How To Install Sheet Vinyl Flooring — Learn How at ACME

How To Install Sheet Vinyl Flooring - Learn How at ACME

How To Install Sheet Vinyl Flooring

T here are four basic steps to installing sheet vinyl flooring: prepping the subfloor, measuring and cutting the new vinyl, fitting and securing the vinyl and installing the trim and finishing around the floor. Each of these procedures involves numerous steps. Lets take a look at each.

Its essential that the subfloor be smooth, level and clean when installing any type of floor covering. Some of the steps outlined below may not be necessary for your project, depending upon the room in which you are laying the vinyl floor. Simply skip the steps that do not apply to your situation.

Remove all furniture and appliances from the room; the floor should be completely bare. Remove doors that open into the room. Remove trim pieces from the floor, including baseboards, thresholds and floor transition pieces. If the vinyl is going into a bath room, removing the toilet is a good idea, to get the best results. When removing baseboards and trim. use a pry bar to carefully remove the pieces. Insert a small block of wood between the wall and the pry bar to protect the wall from damage while you remove the trim. Be sure to remove all nails that remain and protrude from the wall.

Types of Floors and Prep:

How To Find Floor Imperfections:

One way to find imperfections in your floor is by using a straightedge and a flashlight. Lay the straightedge on the floor, and from the rear, shine the flashlight along the straightedge. Light will shine under the straightedge at any low points in the floor.

Vinyl Flooring: Sheet vinyl may be installed over existing linoleum or sheet vinyl as long as it is in good shape, clean and securely adhered to the subfloor. For floors that are pitted, roughed up or dented, an application of embossing leveler is recommended. If the old flooring is damaged or loose, it must be removed.

Concrete: Its fine to install sheet vinyl over concrete floors that are clean, dry and smooth. A grinder can be used to remove bumps. Holes, cracks and low spots must be fixed with either concrete patch or a high-strength epoxy.

Hardwood and Other Floors: Subfloors with any of the following conditions will require an underlayment. They include buckled or uneven floor, embossed floor, cushioned floor or hardwood covering. Depending upon the condition of the floor, you may do one of these proceduresplane bumps and patch holes, remove the floor, use an embossing leveler or cover the old floor with a new layer of plywood. The end result should be a smooth surface that will not reveal imperfections once the new floor is installed.

Once the subfloor is leveled and smooth be sure to clean by vacuuming thoroughly and washing it lightly. Before starting installation, the floor must be dry. If your new floor covering has created a change in the thickness of the floor, you will need to adjust doorframes, thresholds and doors accordingly.

Any floor covering, including new subflooring, underlays and vinyl sheeting, should be stored in the environment in which they will be used for 24 hours. This allows the materials to adapt to the room temperatureexpanding or contractingprior to installation.

Underlay sheeting, which goes between your subfloor and the new vinyl sheet, should be installed with a 1/16-inch gap between sheets to allow for expansion. Secure underlay as per manufacturers instructions. The underlay is usually secured with nails spaced 6-inches apart or with glue. Check for any rough spots or bumps along the edges of the underlay and sand down to flatten.

Measuring and Cutting Sheet Vinyl

A common, accurate and fairly simply way to ensure the correct size and cut of your sheet vinyl floor is by creating a paper template of the space first. The template can then be used to trace the layout onto the vinyl to be cut. There are kits available to do this, but all you really need are heavy weight paper, masking tape, utility knife and a straightedge.

Lay sections of paper on the floor parallel to walls and other objects the vinyl will surround. Keep the paper about 1/8 from the walls to allow for a small gap. Cover the floor completely, even where no cuts will be made. Leaving areas open will allow the shape of the template to change and will result in inaccuracies. Tape the sections of paper together to create a large, one-piece template. To prevent the paper from shifting in the center field, periodically cut diamond shapes into the paper and fold it back. Taping the paper to the floor through the cut-outs will prevent the template from shifting.

Key points to create a template:

  • Leave 1/8-inch gap between the wall and the paper.
  • Place the paper down along the longest wall. Add paper, connecting the pieces with masking tape, until you get to the opposite wall.
  • To keep the paper in place on the floor, cut diamond shapes into it every six-inches or so and tape over them.
  • Keep the paper flat and smooth to ensure you create an accurate template.
  • Use masking tape along all edges, making sure the paper sheets are held together firmly.
  • Cut and fold small sheets of paper around pipes, cabinets, heating vents, etc. and tape them to the template.

As you finish making the template, double-check all seams to make sure theyre secure and mark the top of the template in order to properly orient it onto the floor covering.

Gather the template together, either fold or roll it, and take it to the cutting area. This area needs to be large enough to allow the template to be laid out flat. It should be firm, clean and flat.

Vinyl sheet flooring is usually sold in 12-foot widths. If your room is wider, youll need to plan for a seam. The seam should be in an out-of-the way area that sees minimum traffic. Having the joint follow a straight template line in the vinyl, if your covering has a template, helps disguise it.

If youre going to have seamed edges, youll have bought two pieces of vinyl flooring. Lay the larger piece face-up and the other piece face-up alongside it, overlapping the bottom layer by at least one-inch. Make sure the templates match and then tape the pieces together securely.

Its a good idea to place some thick cardboard or a scrap of plywood under the seam to protect the floor underneath while you cut the vinyl. Using a sharp utility knife and a straightedge, cut through both sheets.

Remove the trimmed vinyl, match-up the new edges and tape them together.

Place the template, face up, over the vinyl. Check that the template is properly located along the seam and then tape it to the vinyl, using new tape over the diamond openings utilized earlier.

With a piece of plywood or cardboard underneath, carefully cut the vinyl with a utility knife and straightedge along the template. (Or trace the template on the vinyl with a straightedge and marker and cut with heavy shears.)

Fitting and Securing

After the vinyl has been cut, roll it up and take it to the room in which it will be installed. If there are two sheets, fit them one piece at a time. When dry fitting the vinyl, be careful not to tear the flooring; it will not tolerate much sheer force before it begins to tear. Start by fitting the piece along the wall with the most complex pattern. Unroll the vinyl toward the center of the room.

If laying two pieces, fit both, align the common seam and then glue the seam. Once the seam has been secured, pull one edge up and hold it back with masking tape. Then, using the other edge of the vinyl, trace a pencil mark along the floor. Tape back the edge of the other vinyl sheet and spread the manufacturers recommended adhesive to within 12-inches of each wall. Then release each edge of the vinyl and press them into place, making sure theyre properly aligned. Wipe away any glue that works its way through the seam and seal the joint with material recommended by the manufacturer.

If using adhesive along the whole floor, youll work from the center of the floor towards the wall at about one-foot at a time. As you go along, use a roller to press out any air bubbles. (When gluing, follow additional manufacturers guidelines.) If youll be applying quarter-round moulding, staple along the edges of the flooring and use the moulding to hide the staples. If not using quarter-round, you should glue the vinyl down.

When using staples, start securing the flooring along the wall by working from the seam first. As you work your way along the edge, continue to check that the flooring is flat and properly positioned.

Installing Trim

Once the floor is in place, remove any excess adhesive and make sure that the floor is flat and properly anchored. Install the moulding by nailing into the wall or baseboard trim and not into the floor. Dont apply pressure on the vinyl with the quarter-round; forcing it down onto the vinyl may cause it to buckle or tear. Reinstall thresholds and install protective strips across any edges that will see traffic. There are special metal moulding strips designed to make the transition from one medium to another, such as from vinyl flooring to tile.

The room should be kept free of furniture and appliances for 24 to 48 hours to allow the glue to set properly.

How To Install Sheet Vinyl Flooring

T here are four basic steps to installing sheet vinyl flooring: prepping the subfloor, measuring and cutting the new vinyl, fitting and securing the vinyl and installing the trim and finishing around the floor. Each of these procedures involves numerous steps. Lets take a look at each.

Its essential that the subfloor be smooth, level and clean when installing any type of floor covering. Some of the steps outlined below may not be necessary for your project, depending upon the room in which you are laying the vinyl floor. Simply skip the steps that do not apply to your situation.

Remove all furniture and appliances from the room; the floor should be completely bare. Remove doors that open into the room. Remove trim pieces from the floor, including baseboards, thresholds and floor transition pieces. If the vinyl is going into a bath room, removing the toilet is a good idea, to get the best results. When removing baseboards and trim. use a pry bar to carefully remove the pieces. Insert a small block of wood between the wall and the pry bar to protect the wall from damage while you remove the trim. Be sure to remove all nails that remain and protrude from the wall.

Types of Floors and Prep:

How To Find Floor Imperfections:

One way to find imperfections in your floor is by using a straightedge and a flashlight. Lay the straightedge on the floor, and from the rear, shine the flashlight along the straightedge. Light will shine under the straightedge at any low points in the floor.

Vinyl Flooring: Sheet vinyl may be installed over existing linoleum or sheet vinyl as long as it is in good shape, clean and securely adhered to the subfloor. For floors that are pitted, roughed up or dented, an application of embossing leveler is recommended. If the old flooring is damaged or loose, it must be removed.

Concrete: Its fine to install sheet vinyl over concrete floors that are clean, dry and smooth. A grinder can be used to remove bumps. Holes, cracks and low spots must be fixed with either concrete patch or a high-strength epoxy.

Hardwood and Other Floors: Subfloors with any of the following conditions will require an underlayment. They include buckled or uneven floor, embossed floor, cushioned floor or hardwood covering. Depending upon the condition of the floor, you may do one of these proceduresplane bumps and patch holes, remove the floor, use an embossing leveler or cover the old floor with a new layer of plywood. The end result should be a smooth surface that will not reveal imperfections once the new floor is installed.

Once the subfloor is leveled and smooth be sure to clean by vacuuming thoroughly and washing it lightly. Before starting installation, the floor must be dry. If your new floor covering has created a change in the thickness of the floor, you will need to adjust doorframes, thresholds and doors accordingly.

Any floor covering, including new subflooring, underlays and vinyl sheeting, should be stored in the environment in which they will be used for 24 hours. This allows the materials to adapt to the room temperatureexpanding or contractingprior to installation.

Underlay sheeting, which goes between your subfloor and the new vinyl sheet, should be installed with a 1/16-inch gap between sheets to allow for expansion. Secure underlay as per manufacturers instructions. The underlay is usually secured with nails spaced 6-inches apart or with glue. Check for any rough spots or bumps along the edges of the underlay and sand down to flatten.

Measuring and Cutting Sheet Vinyl

A common, accurate and fairly simply way to ensure the correct size and cut of your sheet vinyl floor is by creating a paper template of the space first. The template can then be used to trace the layout onto the vinyl to be cut. There are kits available to do this, but all you really need are heavy weight paper, masking tape, utility knife and a straightedge.

Lay sections of paper on the floor parallel to walls and other objects the vinyl will surround. Keep the paper about 1/8 from the walls to allow for a small gap. Cover the floor completely, even where no cuts will be made. Leaving areas open will allow the shape of the template to change and will result in inaccuracies. Tape the sections of paper together to create a large, one-piece template. To prevent the paper from shifting in the center field, periodically cut diamond shapes into the paper and fold it back. Taping the paper to the floor through the cut-outs will prevent the template from shifting.

Key points to create a template:

  • Leave 1/8-inch gap between the wall and the paper.
  • Place the paper down along the longest wall. Add paper, connecting the pieces with masking tape, until you get to the opposite wall.
  • To keep the paper in place on the floor, cut diamond shapes into it every six-inches or so and tape over them.
  • Keep the paper flat and smooth to ensure you create an accurate template.
  • Use masking tape along all edges, making sure the paper sheets are held together firmly.
  • Cut and fold small sheets of paper around pipes, cabinets, heating vents, etc. and tape them to the template.

As you finish making the template, double-check all seams to make sure theyre secure and mark the top of the template in order to properly orient it onto the floor covering.

Gather the template together, either fold or roll it, and take it to the cutting area. This area needs to be large enough to allow the template to be laid out flat. It should be firm, clean and flat.

Vinyl sheet flooring is usually sold in 12-foot widths. If your room is wider, youll need to plan for a seam. The seam should be in an out-of-the way area that sees minimum traffic. Having the joint follow a straight template line in the vinyl, if your covering has a template, helps disguise it.

If youre going to have seamed edges, youll have bought two pieces of vinyl flooring. Lay the larger piece face-up and the other piece face-up alongside it, overlapping the bottom layer by at least one-inch. Make sure the templates match and then tape the pieces together securely.

Its a good idea to place some thick cardboard or a scrap of plywood under the seam to protect the floor underneath while you cut the vinyl. Using a sharp utility knife and a straightedge, cut through both sheets.

Remove the trimmed vinyl, match-up the new edges and tape them together.

Place the template, face up, over the vinyl. Check that the template is properly located along the seam and then tape it to the vinyl, using new tape over the diamond openings utilized earlier.

With a piece of plywood or cardboard underneath, carefully cut the vinyl with a utility knife and straightedge along the template. (Or trace the template on the vinyl with a straightedge and marker and cut with heavy shears.)

Fitting and Securing

After the vinyl has been cut, roll it up and take it to the room in which it will be installed. If there are two sheets, fit them one piece at a time. When dry fitting the vinyl, be careful not to tear the flooring; it will not tolerate much sheer force before it begins to tear. Start by fitting the piece along the wall with the most complex pattern. Unroll the vinyl toward the center of the room.

If laying two pieces, fit both, align the common seam and then glue the seam. Once the seam has been secured, pull one edge up and hold it back with masking tape. Then, using the other edge of the vinyl, trace a pencil mark along the floor. Tape back the edge of the other vinyl sheet and spread the manufacturers recommended adhesive to within 12-inches of each wall. Then release each edge of the vinyl and press them into place, making sure theyre properly aligned. Wipe away any glue that works its way through the seam and seal the joint with material recommended by the manufacturer.

If using adhesive along the whole floor, youll work from the center of the floor towards the wall at about one-foot at a time. As you go along, use a roller to press out any air bubbles. (When gluing, follow additional manufacturers guidelines.) If youll be applying quarter-round moulding, staple along the edges of the flooring and use the moulding to hide the staples. If not using quarter-round, you should glue the vinyl down.

When using staples, start securing the flooring along the wall by working from the seam first. As you work your way along the edge, continue to check that the flooring is flat and properly positioned.

Installing Trim

Once the floor is in place, remove any excess adhesive and make sure that the floor is flat and properly anchored. Install the moulding by nailing into the wall or baseboard trim and not into the floor. Dont apply pressure on the vinyl with the quarter-round; forcing it down onto the vinyl may cause it to buckle or tear. Reinstall thresholds and install protective strips across any edges that will see traffic. There are special metal moulding strips designed to make the transition from one medium to another, such as from vinyl flooring to tile.

The room should be kept free of furniture and appliances for 24 to 48 hours to allow the glue to set properly.


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