While vinyl flooring is an ideal surface for DIY installations, it’s still has certain requirements. It doesn’t matter how wide your straightedge is or how far apart your compass points are set when you make the template, as long as you use the same straightedge and compass setting when you transfer the marks back to the underlayment and flooring. Lauan plywood used to be the standard underlayment for vinyl floors, but the pros we talked with complained of unreliable quality. Birch plywood that was more expensive, but it’s better to pay a little more than to be disappointed by ugly seams or surface defects appearing through the vinyl a few months later.
Make sure the plywood you use is underlayment grade specifically recommended for use under vinyl floors. Plan the installation so the underlayment seams are offset from the seams in the subfloor and are staggered from each other (Photo 10). Unroll the vinyl flooring on a clean surface and tap the template to it. If the flooring has a pattern in it, align the template for the most desirable layout. That’s the time between when you spread the glue and when you lay the vinyl down.
Tape the template to the vinyl flooring and transfer the marks with the framing square and compass. Double-cut the seam by holding a straightedge along the desired seam location and cutting through both pieces of vinyl with a sharp utility knife. Now that you’ve made the template and installed the underlayment, all that’s left is cutting out the vinyl and gluing it down.
Then tape down the paper template, transfer the pattern, and cut out the vinyl (Photos 11 and 12). Procedures for cutting, assembling and sealing seams vary depending on the type and brand of vinyl flooring you’re using. In Photo 13 we’ve demonstrated a seaming technique called double cutting,” but check with the manufacturer or flooring supplier for instructions on seaming your floor. Precisely position the vinyl flooring in the bathroom, then reroll one half of the piece.
If you put the vinyl down too soon, bubbles will form as the excess solvent tries to escape. Trowel the glue next to the rolled-back vinyl in a straight line and avoid double-coating this area when you trowel the second half. Then caulk along the bathtub and other edges not covered with moldings to seal them and keep water from getting under the vinyl floor (Photo 16). If your vinyl floor abuts carpeting at the doorway, rent a carpet-stretching knee kicker to restretch and hook the carpet onto a new metal carpet threshold strip. Now that you’ve got a great-looking new vinyl floor, here are a few tips to keep it that way. You can find durable and stylish vinyl sheet floor in a look to match any décor.