How to Lay a Vinyl Floor

Written by lauren wise
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How to Lay a Vinyl Floor
A kitchen with vinyl flooring. (Courtesy of Photobucket.)

Vinyl flooring looks great in a small room such as a bathroom or kitchen, and can be installed within a day or two. If you are working with a large space, having a friend help you will make the work much easier. Always start with the one straight wall in the room, as this will make your task easier and you can deal with the fussy edges when you are more comfortable working with vinyl. There are many different styles and colours of vinyl flooring, and choosing them before you start any construction is the best way to go.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Wood scrap
  • Vinyl
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Cold chisel
  • Heavy-duty scissors
  • Snap-blade knife

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  1. 1

    Choose a style and colour of vinyl. Create a scribing tool to help you cut the correct shape in the first side of the vinyl: Use your scrap wood strips and hammer a nail through one end so that the point protrudes on the underside.

    How to Lay a Vinyl Floor
    Choosing styles and colours of tile is part of the fun.
  2. 2

    Lay the first sheet parallel to the wall you want to begin on. Lay it about 1 1/2 inches from the wall and drag it along the vinyl's length. The nail point will mark a cutting line on the vinyl to help you get a perfect fit.

  3. 3

    Use the scissors to make the first cut. Set the vinyl against the wall again and make any necessary adjustments.

    How to Lay a Vinyl Floor
  4. 4

    Cut a square or angled notch at each corner so the sheet lies flat. With the chisel, put pressure on the vinyl firmly into the angle made by the wall and floor.

  5. 5

    Use the snap blade knife to cut along the crease. Do this carefully and take your time, as it is easy to cut vinyl wrong because of the thickness, and even a little slip can ruin the sheet. If you come across problems such as a toilet base or other shapes sticking out from the walls, fold the vinyl back from the wall and put pressure on the sheet until it is firmly against the base of the obstacle.

    How to Lay a Vinyl Floor
  6. 6

    Make a cut running from just above floor level up toward the edge of the sheet. Drag the blade through the vinyl from the base of the shape toward the edge in feather-shaped strips. This helps you work around the curve easily, and in the end, the vinyl should follow the shape of the obstacle. Cut away any excess.

  7. 7

    Trim the vinyl close to the base of the walls and any shapes. Templates can be cut and followed to fit neatly around door frames.

  8. 8

    Create as polished of a look as possible, trimming small bits of vinyl away from objects and the wall until you are satisfied.

Tips and warnings

  • Creating a scribing tool first is important and will make your job easier in the long run. You may think that straight-looking wall is in fact straight, but it probably isn't, and a scribing tool can help you determine this.
  • Leave the vinyl in the room that you are flooring for at least a day or two before laying so it can become acclimatised and will be easier to work with.
  • Always be careful using power tools and cutting flooring with sharp knives.
  • Always wear protective gloves.

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