Once we tore down the walls between the kitchen, dining room and living room, we were left with holes in our floor tile where the walls had stood. We originally filled the space with a piece of 1 x 4, but it looked awkward. It was really just to stop us from tripping in the hole.
Our plan is to have one floor type (preferably wood) throughout the kitchen, living room and dining room, but we’re just not at a point where we can pay for that. So we wanted to have some sort of temporary floor in the kitchen to make the place presentable and get rid of the trip hazards for our walking baby.
The cheapest option we found was peel-and-stick vinyl floor tiles. We found some that look like wood at our local Lumber Liquidators and at $0.80 a square foot, we went for it. We ordered 100 square feet figuring we would not have to put it under the cabinets.
After placing our order, we went to work tearing up the tile in the kitchen. One of the things we have been learning is that if things aren’t done right in the first place, they’re easy to take apart. Such was the case with taking up the tile floor – it was not too difficult. We used hammers and crowbars and had it pulled up in a couple of hours. I’m sure if the tile had been properly done by the builders, this would have taken a lot more sweat and tears.
There were a few spots on the floor where the tile mortar stuck to the plywood sub-floor. We sanded down those areas to make them level with the rest of the floor.
After that, we painted the floor. I’m not totally sure if this was a necessary step, but the plywood was not in the best shape after the tile was pulled up and we thought a painted plywood would provide a better surface for sticking the vinyl tiles to. We didn’t go crazy on this – just one coat of primer.
Then hubby went to work laying the tile. He began by finding the center of the floor and making a straight line to guide the placement of the tiles. He then began laying the tiles in a staggering pattern, much like the way real wood floors are laid. Once the tile was in position, we used a rolling pin over it to put pressure on it and secure it to the floor.
The new floor was done in about 2 hours.
We were happy – until we noticed that some of the tiles slid a bit on the floor. Not very much, they would definitely move enough that we could see space between them. We googled solutions to this problem and found that some people purchased a stronger spray glue for better adhesion. We tried this, on a few tiles, but we weren’t impressed.
We figured since it was a wood-looking tile, we could get away with nailing the tiles in place. So we used some brad nails and placed two nails on either end of each tile.
Problem solved. And honestly, you don’t notice the nails.
We’re happy with the way it turned out. It also gave us the opportunity to see what a dark wood floor would look like in the space. I think when we install our real wood floor, we will use a stain that is slightly lighter.
But it works for our temporary floor.