My Bathroom Makeover Remodel Part 2 – Installing Groutable Vinyl Tile

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how to install groutable vinyl tile

In “My Bathroom Makeover Remodel Part 1” which you can read about here, I left off at the point where I was second guessing my floor choice.  I knew I couldn’t live with the floor we had just put down so I did what I had to do.  I went to Lowe’s and brought home some different tile options.

Bath Collage

I’m sure you can imagine my hubby’s reaction when he came home to see my new collection of tiles on the floor that he was so proud of.  Yes, it was not a moment I care to relive.  Of course I felt horrible that we’d have to take the toilet back up, get a new wax ring and the who nine yards but did he want me to love the floor or tolerate it?  So we ripped the whole thing up.  With the floor stripped bare we were ready to do it my way.

We had already painted the bathroom a very, very light blue so I knew I wanted to bring a warmer tone in on the floor.  The new tile samples I brought home from Lowe’s were definitely warmer than the gray tile.  My hubby doesn’t like to step outside the box too much so he wanted to stick with a 12″ x 12″ tile. I was itching to try one of the longer ones.  One thing I definitely was not going to back down on was grouting the tiles.  I could agree on sticking with the square tile but he had to agree to grout them.

how to grout vinyl tile


how to grout vinyl tile

We chose the cream tile in the same brand as the gray, Armstrong Groutable Vinyl Tile, a peel and stick tile.  The grout we chose was TEC™ Skill Set Premixed Vinyl Tile Grout in the color, saddle gray.  I watched as many videos as I could find on how to grout vinyl tile and it’s not as hard as I thought it would be.

Here are some tips:

  • Figure out the size of your room.  Length x width = total square footage  Ex: 6′ x 8′ = 48′.  Your room’s square footage is 48 sq. ft.
  • Once you have your room’s square footage figured out you’ll have to find out how many tiles you’ll need.  Luckily with 12″ x 12″ tiles it’s not hard to figure that out.  😉  A box contained 24 tiles – 24 sq. ft..  We bought two boxes and extra separate tiles in case of mis-cuts or whatever.
  • Decide how you’re going to lay out your tiles.  We chose to lay ours side by side which is probably the easiest way to go.  You’ll want to find the center of the room and mark it and that will be your starting point.  You’ll work out from there.
  • Watch your tile edges.  Each tile’s edge is slightly curved to look more realistic when grouted so keep that in mind when using pieces to fill in sides.  For instance, we used one half of a tile on one side of the room and were able to use the other half tile on the other side of the room.  Then we made sure to put the rounded edge toward the adjacent tile.  We my hubby made one mistake and forgot to check but we pried the tile up and replaced it so no biggie.
  • Spacing between tiles should be no more than 1/8″ because of the grout thickness being so thin.  This size worked great and looks best for our size tiles.

how to grout vinyl tile

How to install groutable vinyl tiles:

  1. Prepare your floor.  You will want to make sure the surface you are applying the tile on is approved.  We had a type of pressed or particle board surface but had to resurface it with lauan plywood.
  2. Even though the vinyl tile is peel and stick you should still apply a thin coat of glue.  We used TEC™ Skill Set Roll-On Vinyl Tile and Plank Adhesive.  My hubby spread a thin coat over the entire floor using a small foam roller.  Our bathroom is small so use whatever size roller suits your room.  Try to stay off of the floor while the adhesive is drying.  Everything from lint to cat hair sticks to it!
  3. When it’s dry (go by what the package tells you) it’s time to lay your tiles.  Once you have the center marked and everything is square and straight lay your first tile.  Peel off the backing and look for an arrow.  Use the arrow on each tile to ensure the tiles are going the same direction.  This was less important on the edges where we only used a half tile on each side.  The vinyl tiles should not be placed more than 1/8″ apart.
  4. We removed the spacers between the tiles after they were all in place and we stayed out of the room for a day or two.  This allowed the adhesive to really bond with the sticky tile bottoms.
  5. Grout day!  Make sure you have all your supplies ready and handy, especially multiple sponges and buckets of water.  Work in small sections!  This grout is not like regular grout.  You want to try to keep it off the top of the tiles as much as possible.  Try to wipe it away before it dries or you may get stuck with a hazy film left on your tile.  We applied the grout with a small putty knife and a rubber trowel carefully trying to pack it into the seam.  It’s okay to get it on top of the tile edge – I mean you want to fill the gap! – just don’t slop gobs on and trowel it out across the tile’s face.  Once you’ve worked on a small section remove the excess grout.
  6. Using a clean grout sponge dip it in a bucket of clean water and rinse out the excess water.  Take the damp sponge over the grout line at an angle, then rinse and repeat going over the grout line using a different angle.  It’s okay to go straight across the line but don’t wipe longways down the grout line or you may remove too much grout.  You should use your sponge like this: Wipe, flip to the other side, wipe, rinse.  Wipe again, flip to the other side and rinse again using clean water about every other rinse or so.  You don’t want to be rinsing with water that’s full of grout.
  7. When I was happy with the grout lines in each section I took a clean, rinsed sponge over just the top of the tile along the edge and then dried the dampness left behind with a soft towel.  We didn’t want the tiles getting hazy.  I think I did a pretty good job.  😉
  8. Allow the grout to cure for a couple days.  I think we waited a day or two and then we finally replaced the toilet (you know, the one we just installed a week earlier).

how to grout vinyl tile

I love the result and am so glad that we grouted the tiles!  It makes a huge difference in the way they look.  I swear they look like real ceramic tile! If you’re in the market to replace flooring but don’t want to pay for ceramic or stone tiles take a look at groutable vinyl tiles!

how to grout vinyl tile

While the whole floor fiasco was going on my husband set his sights on the bathtub.  Of course this was another one of those decisions that I wrestled with for days and weeks.  Did I want to go with a standard step over the side tub or a walk in shower?  With the hubs wanting to make life easier we chose to go with the step over side tub again.  In a perfect world I would have done things a little differently but I can’t always get my way.  Did I just type that?

The tub went in relatively easy, probably because I didn’t really help so maybe it wasn’t as easy as I’d like to think but it’s in.  The only problem now is that I can’t figure out what kind of surround I want.  Do I purchase a basic white one or should I try my hand at putting tiles on the walls?

What’s a DIY project you feared would be difficult but turned out to be easier than you thought?

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