Almost everyone has rented an apartment at some point in their lives, so you know that the existing bathroom tile is nearly always underwhelming. It’s either damaged, stained, cracked, or just a funky color that screams ’80s or ’90s purchase. But it functions, so you deal with it. OR, you upgrade it with this genius DIY we spied in the NYC apartment of Taylor Fimbrez, owner of the amazing Odd Eye store. At first glance, it appears that Taylor’s landlord just installed a really graphic, punchy patterned tile, but then he revealed that in fact, the black dots are vinyl adhesive pieces he cut and applied himself.
“I moved into this apartment, and the tile was just horrendous,” Taylor recalls. “At the time, I had all this vinyl that I had used in a window display. And I was just toying around with it, and eventually traced around a teacup, and cut out a little dot with an X-Acto knife.” He then went through a very important step most of us don’t have the patience for: He tested it. Bathrooms, especially small NYC apartment bathrooms, get very little ventilation, and the tile is always a little wet. Sigh. So, Taylor stuck one of the dots on a tile in the shower and checked it after a week: still sticks! He forged on, and eventually cut out 735 dots for every tile in his bathroom. We’re getting a hand cramp just thinking about that. But, if you have the time, this DIY solution will cost you less than $20 for vinyl sheets on Amazon.
Don’t have a steady hand? Try an easier shape like triangles or lines for the same graphic effect. One more piece of advice should you decide to embark on this DIY: Because this is industrial-strength vinyl (so it doesn’t melt off your bathroom tile), it’s not super easy to remove when you move out. You probably need an adhesive remover and a scraper to get the job done. But, show your landlord first, they might love it!