Vinyl peel and stick tiles are popular because you don’t have to use adhesive to install them, you just peel off the back and stick them down. Here are a few tricks you should know before installing them yourself:
1) First make sure your floor or subfloor is prepared for new peel and stick vinyl tiles. What this means is, if you have vinyl down you will want to use a stripper to get the old finish off. I suggest using Armstrong’s New Beginnings. This is a step that will take you at least an hour depending on the size of your bathroom. A lot of people try to skip this step but if you want your new tiles to stick, it is important to prepare your old vinyl for our next step.
2) Now you are ready for a leveling embosser to fill in all of the old pattern marks or imperfections in your old vinyl floor. This also provides a good surface for the new adhesive on the back of the tiles to adhere to. If you don’t have old vinyl down but do have a wood subfloor use an adhesive primer instead to get the wood ready for your new tile.
3) Now that the subfloor is ready to go, make sure you check the back of the tiles to see if there is an arrow printed on it. If so, each tile needs to be placed with the arrows going in the same direction. This will ensure that the tiles fit together in the best way possible, which means a tighter fit and less gaping. Also make sure you start in the center of your room and work out from there, this will ensure a visually pleasing pattern. You may also want to consider using a chalk line to help you grid out the space.
4) Don’t forget to use at least a 50lb roller or a kitchen rolling-pin with ample pressure to help set the tiles. You also won’t want to skimp or ignore wall base. This will help keep the edges from lifting and moisture from getting under your tiles. Also use a silicone caulking around the main moisture areas, like the bathtub, toilet and vanity. You can also use a vinyl seam sealer around each individual tile in those areas, just to make sure that nothing will be able to get underneath. Though this can be tedious and time-consuming.
Just by making sure you have a good surface to bond to, putting down adequate pressure and keeping the moisture out you will extend the life of your new bathroom floor!