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Installing Vinyl Flooring

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Authored by Sandy Rothra in Home Improvement
Published on 11-29-2009

Before beginning to install vinyl flooring, check instructions for the flooring you purchase. That should give you detailed information on procedures and adhesives necessary. However, the following information should help you decide if you want to tackle the job, or contract it out.

Preparation is a must before actually installing vinyl flooring. Remove all moldings, baseboards, and thresholds. Debris, like dirt or sand, will show through your new flooring if not removed. That is also true of all existing carpeting or vinyl. The surface must be made smooth and level. You can level the floor with flash patching, recommended by the new vinyl flooring manufacturer. It may be necessary to also sand the surface. Then sweep or scrub the floor carefully. You must have a clean dry surface without a speck that would show through the vinyl.

Lay out the vinyl flooring and cut so the edges ride up the walls about three inches. Make sure the pattern is where you want it and the sheet is straight. Don’t worry about seamed edges at this time. When it is properly placed, roll back half the vinyl flooring and apply adhesive to the floor. Do not apply adhesive to the edge, but leave about ten inches next to the wall. Roll back on to the adhesive and repeat with the other side.

Remove air pockets from the vinyl flooring. Use a roller, made for the purpose, to smooth down the vinyl and remove air pockets. If more air pockets appear, use a razor knife to slit the vinyl and release the air. Then go over that area again with a roller.

Seam the vinyl flooring, once the main sheet is smooth and all air pockets are cleared. Using a straight edge, cut the main sheet of vinyl in an area least likely to be noticed. This may be determined by a grout line or pattern. Match and position the adjoining vinyl sheet and cut, using the same straight edge. Trim any rough areas on the cut edge. Then fit the adjoining piece next to the main sheet and position it, before applying any adhesive. Roll the vinyl piece back and proceed as with the main sheet.

Trim the vinyl flooring edges with a razor cutter. Trim parallel to the floor and take care not to remove part of the already installed floor. Use caulking along the walls and doorways. This will prevent the flooring from lifting at the edge.

Seal all the seams with sealer recommended by the manufacturer. This will hold the seams in place in spite of contraction or expansion. Clean any residue from the surface with the manufacturer’s recommended cleaner or mineral spirits.

After the vinyl flooring is installed, replace all moldings and baseboards. Flooring edges in doorways must be protected by either a threshold or metal molding strip. Wait about two days for the flooring to adjust to the shape of the floor and the seams to dry before moving furniture or appliances back into the room.

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