Fitting Vinyl Flooring

By: Gary Hirsh

I will be blunt at this point. You are going to require quite a bit of kit to do this job. Unless you have got plenty of vinyl, it may even work out cheaper to pay for another person to do it for you.

Anyway, in order to do the task you will need a roll of vinyl (obviously), a Stanley knife, vinyl glue, a steel straight edge, a tape measure, a paint scraper (for that glue), a ballpoint pen, a roll of double-sided flooring tape. And, if you have got a tiled floor or it is made from concrete you’ll need some self-levelling compound.

Step 1: The Vinyl:
Laying cold vinyl is a nightmare. It’s stiff and does not stretch well. So, leave the vinyl in a warm room for a day and turn on the central heating. It will make fitting it so much easier.

Step 2: Preparing the ground:
If you have a raw concrete floor, you will be required to make sure that it is completely level. Otherwise the lumps will show through the vinyl. It may look unsightly and present a possible safety hazard. Buy a self levelling compound, spread it over the floor to fill the holes and follow the instructions. This will do the trick.

Self levelling compound is what you’ll will need when you are covering ceramic tiles, as well. Spread a thin layer and fill in the joints between tiles. Again follow the instructions and permit it to set.

In the event you are covering floorboards, you’ll be required to lay hardboard over them to produce a flat, smooth and stable surface. Make sure you stagger the joints and use plenty of pins to make sure they do not lift over time.

Step 3: Lay the Vinyl:
Make sure that the area is clean. Get the vacuum out and give it a good hoovering. Take your shoes off. You won’t will require them on to do this job. They’ll just drag grit around. Now, unroll the vinyl against the longest continual wall. Keep unrolling until the pattern is parallel with your wall. Leave a 4 inch overlap against the wall.

Now you will will require the Stanley knife. As the vinyl is unrolled, keep it as flat as you possibly can around the edges near to the wall by making vertical cuts into the waste vinyl (i.e. the stuff pressing against the walls that will not be covering the floor). For a neater finish, cut into the corners and trim the surplus vinyl so that you simply form a V shape.

Step 4: Fit the Vinyl:
Now that you have cut most of the excess vinyl off, it’s more controllable. Obtain a pen and mark off more excess vinyl. Cut it away. Your aim now is to get the vinyl into the rough shape of the room leaving a 1 or 2 inch excess all around the sides.

Step 5: Trim and glue:
Ok, press the straight edge against the vinyl and trim to suit exactly. Force any edges under cabinets, skirting boards etc. This is going to give you a decent, crisp finish. if you have got anything other than ‘stay-flat’ vinyl, this will be the time to stick it to your floor. Follow the instructions on your glue container.

Step 6: Finishing:
You are practically there. Using a soft brush and starting from the centre of the room, push out any bubbles. Secure the vinyl at the doors and entrances to the room with double sided carpet tape. It is going to stop it moving.

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For my training as a carpet fitter, I went to an organization called Carpet Fitters. They taught me everything that I know.

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