I just finished installing TrafficMaster Allure Ultra vinyl tile flooring in my bathrooms! Here’s the before & after of the master bath—pretty nifty, eh?
There are loads of helpful youtube videos on installation of this material so I won’t be providing step-by-step instructions here. What I will do is share a list of things you might want to know before installing these tiles.
- Order ahead. Boxes of the ceramic tiles aren’t typically carried in stores (I got mine through Home Depot), so you’ll need to check out samples in stores, then order them online. It takes about 5-10 days for the products to come in (they were shipped to Home Depot, then I got an email telling me they were ready for pick up)—so plan to order these a few weeks before you’re ready to install them (they also need to sit out for 48 hours to acclimate to the room temperature that they’ll be installed in).
- Color may vary. There are different dye lots, so even if you order the same color/pattern, each box may be a slightly different shade. You can specify in your order that all boxes should come from the same dye lot.
- Buy more than you need. You’ll be cutting apart large pieces to make small end pieces to fit your rows, and before you know it, you’ll have planks in all sizes. If you want a consistent pattern, buy extra to use for ends.
- The planks are tough to cut. The “tile” version of this flooring is thicker and tougher than the “wooden plank” version that’s in stores. It still works the same, but be prepared to put some major elbow grease into scoring these puppies—very sharp, heavy-duty box cutters are a must.
- Get intimate with your toilet. You’ll need to remove the toilet, and before removing it, it’ll need to be empty of water. Be prepared to bail excess water out of the tank and bowl and come face to face with the spooky sewer pipe beneath it (stick an old rag in the pipe while you work).
- That toilet might need some TLC. If you put your new floor down on top of your existing one (which I did, since the previous floor was just a sheet of ugly vinyl), your toilet will sit higher up from the sewer pipe and might need an extra wax ring underneath it to seal it tightly (these are cheap and available at most places that sell general hardware/home improvement stuff).
- Doorways are tricky. The installation directions say to start fitting your planks together from the back of the room, then moving towards and ending at the doorway. That’s really hard to do when you have doorway trim that the plank needs to fit under. Because the planks need to be angled to “snap” together tightly, and you can’t get that angle under the door frame, well…you can see where this is headed. I ended up cutting and laying out all the planks, then doing the final fitting together starting at the door frame and working towards the back wall where there were no obstructions and I could angle the pieces properly to get a tight seam.
Here are the tools I found necessary for this project:
- Tape measure & pencil: to measure the floor and mark measurements on the planks
- Metal ruler or T-square: to guide your score marks and cut straight lines
- Box cutter with sharp blades
- Mini handsaw: to trim door frames so new flooring fits underneath
- Prybar & pliers: for removing your baseboards/trim and any caulk prior to floor installation
- New wax toilet ring(s): it’s recommended to replace these each time you take up your toilet
I think that’s all you need to know. It took me 2 days to do both bathrooms, and though it was a bit more challenging than I initially expected, I do love the outcome! The floors look really nice (I chose the shade “Carrara Oyster”), and the vinyl planks feel really good underfoot. And, if you want to redo your floors down the road, the planks are fairly easy to remove since they “float” and aren’t nailed or glued down.
If you’re thinking of installing this material, I’d love to hear about your experience or answer any questions you may have. Good luck!