Vinyl tile is an excellent choice throughout the home but especially in the bathroom. Its waterproof nature makes it perfect for use in the wettest room in the home. It also leads many to wonder if they should put it under the toilet, vanity, and bathtub or if it should be installed up to it?
Vinyl tile can easily be put under the toilet and vanity and it is preferred to do so. You should not put it under a bathtub, as the bathtub should sit directly on the subfloor. Both floating and glue down vinyl floors will work well under the toilet and vanity but glue down is better.
One of the primary reasons why a glue-down floor is preferred in the bathroom is because it will not shift as much as a floating floor. Floating floors click together easily and are simple to install, but they can cause problems if the floor expands and contracts too much.
That being said, if you are not attaching the vanity or toilet to the floor, it should be able to expand and contract underneath without too much difficulty. You will need to leave some space at the edge of the room for expansion, but otherwise, it should work well.
This leads us to an interesting discussion on the type of vinyl flooring you will be using in the bathroom. Any will work, but some are better than others.
Can You Put Vinyl Tile Under/Around Vanity/Toilet/Bathtub?
As far as the type of vinyl you can install in the bathroom, the sky is really the limit. The most common types include the following:
Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) – This is preferred by many homeowners who are doing the installation in the bathroom. The tiles are generally 8 inches or 12 inches squares, although you may have other options which you might find convenient if the squares are larger.
For the purpose of this article, we will be discussing luxury vinyl tiles. There are also other types of vinyl tile, including peel and stick vinyl but that is not being discussed in this context.
Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVP) – This is very similar to luxury vinyl tile with the difference being, they come in long planks that make it appear as if they are wood. You can also easily install these in the bathroom and many of the principles associated with installing vinyl tile will apply.
Sheet Vinyl – Another possibility is installing sheet vinyl. As the name would suggest, this is one solid sheet of vinyl that would be installed from wall to wall. To install sheet vinyl, you will likely have to pull out the vanity and toilet but you can also install it up to the edge, although it is not going to be as clean looking when finished.
Generally speaking, the vinyl tiles you install in the bathroom will glue down. They have many benefits, including their endurance and their ability to withstand water.
The reason why most people would choose vinyl tile for the bathroom instead of laminate is that vinyl tile can easily stand up to a lot of water.
When you do a direct comparison of laminate and vinyl, you find that vinyl is a much better choice for the bathroom and other areas of the home where water could be a problem. Laminate has some water-resistant qualities in the upper layer but in the lower layers, any water will ruin and destroy it.
The same cannot be said for vinyl, which is waterproof through and through. Even in the unlikely event that water would get under the vinyl tile that was glued down, it would eventually dry up without ruining the tile.
Vinyl tile is also a lot more durable and can more easily be cared for. You can wash it when needed or mop it with a dry mop occasionally to remove dust and keep the floor clean.
You also have a wide variety of options when it comes to the style of vinyl tile you choose. The options will rival those that are available with a wood floor or a laminate floor.
If you ever need to remove the vinyl tile, it can be done by scraping up the old tile and any glue on the subfloor. You could also use vinyl tile as a base for other types of floor if you desire.
The only factor that really needs to be considered with vinyl tile is the edge of the room. There has to be at least a little room available for expansion and contraction.
After allowing the tile to acclimate to the room, it can be installed while leaving that small gap. Unfortunately, the gap will also need to be at the edge of the tub but there are options for hiding it that will make the job look seamless.
Can You Put Vinyl Tile Under/Around Vanity
Putting vinyl tile near a vanity would require that you do one of two things. You can either install it under or around the vanity. Which is better?
Vinyl tile is best installed under the vanity. If you are using a glue-down plank or tile, it is always a good choice because it will act as a firm base for the vanity itself. Otherwise, you may run into difficulties if you install it up to the vanity if you should ever have to replace it.
There are many benefits to installing vinyl tile under the vanity. Let’s focus on two of those factors now.
1. It Gives You Space – When you are installing vinyl tile in the bathroom, you are often limited by the amount of space you have available. This can be problematic, because having limited space may affect the quality of the installation.
Removing the vanity ahead of time and installing the vinyl tile underneath is beneficial because it allows you to work freely in the area. Rather than being cramped in the area of the vanity, you will have the extra space you need so that you can get the installation done properly.
2. It Saves Time – When you stop to think about it, you are actually saving a considerable amount of time by removing the vanity in advance. After all, the vanity is a relatively simple item that can often be removed in a matter of minutes.
If you were to try to lay the vinyl tile up to the vanity, you are going to be spending a lot more time getting the look just right. More than likely, you will end up with some unusual gaps that will need to be hidden under some quarter-round.
One other factor that you can consider is the possibility that you would have to replace the vanity. If you install the vinyl tile under the vanity, you are free to choose any new vanity you like.
On the other hand, if you only install the vinyl tile up to the edge of the vanity, you are limited by the original footprint. This can make a difficult and at times, you may not be able to find one that is exactly the same size as the vanity that is currently in the bathroom.
How To Lay Vinyl Tile Under/Around Vanity
You really have the option to lay the tile either under or around the vanity. Let’s consider how it would be done in either instance.
The main thing to consider when laying vinyl tile near the vanity is to get the subfloor clean. If there are any small pieces of plaster or debris under the vinyl tile, it is going to show up almost immediately. Make sure that the subfloor is clean and then begin putting down the tile according to your needs.
To install the vinyl tile under the vanity, you will first need to remove the vanity from its location. This is going to be beneficial for numerous reasons that were described above, including saving you time and frustration.
After the vanity has been removed, you can simply continue with your installation of the vinyl tile to the edge of the room. Make sure that you leave a small gap at the edge of the room for any expansion or contraction that may take place.
Reinstalling the vanity is simply a matter of putting it back in place and attaching the vanity to the walls. You would not want to attach the vanity to the floor, as the vinyl tile will expand and contract under the vanity itself.
The vanity is going to be slightly higher but that’s to be expected. The overall height from the floor to the countertop is the same but it may sit slightly higher on the wall.
If you decide to install the vinyl tile up to the vanity, you simply cut the tile to fit around the base and leave a small gap for expansion. You can then hide the gap with some quarter round or you can fill it with caulking. The caulking will allow the floor to expand.
Can You Put Vinyl Tile Under/Around Toilet
The toilet is one of the fixtures in the bathroom that will never be gone. That being said, should you install vinyl tile under it or around it?
The best way to install vinyl tile is to lift the toilet and install the floor underneath it. This is true for any type of vinyl tile, regardless of whether it is glued down or not. Since the toilet is not attached to the floor, the floor will be free to float and expand as needed under the toilet itself.
Even though it is recommended to install vinyl tile under the toilet, there are plenty of homeowners who decide to make the cuts. If you take your time, you may end up with a fairly decent-looking edge that can be caulked in order to hide some of the imperfections.
The real problem is, if you ever have to lift the toilet again, you will have to put it back down in place precisely and that can be difficult.
In addition, if you ever have to replace the toilet, you will have to get one with a footprint that is exactly the same as the one you were previously using. Otherwise, you will see the difference at the edge and you may actually have to replace the entire floor to get it to look right.
In the end, it is really up to the homeowner whether they want to install the tile under the toilet or not. It is recommended that you do so because it makes a much better looking job that has fewer problems in the long run.
How To Lay Vinyl Tile Under/Around Toilet
Are you ready to install tile under the toilet? There are some things to consider when doing so to make the job as flawless as possible.
The first step in the process is to remove the toilet. This is done by loosening the bolts on either side, removing the nuts, and eventually, lifting the toilet out of place. You will then have to clean up the wax ring before installing the new tile.
This is not a part of the job that should be overlooked or rushed through. If you don’t get the wax ring cleaned up properly, it could cause problems when the new toilet is installed or if the old toilet is reinstalled. Included in those problems are leaking and you could ruin the floor.
In addition, you will be raising the toilet slightly in comparison with the phalange, which will be staying the same height. This may require that you get a second wax ring or perhaps a phalange extension.
The tile itself can be laid directly to the phalange but you should leave a small gap for expansion. Since the phalange is hidden under the toilet, you don’t have to be extremely cautious with getting the cuts done to perfection.
That doesn’t mean that you should rush the job and not use caution when cutting the tile. Get it relatively close because even if you can’t see it, you will know that the imperfection is there.
On the outside chance that you have to install the vinyl tile up to the toilet, this can also be done. The real key to a successful job is ensuring that you get the cuts as perfect as possible.
You can use some caulking at the edge of the tile to hide any imperfections at the edge. Be careful not to attach the toilet to the tile floor.
The caulking will allow the tile to expand and contract.
Can You Put Vinyl Tile Under/Around Bathtub
One of the questions that is invariably asked when putting vinyl tile in a bathroom is if you should install it under the bathtub. What is the best choice?
Vinyl tile should never be installed under a bathtub. The bathtub should sit directly on the subfloor and the tile should be installed up to the edge. The only exception to this rule is if you have a freestanding bathtub. It can be installed under the freestanding tub and the existing tiles will simply form the floor underneath.
There may also be times when you have a tub enclosure that leaves a small gap under the tub. If that is the case, you can install a small portion of the tile under the tub without actually having the tub sit on the tile.
Of course, you would want to leave a little gap between the tile and the tub for expansion. Since you are using vinyl tile, you don’t have to be overly concerned about the possibility of water infiltration.
The only thing you do need to worry about is how it looks. There are some rubberized trim pieces that fit neatly into the gap and allow for expansion and contraction. You could also use caulking, but that is not quite as forgiving and it is difficult to finish it off as nicely.
How To Lay Vinyl Tile Under/Around Bathtub
When it is time to install the tile near the tub, take the following steps to ensure that the job is done right.
Vinyl tile can be installed up to the edge of the tub without any special consideration. The only thing that needs to be done is a gap must be left to allow for limited expansion and contraction. You can then fill that gap with a rubberized trim piece or caulking.
The real key to a successful tile job is getting the finished area looking as good as possible. This can be difficult, especially near the tub because it is one of the key features in the bathroom.
We’ve already discussed that vinyl is best laid under the vanity and toilet, but the same is not true of the bathtub. You would never want to install the tile under the bathtub. It should sit directly on the subfloor.
Take your time and measure twice/cut once. When it is finished off properly, it will make the entire job look beautiful.
It is always best to install vinyl tile under the vanity and toilet. It allows for a seamless finish and if either needs to be replaced, you can do so easily. On the other hand, you should never install vinyl tile under the tub unless you are putting it under a freestanding tub.