Our main bath renovation has been started and abandoned more than a few times. So it still looks like trash. It’s the stereotypical embarrassing cave that gets pushed to the very bottom of the to-do list every time an unexpected project, or just a more enjoyable one, comes up. We are hoping to do a full gut job in the near future but while we save up and debate if we change/expand the footprint of the room, we made one significant improvement last spring that is making the in-between way less gross: we removed the carpet and put down these vintage VCT-looking peel and stick tiles.
I wanted to wait awhile before I shared because this simple upgrade seemed too good to be true. But after living with these for almost a year, they are still going strong. And that is with the laziest prep/install job of all time. While I’d never use this product as my forever floor, it has wonderfully bridged the gap between carpet and a remodel. And it’s a good-looking bridge at that! Best part: this cost me less than $30 and 1 hour. I’ve never used peel and stick anywhere ever, nor have I had the desire. Because generally: yuck. The only reason I even gave these a shot was because they seemed kind of decent looking. They don’t shout cheap peel and stick tiles, having more of a vintage linoleum feel. The surface is matte and very easy to clean. I thought they’d be black, but the actual color is chalkboard with flecks of white and dark gray. There is a white version too.OK, let me tell you about my lackluster, even flat-out wrong, prep work. Under the carpet was original GLITTER linoleum tiles. In My Little Pony colors. Unfortunately, most of the tiles were wrecked by a previous shower leak and subsequent subfloor repairs, leaving the original tile completely unsalvageable (unlike the other bathroom). When I removed the carpet I found that the area right next to the shower didn’t even have tiles, only a newer piece of plywood subfloor. Annoying. I primed that and thought about doing something to bring it up to the level of the existing tiles…but then, in a spirit of laziness and frustration, just totally ignored it. YES I PUT DOWN THE NEW TILES OVER UNEVEN FLOOR, THE THING YOU AREN’T EVER SUPPOSED TO DO, AND I LIVED. But first, I removed carpet strips and nails, and lightly cleaned the original tiles underneath kind of good. Weakest prep job ever.Then I continued to my sub par installation. You are supposed to start your grid in the middle of the room, but I started in a corner and laid them in a brick pattern, making perfectly tight seams near impossible. I don’t really recommend this approach. And you can see how unsound and uneven some of the original tiles were right around the shower and I irresponsibly just adhered the new tiles on top. If you couldn’t tell, I didn’t expect the peel and sticks to last more than a few months. The tiles are so much thinner than expected, making me 1. easily flex them over the different existing floor heights and 2. seriously doubt their durability. Another plus to their thinness is that they are easily cut with scissors. I made paper templates and it was very simple to get a snug fit everywhere, even around the toilet.
After the cheap price and my low-effort install, I honestly expected to have peeling corners within months, but The ONLY problem we’ve experienced is a few tiles along the wall sliding from the weight of walking, revealing gaps. And this only happens because our walls don’t go all the way down and I installed tiles before baseboards, leaving nothing for the tiles to butt up against and causing 3 of the heavily trafficked ones to routinely drift under the wall an inch. I can easily slide them back into place every few months. If I had baseboards in place that bordered the tiles, I would have zero problems! We’ve had NO PEELING or movement otherwise, and in this is in a location with lots of water! I’m shocked, especially compared to my low expectation after reading the reviews. I’d imagine a better prep and install would yield even greater results.
I wouldn’t ever opt for peel and stick tiles for any long-term install, but as a temporary solution while you save up for forever floors, yes!!! Happy to have found such a good, easy, and cheap option. Happy house project-ing all! xoxo Jenny