corner of the paper backing on the tile until you have about 1/2 of the tile uncovered.  Lay the tile down where you would like it and continue to pull up on the paper to remove the rest of it.  Before pressing down completely on the tile, MAKE SURE IT'S NOT CROOKED!!  Once its completely stuck to the floor, it's staying put!

Step 4: add spaces and lay down your next tile by following step 3.  If you are doing a staggered pattern, make sure to measure you layout but take into account the 1/8" spaces you will have on either side of the tile. Your tiles will look slightly off center if you don't.

Step 5: When you come to an area that needs to be cut, just take your measurements and place a square or a ruler on the tile and score it about 2-3 times with a utility knife then simply bend the tile to snap it off.  The most difficult time I had was figuring out the round area by the toilet flange.   My tip would be to find a bowl that is the same diameter of the hole and use the edge as a guide to cut.



Step 6: Begin to grout!  One of the benefits of not using mortar is that you can grout immediately.  Read the instrucitons on your container of grout and grout away!! (A helpful hint: spread the grout with a 45° and remove excess grout with a 90° angle moving in a S pattern.  Moving in an S pattern will help with not accidentally scraping the grout out of your gaps. And work in 3ft sections at a time, it helps with not having to much grout drying before you can clean it off.)

Step 7: Lay back, grab a glass of wine and pat yourself on the back.  You did it! Make sure to wait a full 24 hours before placing anything heavy (ie. toilet) onto the tile.  You need time for the grout to fully dry or it will crack.
Isn't she gorgeous!!!

As soon as I finished the bathroom floor, Mr. Serene asked when I was going to do our entry way flooring.  Well...I guess a pro isn't what we needed, huh?!  Yet another battle won in the house of the Serene Swede!

Happy Monday everyone!

3 comments:

  1. What do these tiles feel like? You mentioned that these were better quality than regular peel and stick tiles, but what sets them apart? In my experience, (obviously not this brand) the tiles were just like linoleum and just felt cheap, and worst of all, just like linoleum, had those teeny little (dirt collecting) dimples that were hard to keep clean. What makes these groutable? I wouldn't have ever thought to grout between mine, and after a few months you could tell the main traffic areas of our kitchen because the tiles began to shift and create gaps between them. The grout may have either forced them to stay put, or perhaps the tiles would have shifted regardless and then the grout would have started to chip out. Either way, I already have my 2 bathrooms and my entire walk in shower tiled with the real stuff courtesy of my handyman husband, so I'm sure he's just waiting (and dreading, if we're honest haha) for me to pick out some tile for the kitchen as well.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Maggie! The tiles feel just like tile to the touch and the only difference that we have noticed between these and real tile is that they are not cold to the touch when you walk on them. I think the quality is different due to the thickness of them and also the adhesive backing that they have on them. I remember my mom using really thin peel and stick linoleum tiles when a while back and I notice a HUGE difference in the way these feel. They don't have the little dimples at all, in fact they are pretty smooth (with just a little texture to them) We had linoleum in our bathroom before and I HATED cleaning those dimples :( Not all of the peel and stick tiles are groutable but this specific brand/style stated that it could be used with or without grout so I chose to grout to give it the authentic tile look. I'm super happy with the results but if your interested in looking at more reviews of the product that I purchased, you can check here: http://www.homedepot.com/p/TrafficMaster-Ceramica-12-in-x-12-in-Exodus-Resilient-Vinyl-Tiles-30-sq-ft-case-5312/202191235#.UjZQksbOmSo

      Thanks for stopping by! I hope this info helps :)

      Delete
  2. What do these tiles feel like? You mentioned that these were better quality than regular peel and stick tiles, but what sets them apart? In my experience, (obviously not this brand) the tiles were just like linoleum and just felt cheap, and worst of all, just like linoleum, had those teeny little (dirt collecting) dimples that were hard to keep clean. What makes these groutable? I wouldn't have ever thought to grout between mine, and after a few months you could tell the main traffic areas of our kitchen because the tiles began to shift and create gaps between them. The grout may have either forced them to stay put, or perhaps the tiles would have shifted regardless and then the grout would have started to chip out. Either way, I already have my 2 bathrooms and my entire walk in shower tiled with the real stuff courtesy of my handyman husband, so I'm sure he's just waiting (and dreading, if we're honest haha) for me to pick out some tile for the kitchen as well.

    ReplyDelete