The Kitchen is Finally Done!
It has been a couple of days now since I wrote about our plans to replace an old, worn-out kitchen floor. If you missed it, you can read about it here. I am glad to say we (or should I say my husband) installed the new flooring over the weekend. The floor looks gorgeous! We chose a line of luxury vinyl tile from Armstrong called Alterna in a buff color. The tiles look so much like real stone ceramic tile that you can’t tell the difference in our home. The fact that we chose to grout the tile only adds to the natural effect (grouting is an optional step).
Why We Chose This Product
We chose this tile primarily for its look – it was beautiful. We also knew we didn’t want wood on the floor since most of the other rooms were wood and the cabinets were wood…. too much wood! This product is durable and a little softer to stand on for long periods of time than ceramic tile. The fact that you could replace just one of these tiles if it gets damaged was a nice feature too. It was a little pricey (a little over four dollars a square foot), but since the kitchen was modest in size, it was still affordable.
The Installation Process
My husband felt comfortable doing the installation himself because he has installed a few other floors (wood laminate, ceramic and vinyl tiles). The process went smoothly although he did mention that it took the adhesive a long time to dry (you had to trowel it on the floor and wait for it to get “tacky” before placing the tile). Overall, we are very pleased with the way it turned out – not to mention that the tenants are extremely happy with their new floor. It gives the kitchen a warm and modern look.
Here is a summary of how he went about it. Check with your flooring salesperson for directions if you’re planning on installing a floor yourself.
- New Vinyl Tile
- Grout – if using.
- Trowel – read the label and use the right one.
- Chalk Line
- Box Cutter
- Utility Rag
- Measuring Tape
10. Sponge and bucket for grout
Luckily the old floor was stable enough to tile right over the top – tearing out the old would have been a lot more work! First, we moved all the furniture out of the room and mopped the floor. My husband then made a chalk line so he would have a point of reference to lay the tiles in straight rows. Next, he applied the adhesive in small areas (big enough to lay four tiles at a time); he used a trowel to do this. Make sure you use the right trowel – if you apply too much of the adhesive it takes forever to dry. Initially, he was putting the adhesive on too thick, but once he changed trowels and started applying the adhesive much more sparingly the adhesive was ready much quicker and the tiles didn’t move around after being installed. In this case, less is definitely more! There were a few places where he had to cut down a full-size tile (for corners, edges and around the heat vent). For this, he used his box cutter and square. Once he had installed the tile and the floor had time to cure (about a day) he grouted the tile. To finish off the job we put all the appliances and furniture back in their place.
1. We loved the look of the new floor – gorgeous. The tenants and a few others that have seen the floor absolutely love it.
2. My husband thought it was tricky to get just the right amount of adhesive on the floor, but once he reduced the amount he was applying things moved along much quicker.
3. He also thought this tile would probably work better on a newer home with perfectly flat floors (the floor we tiled was in an old farmhouse).
4. More detailed directions on the package for how to perform a double cut (when more than one edge had to be cut).
5. We are very happy with the new floor!
Now I wonder what the next project will be, maybe the bathroom floor??
Written by Kathy