Posted by: Tamer Atya | May 11, 2009

Flooring Questions: Paint, rugs cover old vinyl quickly

DEAR GAIL: Within three years we are looking to completely remodel our master bath and want to pull out the shower/enclosed tub and replace it with a walk-in shower. Along with that, we will be looking to repaint and redo the flooring with travertine tile.

The bath is 14 years old and right now we have old vinyl flooring. I recently repainted the room, but I can’t stand the flooring and don’t want to invest a lot right now since it will be a waste with what I have for our future plans. Can you give me any inexpensive short-term solutions? — Jamie M.

rugs cover old vinyl quickly

rugs cover old vinyl quickly

DEAR JAMIE: You’re right, it doesn’t make sense to put your new travertine floor down when you’ll be pulling out a tub and placing in a shower in the future. But three years is a long time to live with a floor that is old and you don’t like. There are a few inexpensive solutions that you can tackle in the meantime to make you bathroom fresh and enjoyable until you remodel.

First, if your vinyl is in good shape but just dated and old, you can paint it. Update the look with a faux-stone treatment. What is most important when painting any floor is to take the time to investigate the type of prep work that you’ll need to do and give yourself enough time to do it properly. I’ve had clients do a wonderful job painting over old vinyl and even concrete, but the prep work makes all the difference in a good job. Also, make sure that you put down a good durable top coat to keep the floor from wearing.

Again, if your vinyl is in good shape, just consider buying a couple of room-sized rugs to put down. An area rug can completely change the look of any room. Place a runner in front of your master sinks and then another in front of your shower. Purchase one that brings in color and pattern to give yourself a new and fresh look.

If the vinyl is in bad shape, purchase a carpet remnant and have it installed over the vinyl. You can put down an inexpensive pad or even none at all being it is short-term. You could save money and install it yourself by taking a paper template of your bathroom and cutting the carpet to size. Make sure to flip the template over on the back of the rug before you cut it, otherwise the carpet will be backwards. Then, use carpet tape and tape down the edges so that they don’t fray and you don’t trip.

To completely change the look, another do-it-yourself tile project is to use peel-n-stick, self-stick tiles. They come in a wide range of colors and patterns and you could completely change the look of your room in a day.

If you’re installing the tiles over your existing vinyl flooring, you still need to do some prep work. The floor needs to be dust free and any old holes, cracks or gouges must be filled. If your vinyl is in very bad condition, you might want to consider placing down an underlayment first or pulling the old vinyl up. Again, please check with your flooring center before starting this project.


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