When we bought our tiny house by the beach, the first change I knew I wanted, was to replace the carpeting with vinyl wood effect tiles. I wanted that beautiful wood floor appearance, but on a budget.
After researching the costs of different brands and types of wood effect tiles, we nailed it down to Home Depot’s peel and stick wood look flooring.
The hardest step of this project was removing the old carpeting, and tack strips. Serious grunt work!
Do The Prep Work!
One thing we have learned when changing out flooring in a house we don’t know the history of, plan on sealing the sub floors. When you pull carpeting you are likely to find pet stains or spill stains on the subflooring. Rather than take a chance on smells coming through the new flooring, we always seal the sub flooring with Kilz. Kilz is a surface sealer that keeps stains and smells from permeating.
Step 1: After pulling all the carpeting and tack strips from the room, sweep, and then vacuum the floor well.
Step 2: Seal the floor with Kilz or a similar product. We put on two thick coats. Then allow the Kilz to dry 24-48 hours.
Step 3: Even though Peel and stick tile is pretty sticky, you don’t want it coming up after all your hard work. We prep the floor using a peel and stick flooring glue. When we prep with this glue we have never had a tile “lift” on its own. To spread this glue you use a paint roller on a stick to make quick work of it. Make sure you don’t box yourself into the room. If you get the glue on your shoes it makes a real mess! The glue has to “set” for 2-4 hours, before you start laying the peel and stick wood effect tile. After allowing the glue to set, you can walk on it to lay your flooring.
Laying Peel and Stick Wood Effect Tiles
Step 1: The most important step to getting this right is to follow the directions and find the center of the room. The easiest way to find your straight starting line, is to use a laser. Measure to the center of the room. Mark your center and then measure and laser the cross lines where you will lay your first pieces.
Step 2: I like to lay out the tiles to get an idea of the pattern. There will be several different looking tile patterns in each box. I lay them out so I don’t end up putting 2 of the same looking tiles next to each other.
Step 3: When you get ready to start laying the wood effect tiles you will notice the paper on the back of the tiles will have directional arrows. You will want to lay your tiles with the directional arrows all heading the same way. This is how you achieve a professional looking floor.
Step 4: Peel the paper off the back of your first tile. Carefully lay the tile along the starting line you have created from Step 1. Press down. First tile in Whew!
Step 5: You will want to stagger your tiles to give the floor a natural flow. If you don’t stager your tiles you will get hard visual lines throughout the floor. I stagger the second tile 1/3 to 1/2 way down the first tile. Push your tiles as close together as you possibly can. As you move on with the flooring, butting these tiles up tight with others, will be the key to keeping your tiles straight so they don’t start to veer off.
Step 5: This vinyl tile is super easy to cut. You only need a metal ruler, or square and an exact knife.
Bonus Tips; if you end up with any small gaps, find a flooring caulk color that matches your tile. Using a small amount on your finger file in the gaps with the caulk. Then take a damp paper towel, and wipe away the excess caulk. Allow the caulk to dry for 24 hours before putting traffic on your floor.
If you follow these steps you will have a floor you will be proud of for years.
This an inexpensive DIY project, that will totally recreate the look of your room. We are laying this flooring throughout our entire tiny house. Because dragging in sand and dirt on carpeting is just not an option. And my dream? With no carpeting I plan to buy a romba type vacuum, so I no longer have to vacuum my house.
Next week: Tips for Board and Batten