Kitchen Floor : Groutable Vinyl Tile

When researching options for our kitchen floor, we knew we wanted something durable that could stand up to the boys.  Originally I wanted stone, but realized that it wasn't kid friendly.  Then we thought that we wanted ceramic tile.  The problem is that it would raise the floor by almost an inch after the hardieboard goes down, the thin set, and the tile itself.  Not an issue except for the dishwasher.  There wasn't enough room to go under the dishwasher because of the counter top.  I decided against removing the current vinyl because I wasn't sure what floor was laid underneath (there were several layers).

I was exploring the aisles at home depot, and spotted a vinyl tile that was groutable.  It looked pretty great, the grout gave it texture, and the bonus is that it is not cold on your toes and makes for a softer landing for toddlers learning how to toddle.  The other bonus was I was able to purchase everything I needed for under $300.  

They had both the 12x12 and 12x24 inch tiles in the style I liked.  (Sagebrush).  I went with the 12x24 subway tile becuase of the way it would make the kitchen look longer.  It took about 6 hours from start to finish with the bulk of the time spent on measuring and cutting in the strange corners.  The only tools needed were a tape measure, t square, pencil, and utility knife.  The tiles were extremely easy to break - all I had to do was gently score the top with the utility knife and bend it and it snapped along the score.  Here are the results...

before - floor was sheet vinyl

Peel and stick tiles went down really easily

Just peel back the corner and lay it down.  I used 1/8 in spacers.



Rolled out fridge so I could tile under it

Had to make some fancy cuts.

Used a wax pencil to make my marks.

used a utility knife and t square to score the tile

tile prior to grout

Originally I wanted to go with an off white grout because it made the tiles really pop.  Once I got going I realized that it would be really difficult to keep it clean with the boys dropping food.  I ended up going with a color called Earth and really love it.

Pre Grout

Grouting the tiles with Earth

Whaddya think?  Here are some takeaways...

Follow the old adage - measure twice cut once.  I can't tell you how many tiles I ruined.  Luckily I had just enough to finish.  

The spacers were a godsend.  It really helped me keep my lines perfect.

I was lucky and had a grid already laid for me on the previous vinyl floor.  In the event that you don't, you would just need to find the centers on each wall and make a chalk line.  Confirm that the angles are 90 degrees and start your first tile right in the middle and work out from there. 

The tiles can get scuffed, so make sure that any furniture has the sticky pads on the feet.  Also, make sure if you have anything on wheels like a high chair that the wheels are not locked when you move it.  

UPDATE - click here to see a more recent blog post with pictures from a friend of our blog who recently put in groutable vinyl flooring in his own kitchen. 


  1. love it!!!! what color and brand is this tile from home depot

  2. Thanks! It is Allure Vinyl Groutable Tile in Sagebrush (12x24). It is only sold at Home Depot and this particular tile is a special order that isn't stocked at the store. You can even order it right online and have it shipped direct to your house. The color of the grout that I used is Earth.

  3. "the tiles can get scratched"

    not sure this would be a great choice for kitchen traffic, how are they holding up?

    1. The scratches that I was referring to were really more like scuff marks from a high chair that had the wheels in the lock position. I just checked to see if I could still see them and I can't. I think that with time and cleaning they went away. The floor still looks perfect. No signs of wear and tear at all. The grout is still solidly in place with no signs of that coming up either. I am really happy with the decision to go this route. Hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions! Oh, and one note - I dropped my husbands Ryobi drill onto the floor tip first, and it did create a small indent in the floor. I used a little grout that matched the color scheme of the tile and it completly disappeared.

  4. Thank you for this. I have been renovating my kitchen myself and the last thing I need to do is the tile. This has been very helpful! I may use the exact same tile colour.

  5. U2BROTHR, I am so glad that this helped. Send some pictures when you finish, I'll post them here :)

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    2. Hey Teresa..... I finally got at the kitchen today.

      Here are some pictures "pre grout".


      Here is the ugly floor underneath. The Trafficmaster/Allure style is called "New Concrete"


      Thanks Teresa for your blog. The subway tiling also helps give the appearance of a bigger space. Your pics helped!

    3. U2Brother...thanks for the pics! The floor looks amazing. It looks like our kitchens are pretty similiar spacewise. Nice work!

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  7. hank you for your blog on this, Teresa. Two questions:

    My kitchen's current floor is sheet vinyl with very shallow grooves between the squares, I guess to give more of a look of real tile and to help people from slipping. Is the old sheet vinyl in your kitchen like this? I am a bit concerned that, over time, the old vinyl's grooves may show through the new vinyl tile.

    Did you remove the kitchen cabinets and lay the vinyl tile completely underneath the cabinets? Or did you just remove the trim at the bottom of the cabinets and cut the vinyl tile to fit beneath the trim?

    Your great photos seem to answer these but I wanted to double check. I am a good mechanic and electrician but when it comes to making things look aesthetically attractive, I am challenged. :-) I am hoping if I measure thrice, cut once, and put more work into pushing the grout in carefully with a 2-inch putty knife (as another site suggests), I will do better than my usual effort.


  8. Hi Elle! I am guessing that your grooves are the same that were in my vinyl sheet flooring. There was a slight difference in the surface - mayby 1/16th difference across the sheet. I don't think you have anything to worry about. The new tiles are quite rigid and have a very solid surface. If you are really worried about it, there is a product that you can purchase from your local home improvement store that is called a floor leveler. It has the consistency of grout - it comes in a little bucket pre mixed. You smooth it in the depression and let it dry for a few hours and it levels everything out.

    As for the kitchen cabinets...nope, didn't move the cabinets. The previous owners had that rubber toe kick glued to the bottom of the cabinets. I removed the toe kick and laid the tile flush against the bottom of the cabinet. My plan is to run wood trim (quarter rounds) along the bottom of the cabinets covering any gap.

    Good luck with the project! Please send pictures once you're done and I'll feature you :)

    Let me know if you get stuck, I'll be glad to help if I can. As for the electrical stuff, I may be contacting you for some help!

  9. Thanks so much Teresa. Your attention to technical detail helps me a lot. I will keep this forum posted.

  10. All done....and loving the floor.

    Here is the mudroom with grout.

    Kitchen floor with grout.

    I also bought some sealant and put it in this bottle and went over all of the grout to seal it. Last thing you want is to spill soya sauce or some other item on your floor and stain your grout.


    I had one tile come lose after a few days. I cleaned the grout around the tile. I cleaned the space underneath and then read a tip to heat up the underneath of the tile and restick it. It is back in place and now grouted.

  11. Thanks for posting this. I'm curious about moving the appliances... What was your time frame for grouting under the refrigerator? Did you keep it out and let the grout cure the recommended 5 days before moving heavy appliances on it? Did you tile under the dishwasher?
    Thanks so much!

  12. Hi Jen, thanks for visiting my blog. As for the appliances, I rolled the fridge back in place about 30 minutes after I grouted. It was just fine. I just made sure that the wheels weren't resting on a grout line. I didn't tile under the dishwasher...I went back and forth on this before I started the job - and I just couldn't think of a good enough reason to go through all the trouble of pulling it out to tile under it. I made sure that the tiles went far enough under the front that you couldn't tell. :)

  13. I have read that you have to remove the previous vinyl floor prior to laying the groutable vinyl tile. You did not do this. Did they tell you at the store that you didn't need to remove it? Have you had any problems with it being on the previous vinyl? Did you just peel and stick to the previous vinyl, or use the grout under each new tile and then press the tile down?

  14. Teresa, can you give us another update on how the kitchen flooring is holding up?

    1. Hi Sharon,

      The floor is doing amazing. I thought about going downstairs to snap a pic, but realized that my kitchen is a mess from my kids, so, perhaps tomorrow morning after its clean again :). All the grout is still in place and the tiles still look like when I installed it. We just sheet rocked our mudroom off the kitchen, and I am thinking about doing the same floor in there as well.


  15. No need to remove the previous vinyl floor. I washed the previous floor with some TSP and water. Wait for it to dry.....

    Then.... Peel and stick the tile to the previous vinyl floor (make sure the vinyl floor below is in good shape and doesn't move).

    When you peel an stick to the floor use spacers to gap the vinyl tile. Put grout in the gaps. It is only ceramic tile that you push the grout into.

    1. Hi friend! Thanks for your response to cworkman. I must have misses the original message. I agree with the tsp...it was recommended in the manufacturers instructions as well. You and I are in agreement on the grout as well.

      Thanks again!

  16. It's so hard to tell from other photos on the internet but the tile looks more charcoal gray than anything else. Is that an accurate description? We are seriously considering this exact material for our kitchen remodel. Thanks for the excellent blog!