If you’re looking at a floor in your home that could use a little upgrade, and you’ve been tempted by the affordability of peel and stick tile options, I recommend you read on.
When we bought our wonderful, badly outdated little home, we knew we’d have four to six weeks to work on it before our lease would expire and we’d positively have to move. It was winter-actually, we closed a couple days before Thanksgiving. So during that next month and four days before we officially moved, we juggled: my husband’s full time job and part time school; my full time job; and four kids three and under. Oh, and Christmas. And packing up our entire life. And did I mention our twins were seven months old? Meanwhile, my husband spent practically every free minute at our house, trying to complete as many projects as possible, often well into the wee hours.
What, you may ask, is the point of painting this chaotic picture? I guess I feel the need to justify our decision to take the comparatively easy way out on our kitchen floor by ordering a whole bunch of peel and stick tiles from Wayfair.
Above is the kitchen, as it was when we bought our house. We felt strongly that we wanted to replace this linoleum. On one side of the kitchen is our entryway; on the other, the dining room. Both contained the same worn brown carpet (yep..the dining room!) Replacing the floors in all of these rooms was high on our to-do list. We selected and purchased some luxury vinyl planking, hoping to use the same throughout the dining room, the kitchen, and through to the entryway, but alas, Menards did not have enough to cover all that square footage. This led to our decision to put different flooring in the kitchen.
Choosing peel and stick tiles
I chose our tiles by scrolling on Wayfair. The price point was a huge selling point at just over a dollar per square foot. The listing promised quality and ease of installation. Not needing to remove the existing linoleum, or do much appliance moving, was another reason we chose peel and stick tile. They looked pretty cute too, kind of a cobblestone-y look. The reviews were slightly mixed, but mostly positive-though admittedly, there weren’t many. As pressed for time and money as we were at this point, we decided to go for it.
Installing peel and stick tile
My husband and father-in-law handled this installation with almost no actual labor from me. I’ve clarified details with him where needed.
First step: removing trim (quarter round, in our case).
Next, clean the original floor. I believe we used Dawn degreaser which for some reason appears to only be available on Amazon in bulk. Getting your original surface free of dust and grease is integral to your success.
Choose one end to start: Our kitchen has doors on both ends. You may prefer to work from the inside of your kitchen, out to the door
With the first tile, peel off the backing, place tile how you want it, press with hands. The installation really is extremely simple. A downside to the self-adhesive is that we could not figure out any way to avoid getting our hands covered in the sticky adhesive. Repeat with remaining tiles
When you reach an edge, or an area that requires a tile be cut to fit, use a box cutter to fit tiles, using a speed square or similar tool to help cut straight lines.
Repeat until finished! The ease of installation is undoubtedly a perk of choosing this type of flooring.
Pros and Cons
The upsides to peel and stick tile have mostly been described above. It’s affordable, it’s pretty easy to install, it doesn’t require you to remove the pre-existing flooring. In fact, you can’t: the tiles don’t stick to subflooring. You will want to make sure that there aren’t gaps or cracks in the original flooring.
The cons are probably best shown through pictures:
As time goes on and these are walked on a lot, the adhesive adheres more firmly, but they also slide a little in the process, if they have a little space to do so. Since the tiles come with the adhesive already applied, there’s no additional adhesive to apply in the cases where the tiles are popping up in the corners.
Ultimately, I think this is a situation where we got what we paid for. We wanted cheap and quick, and we certainly got those things…but definitely sacrificed quality in the process. We’re only coming up on six months since this tile was installed, and we’re looking forward to replacing it! I should mention here that my in-laws were fully wise enough to foresee this outcome, and cautioned us against making this choice in the first place. Solomon would find us to be foolish.
Have you ever made a hasty choice for your home that you wound up regretting? Or maybe you have tried these tiles and loved them! Let me know in the comments.
For a tutorial on our painted cabinets, click here.