Bathroom Progress…And Five Reasons I Love Groutable Self Adhesive Vinyl Floor Tiles

Progress is finally being made on my bathroom makeover! I finished my floor at about 11pm last night, and let me tell you, working in a small bathroom like that makes me love groutable self adhesive vinyl floor tiles even more! But I’ll get to that in a second. First, let me show you the progress.

Last time I showed you my bathroom floor, it looked like this…

Bathroom makeover - old sheet vinyl flooring

Well after about two hours of pulling up the top layer of vinyl with my hammer, mini crowbar, and my hands….

Bathroom makeover - removing old vinyl flooring

And then using this super stinky chemical adhesive remover (that will burn the heck out of you if you get it on your bare skin!!) that had to sit under plastic for 15 minutes before scraping…

Bathroom makeover - removing vinyl flooring with chemical adhesive remover

I was finally left with a bare concrete floor.  So after another couple of hours of installing my peel and stick vinyl tile, and then another hour or so of grouting, I finally have a floor that looks like this…

Bathroom makeover - new groutable peel and stick vinyl flooring

A vast improvement!  And I love having a flooring that is continuous from the hallway to the bathroom.  In a tiny home like this (my condo is 834 square feet), I think having one continuous flooring throughout helps to make the space feel bigger, rather than chopping it up into even tinier spaces with different flooring in each area.

As I stated above, after working this weekend in this bathroom to get the new flooring down, I have an even greater appreciation for groutable self adhesive peel and stick vinyl tiles.  Here are my five reasons why I love vinyl tiles so much…

1.  It takes a fraction of the time to install.

If I were using ceramic or porcelain tiles, there’s no way I could have finished in  just a few hours, because you have to wait about 24 hours for the thinset mortar to dry BEFORE you can even grout it.  With adhesive vinyl tiles, there’s no waiting.  Just stick the tiles to the clean floor, and then you’re ready to grout immediately.

2.  Vinyl tiles are incredibly easy to cut.

There are no fancy tools needed.  You just need a straight edge and an X-acto knife or utility knife.

bathroom flooring 3

And I can’t even imagine the frustration of trying to make cuts like these in ceramic or porcelain…

Bathroom makeover - installing self adhesive vinyl tile, easy to cut around corners

But that took about two minutes with the vinyl tile.  (And as a side note, taking up the old wax ring was probably the grossest thing I’ve ever done.  I honestly didn’t think I’d get through it.)

3.  It doesn’t require any special grout.

You can use the regular grout right there at the home improvement store.  I always use the pre-mixed grout just because it’s convenient.

Bathroom makeover - installing self adhesive groutable vinyl tiles

Also, because the vinyl tiles are thinner than ceramic or porcelain tiles, the grout isn’t as deep.  That means that it dries much quicker, which is helpful when you have a house full of kids and/or pets.

4.  It’s very durable!

I remember the peel and stick vinyl tiles from about fifteen years ago.  They were AWFUL.  They were thin and flimsy, and the adhesive wasn’t strong at all, so the tiles would shift around a bit after walking on them for a while.

Well, the self adhesive vinyl tiles today are a completely different story.  These things are thick, very durable, and the adhesive on them is super strong!  And one advantage of vinyl flooring over wood or laminate is that it’s great for use in areas with water, such as kitchens and baths.  Heck, your whole house could flood, and these tiles would be just fine.  Not so much with wood or laminate.

5.  They’re much warmer to the touch than actual tile.

In the winter, real tile gets cold unless you have heated floors.  With these vinyl tiles, that’s not really a problem.

So have you used self adhesive vinyl tiles in your house recently?  Do you like them as much as I do?  You can also get some that look like wood flooring, which is really nice.  And if you’re in the market for a better quality flooring, you can bypass the stuff that they have at home improvement stores, and use a brand like Mannington.  You’ll pay a lot more for it, but the quality is pretty amazing!

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  1. Diane Mansil says

    I LOVE those tiles and I really love the color you used. What brand are they? I’d like to get that gorgeous darker color for my next project.

    I did my (future) kitchen in thick vinyl groutable peel & sticks from Menard’s and I love them. I had first used them a few years ago in my friend’s basement…it was a HUGE project and I got it done in two days.

    Your projects are really coming together. I can’t wait to see what you do with the rest of that bathroom! Are you painting before you return the toilet to its home? It would be so much easier! LOL

    • says

      Thanks, Diane! I got the TrafficMaster brand from Home Depot.

      I’ve already re-installed the toilet, and I wasn’t able to get to the wall yet. I’m sure I’ll be uninstalling it again when I get to the wall. The problem is that, while we do have another tiny bathroom, this bathroom is the only one that is accessible to Matt. So I have to be very strategic in my planning of these projects, especially when the removal of the toilet is involved. 😀 I’m sure by the time the whole bathroom is done, that toilet will have been uninstalled and reinstalled at least four times. LOL It’s a pain, but I gotta do what I gotta do! 😀

  2. says

    I love how they turned out! It does look bigger too.
    After we talked on fb about the tiles and floor I went to home depot and got a single tile to teddy the color in my home’s lighting and to see about the height from the laundry room to the kitchen… No a good color match and the difference is too large.
    and my tiles are something like 14×14 not 12…. Glad it is a small room bc it will keep cost down when i do it. Wish the peel and stick was going to work for me

    • says

      It’s too bad that they wouldn’t work for your bathroom, Teralyn! The height thing is definitely a challenge for some rooms. That’s why I love having one continuous floor throughout the entire condo. :)

  3. says

    We just used tiles that look exactly like yours in the kids bath upstairs. My friend came over and thought it was ceramic tile! We love it so much, that now we are planning to put some on the walls above the shower surround. We did use an extra adhesive that we spread on very thin and THEN stuck them down. sealed all the edges and whala – beautiful floor. I love it!

    • says

      It really does look just like tile when it’s installed. And how interesting to use it on walls! I never would have thought about that! I’d love to see a picture of that when you have it finished.

    • Debbie says

      Hi Luann,

      Just wondering if you did use the self-stick groutable tiles yet on your walls. We were thinking of doing that in our laundry room, but have been told that they will not stay on the walls. I would hate to go through all of that work and have them fall off.

      • says

        I’ve never used them on a wall. But if you put them on a smooth, clean surface, I can’t imagine that they’d fall off. I can’t guarantee that, but those tiles are super sticky!!

      • says

        They actually are making a product now that is self adhesive vinyl for walls, its called smart tile, they even make it exactly to look like glass mosiac tile, I am ordering some to try myself…found a bargain on that at home depot online

  4. Paula says

    I love that vinyl floor. I would def consider buying it. I love that it looks so much like ceramic and that it doesn’t look glossy. You did a really good job!

  5. Sue says

    That floor looks perfect and I love that you have used the same floor tiles throughout your home to give it a larger appearance. Great job and I can’t wait to see the next step!

  6. Colleen says

    The new floor looks great! Such a difference, and I too think one continuous floor helps a space seem larger. I can’t wait to see the painted tub!

  7. says

    I used a similar tile in my kitchen. We had the whole floor done in 1 1/2 hours. It is very easy for a DIYer. And the warmer than tile is a BIG plus to me. They are a great solution for a mini-makover. And if you take the time to properly prepare the underlayment, they stick just fine.

    • says

      Oh yeah, once they stick, there’s no moving these tiles! I put mine directly onto concrete in the bathroom. In the rest of the condo, they’re stuck to painted concrete. I’ve never had a problem with any of the tiles coming up or shifting.

      • jada scott says

        Ok, I am doing research this morning and was going to HD to buy Behr 1-part garage floor epoxy paint TODAY! I have had two different contractors do flooring within a year in my condo which is the kitchen, dining, living, half bath, and laundry room(approx 700 square feet). The first one was to do stained concrete, but he did not prep the floors right. The 2nd group painted over the stain, and now the floor is chipping. So now, I am taking matters into my own hands and doing the floors myself which I should have done anyway. The top coat is painted and sealed concrete and as I said it’s chipping. I just watched the video on Behr about their garage paint and am worried that it’s not going to stick to the flooring without making a mess and sanding down to the concrete. Since you are the professional DIYer, what do you recommend and what was the cost of this process with the peel and stick? It’s obviously going to be more than the $31.95 x 2 gallons of the Behr, but will likely last a lot longer. Please help! Thanks so much!

  8. says


    Floor looks great. I actually used the very same tile in my master bathroom. We chose, however, not too grout and just have one seamless floor.

    • says

      I’ve often wondered what that would have looked like in our condo, Lisa. I’d love to try the no-grout-line look in a room. If you get a chance, send me a picture! I’d love to see it!

  9. Janet says

    I recently found your site and now get your newsletter. You did a great job on the floor. I have done several but none looked this great. Can’t wait to redo my bathroom floor your way. THANK YOU.

  10. says

    Nice job, Kristi! I love peel and sticks, too. I am glad you are helping to change the bad reputation they’ve earned in the past. I’ve put them in rentals and I have them in the two baths in my own home. I like them for the reasons you do — especially that they are easy to apply and they are warmer and more comfortable than ceramic.

    I think I would have worked on the walls and done all my painting before going on to the flooring, but I know how much you wanted to get that floor done! You’ll just need to protect it from drips and splatters. We’re looking forward to more of your creative efforts.

    • says

      I’ve never been known for doing things in a logical order, Barbara. 😉 It’s Matt’s biggest complain about me. I don’t plan. I just fly by the seat of my pants. But somehow, it usually seems to work out in the end. 😀

  11. Sue says

    I used that same tile in a guest bath a year and a half ago as a quick fix over the existing laminate and the same grout. No one believes it isn’t real tile and you’re right about the warmth of the flooring. A thought on wall behind the toilet. Wrap the toilet in saran to protect and tape a little roller to a paint stick. You can roll right the wall paint right on down behind without having to uninstall the toilet. (Ugh.) Also, my contractor installed a block of styrofoam behind the toilet tank design to cushion it from rocking into the wall when someone sits on it. Never seen one before but over time a toilet can rock. I made my own with a chunk of packing styrofoam wrapped in duct tape. It’s invisible so who needs to pay $ for a manufactured one.

    • says

      Thanks for the tips, Sue! I think I’ll still have to remove the toilet again because I plan to do some sort of wainscoting, rather than just painting it. So we’ll see if I actually need to take it out again.

      Love the idea of the styrofoam behind the tank! I’m definitely going to do that!

  12. Lindsey says

    How amazing that I just found your site tonight. My husband and I are planning to use a groutable peel-n-stick vinyl tile in our main bathroom and get rid of the carpet. We already purchased some tile at Menards, but through research tonight, I found out it ISN’T groutable as we were told! (Very glad to have found that out BEFORE we started!) I’m absolutely in LOVE with your floor! Can you tell me the name and color of your tile and grout? I read it was trafficmaster, I just didn’t know if it had a certain color name. Can’t wait to check out the rest of your site!

  13. says

    Looks great, Kristi! I can hardly believe it’s vinyl tile. We have ceramic in our bathroom, and I was just thinking that I wish we had vinyl- like you said, it’s so much warmer. This sounds crazy, but my mom & dad’s house had sheet vinyl as a shower surround, for 20+ years, never had any problems with it.

  14. Teija Nelson says

    I love this! Tell me about the grouting. When I used vinyl tiles in my bath (as you said about 15 years ago), I didn’t grout. How does that work?

    • says

      Hi Teija~
      I works just as if you were grouting real tile. You use a grout float to push the grout in between the tiles and remove as much of the excess as possible, and then you use one of the big yellow sponges and a bucket of water to remove the rest of the excess. It dries overnight, and the next morning, you can walk on it! I also purchased a grout sealer for mine, which is just a liquid that you put on a rag and wipe over the grout.

      I think groutable vinyl tile is a relatively new thing. I heard about it for the first time about two…maybe three…years ago.

  15. Jennifer Loy says

    Girl..You just amaze me!!!! Saw the counter top as well..beautiful. You are such a blessing to my life as I live in a very small place and I sure am gonna copy the heck outta you!! You are my decorating/DIY hero. Once again great job..would love to see your whole house, I’m sure it’s beautiful. Ripped all my wall paper off in my bathroom yesterday. No clue what I’m doing yet..but I’m doing!

    • says

      Thank you so much, Jennifer! And please, copy away! :) What is the saying? Imitation is the highest form of flattery? So I’m flattered! And congratulations on getting your wallpaper removed. That’s a big job! Now you get to do the fun part…planning and dreaming about the pretty stuff you’re going to add.

  16. says

    You never cease to amaze me! I am so glad you shared this! We’re going ot tackle our master bathroom at some point this year an di was dredding the cost of tile, renting a wet saw to cut it, and then installing int. This just might be the perfect cost effective solution. Thanks Kristi!

    • says

      Oh good! I hope it works out for you, Lisa! It certainly does beat having to use a wet saw and cut all of that ceramic or porcelain tile…and then wait for everything to dry. You do have to be careful out properly preparing the subfloor, but I can tell you from my own experience that it sticks amazingly well to concrete. I don’t have any experience with any other kind of subfloor, so there might be some prep work that has to be done, but I wouldn’t imagine that it would be difficult.

  17. Robin says

    That sight line into the bathroom looks so good. I bet you get giddy every time you look at it. We used the same peel and stick tiles in our kitchen four houses ago, and we loved them. We also loved that when our toddler discovered scissors we were able to pry out the one tile she had maimed and fix it relatively quickly. The other bonus is you don’t need the subfloor stability you do with tile. Which in an older home, with very shifty soil conditions is a definite plus.

    • says

      So glad you mentioned that, Robin! I completely forgot to mention how easy they are to replace. I also had to replace a few (I shoved a very heavy desk through the hallway and one of the padded feet had come off, so a screw was digging into the tile), and it came up fairly easily with some applied heat from my hair dryer, and then some prying.

  18. Carla says

    Are you sure your floors are concrete? My condo has gypcrete floors. Apparently used a lot in condos and apartments. Horrible stuff. What did you use to get the old glue off the floor? I desperately need to get something down in my bathrooms. Your place is looking great!

  19. says

    The result looks pretty professional indeed. Next time you have to use something to remove chemical adhesives, though, you should try a better quality solution that won’t make you feel bad with the foul smell 😉

  20. Angie says

    Do you bump the tiles right up to each other or do you space them out to grout them? we are looking to do this in our bathrooms. You did a great job!

    • says

      Hi Angie~
      I actually spaced mine so that I could grout between them. But I have seen this exact tile done the other way, with no grout lines. It kind of had the look of stained concrete. If I had to do it all over again, I’d probably leave the grout lines off of this particular tile.

  21. Anne says

    I have rejected all vinyl tiles after seeing a friend’s terrible experience with them years ago. I had no idea they had been so improved. Thanks!

  22. says

    We bought an old farm house that needs everything, including floors. It’s been a few months since you installed these floors. How are they holding up?

  23. says

    We just put this tile in our downstairs half bath and are debating using it in the upstairs full bath. Have you had any issues with the tile being near the shower and moisture?

    • says

      This tile is perfect for using in areas with moisture, like kitchens and bathrooms. We haven’t had any issues at all with ours, and the adhesive is so sticky I feel certain that even if our place flooded, the tiles would be fine.

  24. Rebecca says

    Thank you so much for your blog! I am devouring all your posts, ideas, and inspiration! I love all your budget friendly, DIY tips and projects. I have a question…the peel and stick tiles…do you think they could go on stairs? I have a split level home and I’d like to use the tiles in the entry way and also on the upper level for the kitchen and bath, but I would like the flooring to look continuous from the entry, stairs, and kitchen/bath. What do you think?

    • says

      Hmmm…I actually do think it would work…kind of. I would necessarily recommend putting this tile on the very edge (corner) of the steps where people’s shoes would be scraping the corner. But I do think you could put it on the very top of the step, and then possibly trim the edge out with wood, kind of like some kitchen countertops are with a laminate top and a stained wood edge around the countertop. Does that make sense? Let me find a picture…

      Okay, kind of like this…,,20459434_20901472,00.html

      Just something along the edge, like that wood, to prevent the tile from being scuffed right on the corner by people’s shoes. And then you could either paint or stain all of that trim right along with the risers for a “put together” look.

      • Rebecca says

        Awesome! Thank you for your response, complete with picture! That’s a great help and I’m downright RELIEVED to find a stylish, affordable, and easy solution for updating our 90’s linoleum and also getting rid of the carpet on the stairs! With kids running in from outside and right up the stairs….GAH! It’s impossible to keep the carpet looking clean there. Thank you again…I’m pretty much going to be using every one of your ideas for my home! 😉

  25. Justin says

    Do you remember what type of grout you used sanded or unsanded? also do you know what grout spacer you used? or space between each tile? I am doing my kitchen in the same color!

  26. says

    I love this stuff too! We installed this in our second bathroom a few years ago and everyone thinks its real tile. I agree on the warmth and comfort factor on your feet and the ease factor to install. I’d do it again too!

  27. Alisa D says

    Installed peel n stick in a bathroom several yrs ago, it wasnt very successful. Youve inspired me to try it again, your floor looks lovely!

  28. Brandy says

    This looks great! How did you cut the places that needed a bit of a curve? My tub has a slight curve in the middle of its design that bulges out at the floor, and I also will need to cut around the hole for the toilet. You make this seem so easy!! I hope my final product looks as good as yours! Thank you for the info!

    • says

      Since it’s vinyl, you can cut out any shape with a utility knife. If you need to, you can make a template with paper first to fit around your tub and other curved items, and the use that template to trace and cut the vinyl.

  29. Tiffany says

    Can you share how the tile is holding up now with almost 2 years wear and tear? I am debating on using this tile in my kitchen.
    Any fading? Does the grout crumble? Any smell to the tile? Pealing?

    • says

      We haven’t lived there in a year, but they’ve held up great. I’d definitely suggest them and use them again if I had a place for them. No fading, and no crumbling of the grout. They do have a smell to them at the beginning. It fades quickly, and it’s not an offensive smell. At least I didn’t find it offensive. It was almost a sweet smell…kind of. I haven’t had an issue with any of the tiles peeling.

  30. Shannon says

    How have these held up for? I did mine last year and loved it. I did not remove the baseboards like you did but put the tile again the baseboards and filled in a few minor with grout. Now I think that was a mistake. Any advice?

  31. says

    Love your tikes..Iam in the process of getting Stainmaster Luxury Vinyl tikes 18×18 from Lowes and putting them in my kitchen in my mobile home, I have one question can I buy the adhesive and put that down over my existing vinyl floor and then put my new self stick tiles on top…will that work…or do I have to lay plywood on top of my floor…my floor is in good shape….thanks. Or bythe way Iam grouting it to…ty

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