How to Loose Lay Vinyl Sheet Flooring

Written by f.r.r. mallory
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How to Loose Lay Vinyl Sheet Flooring
You can install loose lay vinyl flooring over outdated existing floors. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Loose lay vinyl flooring is a type of flooring that you can install without most attachments. The flooring floats on the floor and it is designed to lay flat. The pattern of the floor may look similar to other types of vinyl floors but the flooring material is actually thicker with a fibreglass backing to hold the vinyl flat. The floor is not difficult to install over a smooth, flat, level subfloor. You can even install the floor over up to two layers of existing vinyl floor so long as the existing floor is in good condition.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Broom
  • Soap and water
  • Scrubber
  • Hammer
  • Prybar
  • Loose lay vinyl flooring
  • Vinyl floor trimmer (rental)
  • Utility knife
  • Acrylic double face tape
  • Permanent flexible silicone caulk

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Vacuum the subfloor or existing vinyl floor to remove all dirt and grit. Scrub the floor with soap and water. Dry the floor completely. Make any repairs to the floor such as popped nails, cuts or holes so that the subfloor is clean, level and smooth. Bring your roll of loose lay vinyl floor into the house close to where you will install the floor at least 48 hours prior to installation so the floor can adjust to the climate in the house.

  2. 2

    Remove the existing quarter round trim in the room using a hammer or prybar.

  3. 3

    Unroll the vinyl floor. This type of floor is limited to a space that is 25 square yards without seaming. Floors larger than this, or configured to require seams, must use another type of flooring.

  4. 4

    Position the flooring so that the majority of the flooring is laying flat and the flooring is aligned with the walls. Cut the flooring so that 2 inches of the flooring continues up the walls, cabinets or fixtures. Make cuts to ease the flooring at corners and rounded fixtures.

  5. 5

    Cut the vinyl with a vinyl flooring trimmer. These are often available for rent. This tool cuts the vinyl 1/8 inch away from baseboards, cabinets and other obstacles. Use a utility knife if a trimmer is not available. The flooring must not touch any wall, cabinet or obstacle and the flooring should be 1/8 inch evenly spaced from all objects.

  6. 6

    Cut an acrylic double-faced tape the width of doorways and apply the tape under the edge of the floor at doorways and transitions. Install new quarter round trim elevated above the flooring, so that the flooring never touches the trim or caulk around the flooring, using a permanent flexible silicone caulk.

Tips and warnings

  • If the floor bubbles or buckles it means it is touching something. Trim along the edges to relieve the problem.

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