The laundry room renovation is moving along slowly. Hopefully it will be finished by the end of the year. Today I’m going to share the most rewarding and biggest change thus far… the floors!
I hated the existing laundry room floor. No matter how many times I swept and vacuumed and mopped, it was still filthy. The tiles were cracked and uneven and freezing and terrible. I am a happy lady that I never have to see or step on them again.
The existing floor was applied directly over the poured concrete basement floor. 95% of the tiles were stuck down really well. So, I chose new peel and stick tile flooring that could be applied directly over the old flooring. But first, the floors needed a bit of prep work.
I first cleaned the floor really well, twice. I then used Henry 549 FeatherFinish Patch and Skimcoat to smooth any divots in the old floors, as well as transitions where bare concrete met old tiles. When applying the FeatherFinish make sure to smooth it out best you can with your putty knife (no ridges or bumps) to save you work later.
Now to the new flooring…
Last summer I found this peel and stick vinyl flooring at Home Depot marked down to something like 80 cents a square foot because it was being discontinued. I bought as much as I could, figuring I would also be able to buy some more online if need be.
Turns out I was short by about 15 square feet and the 12×12 tiles were no longer available (but they are now as I write this post, 2 weeks after finishing my floors, argh). To save on tile, I did not tile under the cabinets and used some extremely similar colored tile in a few places where it will never show.
I decided to do a bricklayer pattern starting from the center of the doorway being that it is the most visible part of the floor.
Most blog posts I read with happy bloggers using groutable peel and stick vinyl made the installation look wonderfully fun and easy. This was not the case for me. It was hard, dirty, sticky, messy and took almost a week from start to finish. Maybe it was because I let my tiles sit for a year and the adhesive oozed out the edges. Maybe it was because my floor was badly poured in 1920 and then badly covered with vinyl tile in 1950. Maybe it is because the basement is where my DIY dreams go to die. Or maybe it was because I am a wimp. But I thought it was really hard and I like being truthful.
Here are some tips on the installation that I think make it less of a sticky, messy, and tiring job.
Try and make sure the room is warm. When I started, the room was cold, as were the tiles. It was almost impossible to pull the paper backing off of the tiles, and the tiles themselves were rock hard. My room is pretty unlevel (severely slopes towards the floor drain) so the tiles need a bit of give in some areas.
About a quarter of my way through, I started using a space heater to warm the tiles up a bit. The paper backing comes off much easier and the tiles become a little flexible which helps them to mold to the floor.
After putting a tile down, I rolled it with a heavy marble rolling pin and sometimes had my 200 lb. husband stand on the tile for a couple minutes.
For some stubborn tiles with corners that did not want to stick, I heated them with a hairdryer and put something heavy (paint can) on the them overnight.
Once all the tiles were stuck down I grouted them with the recommended grout and let ‘er dry.
The new floor was totally worth the work. It looks and feels great and makes a huge difference in the room.
The floor around the drain I plan to paint a similar gray to the new tiles. It is sloped a little too much for the tiles to work and I plan on putting a bench there so no one will ever notice. Okay? Now stop judging my gross floor drain.
I still need to paint around the drain and add some baseboard but I’m happy to have a clean new floor to drop my laundry all over.
You may have noticed cabinet frames in the first pic. Because who likes to complete one project at a time? Cabinet post coming soon, unless I start another project in the meantime…
Tile: TrafficMaster Ceramica 12 in. x 12 in. Resilient Tile Flooring in Concrete
Grout: SimpleGrout Premixed Grout in Delorean Gray (using 1/8″ spacers)