Asked on Oct 22, 2019

How can I seal peel-and-stick vinyl tile?

by Allison

I had a pipe burst and had to remove my bathroom floor to get to the plumbing. I replaced the floor and have just installed vinyl tile, peel and stick, and am concerned about water and such getting into the seams. What can I use to seal it, without having to strip the factory finish? If there is a low gloss remedy, it would be preferred, but not necessary. It's more important that water does not migrate and lift the tiles.

  6 answers
  • Sally jordan Sally jordan on Oct 22, 2019

    Can you use a waterproof caulk to use at the seams? Also, you could buy some sanded grout and grout the whole bathroom at the seams so it will be the same color. That is what seals the tile in place. Just mix it with a little water and make it pancake mix consistency and take your gloved finger and go around the seams between tiles. Wipe off excess with damp cloth or paper towel. Don't wait more than 30 min to do that or it will harden and make a problem removing. Polish with soft cloth.

  • Gk Gk on Oct 22, 2019

    Some vinyl peel and stick tiles are made to be grouted and others are not--they just butt up to each other. It would be a waste of time to use grout on those tiles. You can buy clear vinyl floor sealer and apply it to your peel and stick tiles. It comes in different finishes and you should be able to find a low gloss finish. From what I read, you have to apply the sealer and once it dries you use a floor wax over it. Seems that it might need to be reapplied after a period of time because cleaning the floor will remove it.

    Here's on example of a vinyl floor sealer. You may want to check at a local home improvement store like Menards, Lowes, Home Depot, etc.

  • Hi, Allison!

    I've had peel and stick vinyl installed in a bathroom for nearly 10 years with no issues (I didn't seal the seams at all). As long as there isn't a huge gap between the tiles, it shouldn't be a problem though I completely understand the worry! As a side note, if any tiles do lift, they can be secured using contact cement. I hope this helps!

    • Allison Allison on Oct 23, 2019

      Thank you for the advice, Cher. My adult son lives with me and is not shy about dripping water all over the place after a shower, hence my concern. I think I will just put a polish on and say a prayer that my old knees will not ever have to crawl around on the floor installing tile, EVER. AGAIN.

  • Sa Arca Sa Arca on Oct 28, 2020

    i would seal them. I just applied these tiles myself very tightly up against each other in my bathroom. I took a shower last night and drip in flooring which is completely installed except for trim. I Pulled up some tiles today to swap out for longer ones as trim didn’t hide gap f and there was moisture beneath those and others tgat I pulled up to check if wet. I’m going to add sealer to mine, and would recommend you do as well.

    • SLynne SLynne on Jul 06, 2022

      What did you end up using to seal the gaps? And did it work! I used them in my camper and I’m worried about spills ruing the floors or creating moisture underneath… would love to know what worked for you. Thanks!

  • Mogie Mogie on Jul 07, 2022

    They are waterproof in that you can get the top as wet as you want. They are not waterproof in that they will keep water off your floor, nor will said water not affect the bond to the floor. These tiles may be able to last sitting in water but they will not keep water from getting underneath. Your only options are really one sheet of vinyl or tile (could I guess use a membrane).

    If you install these right though I would bet that 99% of the water (given you don't just let an inch of standing water sit) will never meet your subfloor. No caulk is needed, just make sure that all of the edges are tight and clicked into place. To keep your bathroom better suited for a kid you may want to make sure baseboard are sitting right on these and caulk between baseboard and tile.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jul 08, 2022

    You can seal peel-and-stick tiles by using a vinyl seam sealer kit. You can seal peel-and-stick vinyl tile flooring by using a seam sealer kit. After installing the vinyl tiles, roll the floor with a tile roller to ensure good contact before sealing. To finish the edges of a peel and stick backsplash, apply the caulk. Caulk can be used at the bottom edge, and on any side edges where it meets the wall. This helps to make it look more like real ceramic tile.