How to Install a Peel and Stick Tile Floor
The flooring in our 1971 house has a lot to be desired. With four kids and other more major repairs needed, the flooring has taken a backseat for now. Unfortunately, in two areas of the house (a bathroom and the entryway) the floor had other plans and started breaking up in pieces and coming up. Ultimately we want to put down hardwood floors, but we needed something right away. A quick fix was what we were looking for. We got that in peel and stick tile flooring.
Technically, I believe this type of flooring is laminate, but rather than one large piece to cut and maneuver how you need it, it comes in square tiles. These square tiles are very easy to handle and the fact that they stick down individually made these floor projects very easy and quick. The entryway took about two hours from start to finish. That time includes removing the old flooring. The cost was right too, as the entryway floor cost less than $100 to complete.
You need to remove the old flooring first, or you will have trouble getting the pieces to stick evenly. Depending on what you had there before, this could take a good bit of scraping. For us, the floor was coming up on its own already, so it wasn't difficult. A tool that has a straight edge with a sharp tip that will slide under the old floor will really help. Once all the pieces are up clean the floor well to prepare for the peel and stick tiles.
When starting you want to find the longest, straightest side to start with. A perfect corner is the best place. The backing on the tiles that you pull off tears easily, leaving behind lots of pieces that will prevent the tile from sticking. Be very careful removing the backing and try to get it all. Once you have the first piece down, just follow along the longest side until the end of that side. Be careful to match up corners exactly. You need to do this for every row.
The hardest part about putting in peel and stick tiles are the small areas that you need to cut pieces for. For those areas you need a pencil, a straight edge (we used a level), and a sharp knife. Think Exacto knife but thicker and stronger. Cut the pieces on top of a thick piece of cardboard or scrap wood to prevent cutting into anything. You should be able to cut through to the backing and then easily tear off the part you need.
There are so many patterns of the peel and stick tile available and stores have done a great job of making them look like real tiles. Many people think our entryway floor is real tile and anyone that had been here before we replaced the floor has commented very positively about the peel and stick floors. They are usually very impressed and say it doesn't look like peel and stick tiles at all. For less than $100 we are extremely pleased with this temporary solution. So far our bathroom floor has lasted over two years and still looks great. If you haven't considered this type of flooring before, it is perfect for small areas and is very easy to install.