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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. This is my very first post, and I am the furthest thing from a handyman, so please forgive my ignorance. I am here to learn.

I rent an apartment. It's a very old building with a real working fireplace and I love it. The down side is that the bathroom is small and the ceramic tiles on the floor are old and ugly and filthy (rest of the apartment is beautiful hardwood floors. . just the bathroom that I cringe at).

Obviously, as a renter, I don't have the right to permanently change things. And although I view this as an enhancement - the landlord may want the original tiles to stay and not be damaged.

My dad came up with the following idea plan: We scrub down the original tile floor. Then we lay down felt paper over the original tiles, with a bit of double sided rug tape in key areas - like around the toilet, etc. We are going to lay the stick and peel marble tiles on top of the felt paper. Using spacers . . . and then premixed grout (for the vinyl tiles). This would create the look that I want . . . but be very removable when I leave.

My question is . . Does this sound like it will hold up for a few years? Will the tiles stick to the felt paper? Will grouting them give us a better chance against the tiles peeling? Is there a better way to accomplish this?

Yes, I know that this is not best practice under ideal situations. But that's not the case here. I HATE the bathroom floor right now. It's disgusting and I am embarrassed when I have company. For that reason, I am willing to spend the $100 (it's a very very small bathroom) and I understand that this will all go to waste when I move out. I am okay with that. I am not looking for a 20 year solution. I am a renter just trying to have a nice bathroom floor while abiding by my lease restrictions.

Any suggestions?
 

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I have never heard of doing a floor that way so I am not aware of any experiential information. In my opinion the tiles won’t stick well to felt paper and grout will fail from slight movement. Also the felt paper might stain the existing tile and grout.
Have you tried floor stripper or peroxide cleaner?
My son owns dozens of apartments. When a tenant has a legitimate complaint about a bathroom floor we replace it. However we don’t allow do it yourself work by tenants. Have you asked them to replace it?
 

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Naildriver
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Peel and stick won't "stick" to builder's felt. It may stick differently in certain parts of your bathroom floor as it is, so taking it up may be a problem, although, IMO, it would only be good for a few months anyway.

Do as the others have suggested and go through your landlord first.
 

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If the landlord says no, get one of those rubber-backed rugs, like they have for around the base of a toilet, except obviously big. If you can find one big enough for the entire bathroom, you can trim bits out to go around vanities and toilets and such. It'll save you from having to look at the crappy tile, and when it gets dirty you can just throw it in the washing machine.
 

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Hammered Thumb
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Eww, Huesmann, pee splatter?

The groutable thicker vinyl stick tiles "might" not sink into the ceramic tile grout lines, but if an edge lines up over the CT grout surely foot pressure will push it down.

How bout trying just some click lock LVT? The "T&G" may be strong enough to counter any weight pushing the LVT into the lower CT grout lines. You'll have some caulk around the toilet, tub, and perimeter to clean up when you remove it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for all of your replies. I can see a unanimous theme lol. And I appreciate it and I understand it. Was hoping to hear what I wanted to hear . . instead, I got the truth lol. That sucks.

My landlord is okay. But cheap cheap cheap. It's a BIG company with apartment-communities all over the place. They certainly respond immediately for maintenance issues. But their solutions are cheap cheap cheap cheap. And they seem to be very strict about modifications . . . because all of the apartments are uniform in look and feel. Which is why I was hoping to find a way to lay these tiles 'temporarily'. Simply for my own satisfaction. We found some really high quality marble tiles and they look awesome grouted.

I guess I will try to strip the old tiles and clean them up as best I can. But they still old and ugly as a F . . . . even if they were clean. It's like a bathroom from 1842 lol.

Thank you for the wake up call. Unless someone has any other ideas on how to accomplish this as a "easy to remove' solution . .maybe something other than builders felt, under. But . that's probably wishful thinking

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
3onthetree - I am with you. I cringe at the thought of a rug in the bathroom. I am a bit OCD haha. The thought of rugs in a room with pee splatter . . . I won't sleep at night. I have a secondary fear of finding a toe nail in a bathroom rug LOL . . don't ask me why.

The tiles we bought (but can return). . . are a good quality. Groutable. Research shows that we should use premixed acrylic based grout for these, as it will allow some flexibility that dry mix grout won't. We were going to lay them down on the grouted ceramic tiles . . . and then caulk around the toilet and floor edges, as you stated. I think out biggest worry in that scenario is not the actual tiles not sticking. It's the thought of . . . . will this be too complicated to remove when we leave? And will it damage the tiles underneath - or will floor stripper resolve any issues? I have never worked with peel and stick tiles before, so I don't know how difficult they are to remove . . and what damage they leave behind?

I did also look at some click lock tiles. The main issue here is cost. My bathroom is 20 sq ft. Which is small. But the cost of peel and stick vs clicl lock is very significant . . especially when considering we need water resistant clicl lock. Not that I won't pay the additional cost if it was the only answer. But . . seeing as this is temporary and I will need to pull this all up when I leave . . . the cost factor does come into play slightly. But . . certainly still on the table as an option



Eww, Huesmann, pee splatter?

The groutable thicker vinyl stick tiles "might" not sink into the ceramic tile grout lines, but if an edge lines up over the CT grout surely foot pressure will push it down.

How bout trying just some click lock LVT? The "T&G" may be strong enough to counter any weight pushing the LVT into the lower CT grout lines. You'll have some caulk around the toilet, tub, and perimeter to clean up when you remove it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
3onthetree - You are correct. We purchased 2 cases of 12 x 24 stick N peel groutable tiles from HD, at $1.17 per sq ft. Let me clarify that when I said "good quality", these tiles are above and beyond the $0.49 and $0.79 tiles, and these had great reviews - but . . certainly there are even better ones. A case covers 20 sq ft. The exact size of my bathroom. That means I need two cases, so that I have backups if mistakes are made or tiles have problems down the road.

The click lock vinyl (marble look) tiles that I was looking at were about $62 per case. So, in short we have a $55 total cost for stick n peel tiles vs $125 total cost for click lock tiles. Additional supples are the same, other than I will possibly need a jig saw for the click lock.

I know . .the difference in cost is not a huge deal. BUT . . this is temporary and will be ripped up and thrown out in a few years. I would rather spend less than more. However . . if the thought is that . . the stick and peel simply won't work . . the certainly I would consider click lock.

Lastly . . . does anyone have any experience peeling up stick n peel tiles? Is it a big job or do they come up rather easily? Will it leave a lot of sticky gunk on the old ceramic tiles? Is that easily cleanable ? If we simply lay the tiles down on the existing ceramic (no builders felt, etc) . . . are we going to get the ceramic tiles back to their natural state (after removing stick n peel three years later) easily enough?
 

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Hammered Thumb
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So one of my tenants did put down some stickies over an original crap CT job, I think it was there a bunch of years. If you can zoom in you'll see where the foot pressure will cause some pushing or uplift. It was fine for them, maybe they stubbed a toe here and there and don't know what happened to spilled water. When I demo'd the whole floor, some pieces really stuck, but I didn't have to worry about cleaning off the residue. Your call.



In regards to the marble look click-lock LVT at HD, my math gets $62.54 for a case covering 23.25sf (and I know at Lowes you can buy individual planks). So add $5 for some silicone you're at $68 + tax. Click-lock can be scored with a utility knife and snapped. Here's the manuf's video for this product
https://www.msisurfaces.com/vinyl-flooring/installing-lvt/
 

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Not bath but foyer, which probably will see fair bit of water, esp in winter and tracking in snow.
I used largest chair mat I can buy from amazon. Then found silicone film and used strips of it between the mat and the engineered floor so the mat doesn't slip around.
Maybe the peel/stick tile will stay on the chair mat? For small bath, 2 mats probably will cover. Bridge the mats by placing the tile half/half over the joint? If try, don't use textured mat. I don't think grout will stick to the smooth mat. Maybe epoxy grout and apply in small areas.
Would you be able to cut around the tub and the toilet? Is the peel/stick real marble? I am still suspicious of peel/stick roofing and don't know about stone tiles.
 
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