Vinyl is one of the touchiest materials to deal with in terms of seeing any defects in the sub-floor through the product. If the sub-floor isn’t perfectly flat and smooth you will absolutely see it and you may even feel it on your feet over time.
This however doesn’t mean that it can’t be done! This is also great news as vinyl tile is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to redo a floor.
One of the key things you need to install vinyl tile over ceramic tile is to ensure that the ceramic tile has a smooth top. It is also best if all the grout lines are filled without valleys as these will eventually show through to the vinyl.
If there are valleys in the grout you can simply fill them the rest of the way until they are flush with all the surrounding tiles.
There are also other concerns that you need to take into consideration and that is the additional height. While vinyl is thin, prior to purchasing product and starting to lay it you should ensure that your doors will still function properly.
Depending on the door you could cut the bottom of the door off but this isn’t ideal. Ideally there would be enough clearance for the door to function normally without any modifications.
You should also look at any transition you may have between rooms. If there is a height difference, make sure you have a transition strip of some sort to eliminate any tripping hazards. If you have height differences not only may it be a tripping hazard but it could also break the tile or even make it start to peel up.
One final thing that should be noted prior to installation is the cleanliness. It is very important to remove all dust, dirt and grime prior to starting to lay vinyl tile. This will ensure a proper bond between your sub-floor and vinyl tile for many years to come.
Once the sub-floor is prepared and everything is flush with the grout lines filled in you can install the vinyl tile or sheet goods. This can be done the old school way in which you are laying a glue bed down and sticking the tile to it or with self adhesion tiles.
The self adhesion tiles come with stick backs in which you can just pull the backing off and stick them down. This method is super easy to work worth and allows you to stop and start as needed unlike the glue bed which has a dry time.
Should I Pull the Toilet or Cut Vinyl Around It?
While you can cut around the toilet and install a caulk joint between the vinyl tile and the toilet it will be a timely thing to make it look good. I would absolutely recommend pulling the toilet.
This is super easy to to do. To pull the toilet simply turn the water supply off in which there should be a valve between the wall and the toilet itself. Once this is done flush the toilet until all the water is out of the tank.
At this point you should be able to loosen the two screws at the base of the toilet that are holding it in place. Once complete you can simply lift up on the toilet and move it to another room.
The only expense you will run into when pulling a toilet is you should always replace the wax seal. This is especially true if you are adding height to the floor. With the toilet out of the way you can run the vinyl right up to the plumbing saving a lot of skilled cuts and it is much quicker and easier.
To reinstall the toilet simply get a putty knife and scrape all the excess old wax off. Once complete place the new wax ring down. Grab the toilet, line up the screw holes and set it on the wax ring.
You will notice that the toilet isn’t touching the vinyl all the way around the base of the bowl. This is OK, slowly press down on the toilet rocking it back and fourth on the was ring. This is seeding the toilet to the wax ring to the plumbing.
Once flush with the floor re bolt the bowl down and connect the water supply back to the toilet. Turn the supply back on and you should be back in business!
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies…I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.