How to Install Cove Base Vinyl Flooring

Written by jane humphries
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How to Install Cove Base Vinyl Flooring
Cove base is a flexible floor-to-wall product. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Installing cove base vinyl flooring uses a wall base product that flashes your vinyl flooring to the wall. The cove, or "toe," section of the product protrudes from the base of the wall to sit atop of your vinyl flooring and conceal the perimeter edge. Using a vinyl cove base flooring technique is effective for curved and non-flush walls, where installing traditional baseboards is aesthetically unsuccessful. Vinyl cove base comes on a roll and provides a flexible installation to create the flashing technique.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Cloth
  • Degreaser
  • Serrated trowel
  • Wood for bracing
  • Cove base adhesive
  • Hand roller
  • Cove base scribing implement
  • Utility knife
  • Carpenter's square
  • Heat gun

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  1. 1

    Acclimatise the unrolled vinyl cove base for at least one day before installation, in a minimum room temperature of 18.3 degrees Celsius, as recommended by most vinyl manufacturers. Wipe the bottom of the wall to the height of the cove base product with a damp cloth to remove dust particles. Use a degreaser to spot clean areas of ingrained dirt and greasy marks so that the cove base successfully adheres to the wall.

  2. 2

    Start at an abutment to a transition, such as a door frame. Apply adhesive to the reverse of the cove base using a serrated trowel, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Typically, spread the manufacturer's recommended adhesive up to 1/4 inch below the top of the cove base.

  3. 3

    Push the cove base onto the wall so that the protruding toe sits flat onto your vinyl floor. Use a hand roller to apply pressure evenly along the length of cove base towards your starting edge. Brace the cove base at all points of wall curvature or unevenness with a short piece of wood.

  4. 4

    Use a cove base scribing implement to cut a V-shape line on the back of the cove base to a maximum depth of 20 per cent of the vinyl in order to create an outside corner, as recommended by most manufacturers. Mold the corner shape using your hands. Use the same adhesive and attachment procedure as you did previously to install the outside corner.

  5. 5

    Use a utility knife to cut out a triangle from the cove base toe to create an inside corner. Match the angle at the top of triangle to the angle of your wall's inside corner. Use a carpenter's square to gauge the correct angle of the corner.

  6. 6

    V-cut the back of the cove base to remove enough backing to produce a snug fit in the corner, in the same way as you did in Step 4. Apply adhesive, and install the inside corner using the same method as before. Brace each side of the corner to hold the cove base into position.

Tips and warnings

  • Remove wallpaper with a vinyl finish to 1/4 inch under the height of the cove base, because the adhesive fails on this type of wall covering.
  • Use a heat gun on the back of the cove base to help with corner moulding.
  • Installing cove base onto a non-porous wall prevents the adhesive from sticking.

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