How to lay cushion vinyl flooring

Written by samantha volz
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Cushion vinyl flooring combines the comfort of carpeting with the stain resistance and low-maintenance needs of vinyl for a flooring option that appeals to many homeowners. This type of flooring comes in long rolls, similar to carpet, and is installed by gluing the vinyl to the subfloor so that it will hold for years to come. Proper cushioned floor installation requires careful preparation of the subfloor, as well as careful application of the adhesive to avoid having bumps or damage to the floor.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Roll of cushioned vinyl flooring
  • Mop
  • Solvent cleaner
  • Level
  • Levelling compound
  • Nails
  • Utility knife
  • Double-sided tape
  • Flooring adhesive
  • Notched trowel
  • Floor roller

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  1. 1

    Remove all furniture and fixtures from the room in which you intend to lay the cushion vinyl flooring. Store the roll of flooring in the room overnight to allow the vinyl to soften and adapt to the temperature and humidity in the room.

  2. 2

    Mop the floor with warm water and a solvent cleaner such as white spirit. This cleaner will remove dirt, grease, wax, oil, dust and old paint. All of these contaminants must be removed from the surface, or they can interfere with the way the glue bonds to the vinyl. Allow the floor to dry completely before continuing.

  3. 3

    Run a level across your floor and mark any areas where the level varies by greater than 1/8 inch. The floor must be completely flat to support cushioned vinyl. Fill in low points with surface-specific filler compound. For wooden subfloors, nail down any loose or creaking floorboards. Allow all fillers to dry completely before continuing.

  4. 4

    Roll out the cushioned vinyl flooring. Use a sharp utility knife to trim off the excess flooring along the edges, leaving an extra 3 inches on all sides to allow for any mistakes or shifts during the installation process.

  5. 5

    Cut out the vinyl flooring at the corners so that it lies flat, with a 1/8-inch expansion gap between the flooring and the walls. For outside corners, cut straight down from the top of the vinyl to where it hits the corner so it lies flat against the floor on either side of the corner. For inside corners, cut out a V-shape that allows the point to be inserted into the corner until it lies flat.

  6. 6

    Roll half of the floor back to expose the subfloor. Hold the flooring in place folded back and attached to the other half of the flooring or to a nearby wall with double-sided tape. You must keep the first half of the floor securely in place while you apply the adhesive.

  7. 7

    Spread flooring adhesive across the exposed subfloor with a notched trowel. Scrape the trowel through the adhesive to create ridges that will bond better to the vinyl. Cover the entire exposed section, up to 1/8 inch away from all walls.

  8. 8

    Consult your adhesive's instructions for set-up time, or the time you have to wait until the adhesive gets tacky or sticky. You must allow this much time to pass to ensure a full bind.

  9. 9

    Let the folded half of the flooring go. Work over the entire surface, applying even pressure to force the vinyl to bond into the glue.

  10. 10

    Repeat the gluing process with the rest of the floor. Once all of the floor is glued in place, cut off the excess along the edges.

  11. 11

    Roll the floor with a 45.4kg. floor roller to ensure full adhesion. Allow the adhesive to dry for 24 hours before allowing foot traffic on the surface.

Tips and warnings

  • Be sure to read your floor manufacturer's instructions and warnings before beginning the installation project for product-specific details. If you are unsure of your ability to complete the project properly, contact a professional installer for help.
  • Cushion vinyl flooring cannot be installed over a smooth subfloor. Remove older vinyl flooring, cork, linoleum and asphalt, as well as carpeting. You can remove smooth tiles, or rough up the surface with ammonia and a screed.

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