When faced with such flooring choices as carpet, tile, natural stone, and hardwood, vinyl flooring may seem a bit mundane. The first thing to do is clear your mind of the vision of the unflattering, discolored, and bubbling vinyl flooring that you remember from your grandmother’s kitchen. Vinyl flooring has undergone many improvements and is one of the most popular types of flooring in America today. Not only can you buy vinyl that closely resembles those other flooring materials, but with a minimal amount of maintenance, a vinyl floor can last a lifetime.
Vinyl has many qualities that make it so desirable. The vinyl of today is stylish, easy to clean, durable, doesn’t need waxing, and it is friendly to the budget, but one of the biggest reasons that so many people choose vinyl is the ease in which it can be installed. Vinyl is an easy DIY project for even the most inexperienced of handymen and it can be done in under a day.
Installing Vinyl Flooring
The first thing to do is prepare the room by clearing your workspace.
Remove all furniture and appliances (including toilet if you are working in the bathroom)
If there is a door that opens into the room, remove it from the hinges.
Remove the baseboards from around the floor with a pry bar. Gently ease the pry bar in between the baseboard and the wall and insert a small block of wood behind the bar. This gives you leverage to pry the trim away without damaging the wall.
Remove any nails from the wall and trim. If are reusing the same trim, remove the nails gently to prevent splitting the wood.
Cutting Your Vinyl Floor to Fit
Vinyl flooring is generally sold in both 6 and 12 foot widths making a seamless floor in smaller rooms, such as a hallway, kitchen, or bathroom, possible. There are two methods of installing your vinyl flooring depending on the room you are fitting.
- For rooms that don’t have many obstacles or angles, you can cut the vinyl to the measurement of the room and allow 3 inches of excess on each side and then trim it after it is in place.
- Once your flooring has been cut to fit the room (remember to leave 3 inches extra all the way around), place it in the room and allow the edges to curl upward onto the wall.
- Trim around any outside corners or other objects that protrude by cutting a vertical slice down the vinyl. Be sure to cut from the top of the flooring down to where it meets the floor.
- For fitting the vinyl to inside corners, press it into the corner and make v-shaped incisions where it overlaps. Cut only a small amount at a time and carefully work downward until the flooring rests flat.
- Press a 2×4 along the walls to create a crease where the floor meets the wall. After the crease is made, use a straight edge and a good utility knife to cut the flooring. As it rests, the floor will expand a bit so leave around 1/8th inch of space between the flooring and the wall.
- Once you’ve made sure that the vinyl is laying completely flat, you can put your baseboards back in place and your new floor is complete.
The alternative, for rooms with recesses, angles, or are hard to fit for other reasons, you can purchase an installation kit. These kits come complete with paper for creating a template of your floor plan, a marker, a cutting blade, tape, and precise instructions for making a pattern of your floor. With these kits you simply make the template, transfer it to the flooring, and then cut the vinyl to fit before installing it.
With so many beautiful styles and colors available, combined with the ease of installation, it is little wonder that so many people are choosing vinyl flooring for their homes and offices.