The previous owner of my duplex installed some of the self-stick stuff in my rental unit, in the kitchen and bathroom, right before selling the house. It made the house look nicer for the sale, and he, of course, wasn’t concerned about the longevity of his improvement.
However, exactly 12 months after the installation, I got a note from my tenants, saying that some of the tile had started to “flip up.”
When I went upstairs to investigate, it apeared that some of the tiles had been nudged into spaces that were maybe 1/32 of an inch too small, and the adhesive wasn’t holding on those tiles, causing them to pop out of their spots. Now, perhaps this guy wasn’t that skilled in the installation… maybe ALL vinyl tile doesn’t start to fall apart in only one year… But since an all new seamless vinyl floor installation isn’t directly on the horizon, I went to the store and bought a box of matching replacement tiles to have on hand. And I’ve needed several of them already.
How to fix the flipped up tiles? I popped them out, took a metal ruler and x-acto blade, and carefully trimmed off about 1/32 of an inch on one side. I cleaned off any grit and sand that had stuck to the adhesive, and applied some simple Elmer’s Glue-All to the bottom of the tile. I put a brick on it to hold it in place until the glue dried. It must’ve worked, because although I got a new note from my new tenants last week, saying that “some tiles in the kitchen are starting to flip up,” they were different ones than the ones I had previously repaired.
So, while the self-stick vinyl tile might be fine for a temporary solution, or a closet, or in a house where people will be careful with it, it’s not the kind of durable solution that you want to install in a rental unit. I have “new flooring for the upstairs kitchen and bathroom” on my list of upcoming improvements.