In the 400+ posts I’ve shared over the years there are a select few that I receive questions about on a daily basis. Which, by the way, I love! Reader inquiries + questions make me so happy :)
One post, in particular, that many readers are interested in is my experience with groutable luxury vinyl tile flooring.
So the basic question I continually get asked is: Has your vinyl tile held up + How is it today?
Here are just a few of the reader questions I’ve received:
> Hi! I just came across you on pinterest about the groutable vinyl floor tiles I was curious how they hold up over time? I never knew you could do this so of course I’m thinking tomorrow we will go buy flooring and get busy! LOL but I wanted to ask over time how it held up? Thank you so much.
> I’m in the process of installing vinyl groutable tile in a kitchen and dining area. The area already have vinyl square tiles on the floor. My question is, do I need to install a sub-floor/wood boards before installing the vinyl tile ?
> Hello, I came across your post about the installation of peel and stick vinyl tiles in January of 2012. I found this same product today on my hunt for new flooring for my kitchen. My question to you is, how has it held up so far? Is it durable? Are you still satisfied with the product? You response and insight are greatly appreciated.
> I saw these vinyl tiles at Lowe ‘s and read the box, but it didn’t have a lot of details. For example, we want to put these in our kitchen which has vinyl sheeting glued on concrete. Should we remove the old vinyl first or put these tiles directly ver the old vinyl. I’m sure it will be extremely difficult to get the old stuff up. Then there will be old glue to also get up. Another question I have is should you put down additional glue besides the glue on the back of the tile? If so, what kind? These do appear to be easier than wood, cork, or porcelain tile. We’ve used the old peel and stick before in other homes. Thanks for your info.
> I am researching groutable tile and came across your blog. Now that it has been down for a year how is the grout holding up? We are thinking about putting this in our kitchen and keep going back and forth on whether or not we want to grout it. It seems like the people who put it over pre-existing ceramic tile or cement have the best results. Ours is just a lauan subfloor and we live in an old house (1870’s) so it is hard to have perfectly level floor. Just wondering your thoughts of the durability. Right now in our renovation we are at the end of our budget so we wanted something we can do by ourselves but also looked good in the end. I am just terrified of having the grout crack and pull away. The tiles we are looking at are beveled so we could do it without grout, but that makes me worried that dirt and liquid could cause a problem.
> I came across your web page while looking for groutable vinyl tile and I was just curious how is it holding up 2 years later? Would you do it again. Are there any cons to it that you have come across? Thanks
> Hello Jenna – I was so glad I found your great DIY on groutable vinyl floor tiles – this is exactly what I want to do for my kitchen floor. I will also be covering
smaller square ceramic tiles with larger vinyl tiles. My question is, did you have to put extra adhesive down in the lower grout lines of the ceramic floor to eliminate any “sunken” or dip lines in the finished vinyl tile floor?
> Thank you for you thoughts. What you did for your parents foyer looks great and you have me very psyched to do this!!
And there are many more, but these are the general questions readers have asked & this post is dedicated to answering them all (or as much as I can…)
My Overall Thoughts on Groutable Luxury Vinyl Tile
I am very satisfied! Overall, all of the LVT floors I have installed have held up amazingly. There has not been one issue with the flooring cracking, settling, sinking, etc. With all the floors I have installed, I DID NOT remove the existing floor, but all the floors ‘before’ were ceramic and in good condition with no cracking. In none of the spaces did I fill in the existing joints and none of the luxury vinyl floor tiles have “sunk” in those crevices. LVT floor is thick and really not bendable as in typical vinyl tiles. You can definitely tell the difference between the two and the cost reflects that. LVT is more expensive than a typical vinyl tile, but it is absolutely worth the additional cost. I still feel that using groutable luxury vinyl tile is a wonderful long-term solution for a floor. The look is very similar to ceramic tile & the turn-around time and ease of installation is incredible. A floor that can be done in one day (install + grout) with no prior experience is pretty great, don’t you think?!
Luxury Vinyl Tile in the Master Bathroom
Now that I’ve shared my overall thoughts on LVT, here are answers to the Top TEN Questions that have been asked:
1. How has the tile held up over time?
Fabulous. As I said in my overall thoughts, there has not been one issue in any of the spaces that I have installed the LVT. With the use of grout, the tiles are very sturdy and there have been no issues with loosening of the glue or the tile shifting over time. Once the grout hardens, the tile is fully adhered to the floor below. When I remodeled the powder room and replaced the toilet, a few of the tiles had to be fixed because I had originally cut the tile around the base of the bowl. The LVT and grout were installed so well to the floor below that it was actually difficult to lift the tiles. They eventually came up, but it took some muscle.
2. Do I need to install a sub-floor/wood boards before installing the vinyl tile?
This is a difficult question to answer because every floor, in every home is different and I’m sharing my experience and the installation process I took. BUT, here is my thought… If the floor you are working with is in good condition – no cracks, lifting, etc – you should be okay to install the LVT directly on top. So basically you are purely changing the floor because of how it looks versus because it is damaged. If the floor you are covering has issues and/or is damaged, then it would be best to remove the floor, install / patch the existing subfloor, and then install the luxury vinyl tile.
3. Is it durable?
I think the product is very durable, especially with the use of grout. All of the spaces (foyers + bathrooms) I have installed the LVT are high-traffic areas and the tile has been exposed to water, mud, wet shoes, and more. No where have I seen issues with lifting or general wear.
4. Why do you love LVT?
> The ease of install – it’s a one day job (depending on the size of the space of course). Yes, I have tiled before, but I do not feel that installing LVT was difficult at all. I think a person with little experience can complete this project with ease. Measuring and cutting is really the most difficult part of the project, so take your time and measure correctly! Installing ceramic tile is not difficult, but it is tricky and experience is helpful. Cutting ceramic tile can often be difficult and time consuming. For prior ceramic tile projects, I’ve used tile snips, a tile cutter, and a wet saw. A wet saw is the best for cutting ceramic tile, but it’s not easy – I’ve made alot of mistakes. In my estimation, ceramic tile would take about double the time for installation compared to installing groutable vinyl tile.
> No prior experience installing a floor is needed.
> The cost is more than half of ceramic tile. A standard 40-50 sq. ft. space is fairly inexpensive. The typical luxury vinyl tiles that I purchased from Lowe’s were $1.08 and the premixed grout cost $7. The total cost of an entire project for this square footage would cost about $65. Ceramic tile is available in a range of prices, but usually starts at $2 per sq. ft., so the savings right there is 50%.
> Luxury vinyl tile is flexible + forgiving. I’ve installed ceramic tile before and within a few months it started cracking in some areas because the subfloor wasn’t level. I’m not a professional and don’t have the budget to pay a professional, yet I wanted change. LVT is a great solution because it provides the flexibility for a slightly uneven floor below. YET, by adding the grout, the result is a sturdy, durable finished product.
5. Should you put down additional glue besides the glue on the back of the tile?
I never used additional glue. I felt the glue that was on the back of the tile was enough for it to adhere to the floor below. The glue on the back of the tile is very sticky and once the paper backing was removed, I immediately laid it into place. IF the tile isn’t used right away and over time the back is exposed to air, additional glue might be needed. I can not recommend a glue to use since I have never used one.
6. The tiles we are looking at are beveled so we could do it without grout? What are your thoughts?
I don’t prefer the look of a beveled LVT because to me it defeats the purpose of them looking like ceramic tile and that is the reason I like LVT. If you use a beveled tile and don’t use grout, I do not think you will get the same result as I did. The finished look won’t be the same and durability could be compromised because the addition of the grout really keeps the tiles in place. I would suggest if you are spending the money and taking the time to install a vinyl floor, the luxury vinyl tile + the grout is your best option for a long-lasting result.
7. Did you have to put extra adhesive down in the lower grout lines of the ceramic floor to eliminate any “sunken” or dip lines in the finished vinyl tile floor?
I did not. In my foyer I was going to add a skim coat before installing the LVT but decided against it. The grout lines were very large and deep which is what I was worried about, but I decided to move forward with the LVT. After 1.5 years, there have been no issues and no “sinking” / dip lines. Again, this is my experience with the LVT and I feel that because it’s thicker than typical vinyl tile, it holds up extremely well.
8. Where do I buy Luxury Vinyl Tile?
I purchased the luxury vinyl tile for my projects at Lowe’s. There are a few companies that sell LVT and there is a special section with these specific tiles. LVT is the general name, but don’t get them confused with other names like high-end or something else. You will definitely know the different between LVT and regular vinyl tile – they feel much more durable.
9. How long do I have to wait to grout after the tile is installed?
0 minutes. There is no “set time” with LVT as is with ceramic tile. As soon as your tiles are installed, you can immediately get to grouting! How fab is that?!
10. Name 1 Con!
That’s a tough one… I guess I would say, the one con is the color selection. I have purchased groutable luxury vinyl tile at Lowe’s, but other home improvement stores also offer similar products. The selection is not as vast as ceramic tile (which is a con), but I was surprised by the wide range of colors and textures. When I was at the store making my purchase, I was told by a sales rep that any peel-and-stick vinyl tile is groutable, except for the styles that have the faux grout look around the edge. I don’t know if this is true or not, but it’s what I was told.
Have more questions? Please Ask!
I’ve tried to cover it all. How did I do??
Since groutable vinyl tile takes no experience, is half the cost, and takes half the time, what will use for your next tile project?