Lay a Vinyl Floor
Step 2: Making the Template
The key step in vinyl flooring is the template. Normally it's made from a wide roll of Kraft paper, but there are ways to improvise if you need to do so.
When making a paper template, follow these hints:
Make triangular cutouts in the template. Place tape over the cutouts to hold the template to the subfloor as you work with it.
Press the paper into the corners and cut with a utility knife.
To work around irregular objects, like plumbing or built-ins, build up your pattern from pieces of paper. Tape them together to make the template.
Step 3: Cut and Fasten the Underlayment
The hard work is over once the template is cut. In the tight entryway we photographed, it was impossible to position a whole sheet of underlayment and cut it to fit. (You'll run across the same problem in bathrooms.) Instead, Ken chose to use the template to mark the underlayment—more testimony to the value of thinking on your feet.
Saw the underlayment to size, making it about 1⁄4" short in each dimension. If you try to get it just so, it might wedge into position, and I guarantee you'll have to monkey with it more than any piece of underlayment deserves!
Fasten the underlayment with power-driven staples, or 1 1⁄4" ring-shank underlayment nails. Place a nail about every 6". No matter how you do this, make sure the fasteners don't stick up! A bit of carpenter's or construction glue underneath helps prevent squeaks.
Step 4: Sticking It Down
With all the preparation out of the way, it's time to get the flooring in place.
Cut the Flooring
If you make a paper template, unroll the flooring in a clean location and tape the template right-side up on top. Place a carpenter's square along the lines and cut without marking. Always make these cuts with a sharp utility knife. Place scrap wood underneath and try to cut all the way through on the first stroke of the knife.
Apply the Adhesive
Bring the flooring into the room, rolled up in a way that makes it easy to unroll. Spread adhesive across the floor with a notched trowel.
Smear an even coat of adhesive on a large section—say one half—of the floor. Work quickly so you can position the flooring before the glue sets.
Gently lay the first side into the adhesive and immediately shift it into its final location, tight to the walls. Press the floor down with your hands, and then move to a roller.
Roll the floor, with either a rented floor roller or a kitchen rolling pin. Look closely for bulges and concentrate on them. Let the floor set as indicated on the adhesive label.
Replace the base trim as described, and you're done!
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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Simple Home Improvements © 2004 by David J. Tenenbaum. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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