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DIY Tips for Installing Vinyl Floors

By Michael Hilton

If a room in your home is in need of a new floor, then you may want to consider installing vinyl flooring. Vinyl is an ideal flooring choice for many homeowners, because it is durable, comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, and installing vinyl can be a very DIY-friendly home improvement project. Best of all, installing new vinyl flooring in a laundry room, kitchen, or bathroom can be accomplished in about day.

Vinyl Floors Need a Clean, Smooth, and Dry Subfloor

Whether you are installing sheet vinyl or individual vinyl tiles, the key to a great looking finished product is to properly prepare the subfloor. New vinyl can be installed over wood, existing vinyl, or even concrete, but the subfloor must be clean, smooth, and dry before you begin installation. Due to the thinness and pliability of vinyl flooring, any cracks, gaps, or other uneven surfaces in your subfloor will show through the new vinyl. The easiest way to avoid this problem is to install a new layer of 1/4 inch plywood underlayment on top of the room's existing subfloor. Using a heavy-duty construction adhesive and ringshank nails to attach the underlayment to the subfloor can also help to ensure a squeak-free finished floor. Remember to leave a slight gap(about 1/16 of an inch) around all four edges of each sheet of underlayment and to fill these gaps with an underlayment filler.

More Vinyl Floor Installation Tips

  • Remove all of the room's baseboard trim before taking measurements. Install the flooring vinyl right up to the edge of the wall so that the seam will be neatly hidden once the baseboard trim is re-installed.
  • Create a paper template for any cut-outs which are needed around plumbing pipes or vents. It can help you avoid mistakes when cutting and fitting the vinyl.
  • If you are using vinyl sheeting in a room that requires two sheets of flooring material, try to locate the seam in a less-than-obvious area. When sealing the seam, make sure the sheen of the sealer matches the sheen of the vinyl.
  • After the new vinyl is installed, use a heavy-duty floor roller to smooth the flooring. Some adhesives are pressure sensitive, so rolling the vinyl can help ensure proper adhesion to the underlayment.
  • Most vinyl adhesives are water soluble, which means they degrade when they get excessively wet. You can easily avoid this problem by mopping your new floors with only a damp mop or cloth and by mopping up any spilled liquids quickly.

Once you have successfully completed your first vinyl flooring project and seen some great results, you just may decide to tackle the other rooms in your home as well.


 

About the Author
Michael Hilton was the original creator of Carpet Buyers Handbook. Having owned and operated a carpet wholesale company, Hilton has a vast knowledge about all-things carpet related as well as other types of flooring.

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