For a quick fix, skip ripping out your outdated tile floor and paint over it instead. See why this DIY project is skyrocketing in popularity.

By Hannah Bruneman
May 09, 2019

Every so often, a design trend is so simple, affordable, and stylish that it takes off overnight. Painted floor tiles are one of those trends. According to BHG.com consumer insights, online searches for painted floor tiles rose 1,276 percent last year, and the trend isn't going away any time soon.

Many homeowners are painting their dated tiles to look like high-end decorative cement tiles, which have taken over the market with their intricate designs. Most incorporate high-contrast colors, such as black and white, and repeating patterns that create a mosaic when placed together. Painting your existing tile floor is a budget-friendly project, too, because you avoid installing a new floor entirely.

Tips for Painting Floor Tile

You don’t have to be an artist to paint your floor tile—the secret is stencils! Just like the kind you used in grade school, these stencils precisely fit the size of your existing tile. Once applied, simply use a foam roller to paint. Before you begin, however, you may want to paint the tile a base color to hide any scuffs, stains, or imperfections on your floor. Sand, clean, and prime the tile with a bonding primer before starting to stencil.

Due to the nature of working with stencils, this process could take a while. As you move across the room, you can’t work directly adjacent to a tile with wet paint, so there will be some downtime. Once every tile is dry, protect the floor with several coats of a water-based sealer.

Of course, you should be aware of the durability implications of painting tile floors. We recommend painting tile floors in a low-traffic area such as a guest bathroom, laundry room, or near the front door if you’re a garage-entrance family. Look for a latex paint with a high-gloss finish for extra durability.

Love the look? So do designers and bloggers across the Internet. Discover some of our favorite painted tile floor makeovers, below. You won't believe the before and after photos!

Painted Tile Floor Inspiration

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Scroll through to see the process this blogger took when painting her bathroom floor. The high-contrast design is well worth the hours of work it took to stencil her previously dated tile. Detail shots show how clean and crisp the stencil makes the lines.

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If bold contrast isn’t your style, take some design cues from this beige bathroom. The intricate pattern feels subdued against a creamy white base. If you can, use paint leftover from a previous painting project to tie the room together.

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This designer’s kitchen is proof that painted tile floors can be made to last. She painted her mod design four years ago, and it’s still standing up to high foot traffic. She even painted the grout to match!

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As you stencil, you might run into spots that need a little touching up. That wasn't a worry for this blogger, who used a small foam brush for minor fixes. Be sure to do any detail work before you apply the sealer.

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Not every painted floor has to have a Moorish design. We love the modern look of this geometric painted tile from a DIY enthusiast. Keeping the grout lines white creates a sleek, contemporary look.

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