Bathroom Update | DIY Vinyl Flooring

The last step in our journey to finishing the major upgrades in our hall bathroom was flooring. Flooring that I’d had for, oh, a month at least but hadn’t found the time to put down. We were seriously living with the subfloor exposed for all of that time, just covering it with bath mats when people came over. Sigh. We’re past all that now, though, because **cue angels singing** I finally finished the bathroom flooring!!!

I talked with you guys in an earlier post about maybe getting brave and doing a herringbone pattern in the tile. However, I chose the easy route and just stuck with square vinyl tiles knowing that we won’t be in this house much longer {we’re not moving yet, but a lot of our upgrades are to sell}. If I’m going to go crazy and do a herringbone floor, I’m going to do it somewhere I’m going to live for a while because, let’s face it, it’s going to take some time.

The square tile route, though… not so much. I had the entire thing down in a little over an hour. This is the third room in our house that I’ve tiled, and two of those rooms I’ve done more than once already because I learned the hard way what my style was, so I’ve learned a few tricks along the way. In case you’re tackling this sort of project on your own, I thought I’d share some of those things with y’all, and of course I really want to share how it turned out!

Before we jump in, let me start with saying I’ve done self-stick tile in our kitchen and both bathrooms. I had not grouted any of those rooms, though, so that was a new experience {but an easy one}. Despite my love of power tools, I’m nervous to use a wet saw on real tile because the curves around the toilet make me nervous. I watched a YouTube video of a guy doing it, and you basically have to chip pieces off using straight cuts until you work your way all the way around the toilet — it sounds like a ton of work and like I would screw it up a lot. So I opted for vinyl peel-and-stick instead. Here‘s the tile I used from Lowes.

Just a little reminder of the bathroom and flooring from before.

All right, friends. Here’s everything you’ll need to tile and grout your bathroom:

  • Vinyl peel and stick tile
  • Floor primer {this is similar to what I used}
  • Paint roller and pad for rough surfaces
  • Xacto knife or scissors
  • Pen
  • Ruler/straight edge
  • Measuring tape
  • Spacers
  • Grout
  • Sponge
  • 2 buckets (one for mixing the grout and one for water)
  • Trowel

 

Step one is to prep the floor. Sweep up the subfloor and vacuum it if there’s any extra dust. Then using your roller, apply a thin layer of the floor primer over the entire floor. Let it dry {mine was dry within an hour or so}. Laying down the flooring is pretty self-explanatory, but there are some tips to getting the most out of your tile.

Flooring Tips:

  1. Start in the center of the room. It just looks more natural this way. For the bathroom, I started on the center square halfway between the wall and vanity.
  2. Use the paper on the back of each tile as a template for the next. The paper is super thin and very malleable, so it makes a great material to trace curves and lines — not to mention it’s the exact same size as your tiles.
  3. Use spacers if you’re grouting. These are lifesavers and make the whole project look really organized and professional. These babies are cheap and oh, so worth it!
  4. Score your straight cuts. It takes some serious arm work and time to cut through these tiles with an Xacto, so my best tip is to score it on the back (draw your line on the paper side then run the blade over the line twice), then bend the tile. It will break where you scored it. Follow up with scissors to cut through the very top layer. This will give you the smoothest cut without all the arm work.

 

Once your tile is down, it’s time to grout! This is the easiest thing ever, y’all! I got a giant bag of grout, so I only mixed up about a third of it. Pour however much you want to use in one of your buckets. Fill the other bucket with water about halfway. Dip your sponge in the water then wring it out over the bucket with the dry grout. Mix it up with your trowel. If it’s still too dry, do it again. You want it to be the consistency of peanut butter. That’s the best way to put it. When you turn your trowel over, it shouldn’t fall off immediately and it definitely shouldn’t drip.

I figured out about halfway through grouting our wall tile that the easiest way to grout consistently was to slop a bunch on in a diagonal pattern then use the edge to scoop up the excess and do it again. I didn’t think to get a video of me doing this, though — sorry, y’all — but YouTube is full of examples. The basic premise, though, is you’ll want it to be perfect so you’ll go slow at first. However, doing that actually pulls up the grout. Instead, be really liberal with it because you’ll go back with a sponge and wipe up any extra that’s on the tiles. Don’t be afraid of coating them completely if that’s what it takes.

I worked in one foot or so sections, starting closest to the tub and working my way to the hallway. Spread the grout, then wring out your sponge so it’s almost dry. At a diagonal, wipe the sponge over the grout one time, raising up at the end. Dip the sponge in the water, wring it out so it’s almost dry and do it again. This is the process for each section. That’s it. The grout I used was sanded because I used such a thick grout line, so it took 24 hours to fully dry. I have not sealed mine yet. I intend to, but just haven’t gotten around to it. That’s an optional step, though, and you guys, I’m honestly just kind of freaking out because it’s so bright in that bathroom now!!!!!!!!!

I got a huge response on Instagram to the post including these metal wall hangers, so let me just share really quickly. Apparently, Magnolia sells them as well, but I found these at The Faded Farmhouse during a recent trip to Tennessee. I already had the cotton, so it was a simple matter of hanging them and adding the cotton stems to each. They added just a hint of rustic to an otherwise pretty modern bathroom. I’m still struggling with the shelving over the toilet. I know I need to keep it bright in there, but I can’t decide between bracket or floating shelves or even a medicine cabinet of sorts. So for now, there are no shelves. That’s coming, though, so stay tuned!!!

I just love how this bathroom is shaping up, you guys! What do you think of the transformation so far? Hope you guys have a great weekend!

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