How We Installed White VCT Flooring

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When we purchased our 1965 Mid-Century Modern home, new flooring was at the very top of our list of things to update. We got really lucky with the bedrooms as they have the most beautiful original red oak hardwood flooring. And rest assured, we left this part intact. The problem was that the rest of the house had a mixture of old carpet, linoleum, and tile which definitely had to go! ;)

After contemplating so many different options, we knew Armstrong Flooring’s Polar White VCT would be ideal for the bright and airy aesthetic we were going for. =)  We ended up replacing the living room, family room, kitchen, hallway, and master bedroom with VCT Tile. For those of you who are new to VCT tile, here’s a little background. ;) VCT is generally used in commercial spaces, but it was also used in MANY original Mid-Century Modern homes. We have a few friends who recently installed VCT tile in their MCM homes, and I just loved the look of it. I am obsessed with how the natural light reflects off of the VCT tile to give it that bright and airy glow.

Family Room Before:

Family Room After:

VCT stands for ‘vinyl composition tile.’ It is very durable, and you can’t beat the price per square foot! It’s surprisingly inexpensive. Our home is nearly 1900 square feet, and adding VCT to the entire floor plan, minus the 3 of the bedrooms and the garage, costed about $1600 and the installation was $2400.  You can have VCT professionally installed (which we did) or you can turn it into a fun DIY project as the installation process isn’t too complicated. I love its clean minimal look, and because it is white it has really brightened up our space. Its speckled look helps to disguise some dirt, and has that cool throwback MCM vibe.

Andy got his hands dirty and prepped the entire floor for the install. Prepping your floor properly is crucial when it comes to VCT flooring. Any lumps, bumps, or discrepancies can be amplified once the tile is put down, so, I repeat, it’s crucial to prep the floor properly. We triple checked this before laying down the tile. I always love that saying “cut once, measure twice.” Andy removed the carpet and made sure the floor was free of debri, carpet staples, etc. We ended up keeping some of the original linoleum and asbestos tiles intact because we didn’t want to disturb it. We had these transitions leveled with thinset prior to installation. Once the floor was completely prepped, the VCT tile was installed within 2 days.

Kitchen Before:

Kitchen After:

Once all of the VCT flooring in our home was installed, Andy sealed and polished the floor. Sealing and polishing is so important because it protects the tiles from damage like scratches and stains. We had the option of doing a super glossy ‘wet look’ but settled on a regular gloss. You can typically rent a machine to do this from the hardware store.

I know what you’re thinking…”How do you keep your floor clean with 2 kids??” We get asked this question ALL the time. I was a little nervous about this prior to install too! We have not started a “take off your shoes at the door” policy yet. We typically “spot mop” the floor every 3 days and do a thorough mop every 10-12 days. Totally manageable!

Hallway Before:

Hallway After:

We have lived with this VCT floor for the past 4 months and absolutely LOVE it! It brightens up the space so much and allows us to explore using different furniture options without worrying the room will look too dark. For example, our previous home had brown floors so we had to use all light colors to make the home feel brighter. Whenever Andy tried to incorporate a brown table into the space, it felt “too darK” to me. Did I mention what a game-changer the white floors make for our photoshoots on the blog as well?! We’ve already had 2 of our photographers tell us how jealous they are because the natural lighting reflects off the floor making it a dream studio. I am overjoyed with the outcome! And this is just the beginning! Stay tuned for more. We’re almost finished with our kitchen renovation, and we’re working on the interior design of the rooms as we speak. I can’t wait to share with you how our new furniture looks on this VCT Tile!  Total game-changer!

Credits

Photography for Best Friends for Frosting by Ashley Baumgartner (imgage #1) and Andy Johnson (All images except #1)

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