Prepping for Peel and Stick

Old 04-07-08, 10:12 AM
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Prepping for Peel and Stick

Cross post from flooring forum, too.


We're putting in a new bathroom and are currently in the process of laying the subfloor. Won't be long until we're ready to lay the peel and stick tile. This wasn't our first choice, but we're not rich and this seemed to look pretty darn good.

Our house is over 100 years old, so nothing is square. Needless to say, the subfloor laying isn't going perfect and there are gaps and ridges.

My questions: I'm assuming we can lay the peel and stick right over the 3/4 plywood subfloor?

Second: what is the best way to fill gaps and flatten out the floor? Is there a "crack filler" that works well that these peel and stick things will still stick to? Should I sand any ridges or imperfections?

Thanks in advance.
Old 04-07-08, 02:09 PM
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If my assumption is correct that this is a full bathroom with shower or bath, you want to think about water seeping thru the seams of the tiles...I'm not sure if grout is required with the peel and stick tiles, but I would recommend that you install a waterproof membrane on the plywood before the tiles. It's a white film, looks like Tyvek, that you roll down with a waterproof adhesive that is blue in color (product name escapes me). Once that dries, you have a nice waterproof subfloor.

Yes, smooth down any ridges or bumps, or your tiles will rock or open at the seams with all the foot traffic. If your floor is not 100% level, that's ok (my opinion only), as long as its smooth and the tiles interlock well.
Old 04-07-08, 10:26 PM
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I don't know if this will help your situation, but when I put peel and stick down in my mudroom I spread this self leveling stuff down first. I didn;t have a subfloor, I put it over the old linoleum that had bumps and indents in it. The peel and stick stuck really well. As for the out of square side, try to make the part you can see as square as possible. You can always hide some uneven tiles under the vanity or behind the toilet--no one ever looks there.
Old 04-08-08, 06:32 AM
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The "Peel 'n' Stick" vinyl tile products aren't a top-o-the-line concept or product. They are decorative in some respects but that's the end of their benefits as I see them.

They are thin and will telegraph imperfections in a short time. They have a minimum of adhesive and sometimes require more adhesive to get them to stay in place. They slip and slide under the pressure of chair legs. They are easily damaged from scrapes and impact. Other than those few issues they are probably a fair product. Around here we call them "Lick 'N' Stick" tiles.

If cost is the main factor in choosing these tiles then there is NO WAY you could even consider using an expensive Self Leveling Compound. If you are going to do that you just as well go buy some real tiles.
Old 04-08-08, 12:33 PM
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I'll says let's agree to disagree..

Properly laid peel and stick tiles will NOT move, and if you try t o pull them up will take most of the plywood/osb subfloor with them.
One house I've put them in has had the same tile for over 20 years. Hasn't moved, cracked or come unglued. Other than showing 20+ years of wear (it's no longer glossy on the traffic areas).

Use either a wood filler or grout type product for filling the gaps (don't use drywall compound!), then use the sealer _made specifically for peel and stick tile_. This seals the floor from any water intrusion and provides a surface that the adhesive on the tiles will stick to.

I've dragged many a piece of furniture over such tiles with ZERO damage.

I will agree however that over time, they will reveal any imperfections in the sub-floor (so will other flooring products to some extent), vinyl tiles are just less forgiving for a poor prep job than say, carpet.

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