Like a lot of people, I decided to do some home improvement projects during the months of quarantine. At the start of the Covid shutdown, it was still chilly in Chicago and we weren’t allowed to go anywhere, so it was an ideal time to stay busy by working on my home. Since most of us are still in hibernation mode, and will be even more so once winter hits, there is going to be lots of time to get to the projects on your to do list.
From the moment I moved in I loathed my kitchen tile. It was never something I would have picked and the brown color always looked dingy and dark. Doing a new tile backsplash helped lighten the room a ton, but I still was stuck on the floor. So project #1 during quarantine was cleaning the grout. It was pretty shocking watching the dirt and grime lift during this process. Also pretty disgusting. And a lot of work. But, it helped and the room felt cleaner and brighter. However, the tile was still brown, because apparently that’s what the previous homeowner wanted, and the clean grout didn’t make me fall in love. After doing the tile backsplash (with lots of help from my dad) I knew tiling the floor with actual tile wasn’t something I could tackle on my own. I wanted a quick fix – something I could do in lockdown on my own and something that would make me happy each time I walked into the room. I’m proud to say I achieved it!
Thank the design Gods for peel and stick tile. I won’t lie, the process of laying the tiles was still incredibly tedious and time consuming, but it was simple enough to do on my own and without any major power tools (we don’t all have wet saws laying around). Best of all, the outcome has made me so happy. Even after months of seeing the tile now, I smile every time I walk into the kitchen and I couldn’t be more thrilled about how bright the space is. It’s a DIY that is affordable, easy(ish) and the outcome makes me want to actually spend time in my kitchen!
What you’ll need…
- Peel & Stick Tile (I used Floor Pops)
- Utility Knife
- Knee Pads (you’ll thank me later)
- Measuring Tape
- Scrap Wood (to cut on)
- Adhesive / Carpet Tape
My tips for installing peel and stick floor tile…
- Measure your floor space as well as the tile itself. You will want a tile that is either bigger or smaller than what you have, so the new peel and stick tile doesn’t hit right on the grout lines.
- Wash the floor thoroughly. First of all you don’t want to be crawling around a dirty floor. Second of all, the tile will stick better to a clean surface.
- Figure out your starting point. This might change depending on the space. I decided to start with my flush wall and work my way left. If you envision looking at my kitchen sink from the door, I started on the far right and went from the wall of the doorway, working up to the sink cabinets. I then followed suit row by row going to the left.
- Sharpen your utility knife. You most likely will have to make some cuts. I had to cut tile to fit around the cabinets and appliances. Have a large piece of scrap wood to make your cuts on. And remember measure twice, cut once. (DIY Tip: The more intricate your pattern the more difficult to match it up. Start simple if you don’t want to worry about this.)
- Make it stick. Some brands might be stickier than others, but mine needed a little extra oomph to ensure they would stay stuck – especially in a high traffic area. If you really want to ensure the tile adheres well you can use adhesive glue (get the right kind for tile) or carpet tap. I used carpet tape! Easy enough to place on each sticky tile and it won’t ruin the floor below, should I ever wish to go back to that. (Likely not going to happen!)
- Order extra tile. Unless you’re perfect, or your space is, you will need it. You might mess up, you might cut wrong, etc. You want to have it all once so there is extra when you need it, but it also ensure the color match is going to be as close as possible.
- Handle with care. I don’t know how much these floors can actually handle in regards to cleaning and mopping, but to make sure they look pristine and keep their attachment to the floor below, I always wash by hand. With white tile, if you get black scuff marks, just use a Mr. Clean sponge. Poof, the marks will be gone!
Now’s the time, while we have it in excess, to get those DIY projects done. Since we have to be home so much right now, we should love our homes. We are in control of that and some simple DIY’s can help drastically. Happy home renovating!
Signed with Style,
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