Tiles can be used to spruce up the look of all kinds of spaces. When you’re on a tight budget, peel-and-stick tiles can be a low-cost alternative to standard tiles. Though you might spend less, you still want these tiles to stick around for a reasonable amount of time.

This article explains step-by-step how to make peel-and-stick tiles stick better and has a few additional tips you can apply to make them last longer. Read on!

1. Clean and Dry Your Surface

Before applying your peel-and-stick tiles, make sure your surface is free from dust, debris, or liquids. The presence of any of these can cause your tiles not to adhere well to your surface.

You can use a liquid cleaner to clean your floor thoroughly, but be sure to wipe off any cleaner residue after.

You also need to check for any imperfections, bumps, or wrinkles on your floor. You need a smooth, flat surface for your peel-and-stick tiles to stick properly. You don’t want any imperfections coming through your tiles.

2. Lay Down a Few Test Tiles Without Removing the Backing

When you’re first installing your tiles, try laying out an entire row of tiles without removing the protective backing. Doing this will show you how your tiles will look on the surface once they’re laid out. This way, if you need to make any adjustments, the tiles aren’t stuck in place yet.

If you have to pull up tiles after you have already stuck them in place, their backing will lose their stickiness. This will make it extremely difficult to get the tiles to stick once you reposition them. To best preserve the stickiness of your tiles, be sure to plan the tiling process accordingly.

3. Press Down on the Tile to Make Sure It Adheres Fully

Use your hand to press down on the tile from one end to the other. If you want, you can also try using a rolling pin to roll over the tile.

While pressing the tiles, keep an eye out for any air bubbles.

Wipe away any excess adhesive you might see on the tile or around the edges. Nail polish remover works particularly well for removing excess adhesive.

Applying Pressure Helps Tiles Stick Better

Remember to press down firmly on each tile as you apply them. If you can, it’s best to apply several tiles, wait 15 minutes to an hour, then test the adherence to the floor. This way, you can know if you need to apply some extra adhesive to make the tile stick better.

Don’t apply any additional precautionary adhesive. Only use extra adhesive as needed for tiles or parts of tiles that don’t stick well.

4. Let Your Tiles Sit for 15 Minutes to an Hour

After applying all your tiles to your floor or surface, wait 15 minutes to an hour or longer before walking on it. Although it may seem inconvenient, taking this extra time gives the adhesive on your peel-and-stick tiles time to settle and adequately adhere to the surface. At this point in the process, patience is key.

5. Avoid High Traffic Areas

Peel-and-stick tiles use a weaker adhesive than traditional tiles to stay in place. It’s best not to apply them to areas that see a lot of traffic, like the living room or entryway.

Note that peel-and-stick tiles applied to these areas have still been known to last for five years or so.

6. Avoid Splash Zones

These areas are more exposed to spills, liquids, moisture, and water than other areas of your house. These include the kitchen and bathroom. Moisture seeping through gaps in tiles can push between the adhesive and the floor, making tiles peel.

7. Use Extra Adhesive Only As Needed

Only apply extra adhesive if you have a problem with tiles sticking or if parts of the tile don’t adhere properly. Don’t try using excess adhesive as a precaution. Too much adhesive can cause bumps to form and show through the tiles.

8. Use Compatible Adhesive Only

If you need to apply extra adhesive, be sure to use those compatible with the existing adhesive on your tile. Incompatible adhesives can cause the tile glue to break down, resulting in it not sticking well or at all. Do your research ahead of time to learn what adhesives are compatible with your specific tile.

9. Use Transfer Tape to Hold Tiles Firmly In Place

Transfer tape is an excellent option if you feel that your tiles aren’t staying in place.

Stick the tape onto the surface of your floor before peeling the paper backing on your tile. You can then lay down the tile on top. Roberts Max Grip Vinyl Tape on Amazon is a great option if you are interested in taking this route. This product includes 50 feet of tape for a reasonable price.

10. Apply All Purpose Adhesive Sparingly

All purpose adhesive can be a great way to keep loose tiles anchored to the floor. However, you should only use this product as needed and apply to parts that don’t stick well. You can get Loctite Polyseamseal All Purpose Adhesive Caulk that is highly rated for its strength as an adhesive.   

You shouldn’t use any of these adhesives in a precautionary way. Only use extra adhesives if you have trouble with your tiles not sticking properly.

Apply tiny dots of the adhesive on trouble spots or stubborn corners. Don’t slather the adhesive on the back of your tile.

How Long Do Peel-and-Stick Tiles Last?

Peel-and-stick tiles last up to 25 years if applied properly. However, the lifespan of the tiles depends on their material, frequency of use, and the environment in which they are applied.

If they’re applied correctly and in areas with less foot traffic and exposure to moisture and liquids, peel-and-stick tiles can last up to 25 years or longer.

Many people have also applied peel-and-stick tiles to areas like kitchens and bathrooms and have gotten a 5-10 year lifespan from their tiles.

Tile Material Impacts Lifespan of Tiling

Peel-and-stick tiles are made from various materials, including vinyl, stone, glass, and aluminum. Of course, the price can jump when looking at materials other than vinyl. If you’re trying to save, it’s always best to look at tiles that aren’t excessively cheap. However, reduced price could mean lower quality and less stickiness.

Alternatives to Peel-and-Stick Tiles

If peel-and-stick tiles aren’t for you, but you still want a cheaper alternative to traditional tiles, you can try vinyl tiles. These are like your typical vinyl peel-and-stick tiles, but without adhesive on the back. You have to purchase and apply the adhesive separately.

Some vinyl flooring, known as vinyl planks, don’t need glue at all. They’re designed to snap and lock into place, so no adhesive is necessary.

If you do need adhesive for your vinyl flooring, here are the different types you can choose from:

  • Water-based glue: Sticky enough for your needs and easy to clean in case of excess application or spills. These aren’t recommended for areas exposed to moisture, though, as water can easily break down the glue.
  • Polyurethane-based glue: Usually used for wooden floors but also compatible with vinyl floors.
  • Acrylic-based glue: The more expensive choice, but these adhesives bond well with vinyl and aren’t susceptible to moisture and are resistant to changes in temperature.

Other Peel-and-Stick Decor

Now that you know how to make your peel-and-stick tiles stick better, you can try other peel-and-stick decor. Aside from tile floors and kitchen backsplashes, you can also find the following:

  • Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper: Some wallpapers use a separate adhesive, but there is also peel-and-stick wallpaper. You can use it to decorate the vertical element of your space. You have a wide variety of designs to choose from, from vintage patterns to full detailed murals.
  • Peel-and-stick Decals: If you don’t want to cover the whole of a wall with a pattern or design with wallpaper, you can choose to use decals. With peel-and-stick decals, you can decorate your walls with nearly everything from nature silhouettes to handwritten quotes.

Key Takeaways

Peel-and-stick tiles are a great alternative to more expensive tiling. With proper application and the right installation materials, peel-and-stick tiles can last a long time. If you follow the correct steps for applying your peel-and-stick tiles, you’ll likely be extremely pleased with the longevity and look of your tiles.

Write A Comment