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Installing sheet vinyl or linoleum is a relatively simple job but one that requires care and accuracy. This project describes how to lay sheet vinyl and linoleum using the glue-down (or full-spread) method and provides instructions on how to cut the flooring using a template made from paper. While the template method is suitable for small rooms or rooms where several cuts are needed, it is less practical for large rooms, where it may be easier to work freehand or trim the sheet directly on the floor in the room.
The substrate is the surface on which the new flooring will be laid. Vinyl can be laid over concrete, floating floor underlayment, flexible (resilient) floor coverings bonded to the subfloor, and ceramic or marble tiles.
In all cases, it is essential that you properly prepare the surface of the substrate, which must be:
Laying over concrete
Fill any cracks or dips and level the surface with a self-levelling compound.
Laying over wood flooring
Strengthen and secure the planks by nailing down any that are loose and sealing the gaps.
Laying over flexible or resilient flooring
Do not install on top of a cushioned surface such as carpet!
Remove the old flooring and all traces of glue or adhesive.
Laying over tiles
Level the surface and fill the joints.
Leave the floor covering and adhesive at room temperature for about 24 hours.
Make sure you have the recommended adhesive for your chosen floor covering and try to use one with a low VOC (volatile organic compound) content. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Air the room well when you work, to allow the adhesive fumes to escape.
1.1 Remove doors and thresholds.
1.2 Remove all baseboards and moulding at floor level.
If this is not possible, quarter-round trim can be added once the flooring is in place.
1.3 Cut the bottom of door casings to be able to slide the new flooring underneath.
2.1 Place sheets of paper along the walls, leaving 1/8" clearance between the edge of the paper and the wall (expansion gap to be covered by the quarter round or baseboard trim).
2.2 Follow the perimeter of the room, overlapping the paper in the corners.
2.3 Tape the template to the floor, making sure all the sheets are properly stuck together.
2.4 When the template is fully assembled, remove it from the floor in one piece.
3.1 Unroll the flooring, pattern side up, on a large, clean, flat surface.
3.2 If your installation requires more than one width of roll, place one sheet on top of the other with the edges overlapping by a few inches and position so that the seam will fall along a patterned line.
The seam on your finished floor should be at least 6" from the wall.
3.3 Tape the two sheets together.
4.1 Place the paper template on top of the sheet and tape it down securely.
4.2 Trace around the template onto the sheet with a felt marker pen.
Remove the template.
Protect the floor with scrap pieces of vinyl or plastic, and cut along the tracing lines with a sharp utility knife, using a metal ruler as a guide.
5.1 Make sure that the subfloor is clean, flat and level.
5.2 Roll up the flooring sheet and carry it into the room, being careful not to crease it.
Do not fold it!
5.3 Gently unroll the sheet and slide it onto the floor.
Check that it matches your floor dimensions.
6.1 Overlap the sheet edges as before and match up the pattern.
6.2 Protecting the floor beneath, cut through both sheets, using a metal ruler to help you make a perfectly straight cut.
6.3 Discard the scrap pieces.
The pattern on the two flooring sheets should be perfectly matched.
6.4 Apply a band of adhesive approximately 3" wide onto the substrate along the seam line.
Press both flooring sheets down onto the adhesive and roll firmly over the seam with a J-shaped roller.
7.1 Carefully lift back half of the flooring sheet and spread adhesive over the substrate with a trowel.
7.2 Allow the adhesive to sit for about 15 minutes (or according to the manufacturer's instructions) and make sure no air bubbles have formed.
7.3 Lay the flooring back in place.
7.4 Repeat for the other half of the floor.
8.1 Once the complete flooring sheet is in place, use a roller to press it down firmly and bond it to the floor.
8.2 Start in the centre of the room and work outwards towards the edges to eliminate air bubbles.
8.3 Secure the vinyl or linoleum with staples driven every 3" around the perimeter.
The staples will be hidden by the quarter round or baseboard moulding.
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