cracking peel and stick tile

Old 09-20-11, 07:32 AM
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cracking peel and stick tile

We bought a new (old) house and the kitchen has peel and stick tile. I don't know what kind, probably 12" or the standard size, it looks to be a little thicker than I would have expected (and thicker than a few replacement types we bought). The edges don't meet flush, but are uniformly spaced. The big problem is that most of the tiles in heavy wear areas are cracked, with cracks on each side about an inch in from the edge. Quite a few have corners and pieces that have cracked off. In essence, it looks like crap and I'm wondering how to fix it. I don't think this tile is that old (i.e., its not original to the 1930s installations), but it does have some years on it.

Before I peel it all up and put new tiles down...I wanted to try to figure out why the old ones cracked (so I can avoid the new ones cracking).

Could it be a type of tile that should have been grouted and wasn't (the spaces leaving opening for water to get in via normal washing and thus screwing with the adhesive and allowing the edges to pry up and crack)?

Could it be that the subfloor is not thick enough (no experience with peel and stick, but I know that with regular tile you gotta make sure the floor isn't moving at all)?

Could it just be that the tiles have reached the end of their lifespan and we can pry them up and plop down new and be good to go?

Any ideas are welcome (and I'll try to post pics if interested).
Old 09-20-11, 07:50 AM
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Peel and stick tiles are generally fairly cheap and don't hold up long term. If you want to stay with a vinyl tile, I'd suggest going to a thicker tile that requires a vinyl adhesive. Unlike ceramic tile - there shouldn't be any gaps between the tiles, they but up tight to each other.
Old 09-21-11, 06:48 AM
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I bought a house 6 yrs ago that had tile down that were roughly 9x9 or 10x10, they were asbestos. Not vinyl. They are probably the end of their lifespan. I would tear them up and put new down. I have peel and stick tile in my kitchen, laundry rm and bathroom. I love them. Easy to install and if done correctly they will last a while. I have had the ones in the bathroom down 5 yrs and a major water spill happened once and the water sat on the floor for about 6 hrs b/c I didn't know about it(thanks to my son haha) and not one of them gave me a problem with peeling back up, etc. Also on the plus side, they are cheaper, and if one gets ruined, a knife drops on one and cuts it(happened to me) you peel it up and put a new one back down. No grout or nething to try to chisel up. I also used a dab of liquid nails in the center and on all 4 corners for extra security. Good luck. Pics would help also. I'm not a pro....just an avid diy'er. Learned a lot from this website. People on here are great!!
Old 09-21-11, 07:58 AM
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Sheet vinyl tends to hold up better but the more expensive/thicker peel and sticks (like Mark mentioned) do tend to hold up ok.
Old 09-21-11, 03:39 PM
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The reasons I like the thicker vinyl tiles that require adhesive are; they wear well and aren't all that difficult to install. I've installed both sheet vinyl and vinyl tiles. I've always had a time making all the cuts with sheet vinyl [and it isn't forgiving!] If you mess up a 12" square, it's no big deal to toss it and try again

I've never personally used peel and stick although I have been in houses where it was used. It seems to hold up ok for older folks but the ones that had a bunch of rug rats - it seems to be just a temporary floor covering
Old 09-24-11, 06:34 PM
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The floor has to be perfect for peel & stick to last. It usually cracks if the floor is rough.

Floor covering installer for 40 years.

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