How to Lay a Vinyl Kitchen Floor

Updated March 20, 2018

Vinyl is one of the most common choices for kitchen floor coverings, mostly because it is waterproof, but also because it is available in a wide variety of colours and patterns that make it easy for the homeowner to match the kitchen decor. You install rolled vinyl and vinyl tiles by gluing them to the subfloor, but the installation technique for these two types of flooring are slightly different. Before you install vinyl flooring, make sure the subfloor is level, dry and free of dust.

Make sure the subfloor is dry, then seal all cracks and holes with floor levelling compound. Let this dry for at least two hours, and then sand it flat with a belt sander. Make sure you sand down all protrusions because any you leave will be noticeable when you lay the floor covering. Vacuum all dust away, and wipe the subfloor with a damp cloth.

Measure the midpoint of one wall with a tape measure, then use a carpenter's square to draw a perpendicular line to the centre of the floor. Do the same from a perpendicular wall. The lines you draw will form a cross in the centre of the floor.

Set four tiles in the cross so that their corners touch, and then lay the rest of the tiles, using these four as a reference. Do not glue the tiles down yet. Cut tiles to fit near the wall and around doorjambs and other obstructions with a utility knife, cutting the tiles from the back to avoid damaging the surface.

Return to the centre when you have laid all the tiles and begin gluing them to the subfloor. Lift each tile in turn, spread adhesive on the subfloor with the trowel to completely cover the area where the tile will go, set the tile in place and press firmly over the surface of tile to seat it in the adhesive. Continue until all the tiles are glued, and then roll the floor with a 100-pound roller to squeeze bubbles out of the adhesive.

Prepare the subfloor following the process outlined in Step 1 of the section on Vinyl Tiles.

Unroll rolled vinyl and let it settle before you install it. Draw a line down the centre of the room that is perpendicular to the walls and measure the length of the room from wall to wall. Measure all obstructions that the floor has to fit around, such as doorjambs and cabinets, and make a diagram. Then use the diagram cut a length of rolled vinyl to fit with a utility knife, allowing 2 inches overlap on either end.

Lay in the flooring flush with the line and make sure it fits, then roll back half of it and spread adhesive on the floor with the trowel. Roll it down, then roll up the other half and repeat.

Measure the other half of the floor, make a diagram, and cut the vinyl to fit. Then lay it so that one edge fits tightly against the vinyl covering the other part of the floor glue it down in the same way.

Roll the floor with a 100-pound roller before the glue dries to remove bubbles in the adhesive.


If you get any glue on the surface of the flooring, wipe it off with a solvent or water before it dries. Lacquer thinner is a good all-purpose solvent that will dissolve most solvent-based glues. Be sure you glue the seams of rolled flooring well.


Some flooring adhesives give off noxious fumes. Wear a respirator if you are sensitive and keep the room well ventilated.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor levelling compound
  • Belt sander
  • Vacuum
  • Damp cloth
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's square
  • Utility knife
  • Floor adhesive
  • Trowel
  • 100-pound floor roller
  • Lacquer thinner (optional)
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About the Author

Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.