My husband and I have gone through three rounds of flooring since moving into our home 20 years ago. All the carpeting in our 3,200-square-foot home became impractical when kids came along, so when we had a minor flood, we opted for a wood-like laminate for every room but the bedrooms. We went cheap and weren’t happy with the results.
When minor flood two hit (we have had unfortunate luck with air conditioners), we did more research on what would work best for a family that includes three boys and two dogs. We went with wood-look vinyl planks and had the entire house re-floored except for our master closet, and it has been great. The only minor issue is that when moving furniture, we noticed fine scratches in the planks. Not much we could do about that. And we decided we really needed to do something about that closet!
Then I heard about Cling planks and tiles and was intrigued. Cling is a peel-and-stick product that touts its easy installation and durability. So what makes it different from any other vinyl planking out there? “We believe Cling is the most comfortable, elegant, and resilient floor you can install yourself, stress-free,” says David Kim, inventor of the product and CEO of Cling Tiles.
- David Kim is the inventor, founder, and CEO of Cling Tiles.
What Is Cling?
Kim started working with his father in the flooring industry in 2005 and saw how physically demanding the process of installing the usual products was. He also recognized that the DIY movement was growing, but when it came to flooring, the work and inconvenience involved were non-starters for many people. So he came up with a patented micro-suction technology, called SetaGrip, that will adhere to a subfloor without the adhesive, tape, or click systems used in traditional methods.
Kim brought Cling to the commercial market in 2017—it is used in hospitals, multifamily housing units, and universities, not only because it is easy to install but because it stands up to a lot of wear and tear. The company entered the residential market in 2021 using the same technology, giving it durability. They offer 15 colors and shapes on their site and in their Etsy store.
I have an unpleasant history with peel-and-stick flooring, and I was dubious. But the company offered samples of its 15 varieties, so I chose a few that might come close to matching flooring adjacent to our master closet and tried it.
Cling Cookies N Cream Vinyl Tile
The Surprising Result
This is not your mother’s peel-and-stick flooring!
One of the samples very nearly matched our existing vinyl planking. We obviously couldn’t test it on the carpet in the closet, so I stuck it in an inconspicuous place on our existing vinyl. I let it sit for a couple of days, then I pulled it off. To my surprise and delight, it pulled right up without leaving any of the backings behind. I was sold! And it wasn’t any more expensive than our other vinyl flooring had been.
We measured our closet space and ordered several boxes of warm butterscotch vinyl planks. They arrived quickly, but life got in the way and they sat in the hall for a few weeks. Doubt began to creep back in. My husband and I are not handy people. I went back to my notes from my interview with Kim.
“In addition to being beautiful and durable, Cling is so easy to install even for first-time DIYers,” he said. “Unlike other vinyl floors, Cling can be installed over existing floors and does not require specialized tools. It is forgiving: if you make an error in the placement of a plank, simply detach and reapply. Once installed, there are no fumes from adhesives and no need for dry time.”
Took the Plunge
I doubt my abilities, so I had a contractor friend show me how to use it after we got the carpet out. He hadn’t heard of Cling, so he read the instructions and showed me how to apply the moisture barrier that is necessary if your subfloor is concrete or wood. With any nonporous flooring, you can go right to installation. Putting in the moisture barrier is literally like painting. We rolled it on the concrete and let it dry.
Then came the big test: Just how easy is it to install? Instructions said all we needed was a utility knife, carpenter’s square, and a level. I took a deep breath, tore off the backing, and placed the first plank.
You want to vary the lengths of the planks in each row so you get a nice look. I was sure I would mess this part up. But it was as simple as measuring the plank to the desired length, marking a level line, scoring the plank with a utility knife, and snapping the plank in two—easy!
I had to reposition the planks several times to get them just right, and they pulled up easily and adhered just fine to their new spot. No corners peeling up or weird bubbles. It made me wish very much that I could do the same with the parts of my other vinyl flooring that had scratched.
We only had a couple of hiccups, and both were my fault. I didn’t think about the need for a transition piece, so there was a trip to the hardware store to grab one of those. And I didn’t measure accurately, so I needed to order another box. I recommend measuring several times, and then measuring again just for extra reassurance!
The finished floor is amazing. It looks wonderful, and it cleans easily. I just spray on my homemade floor cleaner (water and 2 tsp. of castile soap in a 32-oz. bottle) and use a Swiffer to clean it. I have vowed that if we ever have another AC mishap, we are going to put Cling throughout our entire house. It’s that easy and looks that good.