How To Lay Vinyl Flooring

By: Rick Skew

Vinyl flooring. Admittedly, not as bad as it used to be. And it is softer underfoot than it used to be, but it still isn’t great. It is available in a variety of styles and patterns. It is best utilised in commercial buildings such as 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 you’re 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’re gonna will require a quite a bit of kit for this job. Unless you have got a large amount of vinyl, it might even be less expensive to pay for someone else to do it for you.

Anyway, in order to do the job you’ll 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 it’s made of 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 switch on your central heating. It will make fitting it so much easier.

Step 2: Preparing the floor:
If you have a raw concrete floor, you will be required to make sure it is completely level. Otherwise the lumps will show through the vinyl. It may look ugly 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 you’ll will need when you are covering ceramic tiles. Spread a thin layer and fill in all of 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 create a flat, smooth and stable surface. Don't forget to stagger the joints and use a good amount of pins to make sure they do not rise over time.

Step 3: Lay the Vinyl:
Make sure the area is clean. Get the vacuum out and give it a top notch hoovering. Take your shoes off. You won’t will need them on for this job. They will just drag grit around. Now, unfurl the vinyl alongside 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 want your Stanley knife. When the vinyl is unrolled, keep it as flat as you possibly can around the edges close to the wall by making vertical cuts into the waste vinyl (i.e. the stuff pressing against the walls that won’t be covering the ground). For a neater finish, cut into the corners and trim the excess vinyl so that you simply form a V shape.

Step 4: Fit the Vinyl:
Now that you have trimmed the majority of excess vinyl off, it is 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 the 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 fit exactly. Force any edges under cabinets, skirting boards etc. That will give you a nice, crisp finish. if you have got anything different to ‘stay-flat’ vinyl, this will be the time to glue it it down to the floor. Follow the instructions on your glue container.

Step 6: Finishing:
You’re almost there. Get a soft brush and starting from the centre of your 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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When I say that I understand how hard it can be to do these tasks that I have written about in this article. I have carried out these tips to many projects over the years but in the beginning when I first started out in the trade there was a good deal to learn. For my training I went to an organization called Carpet Fitters London. They taught me everything that I know.

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