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The Easy Way to Update Bathroom Tile Without Replacing It!

January 24, 2022

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Hate your bathroom tile floor but replacing it isn't an option? Update it the easy way with this simple DIY project! The secret to a beautiful floor is tile stickers.

update bathroom tile without replacing

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When you are looking at a bathroom makeover, the budget can get very high very fast! Both of our girls have their own bathroom in the new house, and both were covered in hideous brown tile. It is on the floor and in the shower and hurt my eyes!

brown bathroom before renovation

I wanted to change the brown tile desperately, but I didn't want to use a huge chunk of our budget to rip out tile that is in perfectly good condition. Not only could I really not justify the money, but the time and effort it would take seemed so silly when the tile didn't need to be ripped out. So instead of a total gut job, I decided to find the best way to update the bathroom floor tile without replacing it.

I had heard of using tile stickers to update outdated tile and had seen a few of my Instagram friends use them. So I finally decided to give them a try.

When we put together Avery's bathroom mood board I found the perfect light fixtures, shower curtain, towels, rug and knobs. I just needed the exact right shade of blue for her tile floor. I found amazing tile stickers and knew they were THE ONES. Avery and I both love the color and the star pattern. So in about an hour and for WAY less than the cost of tile, she has a brand new look and a gorgeous floor. Not only was it simple, but it totally transformed her bathroom.

blue tile stickers in updated bathroom

We also used tile stickers for Attley's bathroom renovation also. We followed the same process and they turned out just as beautiful and were just as easy! These are the tile stickers we used in her bathroom.

tile stickers used to update floor in girl's bathroom

Want to know all about using tile stickers to update your tile without replacing it? Below I answer all of your burning questions about tile floor stickers. And let me tell you, there were A LOT. Y'all were intrigued and followed this DIY makeover closely. I got more comments and questions on Instagram about these stickers than I thought were possible!

Update Your Bathroom Floor with Tile Stickers

What are tile stickers made of?

The stickers are made from vinyl. I think it is like the vinyl used for car wraps. It is VERY sticky and durable and it is waterproof!

How do you choose the correct size tile stickers?

WARNING! This is super important. About 10 months ago, I ordered tile stickers for the very first time for our laundry room. I had them custom cut to the exact size of our ceramic tiles. This was actually a huge mistake that I didn't realize until I ordered from Snazzy Decal on Etsy for Avery's bathroom.

Snazzy Decal offered very specific instructions about how to measure for your tile stickers and explained you should order them about 1/8″ SMALLER THAN YOUR TILES on each side. That way it leaves a small border all the way around your tile and the sticker is adhering to a perfectly flat surface all the way around (not a slope or bevel which some tiles have slightly.) The tile sticker should not go all the way to or over the grout line at all.

You can see below how the tile stickers in Attley's bathroom don't go all the way to the edge. This is what you want!

Want to see what happened to our laundry room tile stickers? Just watch the short video below. This video also shows you another option for replacing your tile floor without having to demo the old one :)

Keep in mind that pretty much all tile sticker companies will custom cut the stickers for you. So even if you only see listings for set sizes (like 12 x 12) that won't work for you, just message them and ask them if they can custom cut your size. The answer will almost certainly be yes and they will explain how you should place your order.

How do you install tile stickers?

They are easy to install! Just watch the video below for an overview of how to install tile stickers.

What kind of prep work is required?

Not much! You do need to clean the floor really well and paint the grout lines first (if you chose to). But that's it!

Do your prefer this over painting the floor?

I painted our kitchen floor and in our old laundry room years ago in the old house and we really loved both of those floors. They looked great and was super durable. I used floor and porch paint for both floors. For the kitchen floor I used solid based color and painted a stencil over it. It looked awesome but it took FOREVER, especially when I had to completely redo everything including the stencil a second time, because I made the mistake of sealing the first coat with polyurethane and it yellowed immediately. I loved the look and durability of painting the floor, but I didn't want to spend that kind of time on this project. Not to mention painting tile around the toilet, vanity, and tub would have been the worst with a stenciled pattern. I recommend a painted and stenciled floor more for open spaces! Installing tile stickers in my girls' bathroms took about an hour to put down and were so easy.

What do you do about grout lines?

When you are covering an old tile floor like we were, you need to paint the grout lines first. Just grab a brush and some paint and quickly cover the grout and the outer edges of each tile. This will give you fresh-looking grout as well as make those borders on the tile you need to leave blend right in with the grout. In both Avery's room and the laundry room, I used the same paint we use for our trim to paint the grout lines. If I was buying new and not just using what we had, I would have bought floor and porch paint. So far the latex trim paint (with no primer) isn't chipping and is holding up perfectly!

painted grout lines

Can you feel the tile stickers on the floor?

SO many of you asked this! Your brain does not register the tile stickers, it just feels like a regular tile floor. They are not perfectly smooth, which is good because I think that would be crazy slippery. They feel about like the vinyl cover on a binder. Just the tiniest bit of texture.

Are you worried about durability and long-term wear?

The short answer is NO!

The long answer is this…. Because we bought what I now realize was the wrong size for the laundry room, we had issues with peeling and ultimately had to choose a different floor. But I don't foresee the bathroom floors having any issues since they are sized appropriately and the bathrooms see far less traffic. So far they are holding up PERFECTLY and I am not worried about them peeling up since I ordered the correct size.

Do tile stickers need to be sealed?

These do NOT need to be sealed! They are incredibly durable vinyl and it doesn't move once it is securely in place. No bunching and no sliding.

tile stickers on bathroom floor

What kind of floor can I use tile stickers on?

I would say you can use them on any flat floor. You can definitely use them on smooth ceramic tile (that's what we used them on) and porcelain tile. I know some people asked about textured tile (think slate, travertine, etc) and I am sad to say I think that is a bad idea. The surface of the tile needs to be fairly smooth and the edges need to be straight. You could use them on linoleum or hardwood or a vinyl floor. If you do that, you can skip the grout lines all together by butting them directly up to each other. If you prefer grout lines, you could paint the floor underneath and space them out to create any color grout lines you want.

We did not use tile stickers in Avery's shower because I was concerned about mold along the tiny edge of the sticker and the ability to use certain cleaners. I know some people have used them as the decorative tile line at the top of the shower. You could certainly use them on bathroom wall tiles or a backsplash, though! I just would not personally put them in a shower or bathtub.

How do you clean these and are you worried about water?

I had several of you very concerned about the amount of water that will hit the tiles and if that is cause for concern. These tile stickers are waterproof! You can scrub and mop these with no issues at all, I just wouldn't use a super caustic tile cleaner. We don't get a ton of water splashed from the sink or tub, so water isn't a huge concern. Just throw down a bathmat if you are worried! Some people asked what I will do if the painted grout lines get dirty. I would much rather brush paint and touch it up than scrub it!

Overall, we couldn't be happier with this option for updating our outdated tile. It was a quick and easy fix and I love all the colors and patterns you can choose from! Update your tile without replacing it but adding tile stickers is such a quick and easy fix! We could not be happier with how both girls bathrooms look with their gorgeous colorful floors. And they are holding up perfectly!

pink star tile stickers

So what do you think? Are you going to use tile stickers to update bathroom tile without replacing it? It really is the simplest way to cover old or ugly tile with a totally brand new look.

Want to create your own designs like Tasha's bathooms and laundry room, but don't know where to even start? Designer in a Binder® is the simple system I have used for years and years to design spaces in my own home. A couple of years ago, I finally put it all down on paper so that others can use it as well! In it I walk you through all the important stuff like choosing items that are the correct scale, space planning, mixing patterns, choosing colors and more! I give easy-to-understand guidance on all of this in Designer in a Binder®You can order your binder now. We have over 9,000 happy customers so far! Click HERE to learn more.

Here are some other posts you may enjoy:

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