Friday, July 21, 2017

Updated Peel & Sick Wood Look Floors Tutorial

Hello friends and happy Friday! 

You guys, I am SO excited to share today's post.  Let me tell you why. 

You may remember how I covered up our old guest bathroom flooring awhile back with these super awesome peel and stick planks that look like weathered wood.

Since sharing that post I have gotten a bunch of super sweet comments on them.  I've also received several questions about the install process.

When I put them in our master bathroom this past spring I took the opportunity to take more (and better!) pictures so that I could do a more in depth tutorial for you all.

Today I am finally going to share it!

Before we get started, there are just  a couple of things that I want to address.  I know, I know too much talking on a blog post gets boring REAL quick but these are really important questions that I've come across so I want to answer for everyone.

1. What can they be installed over?

This question comes up a lot and although I am no expert I think that the existing surface needs to be pretty flat. 

Our old flooring was another peel and stick type of flooring that the old owners had put down. They do have a slight raised texture to them that hasn't been a problem. HOWEVER.  There were several of them that were peeling up so I had to use liquid nails to glue them down before laying my new floors down.

The planks are pretty thin which is awesome when it comes to the ease of cutting but not so awesome if you try to put them over tile that has deep grout lines because I am almost positive that they would show through.  They are an excellent solution for covering up existing vinyl or linoleum but probably not tile.

2. How well have they held up?

Excellently!  I am happy to report that they still look as great as the day we installed them.  And that is despite having these two routinely splash bath water (among other liquids...) on them! 
The reason that I decided to do these over laminate planks is because I know that this floor gets exposed to A LOT of water.
3.  How realistic do they look?

At first glance it's honestly hard to tell that they aren't real wood.  They also have a raised wood texture so they feel super neat on the feet!

 Of course they don't look exactly like the real thing, but definitely don't look cheap either.

 Okay now that those questions are out of the way, let's get started with the real fun!

Supplies Used: (Affiliate links may be provided for convenience.  For more info, see my full disclosure here.) 
This is what the master bathroom flooring looked like originally. 
It was the exact same peel and stick that was in the guest bathroom.  I guess technically it still is--it's just under the new pretty flooring now!  It  was probably super stylish years ago when it was installed but it was definitely not blending well with my modern farmhouse design!

The first step was to clean these floors like they have never been cleaned before! 
My favorite cleaner that I use is Simple Green because it cleans off crud quickly and it smells clean without being too overpowering.

I began by doing a thorough sweep with a broom. I then sprayed the Simple Green on the floor and used my sponge to scrub every square inch. I rinsed the sponge and went over it again with a clean sponge before drying it with a rag.

Clean floors are the key to making sure that these stick!  Any crumbs, pebbles or grease will cause the glue on the back to not adhere properly.  So even though I hate prep work, a good job on this step  is totally necessary.

I picked up an entire box of planks which is 60 square feet because I wanted to have a good variety of planks to choose from and I also didn't want to run short halfway through the project.  I ended up only needing about 25 planks so I returned the rest when I was done.

My box had a total of 4 different patterned planks which was perfect for alternating.

Once the floors were dry I was ready to start.  My first plank was right up against a door casing.  But not to fear--I had one of my favorite tools!

I wouldn't have been able to complete this project and keep my sanity without this guy.  It's called a contour gauge and it has a bunch of little metal pins that push in to create the shape that needs to be cut out of your flooring.

(let's try to ignore how dirty that corner was--I got the floor cleaned and that was about all that mattered at that point!)
One thing that I want to mention is that although this tool is awesome you have to be gentle with it.  You can see below that I pushed a little too hard and the pins started to slant which is fixable but kind of a pain.  Going slow and using small pushes will prevent this from happening.

Okay.   So once you have your shape traced on your flooring it's time to cut it out.

Using a utility knife gently score your outline.  You may initially have the instinct to press hard and try to cut through the plank like I did, but that will cause you to slip--trust me!

Remember you only need to score it lightly a couple of times and it will easily snap and break right off.

Perfect fit!  Actually it wasn't completely perfect but I ended up going around and caulking all of the edges at the end so it was close enough.

I should mention that the paper on the back of the plank has arrows showing you which direction it should be laid.  By laying them in the specified direction you will get the most realistic wood grain look.

After I laid my first plank I butted the second one right up behind it and continued until I was done with my first row.

The goal is to create a random staggered look to resemble hardwoods so for the second row I laid my first plank slightly lower than the one next to it.

You will want to start pressing down on them as soon as you lay them and I also went over them with a wooden rolling pin.
At this point Tristan woke up and was eager to help so he became my designated "stomper!"

They are pretty forgiving and easy to adjust before you press down on them, but I found it easiest to peel the paper off of one end, get it in place and then peel the rest of the paper off as I laid it down.

For the ends of the row I first measured how long of a piece was needed.

We then used the carpenters triangle on a piece of scrap MDF to mark, score and snap a straight edge. I'm not sure if that's the correct term for that nifty tool but it gave us perfectly straight edges and I loved it.

Here is a picture of the hubby preparing one of these cuts.

Within 30 minutes I was already at the halfway point.  The first half went down pretty quickly but the second had a few more obstacles to get around.

Floor vents are actually very simple. I just used a piece of the paper backing to create a template that I then traced onto the plank.

Getting around the toilet wasn't as simple.  I know that a lot of people remove the toilet first but I decided it was easier and quicker to just go around it.   

I began by measuring how far away the toilet was from the previous row

I then marked this point on my new plank so I knew how far in the contour would need to go.

Once I had my contour of the toilet I laid it down at that spot, traced scored and snapped.

I did the same thing when I got to the back. 

As I mentioned above I went around and caulked the edges of the room and I also taped off around the toilet and caulked around that as well.  Just remember that you shouldn't caulk the very back in case you ever have a leak you want to be able to tell.
Here is the whole space all finished up!
I just love the dark contrast that they add to this space!  I have so much white going on but the floors totally ground it (literally...haha).
Of course my dream floors would be some gorgeous wide plank tiles but for only $35 and a couple hours of work I'll take these for now!

Be sure to swing by the full master bathroom reveal to see the other details in this room.  Almost everything was a DIY project and I was able to give this builder grade space some serious farmhouse charm for less than $500 total.

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or if I missed anything!
I hope you all have a very happy weekend!  Can you believe we're almost through July?  Make sure you get out there and enjoy some summer fun because before you know it the pumpkins will start popping up!
Linking up to these awesome parties.


  1. This looks amazing! I so wish it would work over tile floors. We have almost the same tile as your original flooring and I would love to change it. You did an amazing job and great tutorial!

    1. Thank you so much Melissa! The nice thing about tile though is that it can be painted! Have you seen the amazing tutorials for stenciling them? I was thinking about doing that to our tile landing :)

    2. I have seen those and I love them! Trying to get up the nerve to start because I know it'll take some time and patience! I'll let you know if I try it out and please let me know if you do the landing! I'd love to see!

  2. I've been wondering how they held up. Good to know it's been a win! I really need that contouring tool.

  3. Your bathroom looks wonderful. What a great way to save money on flooring .

  4. This is really amazing. I am a Home Improvement contractor by profession. I just loved your ideas. I can also use your ideas in my next home improvement project. I have learned a lot from your blogs. Thanks for sharing and please continue the good work.

  5. I never saw that gauge thing! I think it will help. Thanks.

  6. Great job! I'm now feeling better and confident I can do the same in my bathrooms. Did you need a bigger gauge for use around the toilet? Or was the 6in gauge sufficient? I'm about to order one and want this to be easy peasy.

    1. Thank you Kelle! Yes the 6 inch gauge worked great. I ended up doing the first plank at the half mark of the toilet and then used a second plank for the other half so the 6 inches was plenty to work with. Good luck with you're project, you're gonna love the end result! :)

  7. This looks amazing! I'm excited about possibly installing this in our basement (over plywood). The basement has three stairs though, and I would like to have the plank also on the stair treads so it looks consistent. I will probably paint the stair risers white, but I'm not sure how to finish the edges of each stair tread. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Thank you Debra! I'm not sure about the stairs, I know that for our main level we are doing laminate planks amd we found some stair treads that match the color. I would see if you could find some of those!! :)

  8. Was the 6in contour gauge big enough for around the toilet? Or do you recommend a 10in one?

    1. I ended up using two planks so I used the gauge for only half of the front but if you want one continuous plank then yes I would recommend a larger one! :)

  9. Hi Angela - do you think these planks would work as an accent wall? All the peel and stick wood panel products are so expensive and this option would save 100s of dollars. Would they stick to drywall? And would it look like you've got flooring on a wall? Thanks!

    1. Yes I have seen them used on the wall before! Although you could also rip down 1/4" plywood into 6" strips and nail them up for pretty cheap. You can get a 4' x 8' sheet for around $15 :)

  10. Awesome job, Angela!! Hope your family values their amazing Mom/wife...her creativity and hard work. Kudos. Danielle

  11. Hi Angela,

    This looks so gorgeous, you did an amazing job! Do you think these would lay over regular tile or would it be best to break the tile and remove it? I'm impressed that you said they hold up against all the water that a bathroom comes across! Are they considered "waterproof"? I was thinking of doing the vinyl planks, but if this works for a tiny fraction of that cost then I think it's an amazing alternative! Thanks, Lisa

    1. They are fairly thin so if you have big or deep grout lines I would probably remove it! But yes for almost 2 years now they have completely held up to a ton of water so I would consider them waterproof. Good luck and happy remodeling!

  12. I would like to use these on my vintage campers floor. We live in Michigan and store it in the winter outside. Do you think they would stick ok without having heat for 6 months

    1. Yes I think you would be ok! They are a lot more durable and sticky" than I thought they would be!

  13. I would like to use these on my vintage campers floor

  14. are these removeable ever? Asking because I am a renter!

    1. I don't believe so, the adhesive is pretty strong and after you take them up I'm imagining there would be quite a bit of residue left behind!


I appreciate all of your wonderful comments :)