How to Install Resilient Vinyl Sheets

Many feel installing vinyl sheets is easier than installing vinyl tiles. This is mostly because planks/sheets are larger than tiles, creating less individual installation steps. If you’re interested in learning how to install resilient vinyl sheets, follow these basic instructions to get you started:

What you’ll need:

  • Vinyl sheets
  • Measuring tape
  • Pry bar
  • Sweep/ cleaning materials
  • Marker
  • Utility knife
  • T-mold
  • Floor underlayment

Instructions:

1. Get the dimensions: Determine how much vinyl flooring you’ll need by measuring the area of the room in square feet. First measure the length and then the width, then use this calculation to approximate the square feet.

Length (feet) x width (feet) = Square Feet

2. Acclimate the material: Properly store your vinyl sheets in a room that isn’t susceptible to excessive heat, moisture, cold, or humidity. This will allow the sheets to breathe and expand before installation.

3. Remove dirt and debris: Prime your sub-floor by removing dirt, debris, adhesive, and moisture. Take out nails that protrude from the surface. 

4. Add a subfloor (if applicable): Existing concrete and vinyl does not require a subfloor installation, although hardwood, embossed, cushioned, buckled or an uneven surface does work.

Lowe’s recommends: “When installing the new underlayment, stagger the seams of the plywood panels, and leave a 1/32-inch gap between panels to allow for expansion. Leave a 1/8-inch gap along the walls. Always use the fasteners and fastening pattern recommended by the vinyl floor and plywood manufacturer.”

5. Remove baseboards and moldings: You will also need to temporarily remove any baseboards or wall moldings. You can do this with a pry bar. To ensure that you are not damaging anything, gingerly wedge the pry bar between the trim and wall, inserting a small block of wood behind the bar.

6. Cut doorframes: Cut doorframes to align to the new thickness of the flooring. If installing vinyl flooring in your kitchen, make sure that your cabinets and appliances are in line with the new flooring height as well.

7. Cut the resilient vinyl material: Dryfit the vinyl planks so you can mark the area that needs to be cut. Dryfit the full area from left to right, marking the material with a marker. Determine if the first row will need to be cut, by carefully measuring the planks and the room.

8. Cut and lay: Cut the vinyl material in the area you marked using a sharp utility knife. Lay the first plank and secure it carefully. Angle the second plank so that the pattern goes in the same direction. Most recommend you cut the plank 5/16” short of the wall. 

9. Apply a T-mold: When you have finished installing your floor use a transition strip or T-mold between each room to hide the seams.

10. Roll the sheets: Use a heavy-duty roller to secure the vinyl sheets. Reinstall your wall molding and baseboards and avoid traffic on the area for 12 to 24 hours.

* Expert’s note: For more specific instructions on how to install your resilient vinyl sheets, refer to your manufacturer’s guide.

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