How is the peel and stick flooring holding up?!

February 11, 2021

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It seems to be only yesterday that we laid peel and stick tile over the girls bathroom floor. Anybody else? In reality, 5 months have flown by, and they have been put to the ultimate test so we thought it was time to spill the details – the answer to everyone’s burning question, “how is the vinyl holding up?”

Well the honest truth is… it’s not as great as we hoped it would be. Hear me out. This was always going to be a temporary solution to level up the bathroom until we could prioritize making it what we really dreamed. Just a little sprucing to match more of our taste and aesthetic. But also, we were hoping it would get us through a year or two. 

We learned a lot from this and wanted to share what we would have done differently, or what you could do if you’re interested in this flooring solution. 

Sometimes I forget that this is what we started with. As you can see, this tile is so rough and bumpy around the edges. We laid each vinyl sticker over the tile but left the grout exposed.

…and this is what it looks like with 5 months of wear and tear. The corners are definitely lifting up, which we kind of expected since we didn’t attempt to seal any of this, but we honestly think this mostly has to do with the fact that our grout is sunken in, and the edges on the tile are so rough and textured. Combine that with little feet traffic lifting up the edges over time.

Some grout and tile might be better suited for this DIY. But we’re all about solutions here. If your grout is sunken in, you can easily re-grout on top in order to make it more flush with the edges of the tile. After doing a bit of research, we think that even if your tile is rough and textured, it would stay better if you used some kind of sealant coat on top.

So the good news. I don’t consider this a fail overall. Knowing that this was going to be a temporary update gave me the freedom to be a little more brave in selecting a fun pattern and color. It truly has brightened this bathroom and made it more tolerable to be in, especially while we were using it as our primary bathroom during the
cottage bathroom renovation.

But, if we were going to do it again, we would (and probably will) add a sealer over the whole floor, or at least the grout lines. I think if your floor is smoother tile, you will have no issues. But knowing what we know now, yes we still would have done this fun DIY update and we will forever continue to renovate in phases. 

Check out the original project right here and the little girls’ phase 1 bathroom makeover here!

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What do you think?

  1. Thank you for publishing this article. last few years I’ve tried that but going only one month static. especially when you share potential solutions!

  2. Toni J says:

    We have some peel and stick in a bathroom we we did, it is working great.. probably because we laid it on linoleum straight. It looks different when laying on tile that has grout and etc… I love the floor though, and your reno’s are helping me think about doing some updating to our home! Thanks

  3. Christina Salvato says:

    I work with vinyl for a living at a sign shop in Boston. It is absolutely the texture of the floor that is preventing the vinyl from properly adhering. You’d of course still have some wear and tear over time with all the foot traffic, but it likely wouldn’t have happened this soon. Either way, agree with all that you said that it’s a great temporary solution! You also always need a completely clean surface – dust and debris will prevent proper sticking. Now that it’s peeling, that could also be contributing to it getting worse.

  4. Sue says:

    I used these tiles in my kitchen right over linoleum. I made sure the floor was very clean before application. After two years of spills and many washes these tiles look as great as the day I installed them. They also feel great under foot. I am thrilled with them.

    • Carrie says:

      Sue, did you use the individual tiles application over the linoleum, or larger sheets? I’ve been wanting to try this over our linoleum as well, so it is wonderful to hear someone chime in on that!

      • Kellie says:

        Carrie, if you butt the tiles up next to each other with no spaces, you’ll be fine. At my first house we had this type of tile and it lasted many years.

      • Kellie says:

        Oops, just remembered these are thinner than actual vinyl tiles. I was just looking at Home Depot for a solution to my torn linoleum under my washing machine, and they had some nice inexpensive self-stick vinyl tiles in different sizes.

  5. Cici Haus says:

    Thanks for giving us an update. I appreciate hearing about the not-so-great as much as the stellar, especially when you share potential solutions!

  6. Elyse says:

    How have you kept it clean thus far? Any tips?

  7. Michelle says:

    Thanks for this review! So helpful! What would you use to seal the floor at this point?

  8. Judith says:

    Thank you for the update, I find stuff like this particularly interesting. I agree that the make of the tile has a lot to do with what happened, a very even industrial tile would probably keep everything flat and sticking longer!

    I’d probably take off the bent and sticking up bits with a razor now, to prevent them from becoming bent up more and leading to more peeling than might otherwise happen.

    Those stickers give such a lovely vibe to the room!

  9. Tara says:

    What kind of sealer would you suggest? Thank you!

  10. Melissa says:

    What would you think about putting this on top of laminate flooring for a short term solution? Better because there’s no grout to deal with? Or better to just rip up the laminate and put down tile?

  11. Michelle says:

    Hi! Is there a sealer that you would recommend? Thank you!

  12. Erin says:

    I was wondering how those would hold up. They are so pretty but you just never know how long a fix like that will last. A couple of tips I can offer if you didn’t already try would be to apply with a little heat and a lot of pressure, like a torch and a rubber j-roller. Vinyl loves heat and pressure; the heat softens the material making it more flexible and able to conform to uneven surfaces almost like shrink wrap. I obvs don’t know the exact materials used but this should have been printed on a commercial grade floor vinyl, and (if finished properly) then laminated, like you see on the floors of the grocery stores. So if they used the right materials this should hold up to heavy duty traffic without peeling but is not made to be permanent. The warm and moist environment might also have contributed the the wear as well but overall it looks like they have held up ok. Can you just replace those few that are peeling to extend the overall life until you are ready to replace the floor?

  13. Lavinia says:

    Thank you! Since you first posted this project, I’ve wondered how it would hold up. Love the follow-up. I’ll probably try this in my kitchen, which has smoother tiles.

  14. Krista Wells says:

    1. I could be convinced that the flooring is like an original aged tiles to the house maybe?! Claim it’s the look you’re going for ????
    2. What sealer would you recommend?! I’m about to use this in a large space (that will have a rug so that may save some of it) so this blog post could not have come at a better time! Any suggestions would be super helpful!

  15. Erin says:

    I bought these tile decals because of you guys! I covered smooth tile with them and they have held up wonderfully. Thank you for being such a great inspiration on all things home. Your blog is my absolute favorite!

    • Erin says:

      I also purchased from this Etsy shop because of your recommendation. We just laid down full panels that look like tile- so fingers crossed ours hold up better
      ! But appreciate the watch out and updates on Your end!

  16. Alex M says:

    Thanks for publishing this! It’s so hard to get a sense for how these temporary fixes last, usually. It’s still such a cute room!

  17. Miranda says:

    Love this idea. What sealer would you use next time?

  18. Rebecca M says:

    Thank you so much for the review. I have been wondering if I should have gone the vinyl tile route versus painting my tile. Painting didn’t cost much but the time investment was exponential for the graphic look I wanted (It’s a 16×16 room) and it hasn’t held up well. I’m now thinking I should have just lived with the tile and invested in a large graphic rug. lol. Now I’m deciding whether or not I should touch up the paint or scrub/sand it all off. Mine too is an interim project. I’m not sorry I did it either. I love the look. :D Just wish there were some better options out there.

  19. Courtney says:

    Thank you for providing a follow up to this project. I am definitely one of your followers who wondered how this would hold up, especially with the type of tile and grout you have. I’m still in love this option, even if it was always meant to be temporary.

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