How To Lay Down Vinyl Flooring

By: Rick Skew


Vinyl flooring. Admittedly, not as bad as it used to be. And it is softer under foot than it was, but it still isnít good. It is available in a vast range of styles and patterns. It is best used in commercial buildings like care homes and the cheaper hotels. If you intend using it within the house, I would keep it in an out of the way place like a utility room or the downstairs bathroom . If youíre determined to fit it yourself, then I suggest you read on about how to fit it as it should be fitted.

I will be blunt at this point. You are gonna will require a quite a bit of kit for this job. Unless youíve got a large amount of vinyl, it may even be less expensive to pay for someone else to do it for you.

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

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

Step 2: Preparing your floor:
If you have a raw concrete floor, you will need to make sure it is absolutely flat. Otherwise the lumps will show through the vinyl. It may look unsightly and present a possible safety hazard. Purchase 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 youíll will require if you are covering ceramic tiles, as well. Spread a thin layer and fill in all of the joints between tiles. Again follow the instructions and permit it to set.

When you are covering floorboards, you will be required to lay hardboard over them to create a flat, smooth and stable surface. Always stagger the joints and use plenty of pins to make sure they donít lift over time.

Step 3: Lay the Vinyl:
Ensure the area is clean. Get the vacuum out and give it a good hoovering. Take your shoes off. You wonít will want them on for this job. Theyíll just drag grit around. Now, unfurl the vinyl alongside the longest continual wall. Keep unrolling until the pattern is parallel with the wall. Leave a 4 inch overlap against the wall.

Now you will will want your Stanley knife. When the vinyl is unrolled, keep it as flat as you 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 your floor). For a neater finish, cut into the corners and trim the surplus vinyl so that you form a V shape.

Step 4: Fit the Vinyl:
Now that you have trimmed most of the excess vinyl off, itís more controllable. Use a pen pen and mark off more excess vinyl. Cut it away. Your aim now should be to get the vinyl into the rough shape of your room leaving a 1 or 2 inch excess 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 nice, crisp finish. if you have got anything other than Ďstay-flatí vinyl, this is the time to glue it it to the floor. Follow the instructions on the glue container.

Step 6: Finishing:
Youíre almost there. Get a soft brush and starting from the centre of your room, push out any bubbles. Secure the vinyl along at the doors and entrances to the room with double sided carpet tape. It will stop it moving.

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Iíve applied these tips to many projects through the years but from the beginning when I first started off in the trade there was a whole lot to learn. For my training I joined a firm called Carpet Fitters.

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