The first major project that we (and I say we because I always inevitably require the help of my husband) took on was to renovate our basement bathroom. The basement in our house has come to function as our family room where we spend all of our time. It's also somewhat of a "man cave" for my husband - I'll post more on that later. So, our old bathroom has roll out vinyl floors, a wall mounted sink, white walls and a very old toilet.
When we first moved into our house I decided to paint the bathroom purple (a color that I soon realized was not one of my favorites). So, about a year and a half in I repainted the room the tan color that is in the rest of the house.
Next, was pulling out the baseboards... which turned out was a great idea because we found mold underneath them. Yuck! So, after KILZ-ing the baseboard areas several times. We decided to put up new baseboard molding (Which is a lot harder to install than I thought). In the era of DIY online videos, don't be deceived. Just because some "amateur" online can make it look easy doesn't mean it is.
With a blank template, we installed a new toilet. Thank goodness because the seal where the toilet connects to the floor was broken.
With the new toilet in place, it was time for my favorite part of this project: peel and stick vinyl plank flooring. I'd first seen this done on House of Smiths (one of my favorite DIY blogs). So, I decided to try it myself and was pleasantly surprised. The floors are completely transformed! I was so amazed at the quality and at how nice they look!!
I started out by laying the pieces out with the paper back still on, that way I could see how they fit before sticking them to the floor. If you're installing these, you need to make sure that you stagger the start - aka you don't want all of your seams in the same place. Start out with one plank that is 1' long, the next 2' and then follow with one that is 3'. Then repeat. This helps give your floor a more natural wood look.
After laying out most of the bathroom I started to stick the floors. What's great about these is that you simply peel off the paper back and stick them to the floor. You can also stick them directly onto old vinyl as long as it still has a strong adhesion to the sub-flooring. Be sure to clean the floors well. I went to Home Depot and asked for a vinyl floor cleaner to make sure that there weren't any extra dirt or dust particles.
It only took me an hour to do this whole bathroom and I'd never done flooring before. When laying down the planks, be sure to push the pieces together to minimize the size of the seams.
What's also great about this flooring is that you can cut it with an everyday scissor, making it easy to fit around odd shapes and corners. I tried to keep the edges that I cut where the moulding would cover it.
Also, leave a little extra room between the flooring and the walls/moulding to give them room to expand.
Once the I started to put the pieces down, the room began to quickly transform.
Since the toilet was already installed I was able to cut and slide the pieces under the base of the toilet. Once it was done we used a couple of shims to even out the base of the toilet, and then caulked around the base. Now we have a toilet that doesn't wobble and there are no floor seams at the base of the toilet.
Here is the finished product. Once all of the floors were in, we installed 7" moulding (which is gorgeous - I absolutely love moulding!). Then we used PVC quarter round which is great because it is water resistant and doesn't mold. After installing both and using a little caulk, I did one more layer of KILZ and some touch up paint, and voila: practically a new bathroom.
The last finishing touches were installing the sink and a new light fixture which brightened the room, making it feel larger. I'll touch more on those changes later.
So, if you're looking for an inexpensive, durable, easy way to update the flooring in your home, I would highly recommend vinyl planks. We use this bathroom frequently for showers and the flooring has held up very well so far and still looks great!