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 experiment—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.
-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
-tile-cutting jig (I made it! I’ll show you how, too; its easy.)
-hammer or nailer/stapler
-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.
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.
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.
Step 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!
I 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.