Installing Vinyl Flooring
Whether you are using vinyl tile or roll flooring, installing vinyl floors is a matter of patience and planning to execute a beautiful finish.
Installing vinyl floors isn't just a weekend chore, it's an investment in the protection of your home. A little time from you gets a lot of use from your new vinyl flooring.
Vinyl floors can stand up to harsh treatment and conditions without needing anything more than a wipe. The advantages of installing vinyl floors include:
* doesn't take a lot of your time
* materials are inexpensive
Disadvantages to installing vinyl floors can be:
* you'll need basic tools for cutting and measuring
* there is prep work to get the floor ready for installation
* you may need to level the floor
* offgassing from the vinyl and/or adhesive
Vinyl is an incredibly durable form of floor covering. What you do have to take into consideration is the floor's wear layer, which is the surface that stands between someone's sole and the actual vinyl surface. This layer can be worn down with time, especially in locations where dirt is most prone to being ground into the floor, like at the front or back door.
Installing vinyl floor tiles seems to be the way that most homeowners decorate and protect their bathrooms and basement floors. One big decision is, whether you will be laying tile or roll vinyl. And it's quite simple to do.
The preparations needed include selecting a room that isn't too hot and is well-ventilated. Bathrooms are a good example because they have exhaust fans that keep ventilate the space well while you are working and they vent moisture. You will need a clean and dry surface upon which to install the vinyl floor. If you're installing vinyl on top of vinyl, then you just need to clean the area and allow it to dry completely.
If you're installing vinyl tiles on a concrete basement floor, or other concrete surface, you will want to do a simple test. Take a small piece of vinyl tile and attach it to the floor. After seventy-two hours, try to pull the tile up. If the tile comes up without much trouble, the surface is not dry enough for installing vinyl floor tiles. You will need to find a way to remove the moisture; a dehumidifier for a few days may do the trick. It could be a high water table causing the moisture problem, and that fix can be difficult and expensive.
Take careful measurements of the area to assure that you have enough vinyl floor tiles. You may want to purchase more than is necessary to adjust for any mistakes that you may make and to have extras on hand in the event of damage down the road.
One trick to use before you start to lay your vinyl flooring is to turn the heat on to 75 degrees and leave the flooring product (and glue) in that room for 72 hours prior to installation and througout the installation job. That lets both the product and the floor get warm enough that the vinyl is flexible and everything is the same temperature. By having the floor and product the same temperature, they adhere to each other better. After you have finished installation, when you return the heat to your regular setting, the floor and flooring cool together, and as the vinyl shrinks (that's what happens when things cool), it is pulled taught, making an even tighter contact.
When you are installing vinyl floors on top of old vinyl floors, you may need a special leveling paste. This is especially true when you are installing vinyl floor tiles in corners of a bathroom because they tend to "sink" over time. Before you place any tile, fill these areas with the manufacturer's recommended dry floor filler, allow drying, and then proceed with the installation.
Another thing that you can do to ensure your vinyl floors look great is to carefully remove the floor molding, or baseboards. By removing the molding you allow yourself to place the vinyl close to the wall so that when the baseboards are replaced it looks professionally completed. Or you can replace the baseboards with new material, completing the fresh, new look.
Once the baseboard is removed and the floor prepped, snap a chalk line so you have a straight line to work from, ensuring your vinyl is laid straight. That gives your finished floor a professional look.
Now you are ready to go. If you are using roll vinyl, roll your vinyl across the room. Mark where you will cut off excesse material or cut around intrusions like for toilets, built-in bookcases, or even walls. Using a solid backing board, cut out the pieces you just marked, carefully rolling the vinyl so you can access those spots. You can use either a perimeter or full adhesion technique. If you are. For full adhesion, roll the vinyl up, with the decorative side rolled in. Spread the "glue" across the entire floor, unroll the vinyl, and use a roller to ensure all of the vinyl is pressed to the glue. It's a bit of effort, but nothing you can't handle if you work slowly, carefully and methodically.
Or place your tiles down in the immediate area you are working. Depending on the type of glue-down method you are using, either put adhesive on the floor where the tile will go or peel off the glue-down backing, and put the tile in place. Push firmly. Proceed to the next tile, if you are laying tiles. It's a cinch.
Once the floor is in place and had time to cure, put baseboards in place. The project is done!
For more detailed directions, rely on your flooring manufacturer's directions, or find a do-it-yourself website that gives you step by step directions with pictures.
Installing vinyl flooring doesn't need to be a chore. It's a great way to create a beautiful room. And with all of the advantages, who wouldn't try it as a weekend project as a way of protecting your homes value and usability?