DIY Herringbone [Peel-n-Stick] Tile Floor

DIYherringbonepeelnsticktilefloor

When we first moved into our home this past April, it was evident that the entire house needed new flooring. Of course, this is no cheap task. So we started just one room at a time. One of them being, the entrance from our garage which includes our small laundry room and half bath. The existing floor was an evident vinyl tile that was printed to look like a wood trim with a green tile inside. If it sounds ugly, just think what it looked like in person! I knew it had to go but I didn’t have a large budget for this project.

DIY Herringbone Peel-n-Stick Tile Floor Before and After by Grace + Gumption

So I looked into some affordable options but just couldn’t get excited with what was available. I have seen amazing herringbone floors made but they were always made with real tile which made me wonder if I couldn’t pull off that look in my own way. After further research, I discovered that there is now grout-able peel-n-stick tile at just $1.08 per tile!! Not only is the peel-n-stick tiles much cheaper, it is also easier to cut than porcelain tile (no saws needed) and installation is also much easier (simply remove the paper backing to reveal the sticky adhesive). Best part is, I was able to complete this project for just $102!! Read below for a step by step tutorial on how-to achieve your own peel-n-stick herringbone floors.

Shopping List
12×12 Peel-and-Stick Vinyl Tile by Armstrong (I got it in crescendo french gray), $77.76 (72 tiles at $1.08 or approx. 2 boxes)
Vinyl Tile Grout by Blue Hawk (I got it in saddle gray), $18.82 (Two cartons at $9.41 a piece)
Tile T-Spacers, $4.96 (Pack of 100)

Total Cost: $102

Tools you’ll need
– Box cutter
– Metal L-square ruler
– Rubber grout trowel
– Small bucket
– Rag

STEP ONE: Determine the amount of tile/grout you need to purchase.

I needed enough tile to fill two rooms measuring 65″ x 59″ and 84″ x 72″. To calculate how much tile I needed, I used a simple tile calculator such as this one to find the square footage of my space. The calculator estimated that I needed 69.08 square feet for this project. Since the tiles I was purchasing were 12″x12″, that means I needed about 70 tiles.  (32 tiles come in a box so I purchased two.)

When determining how much grout you need, I can advice just from my experience that we used one tub for 70 square feet of floor. I purchased two and although I only used one, I went ahead and kept the other in case I needed it for touch ups later on.

STEP TWO: Cut the tiles into thirds.

For a 12×12 tile, use your L-square ruler to measure and mark each of your tiles like shown below.

tilecutmarks2

Then take your box cutter and slice your tile along your measured mark – use your ruler as a guide to create straight lines. (Note: if you don’t cut all the way through, do not fret. Simply fold the tile along the mark and it will snap apart easily along the cut.)

DIY Herringbone Tile Floor Step 1

Keep in mind, that I made the decision to install my floor over the existing laminate tile. Removing existing peel stick can be very difficult and time consuming so if you don’t have to, I recommend skipping that step (I’ve provided tips at the end of this post on identifying whether you need to remove your old floor before installing or not).

STEP THREE: Lay out your tiles in the herringbone pattern.

Once you have thoroughly cleaned the surface you will be installing your new floor on and have removed doors, toilets, furniture, etc that may be in the way, it’s time to begin laying out your tiles. Use your L-square ruler and T tile spacers to begin creating the pattern. Lay out two complete rows that span the entire floor before sticking the floors down permanently. These two rows set the tone for all others, so It’s very important to have the tiles square to one. Your tiles should appear in a V pattern, similar to the image below.

Herringbone Pattern Template via Grace + Gumption

STEP FOUR: Remove plastic backing and install first two rows.

Once you are comfortable with the pattern and the tiles are all square to one another and in a straight line, you are free to begin sticking them down. To do so, carefully remove the plastic backing and placing tile back in its original place. Apply pressure to each tile to ensure the proper adhesion. Continue doing this until you have completed your first two rows. (See image below)Ready to Install Peel-n-stick tile floor

 STEP FIVE: Continue adding rows to both sides of the initial two.

Using the existing two rows as your guide, lay out another complete row using your L-square ruler again. See diagram below for a visual.

herringbonepatternstep3

Once you have the tiles in the place you want them, repeat step four. Continue this process until you have covered the entire floor. Keep in mind that as you approach walls, door frames, or other obstacles that you will need to cut around them using your box cutter. This is probably the most annoying part of the entire project but it’s well worth it in the end.

Herringbone Vinyl Tile Pattern via Grace + Gumption

Once you have covered the entire surface area that you wish to cover, it’s safe to remove all spacers. To really make sure that your tiles have been adhered well, I would suggest taking a rolling pin and rolling over the floor a few times. Then prepare your area to grout. Use a vacuum to sweep up any debris that may have found its way into the cracks of your tile. You’re floor should now be looking similar to this…

Herringbone Vinyl Tile Pattern via Grace + Gumption

and this…

Herringbone Vinyl Tile Pattern via Grace + Gumption

STEP SIX: Grout your tile.

Using your grout trowel, spread your vinyl tile grout in between your tiles. Use your rag and bucket full of water to wipe off the excess. Do a small area at a time so your grout doesn’t dry before wiping it off. The longer you wait, the harder it is to remove the excess from the tile…I learned this the hard way. Unlike regular tiles, the depth of the vinyl tiles is very minuscule in comparison so a little grout goes along way!

Grouting Vinyl Tile by Grace + Gumption

Once you’ve finished grouting, give the floors a good couple of days to dry completely before allowing heavy traffic through the area. Now all you have left is to do is marvel at your hard work and catch up on some well earned sleep.

DIYherringbonepeelnsticktilefloor2

Words of Wisdom

  • Timing – Give yourself plenty of time for this project. It’s fair to say that this project is a couple day project depending on the size of your space. Between my dad and I, we were able to to get it done in a full day by staying up all night to finish.
  • Cutting the tiles – Make sure to cut your tiles on a surface you are not upset to scratch, cut, or ruin. I cut them right on top of the old floor, simply because I knew I would be installing over it.
  • Old floor removal – You should remove the existing floor if your old floor matches any of the following criteria:
    • Your floor is chipped or coming up on its own
    • Your floor surface is not level or has a slick coating that can cause problems with adhesion
    • Your floor has old, existing grout already
  • Clean before installing – It’s very important to clean and/or degrease existing floors properly before installation to ensure proper adhesion of the new tiles.
  • Cleaning post grout – After grouting, make sure to give your floors a good week or two to dry completely before mopping or cleaning.

If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me directly – you can find my contact info here.

xoxo,
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44 thoughts on “DIY Herringbone [Peel-n-Stick] Tile Floor

  1. justine

    Love what you did, I’d like to do this in the kitchen at our rental. If the landlord asks us to remove it, would the grout clean up when we’re ready to move? and would it be easy to remove the peel n stick tiles to reveal the lovely kitchen floor that they can’t bare to part with?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Krista Marschand Post author

      Hi Justine,

      Thanks for the compliment! To answer your question, I doubt the peel-n-stick would be easy remove without damaging or ruining the existing floor depending on the kind of floor that it is. You could likely pry up the peel-n-stick tiles with enough force but extra adhesive would be left behind. This adhesive would likely be easily scraped up but this alone could damage the underfloor that you are hoping to keep. Same story with the grout, it’s possible to remove the grout by softening and chiseling but it’s likely near impossible to remove it all without doing some damage to floor below. I hope that helps. Good luck on your projects!

      Krista Elaine

      Reply
      1. Jim Benton

        Hello Krista: Great idea, and beautiful floor.

        If someone needs to remove the glue used by their self-sticking tiles, have them go to any auto shop and buy a can of the adhesive remover that auto body repairmen use. I always keep some around, and haven’t yet found it damaging any part whether plastic, metal, or paint. Still, it would be wise for a person like Justine above to test some on the current floor to be sure it does no damage there BEFORE laying down self-stick tiles that she might want to remove.

        Second, grout removal is more of a problem, especially when you are applying self-stick groutable tile over old vinyl tile. However, much to my surprise, I have been able to lay self-stick grouted tiles in my entry, over an old vinyl floor, having put Scotch Magic Tape under the grout lines first. This kept the grout off of the old flooring, and, at least in this case, has made no difference in the amount of traffic the new tiles could carry without budging. In that case too I ran a six tile test for a couple of months before actually doing the job.

        Thanks for you blog,
        Jim

        Reply
  2. patricia

    Amazing work. I LOVE what you did here. So sweet to have a dad to stay up all night handi-manning with you 🙂
    I’m a rehabber/landlord looking for low cost ways to add high style so I can attract and keep renters like @Justine who want to care for and improve my properties!
    I was especially looking forherringbone for hardwood…so glad I happened upon your blog! Thanks for detailing the steps. Beautiful!

    Reply
  3. Michele Ponder

    Love this! I wanted to use peel and stick in a creative way and this is terrific. I think I am going to try it in my kitchen, but I am a bit worried because the room is 169 sq. feet. I will have to be super careful to keep things lined up straight!

    Reply
  4. Debbie

    I absolutely LOVE your floor! What a great way to think outside the box and not have to settle with regular square tiles. That is the best idea ever! I have convinced my husband that we need to do this to our whole house. We have pulled all the carpet and ugly 80’s VCT tile in our house and currently have concrete floors. I can’t wait to start! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
  5. Debbie

    I love your floor! I showed it to my husband and we’re gonna do the exact same thing you did. Just a quick question…what is the color on your walls? We’re repainting the foyer and living room and I like how it matches the flooring.

    Reply
  6. Jessica Bryant

    Hello! You did a beautiful job. I am wondering about the edge on the tile, since they were cut. I have used peel-and-stick tiles that had beveled edges for grouting. Do you notice any rough edges, or snags on the edges of the cut tile? Thank you in advance!

    Reply
  7. Terry M.

    I have been searching and searching for a good tutorial on how to do herringbone and I’ve finally found it! So happy that you shared, this is exactly what I was hoping I could find. I did not know you could do this with peel and stick tile, after seeing your tutorial, I know exactly what’s going on my kitchen floor. Many many thanks!

    Reply
  8. Denise Martino

    I can’t thank you enough for posting this tutorial! I need to overhaul our junk room into an office…but we’re planning a much-needed whole-house redo in a couple of years and I couldn’t bear the thought of spending money on a gorgeous floor only to see it ripped up when the room configuration changes with the remodel. This is so clever and beautiful, and the tile/grout combos are endless!

    Reply
  9. Ashley

    Hi, just came across your blog while searching for floor updates. I was wondering, now that it’s been a year since this post, how is the floor handling?

    Reply
  10. Sarah

    Hi! Question in regards to the edges of the cut tiles.
    I installed a groutable vinyl tile in my previous home (Bathroom), but left the tiles 12×12. The edges were rounded or beveled on all four sides, and after grouting there was a nice smooth surface around each tile. I love the herringbone look, but I am concerned that having a rough edge would be somewhat sharp if the grout is not perfect flush. Have you noticed this with your finished floor or had any issues with catching on your feet,socks, brooms, mops or anything of the sort? Thanks in advance for your reply and thanks for your detailed post!

    Reply
    1. Krista Elaine Post author

      Hi Sarah!
      The tiles I used were not beveled on any sides. So my cut sides were the same as the non-cut sides. As I grouted I did try to keep the grout as level as possible for that reason. Of course, we didn’t get every perfect but so far, no unusual snagging or scratching.

      Reply
  11. Chanda

    Hi there. I love this idea, thank you. We live in a little rental where our landlord is more than happy to let us upgrade! Thank goodness, because our bathroom is a disaster! How is this holding up so far? Did you find that the cut edges of the tiles wanted to curl, or are rough or anything like that? If they get wet, does anything unusual happen, like soaking up some of the water? I’m seriously considering this. I love that herringbone look! Thanks for the great tutorial!

    Reply
    1. Krista Elaine Post author

      Hi Chanda,
      The floor is holding up great! The edges haven’t changed a bit and definitely are not curling or rough. I found keeping the grout as level to the tile as possible was the best for this. The grout directions says to refrain from soaking for a month to completely cure. I have mopped the floors and experienced no problems. The grout does absorb water just as concrete does but it doesn’t soften now that it is cured. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  12. Lisa Avery

    This floor looks great! Wondering how it is holding up after a couple of years of use? Any problems with the tile popping up? Do you recommend a certain thickness of tile?
    Thanks!
    Lisa

    Reply
  13. MJerry

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I just followed your instructions to a T to re-floor my entry way, it turned out great! I’m so glad to have found your page and instructions! Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. Krista Elaine Post author

      Love hearing that! So glad you love your floor as much as I love ours! Please share a photo on Facebook and don’t forget to tag me @gracegumption. 🙂

      Reply
  14. Krista Bruner

    Wow, I really love how your floor turned out, it’s looks amazing. I noticed this post is from over a year ago so I’m just curious how it is holding up. I’m also wondering whether or not you notice a big difference in the tile edges that were cut to the ones that weren’t after it was all grouted. But once again great job 😊

    Warm regards,
    Krista

    Reply
    1. Krista Elaine Post author

      Hi Krista,
      Thanks for the complement! The floor is as beautiful as the day I installed it. It really has held up so well. No complaints. I personally don’t notice the difference between the cut edges and the regular edges. Since the tiles are not beveled on teh edges, they look exactly the same grouted and un-grouted.

      Reply
  15. Stephanie

    Love this!! I love that I can now show this to hubs and say “see…this is what I have been trying to tell you we could do. It does not look cheap there does it? No, OK…Let’s do it”. But something does concern me. In the do not do if….section above you have a note saying do not lay over existing grouted floors. My floors are tile and an almost cement type grout from 1972. It is in perfect shape. The whole floor is in perfect, albiet ugly, shape. What happens if you lay tile and grout over tile and grout? Is there an underlayment that would solve whatever problem this causes? Thank you so much for showing your beautiful work. I am doing this on my kitchen pronto. With that I have one more question. I have tons of the allure/Trafficmaster tile here that I want to lay in the herringbone format. It can be grouted too. The only problem is that it is the type of vinyl tile that essentially floats but is connected by a glue strip on one edge that adheres to the next piece of tile. There is no glue on the underside of the tile in other words. I like the tile, just not as is…..so do you have any suggestions here? Is there a glue that could work here? Thanks so much and good luck in all of your future projects.

    Reply
    1. Krista Elaine Post author

      Hi Stephanie,
      Thank you for the compliments! I hope your husband is convinced now that you should do this too! 🙂
      The note about not installing over existing tile with grout is meant more as a warning. Grout over time tends to get weak and chip away underfoot. Therefore, this recommendation came as a warning that having chipping/dusty grout underfoot could cause your peel-n-stick tile to not adhere to your floor as well. This is why I recommend removing exiting floor if grout exists.
      To answer your second question, it sounds like your existing vinyl tile on hand actually wouldn’t be grout-able because these tiles are meant to overlap one another, which gives it that ability to act as a waterproofed/floating floor. Because of this reason, I would not recommend trying to make this tile something that it’s not by adding your own adhesives. I hope this helps! Good luck on your projects!

      Reply
  16. Paige

    I hear a lot of bad things about grouting vinyl tiles and I’m curious how yours has held up. Do you have any pets?

    Reply
    1. Krista Elaine Post author

      Hi Paige,
      Hmm, I haven’t heard that. From my experience, I would recommend it! Since its not real tile, you don’t have to worry about the tile cracking if you drop something heavy on it. The thing that could cause trouble for people would be using the grout on wood subfloor. My floor is installed on a concrete slab which doesn’t fluctuate underfoot like wood does. So, unless you have doubled up the subfloor or are installing on concrete slab, I wouldn’t recommend the grout. I also don’t have any pets so I can’t comment on that but I can say that it has held up really nicely in our high traffic walkway.

      Reply
  17. Lea

    How has your flooring held up? Anything coming up? How is the wear and tear/cleaning? Are you still happy with it? We’re about to do this very thing throughout most of our first level (kitchen, dining, living, entry hall, and half bath) using Stainmaster color Coppermine (it looks like slate!). I’m excited and hoping that it lasts a long time.

    Reply
    1. Krista Elaine Post author

      Hi Lea,
      Thanks for your comment! The floor is holding up great, I couldn’t be more pleased. There is literally zero wear and tear (No moving, no shifting, nothing. Rock solid.) And cleaning is a breeze. It can be mopped, vacuumed, swept. It’s easy peasy.
      Your plans sound amazing. Please share the results on Facebook and make sure to tag me. I would love to see how it turns out!

      Reply
    1. Krista Elaine Post author

      Hi Jen,
      Thanks for your comment. I actually hadn’t thought of that but I think if you cut the tiles to even smaller pieces, it definitely could work as a back splash! Good idea. Please share pictures you decide to give it a try! Would love to see how that turns out.

      Reply
  18. Jessica

    Hi Krista,
    I am prepping to use a very similar luxury groutable vinyl. I am SO happy I found your tutorial, as a few others either had little detail or it was for laying wood flooring. I have 2 questions. Do you think that it used up more product than laying it in a traditional square pattern? And where on the floor did you lay your first tile? Did you start in the center? I don’t know where or how I want to start! Lol! Anywho, I think it looks fantastic! How has it held up for you over the year?

    Kindly,
    Jessica

    Reply
    1. Krista Elaine Post author

      Hi Jessica,

      Thanks for the comment! I hope I can answer your questions:
      1.) I definitely used more grout than I would have had I just used the whole squares because cutting the pieces caused there to be more in between spaces if that makes sense. However, I probably used around the same amount of tiles doing the herringbone as I would just doing squares. Just make sure you plan out how your pattern will come into contact with your wall (this will determine how much waste you have).
      2.) Which leads me to my next answer. I actually started in the middle but it wasn’t random. I measured out from a wall ensuring that I would have the least amount of waste possible but still have the best placement of the pattern. For bigger spaces, I recommend using chalk line to mark your lines across the room so you are continuously building out the same pattern.
      3.) With this floor being in the walkway, it too gets a lot of traffic and honestly it has held up wonderfully! No moving, no shifting, nothing. Rock solid. Since its not real tile, you don’t have to worry about the tile cracking either, however, you do have to worry about the grout cracking depending on the subfloor you install it on. So I wouldn’t recommend installing this technique on wood subfloor that could fluctuate underfoot, but when installed over a concrete slab, like ours, it works out great.

      Hope this helps! Good luck on your project. Make sure to share a picture of your finished project!

      Happy Diying!
      Krista

      Reply
  19. Gloria

    This is brilliant! I am going to try it in my new (to me) rental. It’s ugly now but I plan to make it beautiful (on a dime).
    Thanks for posting inspiration!

    Reply

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