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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

Renter & budget friendly flooring - Floor Pops for the win!

Updated: Nov 2

It's no secret

that I'm a fan of a room makeover and have plenty of examples over on my Instagram if you fancy a nose. I love the whole process, from the initial idea gathering and moodboarding stage to the hands-on DIY and decorating, and especially the big reveal (who can resist a set of before and after pics or a good old #TransformationTuesday !).

Some projects come with restraints that mean a quick win or temporary fix is the name of the game, these restraints could be budget-related, or perhaps the requirement is to implement renter friendly changes that don't risk the wrath of a lairy landlord. These projects require a bit of creative thinking and less intrusive solutions.

The 'Why?'

Today's featured project is a small family bathroom that needed a flooring facelift. As the space has been earmarked for a complete renovation in 1-2 years' time didn't warrant an expensive installation of floor tiles.

There were a few options available to cover the floor tiles already in situ, paint them, stencil over them, or even cover with Lino, but just as a decision was due to be made the lovely Decorating Centre Online got in touch with news that they had just launched a range of adhesive vinyl tiles, Floor Pops and were looking for people to showcase them. I jumped at the chance and chose the Lattice design. *For transparency I was not paid for this opportunity but the Floor Pops were gifted and I created some content on Instagram showing the installation and the before and after pics.*

The 'How?'

I've used stick-on floor tiles before (in my £50 porch makeover) and they really are the easiest thing to fit. They obviously don't give you the same high-end, luxurious finish of ceramic or porcelain 'proper' tiles and you can't use the leftover tiles to make cool upcycle projects) but what they do give you is an instant refresh and can totally transform a tired floor and elevate the surrounding space even on a microscopic budget.

Preparation is key

How does the saying go? Fail to prepare, prepare to fail... well yeah that! These tiles will stick and stay adhered to the subfloor as long as you take the time to prepare the area beforehand.

Before you start cutting and sticking, you need to run through the following checks

  • Always check the packaging to ensure you are using boxes with the same lot numbers (like you would for wallpaper) as otherwise the patterns might not quite match up.

  • Make sure the surface you are sticking them to is clean, dry and free from residue of any kind. I used an Eco-friendly heavy-duty degreaser from Delphis, which is really effective.

  • Make sure the floor surface isn't uneven or loose.

  • Make sure the surface is completely smooth and doesn't have any lumps or bumps (nail heads etc)

  • If you are covering a tiled floor with deep grout lines, then you should either fill them with a levelling compound or cover the whole floor with a sheet of plyboard. I didnt do either this time round as this really is intended as a temporary fix, but I would if I was planning on keeping the flooring for a long time.

  • Stack the tiles in the room for 24 hours before you plan to start, to ensure they acclimatise.

  • Do not use if your floor has radiant heating as these tiles are not suitable.

Let's go!

Now you are fully prepped let's get cracking...

  • Most people start installing vinyl tiles in the centre of the floor surface, but you might want to line up the tiles or pattern (if there is one) with a focal point such as a window or bathroom feature.

  • This decision is going to come down to the size and shape of the room as well as the tiles. The floor in this feature was a tiny space and I wanted the tiles to be aligned with the entrance so that's where I started.

  • Don't forget you can have a play around with the tiles before you take the backing off, ensuring that you are 100% happy with the formation and positioning before you commit.

  • Once you have sorted the layout and ensured that all the tiles match up perfectly then check again that the floor is 100% clean and dry.

  • Peel off the backing to the tiles and place in position, once you are happy they are where you want them apply firm pressure starting at one edge of the tile and moving across to the opposite side. Take care to ensure the whole tile has stuck firmly to the subfloor and there aren't any gaps or air bubbles.

  • Where whole tiles wont fit, you'll need to cut them down to size. It is very likely that you will need to cut around some bathroom fixtures and it's also likely that some of these will be curves which can be tricky. The best way to ensure a neat and precise cut is to create a template with cardboard or paper first and then place this onto the vinyl tile & mark the cut line. Remember not to take the backing off the tiles until after you have cut it (I know this sounds obvious but you'd be surprised how easy it is to forget!).

  • I used heavy duty DIY scissors to cut the tiles, but you could use a Stanley knife and metal ruler if you prefer. I found the tiles cut very easily so even normal scissors would probably be ok.

  • Once complete, you can use a silicon sealant to seal the joins around bathroom furniture and also the rest of the perimeter of the room if you want to. Match the colour to your bathroom, most people go for white, but I have seen many heated discussions about this topic in DIY forums (really!) and some people feel strongly that clear is a better option. In my opinion, the only tastes and opinions you should consider are your own so go with that and never listen to people who spend precious time arguing with strangers on the internet! (I could write a whole other blog post on that topic!!!)

  • Once complete, there is the option of grouting and sealing (with tile and grout sealer) the joins between every tile, which apparently prolongs the life of the flooring and makes it really waterproof. I however, have not personally tried this as for me peel and stick tiles have always been a stop gap option to get an old floor through another year or two. But it makes sense to spend a bit of extra time and effort doing this if you plan to keep them indefinitely.

The 'After' pics

I was really happy with the end result and the whole room felt lighter and brighter with the new flooring. This is such a simple DIY project, that anyone really can do it. The packs of Floor Pops only cost £15.99 per pack of 10 tiles from Decorating Centre Online (each tile is 12" x 12").

Thanks so much for reading. I'd love to keep you up to date with future DIY, decorating, interior styling and upcycling projects, if you would like to receive my (not more than weekly & no spamming I promise) emails then please subscribe by scrolling down to the box at the bottom of the page.

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