I wanted to do update my half bath 4x6 with new vanity,toilet, and floor. Rather then rip out the ugly builders grade tile, I planned on using the peen n stick luxury vinyl tile that can be grouted. I was hoping I can just lay this over the existing tile floor. Is there any special preparation that needs to be done? I picked this project because it seemed easy to do, but reading on other forums, it seems the prep is almost as difficlut as doing REAL tile. any thoughts? Again its a half bath, toilet and vanity cover most of the flooring anyway.
Good morning sunshine2214,
Thanks for your question and welcome to the community!
I'm not exactly sure where you are reading that prep work is difficult. As long as the existing tile or flooring surface is clean, level, and free of any gouges, you can simply tile over it. Even though your tile now maybe ugly, it still can have new tile put over it as long as it was meeting those conditions I just stated. Peel and stick tile is really of the easiest flooring installs that any DIY'er can do.
The only time you would need any prep work is if any tiles are missing, there are damaged areas to the existing tile, or the floor is uneven. If your builders grade tile has none of that, then no worries! If you do, you can simply use a self-leveling floor compound and refer to a post regarding leveling your floors I wrote a while back.
After addressing any of those issues, and the floor is clean, you are now ready to tile. You will want to layout your tile just like any ceramic or stone tile, so as to allow a nice and professional look to the new floor. Since you are using grout lines, tile spacers are going to be a big helper in this project. They guarantee you'll get nice uniform lines even before you start to grout, taking them out as you go along with the grouting.
As for grouting, I would recommend using a pre-mixed grout we sell that works great for peel and stick vinyl tiles. The acrylic in the grout is flexible for this kind of floor, and is prone to less cracking and failure over time. You still would need to periodically seal the grout to ensure a long lasting and great looking floor.
Let us know if you have any further questions,
Thnak you for your reply. I read that the tile floor should be sanded/roughed up so the stick can adhere to it better.. I also read that I would need to fill in the existing grout lines so the floor is "100% even". If you are saying no, to both then I guess it really is a simple as that. One more question, would you recommend additional adhesive?
It is no problem at all.
While it is true most surfaces that are glossy need to be prepared for what is being applied over them (paint, glue, etc.), vinyl tile adhesive I have found can stick to shiny surfaces. That is not to say that this can and will help in the life of the tiles by scuff sanding your half bath.
This can achieved with using a resusable sanding sponge. While using a pole sander with the sandpaper attached works great for large areas and is effective, it won't be here. Plus, the sanding sponge can go into those nook and cranny areas of the floor that the larger sanders can't. All you would be doing is going over the surface of the existing builders grade tile a few times to allow the sheen to break down. Of course afterwards, you'll need to clean and make sure no debris is left over from this step. You don't need a rough grit either. I picked out one below that should be just the trick for you.
As for the grout lines, as long as they are 1/8" or less in depth to the height of the existing tiles, you should be fine. If it is deep, you can use a concrete sealant in a caulk tube that works well for filling in gaps and making your floor even (grout is a form of cement).
Luxury vinyl peel and stick tiles are very thick, and over time you may have some grout joints showing, but it shouldn't be an issue if you used tiles thicker than 80 mil thick.
I would not recommend additional adhesive as the glue that comes on them is more than enough to secure it to the floor. As stated earlier, you'll need to make sure the floor now is clean and free of dust and debris. Also make sure there are no surface imperfections or gouges in the existing floor and that it is level. The adhesive on the backs of any vinyl tile usually come up due to 2 reasons:
To keep water above from going underneath the tile, installing it correctly is important. One thing most people neglect is not sealing the edges of the floor where it meets the wall with a good flexible sealant. Lots of choices are out there for that, but I find a good 100% silicone sealant prevents water from going into the edges. Only use the sealant around the edges and not between or under the tiles, as it can lead to install failure and in some cases discoloration of the tiles.
So in short, you'd be surprised how little work you'll need to do for peel and stick tiles; they tend to do that for you!
Anything else please let us know,