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How to Lay Vinyl Tiles over Plywood

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What’s a girl to do when she has a box of off colored vinyl self stick tiles and a nasty plywood floored laundry room?

Floor the heck out out of it that’s what.

This room has been driving me bonkers for a long time. Like from the moment I first laid eyes on it.


And it’s the neglect room in the house because it needs to be ripped off the house and rebuilt entirely to do it right. When we moved in there were weird remnant pieces of drywall all over the walls which we ended up just removing since we would never ever dream of texturing over such a disaster. As such the only real things that have happened in this room are the addition of a washer and dryer, shelves and a cat door.

But this is our entrance from the backyard as well as the animal zone so it gets DIRTY.

Ugh. Soon it will be blocked off from the house with a sliding glass door so that the bugs that come in through all the unfinished crevices everywhere in this room can stay in their room and we can stay in ours. Think I’m joking?

Cockroaches in your hair in the morning is not such a great wakeup call. Just saying.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the house tour, you might not know that our bedroom is actually connected to the utility room. Weird, I know. Whoever designed and built this house was on crack when they did 90% of the things so we actually aren’t too surprised by this fact.

Regardless, right now my desk is setup in our bedroom which means I look into the utility room as my glorious work view.

Yesterday I was having a meltdown. Writers block hardcore. Overwhelmed, rip your hair out hormonal frustrations. Which basically means I have 2 choices:

1) Stare at Facebook/Pinterest/Hootsuite/Google Reader all day and get more depressed


2) Rip something apart and organize and clean like a madwoman

The second option seemed like a better one and what better place to be subject to my freak out moment than the laundry room?

I cleaned the whole room and sorted the massive pile of junk on top of the dryer and moved around the freezer to make better use of the space. Then it was time for the floor.

How to Lay Self Stick Vinyl Floor Tiles

The basic premise for any surface is the same.

  1. Clean:
    Sweep, vacuum, mop. Our plywood is really old and cracked so I was concerned that it would be too absorbent so I chose not to mop the plywood but we always mop the concrete.
  2. Prime:
    Use a self stick primer. This is not like regular paint primer….it looks like milk and stinks. The goal is the same as with regular primer though, seal and prepare the surface. The self stick primer dries almost clear and has a slightly tacky feel to it.
  3. Measure:
    Measure your room to create a straight square to work off of, this may require some of your high school geometry skills, a square, a tape measure and a chalk line. A helper is helpful too. In the case of the laundry room floors condition….measuring was reduced to guestimation and aligning the tiles with the entrance which is the most visible area and making sure the tiles would be hidden under the strange green faux grass strip that is on the edge. Don’t ask.
  4. Lay Tile:
    Applying the tile is a piece of cake. It’s so fast and easy its addictive. The box says to lay in a staggered pattern so that you always have two tiles helping to align the one you are laying. We haven’t ever done this and it may have contributed to a marginal amount of off centerdness in our work.
  5. Celebrate!
    This stuff isn’t going to win any prizes in Better Homes and Gardens but its clean, beautiful and cheap and for that we sing its praises! It can take a junky dirty house and make it a space that you can actually enjoy living in for 25 cents a square foot, and that is nothing but pure genius.

With one box of 45 tiles (which cost me around $12 with tax) I was able to cover pretty much all the visible areas in the room. The rugs with the animal food cover up the edge of where it ended on that side and the tiles under the washer and dryer are just half tiles. Since these were the off color box of tile we will use any extra tiles or the scraps from the other rooms to eventually tile all the areas that are out of sight. But for now it is cleanable and such a huge mental soothe instead of the irritant that it was every day sitting at my desk.

Whats up at your house? Any “I can’t stand this anymore” fixes that you are loving?


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About Dani Meyer

Hi, I’m Dani! I’m most importantly mama to 3 wild little dudes. I spend my days cooking, photographing and exploring the Pacific Northwest. I'm a full time food blogger and online business coach.

I’m the author of Stress Free Camping, a 120+ page guide on making epic food in the woods. I’m also the founder of Food Blogger Entrepreneurs, the leading online academy and private community for food bloggers. → More About Dani

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