How to Install Sheet Vinyl Flooring Over Tile
All of the supplies and steps you need for installing sheet vinyl flooring over old tile yourself for a temporary fix.
Favorite project EVER! Okay, I say that about probably 50% of every project we do around here, but this one is definitely up there on the charts of most-transformative-for-least-amount-of-money.
If you’ve been following along on our master bathroom refresh, Robert and I had painted the walls, trim, and cabinet up until this past weekend. But the ceramic tile floor still looked like this:
Even though we had rescued the ceramic tile in our kitchen and hallway bathroom using grout pen in the past, this floor seemed a little farther gone. And since we were sticking with the existing countertop and shower for now (until a real gut/renovation down the road), I wanted a floor that would modernize the 80s beige a little better.
Except I wanted to steer clear of tile paint and the stenciling route like so many DIYers have been doing here lately. With a 3 month old in the house, I wasn’t loving the idea of fumes and I wanted this job to be quick and the install done in a matter of an hour or two.
Normally, if you were doing a major renovation, I would NOT suggest putting vinyl floor on top of tile. I think for a permanent floor, it should be done the “right” way. But for a quick Phase 1 fix, it’s a great DIY-able solution to carry you through until you’re ready for a messy contractor job.
So if you’re wanting to do the same thing to some of your existing tile floors that have seen better days, here’s how we made it happen.
(Some affiliate links are provided below for convenience. Full disclosure here.)
How to Install Sheet Vinyl Flooring Over Tile:
- Thin-Set Mortar
- Putty knife
- Medium grit sandpaper
- Broom and dust pan
- Pry bar and mallet or hammer
- Sheet vinyl floor of your choice (We used this one.)
- Vinyl flooring adhesive (Optional: Our floor’s manufacturer did not recommend adhesive for ours, so this will vary depending on what sheet vinyl you choose.)
- Tape measure
- Pencil/pen & paper
- Sharp scissors or utility knife
- Chalk line
- White silicone caulk and caulk gun
- Brad nailer gun (We LOVE this one.)
- Because you don’t want your sheet vinyl to settle into cracks and grooves in your subfloor over time, patch everything in your tile to create a smooth surface. Our tile was in great shape, so I just had to fill the grout lines with thin-set mortar using a putty knife.
Try to apply it as smoothly as possible.
2. Once the mortar is dry in about 24-48 hours, you can sand any rough spots with medium grit sandpaper.
3. Sweep the floor and remove any debris with a dust pan since you don’t want to trap anything under your sheet vinyl floor.
4. Remove quarter round and baseboards with a crowbar and mallet or hammer. Here’s a post to help you with it, if you’ve never done it before. Set the quarter round trim and baseboards aside to reinstall after the sheet vinyl is in (assuming they’re in good condition).
5. Measure all of the edges around the room and draw a diagram of your room on a piece of paper using those measurements. Never a dull moment with this guy around, even with mundane measuring jobs. 😉
Include measurements of any obstacles in the room as well. We removed our old toilet beforehand (this is a great video for toilet removal with a good tip to prevent water dripping everywhere), so we measured where to cut a hole in our sheet vinyl for that as well.
6. Measure twice and double check that all of your measurements are correct on your diagram.
7. Roll out your sheet vinyl and take a nap. Just kidding. 😉 Well… if you do, we won’t blame you. But at least roll out the sheet vinyl (do NOT flip it upside-down for measuring/cutting in the next step).
8. Use your diagram as a reference to mark your measurements using the tape measure onto the edges of the sheet vinyl to create a template.
9. Mark your lines between your measurements for the perimeter of your room with a chalk line.
10. And cut the sheet vinyl with sharp scissors or a utility knife. After your floor is cut, wipe up any remaining chalk line (Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work great).
11. Haul your cut sheet vinyl into the room and roll it out. Trim any remaining spots with a utility knife as needed as you position it into the room.
12. Reinstall your baseboards and quarter round trim with a nail gun to hold your floor’s edges in place. (This was per our manufacturer’s instructions for our specific vinyl floor, but your floor’s manufacturer may require you to apply an adhesive first.)
13. Then, apply white silicone caulk to fill cracks on the reinstalled trim. And attach sheet vinyl edging to where it meets up at a shower/tub/door threshold too.
It looks SO much better in here now! And that beige countertop almost looks intentional… almost. 😉
But with the mix of warm and cool tones in this floor, I feel like it makes the blue and beige cohesive.
So now next on the agenda is to patch, touch up a little paint, and install a new toilet (because the old one desperately needed to be hauled out for good).
I’ll be painting the door Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron this week to match the rest of the ones in the house that are already that deep charcoal color.
And I’ll be hanging up a window shade so that the whole neighborhood doesn’t get a peep show when we actually are able to use this bathroom again. Ha!
And we’ll be hanging up new mirrors and installing a new vanity light this week too.
I keep debating on whether or not I should hang a long shower curtain in front of this shower door to camouflage it though. What do you think? Cover it up or leave it?
We’re finally in the home stretch over here! And then we’ll be gearing up for our first major renovation elsewhere in the house that I can’t wait to show y’all. Eek!!! One thing at a time though.
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