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Installing Vinyl Sheeting

For this project you’ll need:

  • A ¼ inch notched (serrated end) trowel
  • A large sharp utility knife or drywall knife
  • A hammer
  • A vinyl seam roller (aka a J-roller)
  • Staple gun
  • Waterproof vinyl floor adhesive

Cutting The New Sheet Flooring
Once you have your new floor template created, you’re ready to use it to cut your new sheet flooring. You’ll need to find a clean area big enough to lay out your new vinyl, preferably inside, but a thoroughly-swept garage floor will work in a pinch. If your flooring came in a roll, you’ll want it to relax before you cut it, or the arcs will create havoc and interfere with your accuracy.

Weigh down the sheet(s) with flat, heavy objects (books are perfect, but whatever you use make sure it has no points or supports that will leave dents). Weight all corners and along the edges, and add extra to any rounded areas. A warm room works best, since the vinyl will relax faster. A room that is heated to the point of uncomfortable will produce the quickest result (but seal off the room and don’t loiter inside it, since the flooring will produce—and heat will exacerbate—fumes that are both unpleasant and noxious).

Once your flooring is flat, you’re ready to cut.

1. If you have one sheet big enough to cover the entire area, great. If not, you’ll need to overlap your separate sheets. Lay one sheet over the next by at least 2 inches, making sure you match the pattern exactly, and secure with duct tape.
2. Cover your new flooring with your template, using the design as a guide for your template placement. Note: You may find that the template doesn’t sit flush with the flooring design on one or two sides (this will be especially noticeable if you selected a striped or grid pattern). Provided you formed your template correctly, this indicates that the floor area you’re covering isn’t a perfect square or rectangle, which is common. To minimize the aesthetic quandary, align your template along the design edges that will be most visible, so that the edges where your cuts may go off the pattern are less noticeable.
3. Tape your template to the new flooring using masking tape over your triangular cutouts. Use a washable marker to trace the outside edge of your template all the way around. Also trace holes for any cutouts for pipes, toilets, etc. Use a new blade and a utility, linoleum or drywall knife to cut along your marks. For long edges along walls, use a straight edge as a guide.
4. For cutouts, first cut where you traced the shape of the object (say, the base of a pipe), them cut a straight seam from the nearest edge of the flooring to the cutout. Make sure to cut this seam cleanly, as you will be reconnecting it behind the pipe, toilet or other object. Once you have your new flooring cut, roll it up loosely, take it to your installation area and lay it out. Make sure it fits perfectly, with only a slight gap (1/8" or less) between its outsides edges and the walls and installed objects.
5. If you had to overlay sheets, now you’ll need to cut through the top layer first, then go over the area again to score through the bottom layer. Be careful not to cut into the subfloor.
6. Remove the scrap sections from the under-layer and check to make sure the seams of your top layers align perfectly.


Installing Perimeter-Glued Sheets

Gluing Only The Edges
In floor areas where moisture is limited, gluing down only the outside edges of your vinyl will be faster and easier, and will make replacement of sections or the whole floor a snap.

7. Fold back each section of your positioned flooring and apply a 3-inch layer of vinyl-approved flooring adhesive to the subfloor. You will be moving systematically until you have every outside seam fixed to the underlayment all the way around, including around pipes, toilets and other obstructions. If you laid down more than once sheet, you will need to glue along each seam length as you go. Note: every pliable section of flooring must be securely glued down to the subfloor, until you have done the entire perimeter.
8. Roll any seams, joints or outlines into the adhesive with a seam roller (aka a J-roller). Then use the roller to flatten the rest of the flooring, covering every section until the floor is flat and smooth.
9. Make sure to apply adhesive to any cutouts to keep the flooring from peeling up. Flatten with your roller.
10. Replace baseboards and metals thresholds.

Tip: If you installed your floor around a toilet, sink, bathtub or shower, we recommend caulking around the base with waterproof bathroom caulking or sealant rated for this purpose.

Installing Fully-Glued Sheets
For bathrooms and other high-moisture areas, the most water-resistant installation involves gluing down the entire floor. It does involve more work than perimeter bonding, but if you have a floor that may get wet frequently, it is worth the extra time to do it right.

11. Your new flooring should be laid out across the subfloor in its intended position. Lift up half the flooring on the side farthest from the room’s entrance (or if it’s an wide section like a closet, choose either side).
12. Use a ¼ inch notched trowel or putty knife to apply a thin, even layer of flooring adhesive across the subfloor.
13. Flatten the flooring over the adhesive and run a floor roller (or seam roller for small areas) from the center outward to smooth out any air or glue pockets. Repeat the process for the other side. If any adhesive oozes between the seams or along the outside edges, wipe it up immediately with a damp sponge or rag. Replace baseboards and metal thresholds.
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