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How I Transformed a Vinyl Floor for $10.00

I think I can… I think I can… I know I can… transform a vinyl floor for $10.00. I just did it and I could not be happier.  Here is what my new floor looks like.  A classic black and white pattern.

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Now if you saw the before photos in my previous posts, you are probably saying to yourself –“ it doesn’t look different”.   The camera doesn’t show the detail – so I took an up close shot for you to see the color change.  Before – each square was dark green.   The new color scheme in this room has no dark green so I had to come up with an inexpensive fix to change the color while staying within my budget.  After- the squares are black.

    Before          After

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If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that I used to work in Retail Display. One of the daily projects I did in the store was apply vinyl VATS – manufacturer’s logos, promotions, etc. all over the store. In the display windows, on cosmetic counters, walls, and floors.  They were always so hard to remove even with water and a razor blade after the promotion was over. The ones on the floor after high traffic trampled all over them were nearly impossible to remove.  I knew if I could get my hand on some black vinyl I could make my own VATS – plain black square ones. I was going to go to one of my display buddies and ask them to give me some of their excess black VATS, but I wanted to create something with a product that anyone could buy easily.  At Michaels I found rolls of black vinyl made by Cricut.  2 adhesive backed 3ml sheets for $10.

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The only problem was that they were matte. I wanted shiny as the vinyl floor in the bathroom is very shiny. I experimented with black nail polish and enamel paint to cover the green squares, but it took more than one coat and even using masking tape – the edges were not perfect – it didn’t look good.

Then I figured I could try  to spray the vinyl sheets with clear gloss glaze. I tacked each sheet to a piece of foam insulation and sprayed them with gloss glaze.   The directions said to apply until the surface  was very wet and shiny looking.  At first I thought I wrecked the sheets as the glaze clouded up.  I thought my plan was going to be a total failure –go to Plan B which I didn’t have, but no need as the next day when the  glaze had dried the sheets were perfectly shiny!  Back to Plan A. I did see on-line today that you can order shiny black vinyl from a few craft/art supply manufacturers.

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I used a paper cutter to first cut the vinyl into strips and then squares the size I needed.

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I needed about 300 of them.

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You can see the difference in color on the floor versus the black vinyl.

I cut each square a teeny bit larger than the existing squares to make sure it covered all the green and gray.

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Before you apply the vinyl to the floor, make sure your floor is super clean and there is no cleaning agent residue. I started on one side and then used my finger to rub it down a little bit at a time to prevent air bubbles until the entire square was down. I then rubbed hard to make sure it was down in every corner then I moved onto the next square.  You could also use one of those rollers that are used to flatten wallpaper seams.  You want to ensure that all edges are securely down.

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It took me about 2 hours to apply the squares – I know this as I listened to the  Rachel Ray Show and then The View coming from a TV that was on downstairs.  The 12:00 News came on and I was done.

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The black and white floor is neutral now  – it is a classic pattern that goes with anything.

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I am totally loving my $10 floor transformation.

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 Vinyl floor makeover for $10!

$10 vinyl floor makeover

Update: It has been over 3 years since I redid this floor. It has held up beautifully.  Every tile is secure, no rips or edges wearing.  I am still thrilled with it.

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78 Comments

  1. I love this DIY project! Thank you for posting it and sharing your knowledge of materials. Your bathroom looks beautiful! You did a great job! :)

  2. Amazing!!!! I loved the idea!! Do you happen to know the brand of the vinyl you had before with the green squares?

    1. Hi Debora – I was entertaining this weekend and one of my guests wanted to see the bathroom, when I told her the squares were vinyl I cut to size, she didn’t believe me. The vinyl still looks as good as the day I added it. That was over 2 years ago. I think the vinyl was Mannington. It came with the house when we bought it over 20 years ago. I looked to see if it was still available, but I could not find it. My neighbor had the same vinyl with blue tiles instead of green. It was popular 20 years ago.

  3. Just found your site today, and think I am in love! Amazing, but do-able projects. Some sites are too difficult to follow, you my friend, make it easy for us newbies! Thanks, hats off!

  4. Hi Diane,
    Love your idea! I have the same green and white floor in my kitchen but it is ceramic not vinyl. Do you think it would work on ceramic or do you have any other ideas?

    1. I used this method on ceramic tiles in my old bathroom, and sealed it all with varnish to make sure it stayed down. Go for it; it worked really well for me!

        1. I sealed over the whole floor, since I changed the color of each ceramic tile this way. Make sure to use an oil-based varnish for the top, and you should be set. It held up well for me for about a year, and was still going strong when I moved out!

        2. Hi Roxanne – I used spray gloss to make my vinyl shiny before cutting it out, but did not use anything over the floor after it was on. It had held up perfectly, every square still is adhered still and is shiny. I could not be happier even after 2 years.

    2. Hi Roxanne – Yes it would work on ceramic. When I worked in display where we used big vinyl images on the floors – all the floors were tile. It was almost impossible to get up. Use the side of a scraper or spatula to make sure there are no air bubbles and the edges are adhered. You could paint the tiles with gloss porch and floor paint. Just rough up each tile with sandpaper first, clean it off – add one thin coat of gripping primer and then the porch and floor paint. Use painters tape to mask off each square so you get nice clean edged painted squares.

    1. HI Gail – It is perfect. Every time I clean the floor I think I am going to find that one of the tiles has come up or will be damaged in some way, but I have not. I am truly happy with it! Are you thinking of doing it to one of your floors?

  5. Hi Diane

    Well, I’m in the middle of re-doing my laundry room/half bath and lucky for us we are following your tutorials on the board and batten as well as the framed mirror.

    Next is the floor and you guessed it……I have the same Lino with a blue square. We painted the upper portion of the room a charcoal and have a black granite sink on top of a white vanity so the blue squares have got to go.

    I’m curious, how have they held up for you after the last year or so? Also, do you think making the square larger than 1.5 would look ok? Even 2 or 2.5 inches? I still need to find some of that vinyl but fingers are crossed it works out.

    Thank you for sharing all you do on your blog. You have been a lifesaver during this process as we aren’t quite DIY people. It’s been interesting to say the least. Hee!

    hUgS
    Charlene

    1. Hi Charlene –

      I am beyond pleased with how well the squares have held up – perfectly. I added them not knowing if it would work or not, but since the vinyl stuck like iron to the stores floors where I worked – I figured it was worth a try. I use a Bona mop and cleaner to clean it. It has a microfiber style pad and sprays a light mist of cleaner over the floor. Works great.

      As for the size of the squares – make a few and just place them over a few of the blue squares to see if you like the way they look larger. The only negative I can see is it may make the classic design and white space look out of proportion. On the other hand – it may look quite modern. Try it and see.

  6. OMG I have the same floor as you! Before anyway! I have a gold shower curtain and neutral accessories so I am thinking of changing my floor from green to brown. Luckily, I just bought brown Cricut vinyl from Wal mart on clearance for $2.00! Thank you so much for a great and inexpensive idea for changing my floor! :)

  7. THANK YOU! We just moved into a new (to us) house that had 2″ ceramic tile for the counter top (ewww!) and the backsplash. The backsplash has a blue tile border that I want to cover up while I decide on a permanent replacement. The counter top has been replaced, but I didn’t want to tear out the tile backsplash until I knew what I wanted.
    This is EXACTLY what I need! WAHOO! You are my favorite person of all time. And your bathroom floor is gorgeous!
    Sherry

    1. Thanks Sherry XO- It will work perfectly on a back splash. One of my friends didn’t like one of the colors that was in a pattern in the tiles that were on her back splash. We got two bottles of nail polish and painted over the color spots she didn’t like. It worked perfectly – Shiny just like the tile and enamel tough. I enjoy finding the easier and less expensive options and like you stated will make you happy until you can decide/afford what you really would like.

  8. Hi Diane,
    You would never know you changed this, it looks perfect! I’m amazed at how clever you were to figure this out. I love this floor! I’m in the process of putting in a bathroom and would love to do this. Would you mind giving me the measurement of the white tile and the original size of the green tile (I’m going to use black). Your bathroom is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
    Abby

    1. Hi Abby-

      The white vinyl sections that resemble tiles are 6-inch squares. The black squares are placed diagonally and are 1 1/2-inch square.

      1. Thank you for such a quick response – I appreciate the information. This looks like a tile floor, you wouldn’t know by the picture.
        Thanks again!
        Abby

  9. I *love* this idea, and I just used it to tile my entire bathroom floor in a rental! I’ll be blogging about it and giving you credit for the idea shortly! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  10. VERY impressed with the vinyl floor re-do. I have never seen anything like that. It looks great. I like the entire bathroom. I have been wanting to make new valances for my dining room and kitchen. If I ever get around to it, I will be using your method for valances. I need to start looking for fabric!

  11. This is a great idea! And you know what is crazy years ago I worked in a big box store that had ads/logos on the the bathroom floors which we had to remove periodically. I absolutely HATED it when it was time to change them out because they did NOT come off the floors! and to think I had forgotten all about using vinyl on floors!! Thank you for the reminder and I LOVE your blog!!

  12. I have the same vinyl floor in my bathroom except marroon. I hate it but have been hanging on until I replace it with tile. I am going to micheals tomorrow now. Thank for the great idea. I love it

  13. So clever! You’re awesome! I LOVE this! Thanks so much for sharing in the DIY Project Parade! I’m including a link in this week’s highlights! ;)

    Great job!

  14. You are amazing!!! I love everything about your transformation. I’d love to do something like that to cover our 70’s gold bathtub! I’ve got 2 of them, so I might have to show my husband this!

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  15. The black makes it look so much classier and less dated. Amazing how much better it looks with so little work. Well done.

  16. Oh gosh, that IS clever!!! You did a lovely job, much better and easier to coordinate with black squares!

  17. I love how you always work with you have and find away to update without breaking the bank. Love the bathroom makeover.

  18. Diane, you never fail to amaze me with your creativity and inexpensive fixes. You are a marvel. Your bathroom is looking just fabulous.

  19. Diane,

    Bravo! Yet another fantastic and affordable idea. Love to read your blog. Oh and I’ve been known (on many occasions) to keep track of time using the same method of daytime tv as you do. And, even the same shows :)

  20. What a genius idea! I love how you changed the look with only a few dollars and 2 hours of work! I might have to do something like this in my kids bathroom. Awesome job!

    Lori : )
    Thrifty Decor Mom

  21. What a great idea.

    I wonder, though — how do you think the vinyl squares will hold up to scrubbing (and water, since it is a bathroom).

    1. Thanks Roxanne –

      You will be amazed at how well the vinyl stays on the floor. At the store I used to work at they cleaned the floor with those big steam cleaners – I swear that is what made it so hard to get the vinyl off when the promotions were over. I use a Bono Mop – (Easy- I love it) to clean all my floors. It is just a pad and a spritz of cleaner. I have done it once on the “new” floor so far. Water is used to attach large pieces or clear vinyl as it adds a way to float the vinyl on the surface for perfect placement. You can move it around for a bit. Spray the surface with water then apply your piece. Use the edge of a credit card and rub over the vinyl and the water will move out to the sides along with all the air bubbles. If you are worried or are a really hard floor scrubber when you clean :-) you can cut a few extra pieces in case something happens to one.

  22. Wow, so resourceful! I would have never thought of that solution and it looks so nice! I’ve been watching your bathroom transformation and think it looks great. Keep up the great work!

  23. That is just awesome!! Great idea and great job- I would just be sitting in there staring at it all for a few days patting myself on the back:)

    1. Hi Bee-
      You are too funny. I can’t say I was patting myself on the back, but I do keep going in there now and checking it all out. It took some time, but it was worth all the work. My youngest is coming home this week for 4 days and I am excited for her to see it and be the first one to use the bathroom since it’s makeover.

  24. Fantastic idea and great execution. When I saw the thumbnail I thought it was tile.
    You really got several more years out of that floor.
    I am a new follower. Please come by and enter my giveaway. It has some neat things.
    Blessings, Ginger

    1. Hi Barb-

      It probably would. My floor has a small indent or recess around each square that I think will help hold the new vinyl in place so the new black squares are not completely flat. But at work I have used large and small vinyl pieces on very flat vinyl floors and it stayed on beautifully. The hard part was taking it off when the promo was over. Just make sure the floor is very clean. Another tip is to rough up the area you are going to apply the vinyl to first with some sandpaper. Remove the grit with a tack cloth and then apply the vinyl. This will give the vinyl a little extra something to grip on to.

  25. Wow – I have the same floor with blue diamonds. Please let us know how this stands up to time and repeated cleanings – oh, that reminds me, my bathroom floor REALLY needs to be cleaned. (sigh).

    1. hi Vonda-

      I know that floor – my neighbor has it in her kitchen. That was the “IN” color back in the 90’s. I hate cleaning, but if I don’t do it it doesn’t get done. I use a Bona Mop. It makes the task a lot easier.

  26. Diane, I want to be you when I grow up. (Actually, I believe I’m older than you — but I still want to be you when I “grow up.”) ;-) You are definitely one talented lady. Thanks, as always, for sharing. I’m a big fan.

  27. Love the black. I also love your shower curtain and have been looking for something very similar. Please let me know where you purchased it! Thanks!

    1. Hi Joy –
      I got the shower curtain at HomeGoods. It is made by a company called – Splash-ol-ogy. It was $14.99

    1. Thanks Kathy. I had to come up with something as the green just was not working. I think it is going to work fine even for the long run.