Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Ceramic Tile in Hawaii

installing vinyl plank flooring over ceramicAll righty, I did not start out thinking about installing vinyl plank flooring over ceramic tile, but home improvement projects never start out that way. Some other isolated situation is generally the culprit. Usually it starts with a small item, a minor irritation and then mushrooms out from there. For me, it has happened twice in the bathtub. Soaking in luxurious bath bombs made from rose petals, the only thing missing is a glass of champagne.

Something is amiss, I notice, sinking further into the hot and steamy fragrant mass. Oh, yes, of course, there is a shower door on the edge of the tub. Annoying. I should get rid of it. And why not install a new shower head and faucets? How good would Cararra marble look? Pretty damn good, on the walls and the floor, and before you know it, darn it, I’m remodeling the bath.

I’ve been inflicted with this affliction all of my life. Just ask my husband.

At our house in Hawaii, I had a similar experience. The house is 25 years old. Without my cellphone in the tub, I’m left with my own thoughts. Now, one of the things about the humid weather in Hawaii is things corrode. As a result, the bathtub faucet is rusting out. Ick. There is no drain plug, and I really dislike the tub itself. Cheapass fiberglass. I prefer cast iron. If I replace the tub, I should replace the cabinet. But we have two baths. Which means I may as well replace the vanity in the master, too.

And this is where installing vinyl plank flooring over ceramic tile comes into play. In choosing cabinets, we should coordinate the color and style of the cabinets with the flooring. Except, and here is the kicker, I installed tiger bamboo in the bedrooms a couple years ago. The ceramic floor in the baths and rest of the house is gray. Tiger bamboo is warm, not cool. Resulting in a clash. Not so noticeable with white cabinets but I do not want white.

Also, I don’t really like ceramic floors. Hard on your feet. If I fell, I’d break a bone or two. Maybe a hip. On the plus side, there are no baseboards for bugs to hide. But that’s not enough reason to live with ceramic.

The cabinet guy suggested I consider installing vinyl plank flooring over ceramic tile. That is an excellent idea, given the other choices. He suggested I take up the tiger bamboo and sell it on CraigsList, then remove all of the ceramic and install a subfloor. Or, keep the tiger bamboo, which I like, and install vinyl plank flooring over ceramic tile.

I found a vinyl plank flooring product at Wisteria Flooring in Kailua-Kona that compliments the tiger bamboo beautifully. The color is Camaru. Our house is not big enough to throw dark wood cabinets into the baths and kitchen. Darker wood on the walls would shrink the space. However, there are plenty of options that are lighter colors, not too trendy, with simple, clean lines.

Later on today an installer is coming by so we can discuss whether to level the grout lines and get a bid. I’ll let you know how it goes. Probably will not begin the work until my next wor-cation to Hawaii toward fall. At least now I have a plan. Yet, I still need to find a cast iron tub. They don’t seem to sell them at Lowe’s.

Oh, and I took a new listing in Sacramento yesterday, too. Even with a Red Alert air quality warning and 153 index in Kona, I’m doing OK. Indoors, windows closed, Dyson Cool Link running. Vog on Hawaii Island is pretty severe; we had 500 earthquakes in one day. In ONE day! Big sale over at QVC, and these Dyson air purifiers come with an extra filter.

Elizabeth Weintraub


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