How to install vinyl tiles in a bathroom
My bathroom renovation goes on. Yes, I am not stopping until this bathroom is done.
Now I have finally decided that the floors get an update with vinyl tiles. This should be a pretty easy project to do – I thought.
How did I start this bathroom project
After painting the walls a nice bright rose color and adding faux shiplap for under 40 Dollars, I installed vinyl tiles in the bathroom.
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Interested about how to do the faux shiplap? This project was so easy and it came out really good – DIY faux shiplap for first timers . I loved doing this project and you should definitely add a shiplap wall somewhere in your house, because
- it was so easy
- it looks awesome
- you can hide a bad looking wall easy
- faux shiplap is very affordable.
But now let’s start with How to lay Vinyl tiles
I fell in love with this black and white venetian design and without thinking to check the pattern I just bought a bulk of tiles.
The only test I did was to take all of the tiles out of the box and sort of laid them on my bathroom floor. It looked great, I was so happy, I couldn’t wait to install it.
This project seemed pretty easy to do, was my first impression.
Always read the instructions first
The instructions said to wait at least 48 hours to get the tiles to acclimate.
O.k. because we had the perfect temperature in our house, I started the next day with this project. I couldn’t wait any longer, it had been 24 hours.
How to prepare your floor to install vinyl tiles in a bathroom
Here are the easy steps how to start with installing vinyl tiles:
Clean the floor really good. No grease, dust, paint drips should be on the floor.
Prime the floor with a latex based flooring primer (see the instructions for all the details)
This step is important especially if you add vinyl tiles on top of ceramic tiles. I tried it without the primer first, but the tile adhesive didn’t stick well to the ceramic tiles.
Decide where to start with your first row.
In the instructions it says “When the starting row is determined, strike a line parallel to the wall farthest from the door”.
I decided to use the right wall to have a straight line.
When you are done installing all of the tiles, add weight on top of them for at least 24 hours. Make sure the adhesive has enough time to bond to the surface. I put heavy weights on top of all the tiles and let it sit for about 2 days.
What to do when the tiles are not perfect?
But pretty soon I noticed, that these tiles are not perfectly cut nor does the pattern fit 100 percent to the next tile.
The pattern didn’t fit.
Some tiles were discolored.
I was in the middle of laying these tiles and had to decide if I wanted to move on installing these tiles or bring them back and replace them with some other pattern.
I decided to move on.
Wasn’t the best decision I have made.
I installed the tiles from right to left because I wanted them to look best at the entrance of the bathroom. It didn’t quite work out.
If you look closely, the pattern just doesn’t fit perfectly together. But there was no way back now.
How do you cut around the toilet?
The best way of installing tiles or any floor is when you take the toilet off. Working around the toilet is not that easy and it takes time to trace and cut correct. But if you know how to do it, it works well:
I used sheets of paper and traced the paper around the toilet. Laid it onto the tile and cut it out adding 1/2 – 1 inch.
I added an inch to the tile to snug the tile underneath the toilet if you have that space.
The best way of course would be to take the toilet off. But this option wasn’t for me.
How do you cut the tiles?
For cutting I used a carpet or utility knife.
First I tried to cut them with scissors, but the tiles are just too thick to cut them with scissors.
The carpet knife works perfect. You make a couple of cut lines and by bending the tile it just breaks off.
How long did it take you to install the tiles?
It took us about 2 hours to get all the tiles installed. I worked together with my husband. So if you are doing this alone it might take you at least 3-4 hours.
The bathroom is not very big. If you stay concentrated on the job, you can complete this job in an afternoon.
It worked pretty good around the toilet with the tracing paper and it looks o.k. from a distance.
But if you look closer you see that the tiles don’t fit together perfectly and that the coloring is also not perfect.
Can you see it here? If you get one pattern alined, the other pattern is off.
No matter how I turned the tiles, it would not fit. They actually have an arrow in the back, which should indicate the direction of the tiles, but this did not work out either.
Would I recommend this pattern?
NO – it just doesn’t work. And even if you are not a perfectionist, the pattern doesn’t fit together and you can definitely see the imperfection.
When you’re done installing the tiles, it is recommended to roll the floor with a 100 lb. 3-section steel roller, because the adhesive on the tiles is a pressure-sensitive adhesive.
The instruction doesn’t say how long you should do this or how long the adhesive takes to bond.
We put some heavy boxes onto the tiles for 48 hours but some of the tiles did not bond well after this time.
So I just left the weight on for another 48 hours and it seems to work.
What pattern do I recommend
Peel and stick tiles are possible to install on top of ceramic tiles. It just seems to take longer for them to bond. Before you install any tiles with a pattern, lay them on the floor and check carefully, if the pattern fits together.
Just be sure that the pattern you decide to use works well.
And don’t forget to add the primer before you start installing the vinyl tiles.
Here are some suggestions of pattern, which work so much better:
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For your convenience I have added the links, if you want to check them out:
Final thoughts ‘How to install vinyl tiles in the bathroom’:
I love vinyl tiles, I have installed vinyl wood planks in my camper and it worked so well.
I love the texture and feel stepping on them and I love the look.
Especially in a bathroom, vinyl tiles feel so much better than stone or ceramic tiles.
Unfortunately I was not lucky with the pattern I picked, but after some time you don’t really see the imperfection anymore.
I do not recommend this pattern.
And of course the floor is only a small part of what I did to update our basement bathroom.
Check back in next week and you will see the whole bathroom makeover. I promise you, it looks good. Hasta la vista.
Related articles you have to read if you are thinking about remodeling your bathroom:
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