Saturday, January 14, 2012

DIY: "luxury" vinyl tile

Our kitchen floor is finally DONE!

Thought we really wanted to do a tile floor, we opted for the vinyl because of the level change between the kitchen and former dining room.  Laying tile would also be expensive as we'd have to either 1. pay someone to do it or 2. invest in lots of equipment to cut the tiles, not to mention lay a subfloor in order to level out the floor.  NOT INTERESTED.

While we aren't really fans of vinyl, the idea of a much easier, DIY, and cheaper option was appealing.  In our search, we stumbled upon this stuff at Home Depot.

Now this is what you call "luxury" vinyl tile!  It is not only sticky backed, and therefore doesn't require any messy adhesive, it is grout-able! {total selling point} 

So, here's a run down of the process...

Step 1:  Move everything from your kitchen into your living room! [1 hour]

Appliances that aren't built in need to be removed so that the tile can be installed under those appliances.  This means removing all appliances, furniture, and anything else that is on the floor.

Step 2:  Wash the floor - with Ammonia - and get out! [2 hours]
This help to remove the seal on the old vinyl and create a better surface for the new tile to stick.  We did this step as quick as we could and left the house - we took Mei Mei for a nice long walk while it dried.

Step 3:  Primer.  [2 hours]

This was a milky substance that smelled like garlic....weird.  We applied it with paint rollers, and again got out.  This time not because of the smell, but because what else were we going to do?  There was no where to go in the house - all rooms open up to the kitchen and our living room was, well, unlivable.  So this time we went to a coffee shop for a pick-me-up.

 Step 4: Lay the tiles. [8+ hours]

At first this process seemed so overwhelming.  We were measuring and lining up every single tile because our spacers wouldn't stand up between the tiles like they were supposed to.  After a little while, we realized that all we had to do was line up the first tile in a row and use the spacers in the corners to line up the rest of the row.  From there, the basic tile laying went quickly.

What took the longest at this stage was cutting the tiles to fit around the wall and cabinets.  While cutting this tile was by far easier than traditional ceramic tile, it was not a quicker task.  We still had to measure, cut, remeasure, and recut TONS of pieces to fit around the uneven/curved walls and get under the cabinets.

I am not exactly sure how long this process took, but by the end of day one it was not done.  After midnight we decided to go to bed and finish in the morning.  It took most of the next morning to finish.

Step 5:  WAITING!  [24 hours]
There is a 24 hour wait time after laying the tile before you're able to grout.

Step 6: Grout, wipe, grout, wipe...repeat! [6+ hours]

The first three hours were a tag-team effort, Dan put down the grout and I followed with the sponge to clean up the tiles.  Then it was time for Dan to go to work, so I was left to finish the remainder of the floor alone - too FOREVER!  Water had to be changed after every few tiles were cleaned or I'd end up just wiping the grout around.

Step 7: Clean Up. [5+ hours]
Once the grout had dried to the touch - about 4 hours - I went back over and washed the entire floor again.  This took a long time as now the grout had dried on the tile and I had to scrub it off.

Step 8: More WAITING! [24 hours]
The grout also required a 24 hour drying time.

Step 9: Set up Kitchen!
It's done!  These photos are pre-appliance/furniture return, but you get the idea!


We love it.  It makes the room seem more complete!


  1. Glad you make it in your own. Nice one.

  2. Fabulous! Really a dangerous nice work. Your blog will encourage every reader.
    Thank You.

  3. Your post is so stunning. I have seen so many posts like this but this post is so nice and very informative for others. Thanks for sharing this.
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  4. How did you cut around the furnance vents?

  5. I'm looking at this tile brand also, how's it holding up?

  6. I'm looking at this brand also, how's it holding up, I've been reading some bad reviews, scratches etc....thanks