Step by step guide on how to lay a vinyl floor
by Steve Macrie firstname.lastname@example.org
Vinyl flooring. Admittedly, not as bad as it used to be. And it's softer underfoot, but it still isn't good. It comes in a wide range of styles and patterns. It's best used in commercial buildings such as care homes and cheap hotels like Etap. If you are going to use it in the home, I'd keep it in an out of the way place like a utility room or downstairs toilet. If you're determined to fit it yourself, then I suggest you read on about how to fit it properly.
By the way, before we start although Linoleum seems to be a similar floor covering to vinyl, it's made from natural substances and is much harder to fit than vinyl. I suggest you call a professional to fit lino flooring.
I'll be blunt. You're going to need a quite a bit of kit for this job. Unless you've got a lot of vinyl or you're thinking of fitting vinyl professionally, it might be cheaper to pay someone else to do it. Just a thought.
Anyway, to do the job you'll need a roll of vinyl (obviously), a Stanley knife or craft 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've 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 doesn't stretc..h well. So, leave the vinyl in a warm room for a day and turn on your central heating. It will make fitting it so much easier.
Step 2: Preparing the floor
If you have raw concrete floor, you'll need to make sure it is absolutely level. Otherwise the lumps will show through the vinyl. They'll look ugly and present a potential safety hazard. Purchase a self levelling compound, spread it over the floor to fill the holes and follow the instructions. That will do the trick.
Self levelling compound is what you'll need if you're covering ceramic tiles, as well. Spread a thin layer and fill in the joints between tiles. Again follow the instructions to allow it to set.
If you're covering floorboards, you'll need to lay hardboard over them to create a flat, smooth and stable surface. Make sure you stagger the joints and fix plenty of pins to make sure they don't rise with wear.
Step 3: Lay the vinyl
Make sure the area is clean. Like a clean room. Get the vacuum out and give it a good hoovering. Take your shoes off. You won't need them for this job. They'll just drag grit around with you.
Now, unroll the vinyl against the longest continual wall. Keep unrolling until the patter is parallel with the wall. Leave a 4 inch overlap against the wall.
Chances are your vinyl is going to fit straight away. Now you'll need the Stanley knife. As the vinyl is unrolled, keep it as flat as possible around the edges near the wall by making vertical cuts into waste vinyl (i.e. the stuff pressing against the walls that won't be covering the floor). For a neater finish, cut into the corners and trim the excess vinyl so that you form a V shape.
Step 4: Fit the vinyl
Now that you've trimmed most of the excess vinyl off, it's more manageable. Get a pen and mark off more excess vinyl. Cut it away. Your aim now is the get the vinyl into the rough shape of the room with 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... This will give you a nice, crisp finish. Looking good? Great. Now, if you've got anything other than ‘stay-flat' vinyl, this is the time to stick it to the floor. Follow the instructions on your glue.
Step 6: Finishing
You're nearly there. Get a soft brush and starting from the center of the room, push out any bubbles to the edges. Secure the vinyl at the doors and entrances to the room with double sided carpet tape. It will stop it moving.
You're done! Now, go and lay the neighbours vinyl and make back the price of your tools!
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