Trimming Vinyl Flooring. Metal Strips & Accidental Cuts

Trimming Vinyl Floors


When the sheet is laying square to the walls with the pattern in the desired position, start trimming to fit. The key to a professional trimming job is a sharp edge. Change the blade often.

  1. Once the material has been cut to rough dimensions, lay the longest edge against the longest wall first. Position the entire piece, malting sure it curls up 3″ on every wall.
  2. To get the sheet to lay flat, make relief cuts at all corners. For outside corners, do this by cutting straight down the curled up sheet flooring. Start at the top edge and cut to where the wall and floor meet.
  3. Trim for an inside corner by cutting the excess flooring away with increasingly lower diagonal cuts on each side of the corner.

Gradually these cuts should produce a wide enough split for the corner to wedge through and the flooring to lay flat around it.

  • Remove the curled up flooring at the walls by pressing it down with a long 20″ to 24″ piece of 2 x 4. Press the flooring into the right angle where the wall and floor meet until it begins to develop a crease at the joint. Then position a heavy metal straightedge into the crease (Fig. 6) and cut along the wall with a utility knife, leaving a 1/8 » gap between the edge of the flooring and the wall. This is necessary to allow for expansion and contraction of the material and subfloor. This space, of course, will ultimately be covered by the molding. A clearance gap should also be allowed between the top of the sheet vinyl edges and what would be the bottom of the molding when it is installed to allow the walls and subfloor to move without affecting the sheet material. When the shoe molding is installed, it should therefore be nailed directly to the baseboard, not through the sheet vinyl and into the subfloor. A thin sheet of card board, which will later be removed, should be placed between the bottom of the shoe molding and the top of the vinyl sheet while nailing to permit the proper 1/32″.
  • The best way to have the vinyl flooring meet a doorjamb is to cut away a portion of the jamb at the bottom so that the flooring will slide under it. Trim the flooring to match the angles and corners of the doorjamb, overcutting about 1/2″ for the edge to slip under the jamb. If necessary, you may have to trim the bottom of a door slightly to ft over the sheet. Remove the door and use a plane or crosscut saw to make the cut.
  • Trimming Vinyl Flooring. Metal Strips & Accidental Cuts

    Frequently, the sheet material must be cut out to fit around pipes, toilets, basins, or other irregularities. This is sometimes quite a problem. However, a piece of light cardboard or paper can be used as a template and cut out to fit the irregular space exactly. The cardboard or paper should be big enough to project out into the room after it has been cut and fitted into place. Then, with the sheet vinyl in place everywhere except in the irregular area into which it is to ft, put a few spots of glue on the edge of the card board or paper and unroll the material far enough for it to cover the glued part of the paper. When the sheet vinyl is rolled back, the paper will adhere to it and can be laid back on the vinyl. By using a knife to trim around the edges of the paper, you can cut out the sheet vinyl so that it fits the irregular space exactly.

    Metal Strips-

    An exposed edge of sheet vinyl, for instance where the material ends in a doorway, can be protected by a metal strip. The metal strip is nailed into place; the vinyl sheet is then laid on top of it and cut to ft under the curved metal edge. If necessary, the curved edge can be bent down to protect the vinyl edge.

    Accidental Cuts-

    If a cut is made in the wrong location, fix it using seaming adhesive and no-stain double-sided tape. Both of these are available at your flooring dealer.

    Cut a piece of tape and run the sticky side down the cut on the underside of the sheet vinyl. Remove the backing from the tape and press down the sheet. Then run a thin bead of seaming adhesive along the entire length of the cut so that it only fills in. The adhesive will bond the edges together so that they are hardly noticeable.

    Sheet Overtrimmed-

    If there is a gap between the wall and the edge of the vinyl, if often can be covered with quarter-round wood molding or vinyl cove base. It is also possible to patch in a strip of vinyl using tape and seaming adhesive in much the same procedure for accidental cuts. Disguise the seam in the patch by making it along a line in the pattern.

    This can happen when the sheet vinyl begins to settle and flatten. If it should occur, mark where the sheet fits perfectly on either side of F4. the problem area, then fold back the sheet and join the marks with a straight line. Re-trim along this line using a straightedge.

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