Kristi's Studio

Studio Flooring Option: Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT)

Well, September hit, and the weather changed here in central Texas. It has been rainy for over a week, with some sun here and there, but not enough to dry out the concrete on the front porch enough for me to finish up the stone facade.

So Matt suggested that it’s a good time for me to turn my attention to the studio. Ugh. I know it needs to be done, but I was having so much fun playing outside and getting things done on the exterior of the house.

But he’s right. I need to get serious about finishing the studio (and the half bathroom, the back entrance, and the big storage closet). There are just a few big things to do — electrical, insulation, drywall and flooring — before I can get on to the cabinet building, the trimming, and the decorating (i.e., all of the stuff that’s going to turn this big, cavernous room into a pretty and functional studio).

The good news is that two of those things — the insulation and drywall — will be hired out. So that leaves two things on my plate. The first one I can handle. The second one is a bit more challenging.

Y’all, I have been wrestling with flooring options for my studio for months now. I’ve written about it, I’ve wrestled with it, I’ve contemplated all of the options. I’ve stood in the flooring aisles of Lowe’s and Home Depot for far too long considering the pros and cons of each option.

And still, an obvious answer evades me.

Red oak to match the rest of the house would be beautiful, but I just can’t imagine that it’s a practical option for a studio. Ceramic and porcelain tile options are abundant, but I can’t imagine putting those in such a big room in a house that’s constantly moving and shifting with the weather and the seasons. I just imagine a floor covered in cracked tiles.

LVT flooring is definitely an option, but I just haven’t found any color/pattern/option that really makes me excited about it.

Which leads me to Vinyl Composition Tile.

Yes, that’s right. VCT. The stuff that’s used in commercial buildings, schools, hospitals, etc. It’s very inexpensive, but very durable (obviously, since it’s used in high traffic commercial and institutional buildings).

That makes it great for use in areas of a home where durability and water resistance are important. It seems like I generally see it installed in a checkerboard pattern like this one…

And while I do like a checkerboard pattern, there are so many other designs that can be made with these simple square tiles. I really love the look of this unique design…

And this looks like similar colors in a multi-size square and rectangle pattern…

While these colors aren’t my taste, I do like the basketweave pattern of this VCT kitchen floor…

There are so many different ways you can install the tile using the whole 12″ x 12″ square tiles to create different patterns.

Of course, my absolute favorite design is this one…

And naturally, my favorite one would require a whole lot of time, patience, and lots of tile cutting. But y’all know that I’m not opposed to lengthy and tedious projects if I think the result will be worth the effort.

So at the moment, VCT is the way I’m leaning for the whole studio area. But before I make that final decision, I’d love to know if any of you have any experience with this type of flooring — installing it, cutting it, living with it, maintaining it.

Is the installation as easy as I think it should be? (It’s just glue-down, so that seems simple enough.) Is it easy to cut, and do you get a nice, clean edge if you use a vinyl tile cutter? And would the edges really be clean enough to cut all of the tiles for an entire floor to do a design like the one just above?

And what about maintenance? This is probably my biggest concern. I know it can be cleaned and buffed to a high gloss shine, but y’all know that I generally don’t like shine. I’d like it to have a duller finish, but then does that mean it’s more prone looking dirty and showing traffic patterns? The ones in the photos above look like a nice matte finish, but is that just because they’re new?

I’m sure hoping that some of you have experience with this and can pass it along to me! My studio is a big room, and I’m so nervous about making the wrong flooring decision and ending up with something that’s high maintenance and/or needs to be refinished every couple of years. I need durable, long-lasting, and low maintenance.

You Might Also Like...


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carol F
    September 11, 2018 at 10:35 am

    I don’t know anything about this tile, but I love the cube design!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 10:42 am

    The VCT seems like a really interesting option. But like you, I’d worry about maintenance. I know that in schools, they tend to do the whole shiny buff thing (which requires renting the buffer, I believe) every few years. I’ve seen it installed without the buffed finish and it basically looks really dull (think chalkboard) and seems much more prone to scratching from sand and such. I don’t know that there’s any way to wax it to a matte finish. You need to find yourself a school custodian to interrogate. 🙂

    It’s really too bad that the distressed look isn’t your thing, cause this room would be a really great spot to just install some sort of wood flooring and put a light finish on it so that it will intentionally wear over time (a-la a workroom/warehouse effect). You could even maybe find some reclaimed flooring or use a soft wood (like wide-plank pine) that will wear faster.

    Another thought, given the size of the room and how you’re going to break it up into different work areas, would be to consider breaking the room up and use different flooring. So perhaps you use something durable to make a “sidewalk” from the back door to the house door, another material (like the VCT or some rubberized material) for the area under the cutting table. And maybe a nice carpet or finished wood floor under your desk.

    One last thought is to look at some of the flooring that’s designed for home gyms, basement “rec rooms,” and the epoxy finish for garages (that you used on your countertops). There are some neat newer choices out there and there’s nothing saying you can’t bring those choices into a room like this.

    I’m going to throw this out there too…cause well, why not. Wouldn’t it be neat if you could somehow make an area where you could play with pourable resin as a flooring choice? 😉 Not sure how that’d hold-up to chairs moving around on it.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2018 at 10:52 am

      You have great ideas! From someone who has the rec room/gym flooring in parts of their house, the negative about those is if you drop something, it can leave indentations and can be ripped by dog and cat nails. Also, I don’t find it easy to clean. I can imagine saw dust everywhere!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Oh gosh, you have NO idea how much I want to resin ALL THE THINGS! 😀 A floor might be too big of a job for me, but one artist I follow on Instagram is doing a set of resin subway tiles for a client’s kitchen backsplash, and I can’t stop thinking about those. I have one place left in our current house layout (i.e., before the big addition) where I could do such a project, and that’s the half bathroom. I’m seriously considering it. Even for a tiny room like that, it would be a big job, but I’d love the challenge.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 11, 2018 at 3:10 pm

        Can you post the link to the backsplash?

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          September 12, 2018 at 12:23 am

          The backsplash isn’t installed yet, but here are the tiles…

          • Reply To This Comment ↓
            September 12, 2018 at 9:55 am

            Those are AWESOME!!! Oh, wow, Kristi, please please please do them?

            No clue on the floors, but i will say i think they often do look worn and dingy. I don’t know if that would happen in a home setting or not, or if it is just a sign of poor cleaning practices when it does happen. Interested to see if there are commenters with some knowledge… I haven’t made it that far in my reading…distracted by pretty resin tiles 🙂

          • Reply To This Comment ↓
            September 12, 2018 at 10:53 am

            SHUT UP!! Those are amazing!!!! 🙂 I hope you do something like this!!! <3

          • Reply To This Comment ↓
            September 13, 2018 at 9:26 am

            Those tiles are AMAZING! Now, I want!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 11, 2018 at 4:13 pm

        I wonder if you could do it like a small resin “door mat.” like maybe right as you enter from the breakfast room. Or how about like a focal point centerpiece in the middle of the back foyer?

        I was actually on one of my sewing blogs the other day and someone was trying to figure out how to decoupage some end tables tables with fabric bits. I mentioned resin and pointed her at your site and she was like, “Ooh, I’m going to do that.”

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          Rebecca Neustel
          September 13, 2018 at 4:53 am

          Decoupaging fabric on a surface is very easy. Mod Podge has a product that’s for fabric. I don’t know how it differs from the original product, and I know people that use the original formula successfully to glue the fabric to whatever surface you’re using.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 11, 2018 at 5:58 pm

        How about resin penny tile in the half bath, perhaps only on the sink wall?

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        wilford facey
        September 12, 2018 at 3:50 am

        I am a professional flooring installer and love that cube look. Although the labour would be huge the product really does require a sealer or wax after. There are some low sheen options. I would recommend consulting a professional custodial service as well.
        Might I suggest some 5 mil LVP or LVT with a pressure sensitive adhesive installation. You could be very creative with inlays and patterns as long as you stay away from clic products and bevelled factory edge products. It’s a fast growing line and extremely water proof.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Christine Czarnecki
        September 12, 2018 at 11:52 am

        The resin backsplash tiles for your new half bath would be gorgeous. So you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Have you considered mixing your flooring? Example – put a 3ft border of red oak around the perimeter and then the VCT pattern in the center. Or separating the spaces in the room with the flooring?

    I don’t know much about VCT – just that the last pattern is very cool. I love the visual interest it brings.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      As soon as I saw it I felt dizzy just looking at it. Not my favorite.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 12, 2018 at 5:41 am

        Me too, but I really like that pattern so I just wouldn’t look down. I like that pattern but would really prefer the yellow and gray ‘lattice’ pattern for your studio. Of course, I am thinking of myself and how I roll so my option would be for something less busy ’cause I drop things when I’m working and I just can’t imagine trying to find something small on a busy pattern. I’d be on my knees with a flashlight so I could see them. Talk about dizzy!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 12, 2018 at 6:36 am

        Had the same reaction.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      I have considered mixing flooring types, but I hadn’t considered mixing hardwood and VCT. Now that’s interesting. I’m going to need to google that and see if anyone has done that before. I’d love to see it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 10:44 am

    We have installed plain white VCT in two kitchens and three (soon to be four!) bathrooms. I love it. These are hardworking spaces and I find it’s pretty easy to keep clean, though it will gradually get dingier… unless you seal and buff it, which we never have. I just use a commercial cleaner (Zep?) and scrub mop every couple of months to get a deep clean. I have not had issues with staining, even with coffee, red wine, kids, construction mess, etc, etc. I believe with a large open space you could rent a commercial cleaner to deep clean (maybe once a year?), even if you didn’t want to apply a high shine finish after.

    Installation is very easy, though I haven’t tried a complicated pattern. Score and snap works for edge cuts but you would definitely need something heavy duty (and practice!) for lots of diagonal cuts to make the patterns shown (which I love! We just didn’t have time for that in our kitchen remodel.)

    I love that it’s fast and easy to install and can truly be done by one person without too much trouble. It is nice to have a helper mostly for dusting and then passing the tiles over!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 10:48 am

    I love the basket weave design!

    I remember my mom putting in those tiles when I was a kid in the upstairs ‘kid’ portion of the house. It was all sub-floor that she laid the tiles over with minimal prep work and they held up really well for a busy hallway and 4 kids who claimed they didn’t have to clean the hallway b/c it wasn’t “their” area. So knowing that you’re going to do it the right way, I have no doubt that the tiles will hold up for a long time!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 10:48 am

    I don’t have experience with this in a home situation but it is installed in some much trafficked hallways in the large hospital where I work. They used slightly fleck-patterned off-white and a barely-greige tile for a subtle, sophisticated checkerboard pattern on the diagonal. The floors have been there for about 10 years and still look great! The light colors also help the area to look clean and bright. In fact, long before you even imagined turning your garage into a studio, I admired those floors and thought I would use them when/if I ever remodel my kitchen.

    One thing to think about when selecting the tile colors and patterns is how easily you will be able to see screws, nails, and other small items that might fall on the floor.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      I had the same thought about dropped screws and nails with a patterned floor. It seems like 8 ALWAYS drop a screw or nail and they’re hard to find even on my unpatterned floor!

      What about a mixture? A border of pattern and then one color under the work areas where small parts might get dropped??

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 10:51 am

    I like the way you think. It’ll be durable, washable and easy to care for. As for finishes on it matt vs glossy, why not talk to some of the people who take care of these types of floors in hospitals and schools? They can probably give you good tips and product recommendations that work for them. Can’t wait to see what pattern you decide to use.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 10:53 am

    The only thing I’ve discovered with the new Vinyl flooring–well two things–the stuff it’s made of and how toxic, especially to pets. There is some with less of the bad things in it. And secondly, the mil is very important. Too thin and it dents when heavy things, like a couch, are set on it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Torie M.
    September 11, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Not sure if you came across this company in your LVP/LVT research, but they make some gorgeous wood-look planks – Completely waterproof, wide, long planks, floating installation, 40-mil wear layer, a low sheen, and has an 80 year residential/20 year commercial warranty, and it doesn’t need to be acclimated to the room you’re installing it in so shifting and such should not be an issue. I’m not affiliated with them, just bought their product after exhaustive research and am halfway through installing throughout my whole house and LOVING it. Also it cuts cleanly and easily with a miter saw!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      I am involved with our local Senior Center. We have installed VCT tiles as well as LVP (as mentioned above) in our Center. The LVP is installed in the main hall that hosts countless lunches, dances, and the like. All of our daily traffic is on this floor. (We chose a ‘hardwood floor’ look, but there were several choices.) We are constantly moving tables, chairs, music equipment, etc. We have had it for over two years now and it still looks as good as the day we had it installed! As far as I know, there is not a blemish anywhere. Upkeep is unbelievably simple….sweep, damp mop with plain water, repeat as needed. The VCT tiles are in another section of the building. It is harder to keep clean and already shows traffic wear in some places even though it is only used a fraction as much as the main hall. I know you will make the correct choice for your studio, but thought I would offer up our experience.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2018 at 4:44 pm

      Torie I love the look of the planks and have ordered samples from them. Thanks gor sharing the website.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 17, 2018 at 10:40 am

        Anne, I did the same! I have two dogs, two cats and three kids. My husband and I think these look amazing! They are pricier than we were originally looking at for the whole house, but the durability can’t be beat. I can’t wait to get started!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Do they have a wood look in the VCT? I worked for a furniture store and we put down some vinyl that looked like wood. IT WAS AMAZING. They would have someone come clean the floors, but they never had to have the buffed or anything. Chairs were always scraping and everything. Was awesome

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 10:58 am

    My husband has that flooring in his lab. It is fantastic and indestructible. It gets mopped once a week and twice a year. We have a commercial cleaning company come in and strip it and wax it. They polish it to a beautiful shine. But you wouldn’t have to have it shiny. I think it would be a excellent choice for you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 10:59 am

    I have had VCT in my kitchen since 1987 and I LOVE IT!!!!!!! The main door that people use in my house is right next to my kitchen so I wanted durability – VCT is it. My pattern is basic checkerboard and my colors are blue and off-white. I’ve raised 2 children in this kitchen, had pets and LOTS of company and it has held up wonderfully. The VCT is easy to maintain – wash with soap and water. About every 2 years my husband will strip and wax the floor, but even that’s real easy. That’s the only time it’s waxed.

    This floor would be perfect in your studio! It’s durable, easy to clean and pretty!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 11:06 am

    You might want to read the reviews on this site for VCT flooring. It is considered high maintenance.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheila f.
    September 11, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Ok this may seem odd…. As a nurse I work with the custodian who cares for our VCT floors. I spent 3 nights caring for patients as her stripped, cleaned and relaxed the floors in my small department. As a DIY’er I asked him LOTS of questions. Lol. 1st: This floor can take lots of abuse IF waxed with 3-4 coats of wax. 2. It must be swept everyday to clear debris that can scratch the wax. 3. If the wax wears away the tiles will chip away at the edges. 4. The wax must be stripped and reapplied every 2-3 years in high traffic or work areas. 4. Mopping requires an Alkaline cleaner (a bit of dish soap in water works well. I love the design ideas and this could be the floor for you but the high shine protectant is the secret to the durability.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Elizabeth A
    September 11, 2018 at 11:10 am

    We have this in our laundry/ craft room for the last year. I LOVE IT!

    My inspiration:

    We live in central Oklahoma so red dirt abounds (4 kids and 2 dogs do not help that situation). I vacuum or dust mop once a week and mop about once a month. It has never been sealed and honestly I don’t think I will bother because like you I don’t like shine. I have notices a couple of the white tiles that have a stain but I’m sure if I wanted to put in the elbow grease it would come off.

    For installation: the flooring guy scraped the floor until it was smooth and put something in the cracks to fill them. Then he used the special glue and chalk line. I believe I could have done it myself especially since they did it before the cabinetry was installed so if the cuts at the wall aren’t 100% perfect they will never be seen.

    I think this is an awesome choice. Good luck!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 11:10 am has a lot of information on VCT, on where to get it, how to clean it and pattern ideas.

    The things that made it popular in the 50s (durability, ease of use, installation and cleaning) make it popular today and there’s more patterns than the classic streaky style.

    Armstrong, Congoleum and Azrock all make VCT.

    Link on how to clean it:

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2018 at 1:21 pm

      In the early 1990’s we remodeled our kitchen and used Armstrong VCT tiles in one of their decorator lines. The floor looked like tera cotta tiles and it was wonderful to clean and wore very well. When we sold the house in 2006 it was still looking as good as when we had it installed. Many people cooked and visited in that kitchen 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 11:14 am

    I love these vinyl floors! In Europe they have so many more options that I just can not find in the States.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 11:16 am

    On the opposite side of the price spectrum maybe you should search Pinterest for “plywood flooring”. You will be amazed at some of the fantastic finishes people have done. It would be awesome to do the last design and be able to simply cut the strips on your mitre saw. The pieces could be painted or stained before they are cut so it can be done on a workbench instead of on your hands and knees. Since plywood is so inexpensive it would give you the freedom to do a pour painting without worrying about paint drips or bringing in furniture to refinish without worrying about scratches. It would gradually mellow into a working artists floor. If you don’t like it it is simple to refinish it. If you really don’t like it you could install the commercial flooring on top of it.
    If you decide to glue down the commercial tiles you need to be careful with the amount of glue you use. I lived with a tile kitchen for a while and finally replaced the floor because of the black, tar-like glue that constantly oozed up between the tiles and was impossible to clean off.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Sarah Romine
      September 11, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      I agree about the plywood floors! I don’t know anything about the LVT tiles, other than some of those designs look really neat! But I have been watching that new show, Making It, and the thing I enjoy most is drooling over the plywood floor they have in their workshop. I wish I had somewhere to do something like that in my house. It doesn’t seem like it would be quite right in the main living area of a home (at least not the versions of it I’ve seen) but in a studio, store, or other space like that, I think it would be gorgeous. Can’t wait to see what you decide to do! 🙂

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2018 at 8:38 pm

      I am very interested in the plywood flooring also! Here is a link I just checked out:

      I think a wood floor would be more comfortable if you are going to be working in there for even just a few hours each day.
      You could also do your tile floor patterns using the plywood.
      I am interested to see what your final choice will be!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 13, 2018 at 12:40 am

      IF you consider doing your own wood or plywood floors, Mandi at Vintage Revivals has installed wood in some of their rooms in their new project “The Merc”. I think the Merc got Maple floors in different patterns, that they plan to leave raw for now to see how it ages. The wood floor part starts around 4:50 minutes in on the video.

      They also put a geometric wood floor (pine 1×4) in the little trailer “The Nugget” they remodeled years ago. Probably more detail than you want for the studio, but looks good (tiny trailer vs huge studio).

      For my own house, I can’t make up my mind!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 16, 2018 at 1:20 am

      I’ve done plywood flooring twice–first in my bedroom, where I ripped it into planks, “white”washed it (it was actually more of a greywash), then gave it a semigloss finish. The second time was in my workroom, which I used for the same sort of work you’ll be using your studio for. I didn’t rip it into planks, just laid it down and then poured some mint green oil paint over it, rolled it all out evenly, boom, done. About a week and a half later I moved everything in and got to work. I didn’t bother to seal it–it held up really well! It looked gorgeous with the grey taupe I used on the walls. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 11:17 am

    We used Allure vinyl planks in our hall and office about 5 years ago. The floor shows no sign of wear even though there are 2 office chairs on wheels – When the time comes to redo my kitchen floor, I’ll use more Allure.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Laura M
      September 11, 2018 at 2:21 pm

      We have vinyl planks in an office, living room and dining room. It wears very, very well. Easy to install (I did it) and all types of patterns and wood looks. No glue involved. Office floor I scored with a blade and snapped it off. LR/DR had to use a saw. I can’t speak about the tile you are looking at, but I agree the Allure and brands like it, are wonderful. But don’t get the cheapo stuff if you do go this route.

      (I also love the idea someone suggested about reconsidering wood and let it wear naturally to look old and develope and look all it’s own)

      Sorry, no help about the tiles you speak of.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 11:18 am

    I would love to hear more about your experience with this product. I need to replace flooring in my own home and just can’t decide. I’ll be following the discussions on this choice closely.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    LuAnn Fischer
    September 11, 2018 at 11:18 am

    We had an older composite tile in a small bathroom off our kitchen. The house is old & the floor moved. It did crack. But I’m not sure of the grade of the tile since it was left over from one of my brother-in-laws construction projects. He was, at that time, a commercial contractor. My biggest complaint about the flooring was that it was COLD to your feet. ( At all times of the year) that might not be such a big deal in Texas but in Iowa where our winters can be miserable it was a problem. I love all the designs & patterns you picked out! Good luck – I can’t wait to see what you end up doing. We did a Congoleum Dura Stone product in our kitchen and it has NOT held up. It’s all marked up where the chairs slide and it nicks easily.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen Walker
    September 11, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Love the “Tumbling blocks” pattern! (Last photo) Go for it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 11:22 am

    I have long loved a check VCT floor and I am contemplating installing some in my basement workroom, but it is a small space and gets little traffic. We just moved and one of the first things we did was have an epoxy floor done in garage. It. Is. Awesome. Actually, its too nice. We don’t even park our cars in the garage now. Renovation has been slow due to a lot of #adulting this summer, so we joke that we are going to host Thanksgiving dinner in our “Taj Garage.”

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Marianne in Mo.
      September 11, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      I have considered epoxy for our garage also. Although I’ve read it can be slippery when wet, so I hesitate because we are seniors. We don’t need falls! Also, I have no idea how much it would cost either.
      I remember when I was little, almost everyone had VCT ( I think it’s the same) and it was extremely durable, unless a heavy item was dragged on it; it would tear, and heavy things left dents. Of course everyone waxed their tile, and then periodically had to strip the wax to remove cloudiness. As a teen, that was my Saturday job, and it was awful. Overall though, it was sturdy – just depends how it is used and maintained; just like many other products out these days!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 11:24 am

    I have this in two bathrooms and the laundry area. I love it!! We had spacers put in to allow for grouting because I did not want it to look like linoleum, but tile. Ours is a slate gray with a bit of a rough texture. Again, the look of tile. No pattern, other than on a diagonal in one bath, and offset (like bricks, but in squares) in the other bath and laundry.
    We also have a similar product that looks more like wood boards in our basement. Again, I am very pleased with it. From the top of the stairs it looks like wood, perhaps not quite as much when you are walking on it, but it’s the basement. It is a bit thicker than the tiles. I would not do my whole house in this, but would absolutely do it in a work area.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      I’d love to see a photo of your floor!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2018 at 11:38 pm

      Wait. You grouted vinyl composition tile? Or are you talking about luxury vinyl tile? I had luxury vinyl tile (some brand from Home Depot) in the condo, and installed it with grout lines. I loved it. But I’ve never seen vinyl composition tile installed with grout lines.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 12, 2018 at 10:18 am

        I apologize. The tiles in my baths are Tarkett luxury vinyl tiles. I didn’t realize there was a difference.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 11:26 am

    I have VCT in my kitchen, and I will never do it again unless it’s going down on top of concrete – and even then, maybe not. I like the throwback look, but laying it on top of typical subfloor (plywood?) seems to be an issue and made it quite vulnerable to water – not good in a kitchen. In commercial applications it lasts for years on top of concrete. Mine has been in place for 15 years, some tile is warped a bit on the edges and, in some areas, it has come loose from the floor and had to be glued down again (laundry area mini-flood caused this). It is stiff and will crack if you drop something heavy with a sharp edge. The stripping and waxing, buffing and so on is a royal pain. And with dogs it really looks lousy quickly. It does get dingy looking just from age and if you don’t strip the wax, the wax yellows contributing to the dinge (is that a word?). I like a matte look, but you do need to put a finish on it rather than leave it matte to prevent staining and even more water damage. I’ve not found a matte or satin finish that really is either of those. If I’m honest, I wouldn’t do LVT either simply because of the vulnerability of a glued down tile. I will replace with luxury sheet vinyl that looks like tile or the real deal – linoleum/marmoleum. Probably the former simply for low maintenance. Color me lazy. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 11:39 am

    VCT sounds like a good choice for durability. This space will be a drapery workroom? Lots of fabric, samples, color, pattern; maybe go with a neutral floor so as not to compete with all the fabrication that will be happening in this space. Just a thought. Love your blog!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Laura M
      September 11, 2018 at 2:26 pm

      What a smart reason to suggest a neutral floor. Yes, a neutral floor would work much better with materials, etc.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 11:42 am

    If you go too colourful or busy on the floor it will limit what you can do on the walls.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 11:48 am

    I can’t comment on the tile, but but I saw a new-to-me product at Home Depot just the other day: Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Flooring. Lifetime residential warranty, 5 yrs commercial. It looks and feels heavy duty.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Christine Czarnecki
    September 11, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Have you taken a look at Pergo flooring?

    It looks like wood, is laid down in strips, has tight seams, and is very durable.

    We considered this for our last house, but ultimately decided on prefinished wood strip flooring. I have been told that Pergo is flooring that a lot of people use at their beach houses, because it holds up so well. You never wax it. I expect that you mostly would have to damp mop it, with an occasional more thorough cleaning. That sort of care regime works for me!

    Regarding the vinyl tile, I personally would find that box pattern interesting on a tabletop, but it would be headache-inducing to look at on the floor every day, at least for me.

    If you go with some sort of square tile, you might like it for the layout of large fabric projects. I use the truffled marble tile floors in our large entry to lay out drapery fabric, so that I am cutting it square.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 11:53 am

    What about the liquid stuff they pour on concrete floors. That Metal epoxy stuff? You can also make concrete look like wood. Seen it on Pinterest.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Dana Lee
    September 11, 2018 at 11:55 am

    I am an elementary art teacher and this is the kind of flooring that is in my classroom. Each summer the custodial staff strips and rewaxes the floors and they look fresh and clean. I have no experience of this floor without wax, but with the wax the only issues I have noticed is that it starts to get dull in areas that have a lot of wheel movement, like under my desk chair or under the large paper cutter on wheels. So that may be noticeable with your plan for work spaces on wheels. Also, some of the paint that we use, even with it being washable and water based, can stain the wax layer and it leaves a slight pink stain. However, it then gets stripped, rewaxed, and looks great again. The wax does a great job protecting the tile. Talking to a school or hospital custodian about finishing and caring for the floor would be a good idea.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nancy J.
    September 11, 2018 at 11:57 am

    I do love the various VCT patterns you’ve shown and think anyone of the designs would look great! I also like Justin’s suggestions about doing something different in each of your work areas depending on it will be used for.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Christine Czarnecki
    September 11, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Another suggestion (i’m full of them): Wood-look long porcelain tiles

    Our neighbors used this sort of product throughout their entire house, and put underfloor heating underneath it You don’t really notice that the floors are tile. They really read like plank hardwood.

    The underfloor heating is absolutely wonderful, and I wish I had done it when we remodeled our master bathroom. You have to do it under some sort of tile, so that it conducts the heat up. Consider this when you are doing your and Matt’s new master bathroom.

    You probably have already run your ducts for forced air, but I can assure you that if you put in underfloor heat in this studio, you will be happy that you did.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    I find the comments in this thread so interesting, because I have VCT in my garage, and I love it- but we don’t really maintain it at all, ha! We use it for storage, tools, etc. but do not park on it. I’ve dragged furniture across it, dropped tools on it, and tracked lots of mud on it. When it gets gross, I clear the floor and wet it, then scrub with Soft Scrub with bleach (and a deck scrubber brush if it’s particularly bad, like rusty shovel marks) and mop again. I’ve never waxed it, so it’s probably scratched and dinged, but I’ve never actually noticed. The floor is a speckled hospital beige (for lack of a better description) without a pattern. One of the great things about this stuff is it’s very inexpensive, so definitely buy a few and see if you can mark them by scratching, dropping stuff, etc and see if you can live with the marks! I don’t care about perfect in my garage, if you feel the same way, I think it would be a great option!

    Just for comparison, we put down wood look luxury vinyl plank (Traffic Master Allure from Home Depot) in our basement laundry area, and it definitely is not nearly as durable. For starters, the color doesn’t go all the way through, so a deep scratch shows, though the floor itself is definitely a lot more attractive.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    That sounds very hard to me, especially if you are standing all day long. I would suggest you keep looking at LVP. It is very comfortable to stand on and pets can’t hurt it. Written by a dog owner for two very large dogs whose nails seem to grow long overnight. When we had it in Arizona and our dogs ran in and out all day long it was extremely easy to keep clean. And it does not show dirt. Not sure about sawdust😉 Otherwise, how about stained concrete? It seems like a natural for your studio.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2018 at 4:30 pm

      Another vote here for concrete. The epitome of durable and you can change it (relatively) easily if you don’t like the initial design/colors.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2018 at 7:08 pm

      Concrete isn’t really feasible with a pier and beam foundation.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    The Art of Doing Stuff has a couple great posts on the VCT tile she installed in her kitchen, and also a follow up post on her DIY floor burnisher.

    Thanks…the timing is absolutely tragic, two days before closing, two months before wedding. Just trying to love on him until we hear his official oncology results and find out what, if any, treatment is available.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2018 at 12:22 pm

      Whoops – didn’t mean to insert that last bit in there 😳

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 11, 2018 at 5:01 pm

        Celeste, sending you some special strength and hugs from Australia.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    The Art of Doing Stuff has a couple great posts on the VCT tile she installed in her kitchen, and also a follow up post on her DIY floor burnisher.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Hi Kristy-

    Love the blog! I love the look of vct tiles and had this product for 15 years in my kitchen, laundry and main bath. I like Ruth will never do it again. The previous owner of my home had the vct tiles professionally installed. After living with them for 10 + years I replaced them myself due to wear and tear and a dingy appearance. The tiles are easy to diy but the cleaning maintenance is crazy. I would cry every time I cleaned them because they would not look clean to me once they dried. Looking back I should have given up my need for the matte look and just accepted buffing was a must. I ended up replacing them with hardwood last year. Good luck. I am excited to see what you choose. Keep being YOU!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    My parents had VCT in their old kitchen/dining room and my mom hated it. It would gauge and scratch with knives being dropped, and from sand/debris sticking to the kitchen chairs.
    She finally figured out that this doesn’t happen in commercial applications because they have furniture with really thick rubber pads underneath (that look ugly as hell) but by then it was too late.

    Considering that you’re looking for a low maintenance floor to do projects on, have you reconsidered doing painted wood floors?

    I know you wanted them in your kitchen, and it didn’t work out for you there. So maybe in the studio, you can put the same wood as in the rest of the house, and then paint whatever you want over it.
    If it gets damaged or scratched, it’s as easy to fix as a touch up of paint.

    Painted floors will also give you the bonus of being able to change the look whenever you like. If you’re tired of a pattern you painted, or you go a new way decorating, you can easily change the look, which you wouldn’t be able to do with VTC.

    And if at some point you want hardwood, the studio floors can be refinished to match the rest of the house.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    I have VCT flooring. Its very common here in the Midwest. Its inexpensive and easy to install. Its also easy to clean; I use a steam mop. The finish is shiny but more satin-like than glossy. However, every time I drop a knife or scissors, I wind up making small cuts in the flooring which are impossible to repair. Also, you cannot use rubber-backed rugs or mats because they will yellow the VCT over time. Hope that helps!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ellen Shook
    September 11, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    I will try to find some pictures to send you of my kitchen and sunroom in our previous house, and also a closet I turned into a computer nook. I am not sure if you are referring to the peel and stick or the kind you have to use glue. However, I have used peel and stick very successfully both in the aforementioned previous house as well as in a bathroom here. It was going to be a temporary fix, but it has held up so well, I do not have any plans to replace it until I really have to or maybe sell the house way down the road. It held up for me better than I expected. One thing I might add, though, is that in the sunroom, I had laid down a nice Karastan area rug to group the furniture around, and when we sold the house to move, when I took up the rug, the white tiles had discolored horribly!!! (it was black and white checker board) So – I left the rug…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    I have just had a wood like flooring called “LifeProof” from Home Depot put in two bathrooms and a new laundry room. I love it. I have schrooched a bench and baskets around in the laundry and they moved easily and I don’t worry abut the floor being tore up.
    I don’t know if you’ve check it out or not.
    And to let you know, that because of you, I have the confidence in myself to do small DIY projects. Thank you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Have you looked into the old fashion Marmoleum tiles for the room? It’s made from a natural product I believe and comes in many colors. Also, if you’re not having any luck finding luxury tile that you like, is it worth a trip to Dallas for you?
    Is polished concrete a possibility at all? My daughter has that in TX and it works for her house quite well.
    Whatever you do, I know you’re personality will shine through. A checkerboard look is fun and goes with your home and your style.
    Our laundry room floor is wood (who does that?) so I’m very interested in what you decide since we will be changing out the floor in the future.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2018 at 11:45 pm

      Unfortunately, the floor in the studio is a pier and beam foundation that’s about 18 inches above the ground. Concrete isn’t an option.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jo Scott
    September 11, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    I have used this flooring in my kitchen, hall and master bath and I live it. Mine looks so much like stone that my carpet cleaning guy had to touch it to believe it. Easy to keep clean and durable.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    I have installed the tiles and they were super easy. I had absolutely no experience and they turned out great. Easy to cut with nice clean lines. I am sure the products have improved in the 20 years since then but I do see a lot of issues with this flooring. You mentioned that you didn’t want the tiles to crack due to movement. They do crack and chip especially when there was movement under one section of floor and not the other. If anything is repeatedly dragged or rolled you will suddenly notice the scratches and discoloration that literally were not there the day before but now look like someone raked the area and spilled tea all over it. This was from pulling a laundry hamper across the floor. Re waxing does help as long as they haven’t penetrated all the way through to the tile. If it has penetrated then the discoloration and scratches are only amplified by the waxing. It is easy to maintain and even to rewax. It is a mop on wax rather than a rub in with a brush kind of wax, so not much elbow grease required.
    I always try to get sample of products from the manufacturer so I can get a real feeling for look of it as well as finishes and upkeep. I put them in the areas I am thinking of using them in to see how it goes. Counters and flooring are big purchases and most companies will give you decent sized samples if you ask.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Because I’m a “function first” type, I’d choose the polyurea, possibly in a “metallic swirl”. BUT, whatever you choose, I know it’ll be terrific and what YOU want.
    Anecdotal. Back in the 80’s, I laid dark brown VCT in MIL’s tiny, tiny, HEAVY traffic kitchen. Scrubbed her awful sheet flooring with TSP and steel wool for prep. Peel & stick, used a hand-held hair dryer pre-placement on each tile to make sure it adhered well. Never waxed it. After 10 years it still looked like the day I laid it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    I installed it in the kitchen (and the most used entry) of my first home. I remember the installer used a blowtorch to soften sections when laying it. It was waxed before we could use it. We did not have a gloss finish on the wax. I loved there weren’t grout lines to collect dirt and sand. I live on the coast and had two dogs tracking in dirt and sand. It was very easy to keep clean. I didn’t have any difficulty maintaining it. I have since moved and put tile down and hate keeping the grout lines clean and wish we had put in the same floor here. I can’t remember if it dented when things were dropped or not but handled dog and cat claws. The installer was my cousin’s husband who was handy and not a professional installer. I picked it mainly because my father had left over from his commercial building and it was basically a free floor but really did like it with looks and durability.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary O.
    September 11, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    I ripped out new carpet and put a neutral stone-looking luxury vinyl tile in my jewelry making studio and left overs in my laundry room. I love it. Working with a torch results in soot. So some black marks which may or may not come up. I haven’t been that particular about it. Laundry room looks perfect with an occasional broom and mop. I love it in my studio because I can roll my chair around on it. To me that’s a big factor. That may be an advantage in your case as well. How about buying a few tiles, attaching them to a board and putting them to the test?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Kristi, when we did our second floor over I wanted wooden floors but we couldn’t afford it. I bought Trafficmaster Old Hickory Nutmeg that comes 16 planks per box and I love it. Granted our second floor does not get the traffic the first floor does but I do have 2 cats and 2 dogs that go up there and no problem at all. I bought it at Home Depot and our contractor installed it. We used the checkerboard in our kitchen and bought peel and stick and that was a BIG mistake. I want black and white in the kitchen again but NEVER peel and stick. Hope this helps.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary O.
    September 11, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    The little specks of soot from soldering do come up, with elbow grease. Who knew? Lol. It took me awhile to understand what they were. It looked like I was tracking in tar.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    I’ve installed Forbo Marmoleum before in my hallway, it was a espresso crocodile print! It was in sheet goods but it was super easy to install and cut. I just made sure to have lots of fresh blades on hand to switch out as I was cutting it. I know they have it in 10×10, 10×20 and 20×20 tiles for glue down in like 70 color choices. I really loved it, and the biggest reason I chose the Marmoleum over VCT is that the MCT is produced the same way the original linoleum was made back when it first was invented in the 1860’s. Super durable, great colors and not all the chemicals that are in VCT.
    Hope my two cents helped…lol.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Penntek Industrial Coating. My FIL had it installed in his garage but I’m not sure if it would be the right application for your current floor but wow, is it durable! He has created a wood workers workshop and the Penntek is super nice.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marlyn Bisher
    September 11, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    I have sheet vinyl in my kitchen, back hall and laundry room/sewing room for 30 years. It has been awesome but now I’m tired of it. Easy to clean and care for. Cushioned vinyl will cut if things are dropped on them. I assume this is still true.

    As for the patterns, I love the four show you shared. I think the tumbling blooms would be hard on my eyes, especially in such a large amount.

    Sealed concrete could be an option, especially for the type of things you want to do in there. Colors are available.

    I am a retired home economics and art teacher. School tiles were very durable ours were buffed to a high sheen when they were stripped and cleaned one or two times a year.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laura H.
    September 11, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    I don’t have any experience with VCT. We have had ceramic/porcelain tile in our home for over 15 years now. With 4 dogs and a son with asthma, it was the best product for our home. If I had a workshop, I think I would put down either plywood floors and stain them or use that garage type floor covering right over the concrete foundation. You could even get the concrete flooring stained or painted. I wouldn’t worry if the plywood ended up looking somewhat rustic and worn since that can be a nice look for a work area.

    I found, when looking at different flooring options for our home, that the best thing I could do was to get samples of the product and bring them home. I would try them out by doing normal things that might happen in our home – like dropping things on them, having the dogs run across them, spilling stuff on them, etc…. It gave me a much better idea of what was going to be the best product for OUR home and situation. Maybe that’s what you need to do, as well.

    Whatever you do, I’m sure it will be beautiful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Genelle McDaniel
    September 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    We used the commercial vinyl tile in our sunroom, and loved it so much we chose if for our master bathroom redo. In the sunroom, I chose a sand color and turned all the tiles in the same way so that it looked like just one complete floor covering. The beauty of this tile is that the color goes all the way through, so if you scratch it it’s still the same color. In our bathroom I chose a stone or marble-like finish. These tiles are the most easy care floors in my house. I did not put a shine on mine. I like the matte finish, also. And it stays that way.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Well, I guess I’ll be the one with almost no advice. Just one thing, make sure it’s comfortable on the feet for the long term. It can make the difference between enjoyment and agony.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathleen Conery
    September 11, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    It’s been interesting the different experiences…
    I have a good friend who has this in her kitchen. they have a dark color, low shine finish, and she loves it. And it’s gorgeous! After 5+ years it’s showing no signs of wear, not cracking, no dings or dents from dropped items… it looks brand new.
    She never waxes it, but she does mop it regularly… it’s a kitchen after all.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    I don’t know what all you looked at, nor what options exist now but I installed Acura Luxury Vinyl tile with synthetic grout in my kitchen and LOVE it. It takes a beating because even though I try it’s impossible to keep out sand from the road that makes it into my house from the gravel road. It looks real.

    No doubt whatever you choose will be great.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 4:37 pm


    I have laid these types of tiles in 3 kitchens and throughout a lake house. The last time I redid my kitchen (about 6 years ago) I used the Armstrong VCT tiles (special ordered from Home Depot). I think they are easy to take care of. Most of the time, I do not put any kind of wax on the tiles. I did notice a little scratching on the VCT so I put a coat of acrylic wax on it. It smoothed out the scratches and gave it a satin finish.

    I laid the tile in the basket weave pattern (black, white, and charcoal) in my kitchen. I love it and have gotten lots of complements. The only drawback to that pattern is that my tile cutter would only cut straight cuts on the 12″ tiles. The angles needed when you get to the edges had to be hand cut. I scored the back with a utility knife and then snapped the cut piece off. That is essentially what the tile cutter does as well. It was fairly easy but more time consuming than using the tile cutter around the edges. Still, even with the complications I completed a 10′ x 13′ kitchen in one day.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Hi I just used a foam interlocking floor in my basement it’s really comfy underfoot and easily moped doesn’t retain moisture so won’t mold
    They use it on kids playgrounds a lot

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    The house I grew up in had this time in the basement, kitchen and entry ways (ie. Anywhere not carpeted). It holds up really well, usually when tiles come up they would come up whole so you could just glue them back down (or if it broke you could put in another tile). Our house had the the longest in the basement (about 25 years during us living there, plus another 30-40 or so before that). They do have a shine when clean, but I find that it is less of a shine than traditional vynl flooring you would see in a house.
    I’m no help on installation, or on if cuts are clean since we had the basic diamond pattern in the basement and solid black elsewhere.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary Jo Bonds
    September 11, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    I’m not sure what VCT flooring is, but my next bathroom floor will be the old, but new again, lino, either sheet or tiles, probably the tiles.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan C
    September 11, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    We install VCT in grocery stores. I know what happens to them in short order before the finishers come to wax and buff—they are immediately dirty, dull and hard to clean. It’s as if they are porous till waxed. As far as cutting, we use a straight edge and box cutter and get nice clean breaks, when there are just a few to cut. Our tile cutter does well until the blade gets dull, which it does in short order. A table saw worked best, but can’t be doing that because of all the dust and there is asbestos in VCT.

    I used to work for a general contractor building custom homes. One of the owners we built for had us put some sort of cushiony type tile in her craft room and in the children’s playroom. Wish I knew what exactly it was but I thought standing on it would be amazing. It was applied directly to the concrete I believe.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 11, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      I wanted to add, since I also failed to mention it. the asbestos thing is a good point. When they are down they are not a problem, but having them taken out or if they crack/peel up it can be a health hazard.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 12, 2018 at 12:51 am

      I can’t find any info on new VCT containing asbestos. The only thing I find on that topic says that VCT made before the 80s and installed through 1984 contained asbestos.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        wilford facey
        September 12, 2018 at 4:00 am

        Pre 80”s was VAT. Vinyl asbestos tile.
        Since then VCT is vinyl composite tile no asbestos

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Susan C
        September 14, 2018 at 5:15 pm

        It is printed right on the box of VCT tile we pick up at Lowe’s. I read it myself but that was last year (2017). I will check what it says Monday.

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          September 15, 2018 at 3:18 pm

          I would actually like to see a picture of that. I was at Lowe’s today looking at flooring for the studio, and they carry two brands of VCT — Armstrong and Tarkett. Neither box said anything about asbestos.

          But in their product installation guide, both companies include this warning:

          “WARNING! DO NOT SAND, DRY SWEEP, DRY SCRAPE, DRILL, SAW, BEADBLAST OR MECHANICALLY CHIP OR PULVERIZE EXISTING RESILIENT FLOORING, BACKING, LINING FELT OR ASPHALTIC “CUT-BACK” ADHESIVE OR OTHER ADHESIVE. These products may contain either asbestos fibers or crystalline silica. Avoid creating dust. Inhalation of such dust is a cancer and respiratory tract hazard. Smoking by individuals exposed to asbestos fibers greatly increases the risk of serious bodily harm.

          Unless positively certain that the product is a non-asbestos containing material, you must presume it contains asbestos. Regulations may require that the material be tested to determine asbestos content.”

          That’s not talking about the new product in the box. That’s talking about any flooring you may be removing before installing the new flooring. It’s kind of like the labels and warnings that are found on every new can of paint you buy warning about sanding existing paint finishes because they may contain lead.

          Armstrong even explicitly says that none of their flooring is manufactured with asbestos. I haven’t found any explicit guarantees from Tarkett, but I just simply cannot imagine that it contains asbestos. I’m happy to be proven wrong, but so far, I see no evidence of these new flooring materials containing asbestos.

          • Reply To This Comment ↓
            Susan C
            September 16, 2018 at 7:24 am

            Thanks Kristi! It has been too long since I read whatever I read! Every job we do, involves taking up very old VCT to lay new. For us the asbestos warning applied. So sorry to confuse, but thank you for clearing it up. I couldn’t reconcile it in my head that asbestos was still used for anything but my mind remembered reading info that informed us that we deal with it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Joyce Prescott
    September 11, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    WE looked at a model home recently and you have sworn the floor was hardwood but it was a vinyl tile. It goes down in strips like hardwood. NOt sure if you have looked at anything like that.

    I always had tile in my classroom and as long as it was washed everynight it was ok, but it did have to be buffed all the time.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kath Gieraltowski
    September 11, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    What about some kind of reclaimed type wood that you could use for flooring. It has such rich character but you don’t have to stress about the wear and tear as much. Just a thought….

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    It seems like there’s lots of kudos for VCT but your concerns of a shifting floor will still be a concern with VCT. And you HAVE TO wax it to seal it, otherwise it’s still porous. Marmoleum is a wonderful product but not cost-friendly. LVT seems a better fit for your situation and it’s friendlier to the feet and back.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 11, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    We used VCT in our last house. I think it was under a dollar per square foot. It was very comfortable underfoot. We did a design with it that didn’t require much cutting and it was very easy to install. The cuts on the edges were easy and clean. We never coated it as I am not a shiny girl and it cleaned up beautifully.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2018 at 6:19 am

    Hi Kristi. What fun designs you show. I didn’t see this mentioned much in the comments I read but PLEASE keep in mind the cushioning offered by the floor options you are considering. Sounds like you may have already had this in mind. I really love, love, love some of the new porcelain and ceramic tile but it would be a killer on your body….back, legs, etc. and the same for concrete (if you could use it). It also tires out your back and legs quicker and, given you spend long, continuous hours at a stretch when you are heads down in a project, you may have noticed this already. Since this is a working room that you will spend a lot of time in, it will be well worth it to consider the comfort issues. Some of the effects are cumulative and will make themselves known down the road.

    Also, your use is considerably different than that of the average household user who has it in a kitchen, laundry or bath area. Even in a high usage area like a kitchen, it doesn’t equate to the “feet to the floor” time you will spend.

    I didn’t think about this until I read some of the comments but your floor pattern could really limit some of your other decor ideas you have mentioned. Oh, but you have already thought of that, haven’t you.

    Can’t wait to see what you choose since I know it will be perfect for the area….it always is.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Totally unrelated to the topic, but I just saw this and immediately thought of your mural with the birds. Thought you might be interested.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chris F
    September 12, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Kristi, you have so many choices and each giving you a different look. But, you have to live with it and for possibly a long time. The last choice you showed, well it is eye catching but just too busy and would tire of it much like having all orange walls. I personally love the look of a herringbone pattern however, you showed some I have never seen before. I have worked with an interior designer that did mostly commercial spaces like churches and schools. Some of her patterns were awesome using simple VCT and know you would do the have that talent I too love the look of slate on floors and installed a Torlys slate (not actual stone) floor in a kitchen/family room space. It still looks great even after 5 years of hard use (I like the lifetime warranty some of these floors offer) good luck! Cheerio!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathy S
    September 12, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Kristi, I’m so envious of your studio space for crafting and sewing! I have to use my kitchen table most of the time!

    I’m a retired elementary art teacher with experience at two different schools, both having VCT flooring. The first school had me teaching art (for over 18 years) in a newly-built portable building ( yeah, art class doesn’t warrant a classroom in the main building.) The floor was stripped and waxed before school started each August ( if they remembered and had time.) The floor was great until about the 15th year when the pier and beam building began to really settle. Tiles broke in the doorway area and under my rolling chair and broke when they moved heavy cabinets around to wax. The wax actually glued the tiles to the furniture. But, all in all, the whitish light-colored floors were fine amidst the scraping chair legs, playground sand and mud dragged in, and wet feet. Stains from tempera paint and smushed crayons weren’t a huge problem really. They mopped my room on Fridays ( if the night custodians remembered!)
    At my second school, where I taught every other week for my last 5 years, my first room was in another ( far older) portable with dark brown indoor-outdoor carpet. Smelly, but didn’t show dirt and was heavenly to walk on all day. After 3 years there, they tore down that building and moved me indoors. I also had VCT tile in there which was highly waxed and buffed often. It was great, except my legs hurt from being on concrete floors all week. The tiles got horribly scratched when someone dragged a bunch of metal cabinets out of the room when I moved in. Other than that, I loved the floor. Lovely blue and off-white tiles.

    As a kid, we had an off-white VCT floor in the kitchen, breakfast area, and bathrooms. Once a year my mom stripped the floors with ammonia if I remember correctly, and it was amazing how light the floor was then! She used Mop and Glow every week or two and the floors looked great! She didn’t have to use the Mop and Glo. I just think she liked the smell and shine!

    So, don’t be afraid of VCT. I’m seriously considering them in our kitchen area which has big pinkish-tan ceramic tiles. I want to try a black and white checkered floor, but word to the wise, don’t use solid black and white! My dad put them in the master bath one time, and they showed every hair and speck of dust! I’ll go with speckled black and white tiles! Good luck. You’ll choose something perfect for your floor.

    PS- I thought your studio was the former garage. Don’t all garages have concrete floors? You mentioned pier and beam. My brother has stained concrete floors and they are amazing! If I wasn’t on pier and beam, I’d try concrete staining. Cheaper and easier upkeep.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sara H
    September 12, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    I didn’t have time to read all of the comments but did see a couple about the one floor making people feel dizzy looking at it. I remember reading a blog post by a blogger that I now can’t remember- installing a similar (ceramic) tile and then having to rip it out because it made everyone dizzy. As someone that has reoccurring vertigo (along with MS) I know I couldn’t handle it-I still feel dizzy after just glancing at the picture :0

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    VCT sounds very durable. I’ve started looking into end-grain flooring. It is beautiful, but it would need to be sealed well.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Brenda Anderson
    September 12, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    With VCT flooring you will need to put a coat of floor finish on it or it will never stay clean. You will need to remove the mill finish with a stripper to apply the finish. You can get matte or gloss depending on your preference. The mill finish just won’t hold up (even if the manufacture claims it will). With the floor finish on it, however, VCT is incredibly durable and a great option for a studio.

    When laying VCT you have to make sure that nothing is under the tile when laying it. It is very brittle and will crack after it settles on even the smallest rock. If you go into retail stores you will see this happening a lot. It also can be challenging to get the correct amount of adhesive down without it squeezing out. This can also cause the floor to have tiles that are higher than others, especially where they met up. With it being so thin, there just isn’t a lot of room for error like there is on traditional tile.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Oriole ( is there more than one?)
    September 12, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    I have this in an over the garage sewing room. It came with this house which was built in 88. It is cracked and chipped. It had been covered by carpet when we bought this house in 2001 so it must not have worked for the previous owners. I hate it, very hard to take care of. Doesn’t come clean when I wash it.
    They also used this in the school I worked at for some of the lab rooms and lunch rooms. It was better but also brand new and it great designs. The school won an award for design when it opened. The school had it cleaned and waxed between quarters. I worked there 10 years and I would say it didn’t hold up as well as one would have thought.
    I did see real linoleum done in art deco patterns a number of years back and it was awesome. It was from a company out in CA not sure if you can get it outside of LA and NYC. It’s a hard choice when you have movement. A floating floor solves that but that means some sort of wood or laminate. I think I would go cheap laminate since you will most likely be replacing it often. Aren’t you going to have some of your painting and woodworking projects in the studio? Tile isn’t going to work because of grout. You don’t want to deal with that. A floor you glue down is hard to remove later.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 13, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Just a couple of ideas for you. My daughter had her basement finished last year and the installed vinyl wood looking floors look Gorgeous! Easy maintenance. If a piece needs to be replaced, that one piece can easily be replaced. The other thought is carpet tiles where you could easily do a pattern you like and pieces can easily be replaced. If you plan to paint in your studio, then a washable floor is the way to go. I love the floors you showed in pictures but I feel you would need to put down a surface of some kind to keep th looking gorgeous. Our airport here has a high gloss finish to their industrial vinyl tiles and those floors are buffed all the time. They are gorgeous.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 13, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Kristi – I have done floors now in two houses with Metroflor (website below). And. I. Just. Love. It!!! I did a sunroom floor in AR (humid climate) with this product. We did this around 2002 and were very happy until we sold in 2011. The closest example would be Metroflor LVT Studio Plus Tile (Latte would be closest). It looked just like slate and was gorgeous — looked like treated concrete but of course softer and not slippery. Just beautiful. Many compliments!

    Metroflor LVt – Studio Plus Plank (Baltimore would be best example) in our current downstairs. We have had this down for over 6 years and it is just as nice as day one! Beautiful and have had many, many compliments too! Very easy to care for. Figured if they use it in commercial apps it had to be really easy and that is true.

    The only thing I would watch is not to drag pointy stuff or heavy stuff as it could gouge. Of course, that is true for all flooring, not just this kind. Check the Prevail tab for more advice and products for installation and upkeep. My floors were laid with glue, so I flung open all the windows and added fans for a day/evening keep that glue smell down. No “after” odor with the glue.

    Can’t tell you about installation because we had ours done by the folks that we purchased the product from. Both installers were great and the final product was amazing. I just can’t recommend this product enough to you. Just find a distributor in your area and check it out. Website indicates that Advanced Carpet and Interiors in Waco handles this product.

    I think it fits the bill and you will LOVE it as much as I do! Good luck!