Choosing Sheet Vinyl
Most popular brands of vinyl come in 2, 3 and 4 metre wide for the domestic range and 1.83 and 2 metre wide for the commercial range.
The important thing to look for in a vinyl is its top layer, be it a wear layer or a coating of some description.
At the moment polyurethane coatings are popular among manufacturers.
The role of a good wear layer/polyurethane coating is to protect the vinyls surface and make it east to clean.
This is important for the purchaser as the last thing you need to be doing is spending all your valuable time cleaning!
Buying vinyl floor coverings really is the easy part, as with most trades, the installation of the vinyl is the tricky bit. If you are planning on installing it yourself,
be warned, it is going to test you.
I would suggest that if you have skirting boards, remove them. This will see that you have around 10mm as a buffer for your cutting in.
The big thing even before you roll your vinyl out is to make sure that the floor is super clean. This means you should of scraped or sanded the existing sub-floor (be it concrete or timber)
use a good broome and a vacume to make sure that all the dirt and dust is removed, (I even mop the floor these days, that has more to do with the glue that I use)
Once you have done all that you will need to make sure you have a tape measure, stanley knife, a few blades, and depending on how much you want to spend or how good your cutting in ability is, a vinyl wall trimmer.
( I carry a wall trimmer in my tool box as it makes the job very easy, and it gets the apprentices productive. If you want one email me and I will put one on ebay for you)
Having all the right tools now you're right to go.
For this example we will assume that the vinyl you purchased is going to do the job in one piece ( joining is another guide. if you are interested in a diy DVD email me and if I have enough interest I will make one and put it on ebay ) you will have to roll your vinyl out on an angle so as you can try unroll it with a minium of crinckels. Once you have it rolled out, it is best to fold the ends in towards the middle of the room, so you can move the vinyl around and get it reasonably square in the room. Once you have the vinyl in a position you will have to square it up, a good rule of thumb here is to square it up using an outside wall ( this can vairy depending on the job) but as I have just suggested the outside wall is generally the square point. To do this you will take a reference measurement at one corner on the length of the vinyl, and then another at the other end of that same wall, you can use the grout lines on the face of the vinyl or you can use the excess vinyl that will end up being cut off as your reference. I will normally have 100mm up the wall to cut off, this just makes for a nice and simple cut in job.... if the amount you have is less then 100mm it can be tricky to cut in as there will be pressure on the vinyl that is on the floor and it will want to buckle up...
Now that you have your vinyl nice and square, it is time to cut down all the excess vinyl around the edges of the room, remembering to leave approx 100mm up the wall, any more than that and cut it off. After you have done that then it is time to cut your corners down... this will help the vinyl to sit in one place and take the pressure off the edges. To do this you will have to take you time, and use your thumb to measure where the vinyl meets the corner. When you do this you will have the vinyl in your hand and the excess is in your palm and your thumb is over the top, you should be looking at the backing of the vinyl at this stage. You gently push the vinyl into the corner, mark it with your thumb, pull it back and then put the tip of the stanley blade on your mark near your thumb, and cut from left to right in a straight line. If you cut it to big... not a problem just repeat the process... however... do not cut it short, as you can not stretch it.
When you have done this and you have let the vinyl fall back into place, you shold be looking at a corner where the vinyl is up the walls and looks like it has a mitre taken out of it.... Cool!!
Repeat this procedure on all internal corners.
Now you are ready to start cutting in. This is going to be trial and error, You will start in a corner and then cut the wall down in one go, try not to pull your knife in and out to check out what you are doing as this is a big no no!!! leave your knife in against the wall and fold the vinyl you have just cut in out of the way so you can see if you are cutting it in to tight of with too much of a gap.
If you have taken your skirting off then cutting in with a small gap is totall acceptable, even the pro's do that. You should cut all the way to the end of that wall so as the back of your knife is hitting the corner, when you have got to there, it is ok to pull your knife out of the cut, slide around and then do a small cut back to remove the entire piece of vinyl..... This is now refered to as cutting a wall in. Congratulations
All you have to do is repeat the process on all your walls and you will have cut in your vinyl so as it lays flat.
If you buy a good vinyl, you will not have to put any glue under it to hold it in place, as they are made to Loose Lay (no glue) however, I will always put glue under joins, fridges, dishwashers and washing machine's. This will prevent the vinyl from buckling when you move them.
As I mentioned before, cutting vinyl is tricky. I have been doing it for over 18 years, and have a fair idea of how to do it. If you would like a dvd, and depending on the level of interest with the public and ebay members, if you email me with your requests, I can look at putting one together showing the process from start to finish.
Thank you for reading my Guide
Choosing Viny Flooring/ installing vinyl flooring
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14 June 2009
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