How to lay sheet flooring: Tips for fitting vinyl flooring and lino

Follow our step-by-step guide to fitting vinyl flooring and lino yourself.

Updated

Fitted vinyl floor with a wood design and a toy train on it

Key steps

If you want to know how to install vinyl flooring, follow these key steps:

  1. Get expert advice to choose the right flooring for your room.
  2. Measure your room twice and allow extra flooring for errors.
  3. Leave the flooring in the room for at least 24 hours before you cut it.
  4. Work slowly and methodically to ensure a smooth finish.

If you’re planning to install your own sheet flooring in your house, make sure you’re prepared with the right know-how. It can be easy to successfully fit a vinyl floor, but when you’ve chosen the perfect flooring pattern for your house you’ll want to make sure you do it justice. Here we provide some helpful tips on fitting vinyl flooring, installing linoleum sheet flooring and everything in between!

Know the difference between vinyl and lino flooring before you start and if you have any questions speak to your DIY store adviser.

Vinyl versus linoleum flooring?

We know it’s easy to get confused between vinyl and lino flooring so here’s a quick summary:

  • Both do the same job and can look almost identical.
  • Lino – or linoleum – is made of a mix of natural products.
  • Vinyl is a type of plastic.
  • Both come in sheet or tile form.

If you’re not sure which to choose then consult a professional floorer or a DIY store adviser who may be able to help you decide.

How to lay vinyl flooring or lino

Now you’re aware of the differences between these flooring types, it’s time to get started!

This guide covers how to install vinyl flooring but the process is very similar if you’re wondering how to lay linoleum flooring instead. Just remember to check the guidance from your flooring manufacturer before you begin.

  1. Measure the area you want to cover. You can do this either by dividing the room into blocks and keeping a note of their measurements (useful for irregular shaped rooms) or laying down sheets of builders’ paper then measuring that.
  2. Add approx 10cm to each edge for wastage.
  3. Check all measurements twice. A mistake here will be annoying to fix down the line.
  4. Remove the current flooring and ensure the floor underneath is smooth and dry. If there are nails sticking out, remove them or sand them.
  5. Put your chosen flooring it in the room for at least 24 hours before you start to cut it. This will let it expand or contract based on the temperature of the room.
  6. Once you’re ready to lay, put down the underlay, or underfloor, first with the textured side up (that’s where the adhesive sticks).
  7. Unroll the vinyl carefully, keeping the longest side of the sheets parallel to the longest wall as you go. Be sure to have at least 5cm rolled against the sides of the wall for you to cut.
  8.  Trace the edge before you cut so you know exactly where to do so. This stage is tricky so if you haven’t done it before then get someone to help you.
  9. Press the vinyl down, cut in line and be sure to keep the edge nice and straight.
  10. Once it’s all been cut, stick down the vinyl with adhesive and then leave to dry.

Remember! Be careful if using vinyl or lino in rooms with underfloor heating as it could distort the shape. Stick to ceramic or slate tiles in these rooms instead.

Fitting vinyl flooring or laying lino flooring can be challenging so it’s worth getting a bit of help when you first start or watching other people do it before having a go yourself. Considering carpet instead? Check out our guide here.

Originally published