Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Groutable Vinyl Tile Flooring - Our Experience So Far


I said I'd share more about our groutable vinyl tile floor, so here it is.

There are sooooo many floor options to choose from.  We were really excited when we this tile at Home Depot because we liked the look without the tile hassle. I looked it up online to see what advice I could find and there were a couple good suggestions. For the rest, we just took our chances.

The whole install was relatively painless.  My mom and I marked the centerlines of the kitchen and then laid out tile (with the backing on) in a square around the kitchen island, we did this to make sure everything was square. That looked good so we got to it, starting with our initial square and then building out.  We tried to avoid doing one long straight line of tiles all at once, in case things got a little crooked, which only happened once.  Once you lay the tiles down you can't really make adjustments like with real tile.  We did have to pull up one or two and re-lay them.  I'm not sure if this will affect the life of the tile.


We used 3/16" tile spacers because we liked the way it looked.

Grouting and floating was a little tricky.  We got pre-mixed, quick dry grout.  Never used it before.  This was much more convenient than mixing yourself. Warning:  It dries quick!!  At first, Rogér and I both grouted and when I went to go float over the tile, the grout was already drying, leaving patches of grout on the tiles and a rough finish in between the tiles.  After that, Rogér grouted and I floated over the grouted tile almost immediately.  This worked really well.  We didn't have problems with the grout not sticking in between the tiles. 
Pros and Cons so far:

Pros:
-Easy install and no need to account for extra thickness of floor like with ceramic and stone tiles
-Quick adhesion and drying
-Easier to cut than stone or ceramic (although, they are thicker than other vinyl tile, so cutting is still a bit of a challenge.  We used garden shears and a box cutter)
-Low cost - Ours was about $1.16/sft
-Looks great, almost like real stone (our baby shower guests had to touch it to tell the difference)
-Seems like it would be easy to replace
-Cleans up easy
-Less sealing (You should still seal the grout, but the tiles don't need it)

Cons:
-Can't adjust tiles once they're laid down
-May have trouble sticking (one of our tiles is lifting at a corner. maybe it got too wet underneath during float?)
-Must prime the floor if you don't have a super smooth subfloor.  Wood will need primer.
-Grout film - everywhere.  Cleans up after a mop or two though (after the grout has set of course).

Helpful tips:
1.  Use two buckets of water (dirty and clean) for the float, and clean the water often.
2.  Float quickly after grouting if using quick-dry grout.
3.  Use a large piece of wood as a cutting surface for the tile, score with the box cutter and fold to snap a clean line.  Use garden shears or heavy duty scissors for cutting more intricate shapes.

That's all I can think of.  We're pretty happy with our new floor :)

2 comments:

  1. Hi. I am interested to hear what you think of your groutable vinyl tile.

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  2. We did this in our kitchen. I used 16 inch tiles in a diamond pattern and 12 inch as accent pieces. I have done peel and stick many times and eventually some pieces start to separate from the others., To prevent that I put down a layer of Stick-N-Stay. You put it down like any vinyl adhesive. With this they don't move once it dries and prevents water from getting under as well. It also helps when laying the tiles as it will let you slide them a bit too get them right where you want.

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