Update a Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile

Katie Cleveland

Article Posted By: Katie Cleveland

of Addicted 2 DIY

Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile

Katie of Addicted 2 DIY has an obsession with all things DIY. She loves to create. She also loves to create while saving money.We thought Katie would be perfect for this project and invited her to share her DIY journey on transforming her bathroom with luxury vinyl tiles. We absolutely love the results. Read on to see her bathroom transformation for yourself!

When The Home Depot approached me with the idea of using their vinyl tile flooring on a project, I knew right away the perfect place to install it. When my mom and late stepdad had their track home built nearly 16 years ago, everything but the kitchen was carpet. The downstairs was eventually updated with tile throughout, but the upstairs, even the bathrooms, are still all carpet. Not exactly ideal, especially when my mom has a combined total of 5 grandsons 9 and under so I began my project to transform a boring bathroom with The Home Depot’s beautiful vinyl tile.

The vinyl tile from The Home Depot comes in so many different colors and it really looks just like real tile. It’s even groutable! Because the tile is peel and stick, it means that you can update an entire room, or your whole house, with very little mess. This tile can be laid over concrete floors or wooden subfloors. Since this tile was installed upstairs, it was installed on a wooden subfloor. It can be installed with spacers for grout or the tile can be installed flush together with no grout lines. The edges have a slight bevel to them which makes for a nice, clean look if you go the no grout lines route.

Tools

Note that you can rent power tools from The Home Depot, including a jigsaw, circular saw and orbital sander.

Materials

Bathroom before reflooring it with vinyl tile

Here is the “before” picture of my mom’s bathroom. It was pretty bland and new flooring was one of the things that it needed to give it an update. With the new flooring going in, my mom decided it would be a perfect time to update the rest of the bathroom. I had to take her pretty far outside of her design and decor comfort zone, but she is in love with the new look and I’ve got all of the details on my blog.


Step 1

Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile

Remove the carpet and pad, along with the baseboards if you plan on replacing them. If you are stopping the tile and will have a carpet to tile threshold, make sure to leave enough carpet going into the room to finish that off. Three to six inches is a safe amount and it can just be folded back to keep it out of the way.


Step 2

Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile
Before laying the plywood underlayment, I removed the toilet and measure to find the center point of the pipe. I also measured the diameter of the toilet flange to give me an idea of how large to make my cut in the underlayment.


Step 3

Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile

Measure and cut to size all of the ¼ in. plywood underlayment. For the toilet, I took the measurements that I made to find the center point of the circle and used those to find the center point on the plywood underlayment.

To draw my circle, I hammered a nail into the center and used string and a marker to draw it out.

I drilled a pilot hole and then cut out the circle with my jigsaw. I kept the hole I cut out for a later step.


Step 4

Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile

Hammer the 1¼ in. underlayment nails to secure the plywood to the subfloor. Make sure to nail along all of the edges of the plywood pieces as well as the field.

Once you are finished, walk around on the floor and see if you notice any areas where the plywood feels like it has movement. If it does, add an extra nail or two.


Step 5

Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile

The seams will need to be filled with joint compound. I spread a thin layer over all of the seams and then let them dry.

The joint compound dries really hard, so I used 80 grit sandpaper and my orbital sander to smooth all of the seams.

I then sanded the entire floor with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum up all of the sanding dust afterwards to make sure the floor is clean and smooth for the next step.


Step 6

Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile

The floor needs to be primed prior to laying the tile. I rolled on two coats of primer, allowing adequate dry time between coats and a full 24 hours to cure after the last coat.


Step 7

Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile
Find the center point of the room and snap perpendicular chalk lines to mark it.

Begin laying the tile out, with the backing still on, to determine the best place to start. I chose to start along the longest wall of the bathroom and work to the right. That left me with the fewest amount of cuts and waste.

Use the chalk lines to make sure that your first few tiles are laid straight. When you peel the paper backing off of the tile, there are arrows on the sticky side of the tile. Make sure to have them facing in random directions when laying the tile.

If you are using multiple boxes of tile, it is also very important to open these boxes and mix up the tiles to have the most random pattern possible. A rolling pin works great to apply pressure to the tiles to allow them to stick better.


Step 8

Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile

Lay the main field of tile first. When the first few tiles are laid, make sure to check that they are spaced properly using the tile spacers and that they are all square with each other. Believe me, you don’t want to have to try to pull these tiles up. It is NOT easy, which is a good thing if you think about it.

It is recommended to lay the tile in a stacked, stair step pattern. With this bathroom being so narrow, I only had two full rows of tile to lay before I had to start making cuts.


Step 9

Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile
When making cuts with the tile, I found it easiest to measure the size of the tile needed to fill an area and then used a ruler as a straight edge to score it with my razor knife. If there was a notch that needed to be cut out, I marked it with a pencil and then scored it with the razor knife.

Bend the tile until it snaps at your score mark and then peel the backing off and place your tile piece.


Step 10

Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile

Using the piece of underlayment I saved from cutting the hole for the toilet opening, I traced it around the tile pieces to mark where I needed to score it with the utility knife.


Step 11

Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile

Once the entire room was tiled, I went over the tile again with the rolling pin to make sure that every inch was stuck securely to the floor. You’ll want to leave the tile to cure for the next 24 to 48 hours, per the grout bucket instructions.

If you didn’t use grout spacers and just laid the tile flush, then you’re done!


Step 12

Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile

If choosing to grout the tile, the tile packaging recommends using a premixed sanded acrylic grout with good flexural strength. This again makes the entire application so easy to do. There is no mixing required. Use a grout float and work at 45 degree angles to your grout lines to make sure the grout is applied evenly throughout the entire room. Work in small sections to make sure the grout doesn’t dry too much before you wipe it off.


Step 13

Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile

To clean up the grout, it’s a good idea to have two buckets of clean water. One for the main cleanup and one for wiping it up a second time. Wring out the tile sponge really well and again wipe the tile at a 45 degree angle to the grout lines. Wipe the area to get the majority of the grout up and then rinse the sponge. Do not over wipe the grout lines or you risk taking up too much of the grout between the tiles.

Once the entire room has been wiped up, go back with your second clean bucket of water and wipe the grout up again. The floor will still feel grainy, but this can be mopped up later.


Step 14

Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile

Once the grout was completely dry, I installed the new baseboards.

Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile
The new tile flooring in my mom’s bathroom looks amazing! It’s hard to believe that it isn’t real tile!

This vinyl tile makes the process quick and almost mess free, if you don’t count the grout. Even my mom felt confident that she could tile a floor after watching how easy it was for me to lay it.


Transform A Boring Bathroom With Beautiful Vinyl Tile
Her “new” bathroom looks gorgeous with the fresh flooring. It’s hard not to marvel at what a change it is from the “before” picture. I’ve had several people come look at the tile and even they have a hard time believing it’s not porcelain or travertine on first glance.

Katie of Addicted 2 DIY is a wife and a mom of two boys. She has an obsession with DIY and love to create money-saving things. Join Katie on her DIY journey as she shares her challenges and discoveries.

See how to install vinyl plank flooring here on The Home Depot Blog.

Browse The Home Depot’s selection of vinyl flooring in our Flooring Department. Follow our Flooring, Carpet and Rugs board on Pinterest for more flooring tips and ideas.