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How to Install Sheet Vinyl Linoleum Flooring

For a durable floor in wet location or high-traffic areas, sheet vinyl (aka linoleum) flooring is a great choice.

While there are other flooring options out there, few are as easy to install and maintain as sheet vinyl (linoleum) flooring. The biggest advantage to sheet vinyl is that it comes in one big piece to fit the floor 

In this post, I'll go over different types of sheet vinyl flooring as well as how those versions can be installed.

If you are in the market to buying a new floor, remember that even a floor as simple as this one does come in more than one kind. With that said, here's how they break down.

The very first thing you should look at with any sheet vinyl floor is its thickness. Generally speaking, the thicker the linoleum is, the higher quality it will be. The gauge of this is expressed in millimeters, or MM. 

The lower end of the thinnest sheet vinyl linoleum is 45 MM, while the higher quality ones are usually 120 MM or higher. It's just like having a thicker sole on your shoe; the thicker it is the longer typically it will last.

At this point, if you've already picked out what sheet vinyl floor you'd like, you should have hopefully already measured the area that needs to be covered. Be sure to add 10 percent for waste, and that the existing floor or subfloor is suitable for installing over it.

Suitable means that the area where the sheet vinyl will go over is already clean, level, and secure without any loose places. Once you have ascertained that, you are now ready to install.

Some types of sheet vinyl have different methods by which they can be installed. You'll hear different names of how they can be put down, glue down, glue free, and modified loose lay.

No matter what type you purchase, always read the manufacturer's instructions when you install it. Be sure you have the correct tools and materials to effectively do the job right.

Basically, all sheet vinyl comes down to 2 categories, if they need to use glue or not to bond it to the subfloor. If they do, you will need sheet vinyl adhesive (shown below and linked here) alongside a notched trowel rated for sheet vinyl.

Roberts 2001 1-qt. Felt-Back Sheet Vinyl Glue Adhesive, Superior Grade

To install, use the notched trowel alongside the adhesive while working in small 3 foot by 3 foot sections. Having knee pads are a good investment while doing this. 

Any extra areas or places that need to be removed can easily be cut using a sharp utility knife. Be sure to try to install any sheet vinyl without base moulding, as it will look better and work more effectively once the install is complete.

For glue-free (aka modified loose-lay), you will need to install double-sided vinyl tape to ensure the linoleum stays put. This doesn't mean you are taping every square inch underneath to cover everything, just a large X in the middle of the room, as well as tape any high traffic spots with a single stripe or two.

This specific tape is literally paper thin, and works as a double-sided adhesive, so not a lot is needed. To read more about this amazing tape, click here.

Once you have installed your sheet vinyl, consider using room transition strips and quarter round moulding to finish the edges. This is done not just for looks, but also to prevent a trip hazard and if caulked correctly, to avoid moisture from seeping below it.

Using 100 percent silicone caulk I find in those perimeter areas works very well. This is especially true in really wet location rooms, like bathrooms and kitchens. 

It's more than just preventing water from coming under it.

This step will reduce the chances of a rotten wood subfloor, which can also lead to mold issues down the road.

While these are basic overviews of installing sheet vinyl, remember to check with the manufacturer for more specific information. And as always, let us know if you ever have any further information.


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Posted 2015-08-15T19:01:43+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL Joseph_HD_ATL

A few things...

I think you meant mils, not millimeters for the thickness.  45 millimeters is about 1 3/4."

Vinyl and linoleum are two entirely different products, although both are available as sheets.

For those actually looking to install vinyl sheet flooring, it might be helpful to discuss the methods used to cut it to size.
Posted 2015-08-15T22:24:46+0000  by Adam444
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