How To Install Peel And Stick Tile On Plywood (Quickly & Easily!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Vinyl peel and stick tiles were, and still are, a major game-changer in terms of home improvement. They made it easy to get a new floor installed on your home, especially when you’re not the typical “Bob the Builder” type. If you have a plywood floor base, you can easily use peel and stick tiles to create a new look. But, the question is, how?

Assuming you have a smooth plywood backing, you can start by cleaning the plywood and applying a primer to your flooring. Measure out your room to determine how many tiles you need, and then start laying the tile. When you start to get to the point that you need partial tiles, cut tiles to fit the gaps. Afterward, use a roller to press in the tile.

Peel and stick vinyl flooring is an excellent way to spiff up a she shed, or just make your kitchen look good as new. However, you need to make sure that you do it properly. This guide will fill you in on the details of how to make your flooring look better than ever.

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Is Your Plywood Ready For Peel And Stick Tiling?

It’s important to realize that not all plywood floors are made to work with peel and stick vinyl. You need to have plywood that’s at least 1/4 inch thick. After that, you need to make sure that it’s properly installed. Here’s how:

  • If you’re just installing the plywood or have loose boards, use galvanized screws. You want to make sure to countersink the screws, since loose plywood can easily cause peeling on your vinyl.
  • Make sure that you pull down any uneven boards. If pulling down and fastening the plywood alone doesn’t make it level, you will need to sand it down. You have to make the plywood super even in order for it to work well as a peel and stick surface.
  • Replace any portions of the plywood that show water damage. Water will cause peeling and may also cause the vinyl to warp.

If your plywood is already even and looking good, it’s time to start the installation. Are you ready?

Is Installing Peel And Stick Vinyl Easy?

“Easy” is a relative term. Peel and stick vinyl is relatively easy when compared to other tiling methods, which is why it’s so popular among DIY enthusiasts. If you are relatively experienced or are just willing to put in the work, then you should be alright with installing peel and stick vinyl on your own.

Though you can always hire someone to do it, actually laying this type of tile is easy enough for anyone to do. So, if you don’t feel like shelling out hundreds of dollars on this project, it’s okay to do it yourself. In fact, it’s actually the best option for people who want to improve their home.

How Much Does It Cost To Install Peel And Stick Tile Professionally?

Though it may not seem like much, you will need to spend a fair amount for a typical room. Home Depot, for example, will charge $1.95 per square foot for labor alone. When you add the $0.20 to $1.50 per square foot for the actual tiling, costs can easily add up.

How Long Does Peel And Stick Vinyl Flooring Last?

This depends on how high quality the vinyl you get. If you splurge on very high-quality vinyl and keep it well-maintained, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t last for at least 25 years. Considering how cheap and easy this project is, that’s pretty impressive!

Moreover, you need to remember that vinyl isn’t the cruddy stuff it was 20 years ago. Vinyl flooring, even of the peel and stick genre, often looks like professionally laid ceramic or wood. No matter how you look at it, it’s a lot of bang for your proverbial buck.

Installing Peel And Stick Vinyl On Plywood

Getting your plywood ready for vinyl is actually the hardest part, so if you’ve already accomplished that, you are going to find the rest of this pretty easy. Here’s how you can install it in a flash:

  • Start off by measuring the area you are looking to cover and buy that amount of tile. You may want to buy a couple of extra square feet, simply because you are going to need to cut it and fill in corners if you don’t have a perfectly square room.
  • While you’re at it, you will also need to buy the right primer. Peel and stick vinyl needs to be placed on a primed surface. You will need to get some floor-leveling compound and latex primer for this.
  • Fully level your floor by applying the compound. Start off by spreading the compound on your floor using a putty knife. If you don’t have a putty knife, use a trowel. This compound will cover any screwholes you have and also fill in gaps that can harm your installation. Remove excess compound with a trowel. Let it dry and vacuum the floor to remove any grit from the leftovers.
  • Once the compound has dried, use a brush to apply a layer of latex primer to your floor. This will help seal the plywood and give your flooring the tacky surface it needs for a solid stick. Bring your tiles into the room where they’ll be installed and let them sit there for 24 hours, so that they can get used to the temperature. You might want to get some ventilation in the room, if you have a sensitive sense of smell.
  • Start peeling your tiles and sticking them to the floor. Some tiles will be flexible, others won’t be. To ensure that you have straight lines, mark off each row with chalk and stick to the markings. They’ll serve as a guide. Your tile should be installed immediately after you peel away the backing. If the tile peels away with the backing, get a new tile.
  • Use a vinyl flooring cutter to trim tiles that don’t fully fit onto the floor. The cutter will help you get a straight line and will be easier to use than a knife. Peel and stick the “leftovers” wherever there’s a gap in the floor.
  • Once you’ve installed the tiling, use a 100-pound flooring roller to fully stick them to the floor. While this is not always necessary, it does help extend your tiling’s life and will also prevent peeling later on. You can usually rent a roller from a place like Home Depot if you want to do this part.

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Related Questions

Is peel and stick flooring a good option?

Peel and stick flooring might be maligned, but it’s not a bad choice. It’s affordable, can last for decades, and is easy to install. Thanks to recent upgrades in the technology behind it, you can actually use it fairly successfully in areas that are prone to spills and heavy foot traffic, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.You can also use peel and stick flooring with some of the more “difficult” rooms without any issues. So if you have a mudroom that you want to upgrade, this is a good option.

Can you use peel and stick vinyl flooring on concrete?

Though peel and stick flooring is mostly considered to be a plywood-friendly choice, it’s also remarkably good with concrete flooring. If you have perfectly smooth concrete flooring, you can stick the vinyl tiles directly on the floor without much need for preparation. This is why many basements are decked out with peel and stick tiling.

What is the cheapest type of flooring?

While carpet and concrete can be fairly affordable for most homeowners, the actual winner is fairly clear. When you look at the full costs for both installation and material, sheet vinyl flooring is considered to be the cheapest on the market.A close second would be laminate flooring, followed up with vinyl plank flooring. So, if you were looking for a bargain buy, the best thing you can do is look at synthetic materials rather than hardwood or carpeting.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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