Make A Patterned Floor With Linoleum Tile

A beautiful mess modified tiles floor (click through for more)It is crazy how far this little laundry room has come. Can you believe that only a couple of months ago it wasn't really a good idea to go into this room unless you were up to date on your tetanus shots? After some major elbow grease, this place is looking presentable! We wanted to cover the plywood floor to not only make it look better, but to make it a little more watertight since it's a laundry room. Linoleum tiles were always the plan for the space, but then the idea of modifying the tiles came into play. The space was perfect for the experimentโ€”it's not too big, and it doesn't get a whole lot of traffic through it (linoleum isn't the most permanent of floor solutions, but it's less expensive than ceramic tile). After cutting a couple hundred tiles and installing them, we couldn't be happier with the result.

Supplies: 
-linoleum tiles (We actually used vinyl tiles, but the steps would all stay the same if you used one or the other.)

-plywood underlayment (if the exisitng floor is OSB, linoleum won't stick to it)
-nails or staples
-polyurethane

Tools:
-tile-cutting jig (I made it! I'll show you how, too; its easy.)

-skil saw
-hammer or nailer/stapler
-ruler
-utility knife, with extra blades (you want to stay sharp)

Step One: Get your space prepared. Ours was pretty raw, so I covered the OSB with a layer of floor polyurethane for some moisture protection. Then I laid down some 1/4" underlayment. The tiles need a flat surface to adhere to. 

A beautiful mess modified tiles floor cutting jig(click through for more)Step Two: Modify your tiles. If you are going to modify your tiles, making a jig is a good way to ensure a speedy and precise cut every time. I took a scrap piece of wood and set a tile on it. Then I took my straight edge and laid it horizontally on top of the tile (where it would be if I were going to cut it). Then I took three strips of wood and positioned them so the tile was nice and snug, and the straight edge would be in just the right spot every time! Put some of your favorite music on, and get into the cutting groove. You may need to adjust the strips after a few hundred cuts to ensure precise cuts. You'll want to cut these perfect; trust me, you'll thank me in the end if you take the extra time. I was off by millimeters on some, and it throws everything off. Be careful with that knife; it's easy to get off guard when you get into a rhythm.

A beautiful mess modified tiles floor cutting tile (click through for more)A beautiful mess modified tiles floor cutting tile (click through for more)There are countless numbers of different patterns you can get from cutting a square into triangles. Here are some other patterns I came up with while planning for this. Some are way more complex than it's worth, but maybe they'll spark some other ideas for you.

Tilepatternideas_1Tilepatternideas_1Tilepatternideas_1Tilepatternideas_1This is the one we chose:

Tilepatternideas_2Step Three: Lay down the tile. I would sweep or vacuum your space one more time to make sure the floor is extra clear of dust and dirt. There are all kinds of instructions online for squaring up a room for laying tile. I didn't follow any of them :/ I just picked a wall and started laying the tile as straight as possible. Don't follow the line of the wall; it's probably wavy and will throw off the pattern.

I think the extra time used for modifying the tile was worth it! For the most part, the tiles fit nicely together. Like I said, some tiles weren't cut perfectly, so they started throwing me off midway through. Linoleum is pretty forgiving, so I either had to force the pieces into place, or cut them down a bit to fit. When you get to the end, grab a scrap piece of wood and straight edge because you'll have to cut the pieces down. I marked where I needed to cut, then cut before taking the backing off. 

Note: Linoleum is pretty durable, but it's not permanent. Due to the modification, the number of corners grew exponentially. Even though I was able to fit the pieces together close to perfect, some corners inevitably popped up. It's been over a month since I laid down the tile. Some little corners have broken off, but as a whole, the floor still looks good!

A beautiful mess modified tiles floor (click through for more)  A beautiful mess modified tiles floor (click through for more)  A beautiful mess modified tiles floor (click through for more)    hope you try this! Let me know if you have any questions. The print in the first picture is from here.

SECOND NOTE: We're getting a lot of questions and comments about the sink. You guys love it! It's the cheapest farm sink you can get from Lowes, spray painted flat mint green. We're not going to make a post about it, but you can make it yourself for around $100! Dont forget to tape off! -Josh

Credits // Author: Josh Rhodes. Photos: Sarah Rhodes and Josh Rhodes. Photos Edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.

  • This home decor DIY is super fun. I like the design you chose. The other ones are cool in theory, but I wonder how they’d actually look when executed. Love the black & white with the pop of yellow! Terrific! :] // http://www.itscarmen.com โ˜ผ

  • You. The. Man!
    This is one of my favorite projects ever on the blog. I can’t wait to show “before” photos!!!
    High five x 1 million.
    -Elsie

  • Is it really linoleum or just vinyl tiles? They are different. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • This is such a good idea! I never would have thought of cutting them, just strategically placing them..which could easily get boring quickly!

  • That video is so awesome! Such a cool project and I love the different ways you showed to pattern them!

  • Love it! Where are the tiles from? I have seen similar vinyl ones but not linoleum. And where was the camera mounted for that video, very cool.?

  • This turned out really well! I love the different design options that you came up with, but I completely see what you mean about them being a little more complicated than they’re worth. Is there any way to help make the linoleum last longer? Would a polyurethane seal on top do anything?

    Side note: I love that you categorized this as an “epic project.” This is the first time I’ve noticed you using that category and it made me smile. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Gorgeous! Are they peel-back, self-adhesive tiles or do they require separate adhesive?

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    Where in the world did you get that awesome sink?

  • [email protected]

    Where in the world did you get that awesome sink?

  • this looks very awesome! i think linoleum is the answer for our entrance! i’ll definitely try something like this. thanks for sharing!

  • I love this! What a great finished product. When we bought our house it had been “italianised”, which to Aussies means you take an old Victorian house and remove all the beautiful features and replace it with a lot of mission brown and concrete. The house was door to door, wall to wall ugly brown lino. I swore I could never face it again, but you may just have restored my faith in cheap flooring!!

  • whoa! whoa! whoa! this is defo a cool idea – i like the arrow one in particular – but i wanna know more about that sink!! it’s beautiful!! xx

  • I love the laundry sink- did I miss the post on that DIY? Many thanks for all (doable!) inspiration!

  • I love the second pattern because it reminds me of a quilt, but I think you guys chose the perfect pattern. Some of the others would probably be too busy for the whole floor!

  • Amanda, you’re right! I actually had to check to see what I used because I wasn’t aware that there was different types of sticky tiles. We used vinyl tiles. But the steps stay the same ๐Ÿ™‚ have you used linoleum ones?

    -Josh

  • Thanks Echoamy, I actually did use vinyl ones. I bought them off of amazon.
    I used a Gopro to film the video, it was mounted on the ceiling, yay for fisheye!

    -Josh

  • The floor looks super cool. But I’m also loving the wall system! Is this something you guys built, or did you purchase the wall panel with hooks/containers separately?

  • Please share more info about the sink!! Brand and name or item number or a photo of the top…..I adore it!!!!!

  • I just know that linoleum is more eco friendly, more natural (made with renewable resources) as its composition is different, whereas vinyl is more synthetic and definitely man made (non-renewable resources). Because of linoleum’s natural makeup, it requires another sealant layer on top for maximum moisture control. (definitely something to consider in the humid midwest and south) ๐Ÿ˜‰ But since yours is vinyl it doesn’t need the top seal coat.

  • Josh,

    I’ve scouted tiles like that on Amazon but they always looked like they had some kind of textured pattern that makes them less like linoleum.
    Yeah, Gopro cameras are looking pretty awesome to me these days. It will be on my wishlist now.

  • So awesome! This is such a cool spin on the checkered look, and the classic black and white looks great with the other pops of color you have going on in the room ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Yes, I would also like to know where you got your sink. I love it.

  • The floor is great, but that sink! AMAZING. As someone else asked, where did you get it?