How to Lay a Vinyl Floor

When I was a little girl it was called linoleum. Sheet vinyl flooring is a much improved version of linoleum.

It is a highly durable, moisture-resistant, low-maintenance flooring which makes it an excellent choice for covering kitchen and bathroom floors. It comes in sheets of 6- and 12-foot widths in a wide variety of attractive finishes.

The first step in laying a vinyl floor is to prepare the subfloor. It must be free of dirt because dirt weakens the adhesive bond. You also will need to remove loose nails and fill in any holes or cracks.

Next, gently pry up the baseboard in such a way that you do not damage it. Finally, try sliding a piece of the new flooring under the door jamb. If it doesn’t fit, rest a crosscut saw on the piece of flooring and cut the door jamb so the flooring will fit under it.

The next step is to cut and trim the vinyl sheets to fit your floor. The initial cut should leave each sheet with an additional 3 inches on all sides. The overlap will curl up along each wall when the sheet is laid out on the floor. It is a good idea to put a piece of plywood under the vinyl when cutting so that you do not damage the floor underneath.

To trim the overlap, create a crease along the wall. Using a sharp utility knife and a straightedge for a guide, cut the vinyl sheet along the crease. The best way to trim corners where the vinyl has bunched up is to make V-shaped cuts beginning at the edge of the vinyl sheet and cutting at an angle to the corner on the floor. When trimming, leave a very small gap (about 1/8 of an inch) between the flooring and the wall to allow for expansion.

You are now ready to glue the vinyl sheets to the subfloor. For this task you will need to purchase a notched trowel to apply the adhesive. Roll up one-half of your fitted sheet and apply the glue according to the manufacturer’s directions. Press the sheet into place and make sure that the flooring fits evenly up to the edge of the wall.

Repeat this process for the other half of the sheet. Once all the flooring is glued in place, take a 2×4 about a yard in length and move it up and down the entire floor while applying downward pressure. This will ensure that the vinyl is properly bonded to the subfloor. You might want to place a towel underneath the 2×4 to protect your new flooring.

If your floor is wider than the vinyl sheet, it is necessary to align the two sheets together by creating a seam. As you glue the first sheet to the subfloor, leave several inches of space where the seam is located without glue.

Slide the new sheet under the one you have just glued and match the patterns exactly. Place a metal straightedge along the edge of the top sheet. Using the straightedge as a guide, cut the bottom sheet with a sharp utility knife.

Fold back the top sheet, remove the bottom strip, apply glue to the subfloor, and press the two sheets into place.

The last step is to wash any excess glue from your new flooring with warm water. When reattaching the baseboard, it is a good idea to leave a small space between it and the floor to allow the vinyl to expand and contract according to changes in the humidity in your room, learn more.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying time for the glue, and save the excess vinyl for later repairs.

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