Welcome to the latest in the never-ending saga of home improvements at our house, a groutable vinyl self-stick tile floor in our kitchen!
My hubby and I were blessed to be able to double the size of our kitchen about 3 years ago. We finished and painted the walls, installed new cabinets and appliances….and that was it. Fast forward three years and 5 house flip and we have been living with cement board floors and plywood counters (covered with brown sticky tiles). I have been okay with this arrangement as it is such a huge improvement over our previous kitchen.
Also, we have had so many compliments on our countertops, which always makes me smile! I think people just see a dark brown, suede-like finish and don’t look that closely.
Well, we are finally at the point where we can finish working on our own house, and boy is there a lot to do! Without even adding in funhouse stuff from Pinterest, we need to maybe drywall a bit and need to paint the entire downstairs (other than the kitchen). We also need to refurbish our lighting and install new flooring. In the kitchen, we needed to install new flooring and a backsplash, finish the opening for our skylight and install a new door and window trim. We also need to put in a new sink (we are leaning towards copper) and a faucet; we need to add some electrical outlets to the island and get a new countertop.
Right now, the downstairs flooring and countertop are out as they are big-ticket items. For the floor, I want a dark antiqued bamboo floor from Lumber Liquidators. It is much more durable than wood, which will be good with my doggies and it’s just plain pretty! For a countertop, I think we have settled on quartz, although I may bring up granite to my hubby, so that’s still open for discussion.
So, over the last couple of weeks we installed our backsplash (to be featured in another post), changed out the electrical outlets, and switches on that wall (also in another post) to better match the backsplash, and put in a floor.
I first saw this type of flooring at a friend’s house a couple of years ago- her tile looks awesome too! Now, this isn’t my “dream” floor (bamboo is) but it’s pretty sharp looking and practical and it’s only $1.29 a square foot!! It’s difficult to get a floor that’s this nice looking for a price like that. Now, just a note- it isn’t necessary to lay cement board to do a floor like this, but three years ago, we thought we would be laying ceramic tile, so in our case, the cement board is a bit of overkill.
So, if you’ve never heard of a sticky tile that you can grout, I’ll take you through the process.
These tiles are one foot by two foot and I told my hubby I wanted to lay them in a running bond pattern, with each row offset by ½ half of a tile.
We used spacers to keep our grout line consistent. The spacers worked so well, that upon laying the tiles on both sides of our large island and getting to the other end, we didn’t have to adjust horizontally or vertically. The tiles were right on. That was amazing and a miracle!
We also used a vinyl floor roller to ensure we were getting all the air bubbles out so that our tiles would have a good “grip” throughout their length.
I would wipe and rinse and wipe and rinse. Then I would get a new bucket of water and repeat, and repeat and repeat. I’m not sure how many times I had to wipe over each section of flooring with clean water or how many times I dumped my bucket and refilled it but it was a lot. In the end, I finished with a sponge mop, rinsing it between each swipe, and then my hubby used a damp paper towel to wipe the rest of the haze off of the tiles. There isn’t any way to speed up this process. The more the grout dries, the less residue you pick up and redistribute back onto the tiles.
The only thing that was left to do was to seal the grout. We picked a better sealer that will keep the floor sealed and protected for 20 years.
I am very happy with how my floor turned out, and better yet, have discovered a nice looking, economical alternative for my house flips! If you didn’t know better, would you think this was a ceramic tile floor?