How to install peel and stick tile

November 16, 2011

I figured it was high time I finally gave a tutorial on how I installed the peel and stick tile in the laundry room.

First of all, let me say…I LOVE THIS STUFF!!

And now I’m going to tell you how totally easy it was to install. It’s just silly really.

The peel and stick we used was the Novalis tile from Lowe’s:

Novalis peel and stick

It’s $2 and change for each 18 by 18 tile – so I covered the whole floor in our laundry room for less than $60.

First up I had to figure out how I wanted the pattern to go. I played around with it for awhile, just laying the tiles out to see how they would look. I didn’t want to to a standard pattern with straight lines for a couple reasons – one I wanted it to have more movement to it, and two, I didn’t want to have straight lines I could mess up. ;)

I ended up with a version of a brick pattern – because the room isn’t very wide, I changed it up a bit. I stacked each one off to the side of the other, measuring three inches to the side each time.

You can see how they ended up here:

how to install peel and stick tile

Does that make sense? I hope!

When I needed to cut a piece, I measured the size I needed, then used a level to make the straight line:

I read that you should use a razor to score and cut the tiles, but I used what I had on hand and it was WAY easier:

how to cut peel and stick tile

My trusty Open It scissors:


I use this thing all. the. time. LOVE it. It cut the tile like buttah. :)

I found them much easier to use than trying to cut straight and deep enough with a razor blade.

Each tile has a subtle flow to the design, so you’ll want to use the arrows on the back to keep the tiles consistent:

It’s so subtle I doubt you’d be able to tell if they went the wrong way, but I stuck with it just in case.

This stuff is CRAZY sticky. I know…duh. But really, it’s crazy. :)

I would peel the backing off in big pieces, then use little bits of the backing to grab the edges:

That way I could hold on to it without gluing my fingers together compromising the sticky.

I did mess up my pattern once and freaked out a bit -- but it came up fine with some muscle. (I had just laid it down a few minutes before so I think that helped.)

The directions say to use a weighted roller over the installed tiles, or if you don’t have one, to use a rolling pin. I used a rolling pin over half of it and quickly realized the pin was leaving burnish-type marks all over the tile. It’s not a big deal cause no one would notice it but me, but for the rest I just used my hands and walked on it, focusing on the edges. I figured my weight would be sufficient. ;)

Overall the tiles went together flush and you couldn’t see between them, but in a few spots you could see the plywood floor:

Those few spots drove me batty. :) So I went back to Lowe’s and got the grout (it’s grout just for this vinyl tile). I started schmearing between the tiles and then noticed it wasn’t going well.

The grout is almost too wet – so it didn’t lay in the grout lines well after I wiped it all down with a sponge. The grout would stay in some places and completely come up in others. It looked AWFUL.

I wiped it all out from between the tiles, about to give up on it, and then realized there was a teeny bit left between the tiles that looked great after it dried:

grouting peel and stick vinyl tile

So I just started smooshing (like my technical terms?) the grout into the grooves with my finger. Then I used a rag to wipe it out, leaving the little bit at the bottom.

The pics above are the same spot before, during and after the grout. It finished it off beautifully!

Like I said, it’s holding up GREAT! A few weeks ago our humidifier in our HVAC system leaked everywhere (leaving lots of lovely water standing in the basement – yes, water is out to get us this year). 

The water got past the utility closet threshold to this flooring and as far as I can tell, it’s held up great. No buckling, no warping, nothing. I’m hoping the grout kept the water from getting underneath the tiles.

Best part is, if I do need to pull up one tile to replace it, I can. That is what I’m talkin’ about!

So there you go! Hope this all makes sense to those of you who are hoping to try this on your own! Lowe’s has a great selection of colors and designs, and the tiles come in 12 by 12 or this 18 by 18 size.

I love how real they look and how easy they are to clean!:

laundry room with peel and stick tile

Now I just need to tackle every other surface in this room – after items 1-150 are completed on my list. ;)

Email subscription form header
Your email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide


  1. boo! hi, i just wanted to be the first comment. I feel like a winner! Love the tile! Now I am going to go back and read every single frickin' word. (Like always) Smooches!


  2. And also, I just spontaneously wrote a blog post about my strong emotional reaction to your art caddy. LOL.

  3. i have the same thing, but a slight lighter in my frount hallway. i love it! its great for hi-traffic areas AND it was cheap. people who come over dont even know its not "real" tile!

  4. Looks nice. Did you disconnect and move the washer and dryer completely out? I'd love to do this in mine, but not sure how'd I'd work around the washer/dryer.

  5. Sarah, how amazing! I've always been a bit skeptical of peel and sticks, but now I'm much more inclined to try them! :)

  6. Looks great! I love when people blog about something that wasn't a zillion dollars.

    P.S. Today's my blogiversary, and I'm hosting my first-ever giveaway!

  7. Awesome girlfriend! I have been eyeing the same tile in a slate grey color. Hopefully I can get that checked off the list soon and thank you for the tutorial because you showed me exactly what needs to be done and not:)

  8. It's beautiful. And it looks like we bought the same tile. Hubby and I laid this over our linoleum bathroom floor. At first we wondered about the "floating tile", but I have to say 7 months later, it still is solid. Everytime I walk into the bathroom, it makes me smile.

  9. Hi there, I love your blog. I try to read it when I do my daily blog reads :) I just have a question about this tile. We want to re-do our kitchen floor someday. We have a small kitchen, but it gets a lot of traffic. Would you recommend this in a kitchen area?

  10. K, you make this look super easy enough for me to try! My laundry room needs this!

  11. Looks great! I have been wanting to try these looks like real stone tiles out. I have lain some peel and stick tiles before, but the pattern was cheap and ugly. These are gorgeous.

  12. Before we sold our last house I laid similar tile in our bathrooms. They need updating really badly, and that was a cost effective way to do it. I too ended up with lines between the tiles, so I used paint and a small paintbrush to get those lines. It worked great!!

    You did a great job!

  13. Your toot timing is perfect as I'll be installing tile like this in my 100-year-old kitchen next week. So excited.

    Thanks for the great tips.

  14. We used those in one of our homes just to do a quick update on a bathroom before putting the house up for sale. They really were easy to do!

  15. Can you shed some light on the Open It Scissors? I think they sound like a must have but I googled the term and couldn't find any info. Where did you get them?

  16. I have a similar tile in my kitchen & utility room. It came with the house. I LOVE THIS TILE!!!! Mine is a little darker (read - dirt color) and it doesn't show A THING! I can even get by without mopping the kitchen floor for a week - and that's a major feat - we live in the country and have 7 kids and many neighborhood kids :) This stuff is indestructable!

  17. Awesome! Did you use the floor primer stuff? I have a couple boxes of peel/stick tile for our bathroom and entryway area and I need to start laying it down in the next few days. I think I'll go pick up some of the grout too, just in case! :o)

    Danielle (

  18. I would LOVE to do something like this in my kitchen (it's wall-to-wall dingy-ness in there right now), but alas, it's an apartment. You make it looks so easy!

    ~Stop Me if You've Heard This One

  19. Thank you so much for posting this. I am having new flooring put down in my bathroom and the only thing I stated that I wanted was a black floor. My husband and the contractor went shopping the other day for what he was going to use. They found something at Home Depot and hubby brought me back the next day to pick the color. I kept telling him I just wanted black, I didn't care what material they used. Hubby just kept telling me over and over that they found a great quality tile and that the contractor is going to use grout and the floor will look like ceramic tile. When we got to Home Depot, there was no black in the tiles they picked out. Needless to say I was very disappointed. He just kept telling me it was good quality, it's going to look great. But it wasn't black. I begrudgingly picked out a tile. After seeing this post, I can say that the tiles I picked out will be going back to the store. You used grout and it looks fabulous. So as far as I'm concerned, if hubby thinks the tiles with the grout look so good, then they can grout the color tile that I want. Oh and after seeing your front porch and door transformation, I was inspired to address mine. Been wanted to paint my wood door for a while now, you gave me the courage to take the step and it looks fabulous!

  20. i had no idea they made a grout just for this vinyl tile!! i have used the same product in my laundry room in the spring and needed something for a spot or two but had no idea what to do. i am going to check my lowe's for it.

  21. Nice, Sarah! Looks great. I loved my peel & stick tiles too when I used black/white in my old laundryroom. COmpletely transformed my space for about $50. Love love it!

  22. I put this tile in my kitchen and laundry room, its been almost a year now and we love it! The trick we used was to tape around the grount lines ( a bit time consuming, but so worth it) and use a trowel to put the grout in the lines. Just pull up the tape and perfect grout lines. The lines look just like real tile!

  23. Oh, Sarah, I have a laundry room that is SCREAMING for some tile. Only $60? I will have to start looking. I'm pretty sure it will cost more than that for mine, but I'm almost to the point where the SCREAMING is getting to me!! LOL! Yours looks fab!

  24. Thank god someone out their knows how to do this and do it well. I'm going to give it a go in my kitchen and these tips will (hopefully) be a big help.

  25. Yours looks great! We did not have great luck with our peel and stick tile, but it was also when our downstairs bath doubled as a laundry room. My husband had to move the dryer around at one point and it ripped the vinyl a little bit and scuffed it up. I think we would have been fine if that hadn't been the case. He laid linoleum down a few months ago now that it's just a bathroom, and it's been fantastic.

    Great tutorial!!

  26. I've had that in my back entryway for years and it has held up wonderfully. It looks great in your laundry!

  27. My grandfather put this down in a small guest bath about 7 years ago and it still looks brand new!

  28. The floor looks great! As a suggestion, you may want to look into some water sensors. ;). We had a couple of water disasters this year and they prevented the damage from being more extensive. They sound an alarm ( a very loud alarm) when they detect water. This is not the brand we have but you get the idea...

  29. We did a similar peel and stick in our kitchen and I love it. We did the whole floor for about $75.

    We kept a couple of pieces for replacement - in case we ever needed it. And, then we returned the rest back to Menards! (They sell it as open stock.) How cool is that? I'm not sure if Lowe's does that but they might.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful floor!

  30. Looks very cute!! If I had been doing that, and you could see the plywood underneath, I would have gotten a black marker and colored that plywood to look like the black (is that black?) around the edge of the tiles! LOL I might be slightly lazy...and cheap! :) Looks great with the grout though! I never heard of hearing of such a thing! :)

  31. this might be just the thing to replace the VERY worn and dirty looking black and white linoleum in our laundry room. Thanks for the tip and tutorial, I'll let you know when we try it! (after we finish moving in- the boxes aren't even unpacked and I'm already itching to paint and try DIY projects!)

  32. I love the multitude of products for people on a budget these days. The floor looks great and I'm glad to hear it is holding up. Sorry to hear about the new water drama though.

  33. I love it, and think it looks wonderful!

    I've got early 80's linoleum in my kitchen. It's hideous. But, I don't have the funds to completely re-do the floor. We're going to do that when we redo the kitchen. My neighbor got this peel-n-stick stuff, but hers didn't hold up well, and her floor looked worse than it did before. Would you recommend using this in such a high traffic area?

    Does brand matter too much?

    Thanks a bunch!


    P.S. I love your blog! Sorry I've been a lurker for so long! :)

  34. I found the 12"X12" version of this in a lighter color here at Lowe's and bought one tile to see how it went with my master bathroom. I am so happy you showed us and told us how easy it is...I think I will now have to get in that room and get started.

  35. We have the kind that looks like real wood. The problem is that it's bubbling in areas. It was installed by the previous owners of the house and I've heard if the floor isn't prepped well it would come up. I think that's what might be happening.

  36. Oh my gosh I don't even know how to thank you for posting this! We need to replace our bathroom floor but can't afford it right now. However, THIS we can do!
    I don't comment much but I live for your posts. ha ha THANK YOU!!!!!

  37. We have a 12" version of this in my Kitchen. I bought boxes of the tiles at my local Family Dollar, dirt cheap! I wanted to mention that Lisa LaPorta on HGTV recommends that you do NOT lay the tiles all the same way (per the arrows on the back). She says it looks more natural to lay them in all different directions, otherwise a pattern can develop making it look too "planned" and unnatural. Just my 2 cents. I know this from experience because I can see patterns in my floor, not what I wanted. Love how yours turned out!

  38. Wow, that turned out really nice! I always wondered how those things would turn out!

  39. I love it!! Have always wondered how to do this and how it would look. Am more apt to try it in the future. Looks way easier and less expensive than having someone lay rolled vinyl. Thanks!

  40. How did you finish off, or connect, the entryway into the laundry room from your kitchen?

  41. That looks amazing! And looks like it's also easy to install with these nifty tools.

    Keep it up:)

  42. This looks awesome! I am definitely doing this to my bathroom. Thank you so much for posting this I had no idea they made stick on tile that looks so real!

  43. This is great-I'm planning this stuff for my laundry/mudroom. Did you have to do anything at the door jamb, where the linoleum hit another type of flooring? Or did you have something there already that worked?

  44. Just stumbled upon this in a google search and it makes it sound SO MUCH less scary. Thanks for mapping it all out.

    My question is- did you need to leave any space in between the tiles for the grout to look a certain way, or did it just fill in spots as needed on its own without looking uneven?

  45. We did this at least ten years ago-same tile, same color and pattern. It's wearing beautifully. Laid it right over linoleum.


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!