Bedroom Makeover #1 – Part 2: Prepping the Subfloor (Cleaning)

TrafficMaster Ceramica 12 in. x 24 in. Coastal Grey Vinyl Tile Flooring (30 sq. ft./case) 24716
has arrived!  Since The Home Depot
didn’t have a sample in the store, I took a leap of faith and ordered it anyway.  It arrived today and I love it!

I had it home delivered – 13 boxes at 35 pounds each – and the shipping was only $39!!  $3 per box.  I can hardly drive to Pueblo for that amount.  UPS delivered it all intact and gently handled.  Thanks UPS.

So I set to reading the installation instructions.

First off I saw that the installation and tile is NOT guaranteed if installed over particle board.  Guess what?  All our subfloors are particleboard.  :-\  So, I decided that just meant I needed to heed every instruction to the “T”.  I’m not going to replace or overlay all the subfloors.

Instructions gave two main “must do’s” – Clean the floor meticulously and seal it.  Per instructions. I set out for The Home Depot in Pueblo.

Aside:  Have I mentioned how much I love this store? Each time I visit this store I feel like there is still hope for customer service in America.  Every employee is friendly, helpful and goes out of their way to just give customer service!  Amazing, since the whole concept of customer service in the retail arena was completely dead in Memphis. TN.  Not here in Colorado though!

OK, back to the Home Depot to pick up some TSP (a heavy duty cleaner/degreaser) and Henry Bond Enhancer/Self-stick Tile Primer.

Prep Solutions

Make sure you have rubber gloves on hand if you are going to do a sponge clean up.

OK, a good thorough vaccuming and the floor is ready for the TSP.

Ready to scrub

I set to scrubbing the subfloor with the TSP and water solution.  10X10 room on my hands and knees took about an hour and a half.  Would have been less with a sponge mop, but I wanted to make sure it was perfect.

Scrubbed with TSP

Now, to wait til the floor dries and on to the bond enhancer/primer.



  • Reply August 9, 2013



    I love Home Depot too! I could spend days and lots of $ there. One of my son’s friends works at the Depot. They are all about customer service. What’s really great is that after the store has met its monthly goal, the rest of the profits are shared by the employees. Great incentive? You bet!

    I canNOT wait to see this floor. How do you find all these cool ideas for the floors?

    Wenchingly yours… :^D

    • Reply August 9, 2013


      Amy, in Memphis, The Home Depot was awful! That’s why I always went to Lowe’s. It just goes to prove that good customer service can happen, but it’s got to start with management. If they don’t care about the customer then the employees won’t either. The Home Depot #1511 in Pueblo is the BEST!

  • Reply November 10, 2013

    Rich Apple

    The floor you show is not “particleboard”, but it’s “OSB”, which technically is a kind of particleboard, but not the kind the TrafficMaster tiles say “no” to. Typical particleboard (used for “underlayment” a lot, which goes on top of the thicker OSB or flooring plywood) is way more crumbly and doesn’t have those wood strand looking patterns you see in your photos. In other words, you are better off than you thought (in that you are conforming to the TrafficMaster instructions).

    I just stumbled onto your page here looking for a solution to the Catch 22 that TrafficMaster vinyl tiles say “no particleboard” (which is what my underlayment is over OSB), and some DIY info says particleboard is okay if you coat with a waterproofing like shellac first (because particleboard being so unable to handle moisture without breaking down is the problem for the vinyl), but then more advice recommends the Henry’s Bond Enhancer even when using self-adhesive vinyl tiles… BUT, then the Henry’s says “no sealant” on the wood, and the shellac is of course a sealant the instructions for the Henry’s says should not be on the wood you put their Bond Enhancer on. (Is a three-way Catch 22 a “Catch 33”?)

    • Reply November 10, 2013


      Hi Rich. Thanks for the lesson on the difference between OSB and particleboard! I didn’t know there was a difference, but am glad I am better off than I thought. 🙂 It’s been three months since I installed the flooring and it’s held up great – no loss of adhesion or cracking of grout. And that is even after we have had the foundation piered and stabilized. I was afraid all the foundation movement would cause some problems.

      That’s a tough Catch 33 when you have conflicting info about how to get a non-recommended application to work. I’d love to hear what solution you come up with and how it performs. I have other floors in the house I am going to be replacing with the Trafficmaster and who knows what I will unveil!

      Good luck on your project.

  • Reply January 14, 2015


    Love the floor! I was wondering if you have any leftover Coastal Gray tiles that you’d like to sell? I need 6 more to complete my project and do not want to buy a whole case.

    • Reply April 21, 2015


      Kim, I’m sorry for the late response. My comment notifications have not been notifying me! I do not have any extras. Hope you found some!

  • Reply July 28, 2016

    Jane Haagsman

    As we did our back hallway we had some really tricky angles to go around…. so we used Blue Painter’s tape and did a template around the angled door ways, gently peeled it up and applied it to one of the tiles and made the cuts from that… It saved us a ton of time and we didn’t waste tiles! Make sure you get the grout off right away as it can wreck the finish of the tiles if you leave it on too long- I cleaned about every 3 square feet. If you live in an area where there is a Menards and they are having their 11% off sale, Home Depot will match the discount, you just have to ask for the form! 🙂

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