The directive was simple: that horrible linoleum laundry room floor has to go.

We didn’t want to spend a fortune and since we were a bit undecided how much remodeling we might do in the future, so we wanted something durable, decent looking and not too permanent.

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After some consideration, we thought we’d give Flor tiles a go. We ordered some samples and were reasonably impressed. Carrying on with a somewhat contemporary theme going on in the house we went with Tabby Cat. As a rule, we generally hate carpet which is always a problem with pets. The Flor system seemed to be a good compromise though– tiles can be taken up and cleaned or replaced if soiled or damaged.

Best of all, it looked like something that we could easily tackle ourselves and wouldn’t take a week to do. The laundry room is about 10 1/2 feet by 6 feet, so its not a huge area. We carefully measured and drew a map of the room on graph paper so we could more accurately guesstimate how many tiles we would need after accounting for cuts. For our space, we decided to err on the side of caution and order two of the boxes and had plenty left over. If it works well, we have a few other areas where we might make them into smaller area rugs.

Here’s how they come to you:

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The instructions are pretty straight forward. Only a few tools are required. We ended up using these:

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A metal straight edge to use as a guide for cutting the tiles, a carpet knife (we ordered it with the tiles), a tape measure to help with those compound cuts and a pair of shears to trim some of the fuzz from cut edges. If you have a larger space or are more particular with your layout, you may want something like a carpenter’s square and a chalk line to layout baselines to follow.

With our small space, we decided we’d use the left wall and door threshold as a starting point leaving the smaller cut pieces against the back wall and behind the appliances. I layed out the first row and made the initial cuts– around the door threshold and then at the back wall.

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Cutting tiles is pretty straight forward. The instructions are helpful if you haven’t laid any type of tiles. You’ll want to do it on a few layers of cardboard to protect the surface you’re cutting on.

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Make several passes until you’re through the tough backing and then clean up any fuzz with with shears.

After I was satisfied with the layout and the fit, I went back and applied the Flor tape dots which bind the tiles together at the corners. They’re basically a special adhesive tape that will stick to the back of the tiles but not the underlying floor.

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I worked down the first side and then across the back of the room. Partly because I needed to juggle the placement of the heavy washing machine and partly to complete the vertical and horizontal baselines for the rest of the room.

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I turned the corner and worked back to where I started only having to make one compound “L” shaped cut around the sink cabinet. Each tile has a direction, so we opted for an alternating checkerboard pattern. Here’s the finished product.

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All in all, only a few hours from start to finish. Even with today’s construction standards and wandering walls, we were able to achieve a pretty snug wall-to-wall fit. Overall, a very forgiving project and we’re quite pleased with the new look!

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