How to Fit Vinyl Flooring
There is a reason why vinyl flooring has become so popular over the years. It is a cheap and low maintenance way to cover your kitchen or bathroom floor. You can mop up any spills easily, its hard wearing, it doesn't stain easily and cushions your feet more than hardwood or laminate floor.
Vinyl flooring is often confused with linoleum but is in fact a completely different kind of flooring. The main ingredient for vinyl is polyvinyl chloride (PVC) whereas linoleum is made of a mixture of linseed oil, pine resin and powdered wood. This makes lino the more environmentaly friendly of the two however it is not waterproof, relatively thinner and much more expensive than vinyl flooring. If you have a small area to cover it will only cost you a matter of pounds if you can fit it yourself. So why not follow our step-by-step guide to fitting your vinyl floor.
Remove all furniture and appliances. Remove any floor trim and any nails from the wall with pliers. Make sure all dirt, debris and dust is removed from subfloor. If your underlying floor is reasonably smooth then just repair any small holes or cracks and chisel down lumps or bumps. If your floor is very uneven we recommend laying down some thin sheets of hardboard. Remember with vinyl flooring you will feel any bumps through the floor so it really does need to be as smooth as possible before laying your vinyl.
Vinyl flooring can be laid over existing vinyl or linoleum providing it isn't heavily embossed, damaged or loose. However doors may need to be planed down at the bottom and if the new floor is in a kitchen some worksurfaces may need to be raised to accomodate for the new height of the appliances.
If installing new hardboard underlayment then stagger the joints of the harboard panels and leave a tiny gap between the panels to allow for expansion. Use a ready mix compound to smooth uneven areas where the hardboard meets. Once dry then sand down and clean.
If you are laying your vinyl flooring in a particulary cold atmosphere then you should leave it in the room for one or two days prior to fitting to allow it to acclimatise.
Measuring & Cutting Your Vinyl
Vinyl is best laid in one piece. To accommodate corners and nooks in the room there is often considerable wastage. To limit this and not overspend it is best to thoroughly survey the room and consider which options are the most econimical way to lay your vinyl. We supply vinyl flooring in 2 metre, 3 metre and 4 metre widths. So consider which of these is most suitable for the room you are fitting. Most standard bathrooms, for example, will only need a 2 metre width.
There are two main ways to cut your vinyl flooring. You will need a sharp fitting knife. The first is simply to cut the vinyl four inches wider than the whole room on all sides and then after laying in place simply trim the excess away. However this only works well in simple shaped rooms or rooms with few obstacles.
The second is to make a template of your floor layout and transfer this to your vinyl making all the neccessary cuts before laying it in place. This method is more suitable for rooms with awkward angles and nooks or large obstacles. You can buy kits with all the tools and instructions needed to do this.
Before cutting your vinyl place a piece of scrap hardboard underneath to protect your underlying floor. Once your vinyl is in place allow the edges to run up against the wall. Trim around corners or other objects by slicing down vertically to the floor making a V-cut and pressing the vinyl down flat to floor using a piece of wood.
After making the crease you are ready to cut the flooring. Trim around the edges as neatly and as straight as possible. Vinyl flooring will expand slightly so leave a 2mm gap between the edge of the vinyl and the wall.
Applying Adhesive in Commercial Areas
Fold back half the flooring and apply the adhesive to the subfloor following the manufacturers instructions. When finished lay down the vinyl floor and press down firmly. Repeat for the other half of the flooring.
Clean away any excess adhesive using the correct solvent. The adhesive needs about 24hrs to bond properly so try and keep foot traffic to a minimum at this time. You can then return all furniture and appliances.