October 10, 2016

Installing Marble Vinyl Tile in the Kitchen

Over the weekend we moved all of our furniture into the house, put all the hardware on the kitchen cabinets and hung them all up, installed the garbage disposal, and put the quarter-round down in the kitchen. A few posts back I mentioned that we picked up this marble vinyl tile from Home Depot for only 89¢ / sq. ft. Last week we prepped the floors and put those babies down. 

Here is the top layer of sheet vinyl. It was a brick like/Tetris pattern in a brown and khaki color. Below the top layer was a layer of plastic tile that looked 100% like masonry brick. Not only was their exterior brick, but their kitchen floor was brick! Thankfully, we came up with a better solution.



Below is the bottom layer of green terrazzo vinyl tile and it surprisingly more bearable than the top layer haha. This "Ugly Flooring From History" article is incredibly accurate because it lists the top (#1) and bottom (#25) layers as ugly flooring and oh are they right!


And here is the new carara marble vinyl flooring that we installed ourselves.




Our kitchen is approximately 200 square feet so we got 8 boxes of tiles and had about 1 and 1/2 left over. After much deliberation and playing with the squares, I decided to lay them in a staggered pattern, as opposed to a straight line. I had to take a whole box of squares out and lay them in both patterns, decide if I wanted the grain to all go in the same way or random, or a pattered cross grain. In the end we went with the grain going the same way due to the manufactured marble look which looked bad any other way.




Even though the tile comes with a sticky peel off backing, we put this VCT Adhesive down with it to get the maximum amount of life out of our floor. This stuff is NO joke, it gets so sticky and can only come off by using mineral spirits or paint thinner. It is only $14 and we ended up using 1 bucket and 1/3 of another one. The trick to using this stuff is to put an entire row of adhesive down and let it dry for about 20 mins (or until it's clear-ish) and then put the tiles down. This allows the adhesive to get tacky and the tile adheres to the floor better leaving you with a longer lasting floor. We made the mistake of not doing this for about a third of the kitchen and it got so messy. Hopefully you guys can learn for our mistakes and spend less time cleaning up the mess.




Here you can see we spread a row of the adhesive and are waiting for it to dry. We found that putting a box fan in there with us sped up the process a bit. After all of the tile is down, we had to go over every. square. inch. with a rag and paint thinner. The one thing you don't want is someone stepping on excess adhesive and pulling up your beautiful floor. The rows where we didn't wait for the glue to get tacky had a significantly bigger amount of glue on the tiles that we had to clean off. It took me about an hour to go over the entire floor, not including the breaks I took haha. Another great thing about this vinyl tile is that you can grout it! We chose not to simply becuase we didn't like the look of it for this space and we didn't want to spend the time, but you can treat the squares just like regular tile and use spacers as you lay them down so that you can go back and grout it. Let me know if you have done this and how it turned out! 




After we double checked that everything was clean the next day, we put the quarter round down to finish up the space and keep the tile down. The whole process took us a few days since we were doing it after work everyday, but I'm sure you could knock it out in one good Saturday. The only thing we have left to do is put down the transitions between the kitchen and the hardwood. And can we just talk about how much bigger the room seems now? It seems so much bigger in face that it makes our dining room table seem like a table for ants. But on the bright side it is giving me some major creative juices to make a dining room table that will fill up the space.




Just a beautiful shot of the vinyl tile without the yellow lights on. Everything turned out better than I thought it would, and we are so excited to be moving in this week. We also DIY painted our fridge and installed the pendant light in the kitchen so be on the look out for that post soon!




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