VINYL FLOORING INSTALLATION
Pure-coloured vinyl flooring looks best when laid on a beautifully smooth sub-floor, which is easily achieved with the right preparation work. (No underlay required!) If you are looking for an experienced fitter, we can help – just email us your postcode. We have a list of fitters who have done a lot of work for our customers and who we have found to be reliable – though please note these are independent tradespeople and as such we cannot take responsibility for their work or any arrangement you make with them. See the Conditions of Use page for more details.
Below are guidelines for laying our vinyl flooring. Every endeavour has been made to ensure the information given here is true and reliable. It is given only for the guidance of our customers and for use with our recommended tools/adhesives. The company cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage that may result from the use of this information, due to the possibility of variations of processing or working conditions and/or workmanship beyond our control. Users are advised to conduct their own tests for a particular application.
Vinyl flooring can be installed in almost all domestic and commercial areas, except in saunas, wetrooms and other permanently wet areas. These floors are suitable for indoor use only. Check if the subfloor and site conditions are in accordance with the specifications described within these instructions.
PREPARING YOUR FLOOR
On delivery of your vinyl flooring, please remove it from its packaging and store it loosely rolled and set upright in the room that it is due to be laid in for at least 24 hours before installation. This will allow your flooring to acclimatize to the temperature and condition of its new home. It is recommended that prior to laying, both floor and adhesive should be kept in a temperature of 18C or more, never less than 15C. Before cutting or installing your vinyl flooring, inspect it to ensure there are no visible defects and that all rolls are the colour and size you want, as we can't take items back once they have been used or fitted (see Conditions of Use and Sale). As with all vinyl flooring, there are small variations in colour between manufacturing batches. Therefore, it is essential that all the material required for each installation is ordered in one batch to ensure a perfect colour match between rolls. Make sure the floor on to which your vinyl is being laid is smooth, flat and rigid. Ensure there are no cracks or gaps and that it is free of dust, grease, wax, paint and any other dirt, stains or contaminants. Obviously the cleaner and smoother you sub-floor, the better your vinyl flooring will look. There is no need to use an underlay with our vinyl flooring. If your sub floor is uneven we recommend you use a good-quality latex self-levelling compound, alternatively smaller uneven spots of more than 3mm can be filled with a rapid-drying deep-fill compound. For all subfloors, we recommend a final skim of Ardex Feather Finish to ensure the smoothest possible finish. The total build-up of the floor is approximately 3mm of latex self-levelling compound, a negligible skim of Ardex Feather Finish and 1mm of adhesive.
If you are laying on wood, for best results we recommend you remove all existing floor coverings, secure all loose boards and hammer down any protruding nails. Cover the floor area with either a 4mm or 6mm plywood - the thickness selected should be determined by the quality of the surface being covered. Ply should be of suitable quality, eg SP101. Wood should be fixed using screws, twisted shank or ring shank nails, serrated or divergent staples. All fixings should be countersunk and finished flush with the surface. Panels should be acclimatised to the site conditions before fixing as recommended by the supplier. Sand down any high spots. We recommend the use of an appropriate smoothing compound such as Ardex Feather Finish to level out depressions and fill gaps between boards. If your wooden subfloor is particularly uneven, apply a layer of self-levelling underlayment before the Feather Finish.
Chipboard may be used instead of ply if there is no movement between boards and extra care is taken in smoothing the surface.
On existing tiles
For best results with our vinyl flooring we recommend removing all existing floorcoverings. If this is impractical, however, it is possible to install on top of existing tiles, so long as they are securely fixed and in a good state of repair. Thoroughly clean and prime first, fill any holes and gaps with a suitable repair compound and then use an appropriate self-levelling compound according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Skim with Ardex Feather Finish.
If you are laying on a concrete floor, the moisture level should not exceed 75%RH when tested with a hygrometer in compliance with BS8203-4; 2001. If readings above 75%RH are recorded, it must contain an effective damp proof membrane. Please bear in mind that if you are laying on new concrete it can take up to six months to dry out completely. If in doubt, consult your builder. Do not lay over expansion joints.
We recommend you then use a good-quality latex self-levelling compound, and a final skim of Ardex Feather Finish to ensure the smoothest possible finish.
Over underfloor heating
Your vinyl flooring is suitable for use with underfloor heating, as long as the temperature of the subfloor does not exceed 27°C. Check with your underfloor heating manufacturer for the recommended subfloor for use with vinyl flooring. The heating elements will need to be fully embedded in a well-bonded and appropriate levelling compound. Underfloor heating should ideally be switched on for at least four days before fitting and then switched off 24 hours before commencement of the work. Wait 48 hours after laying your new vinyl floor before switching it on again and raise the temperature steadily until it reaches its normal temperature again over approximately 5 days.
CUTTING AND LAYING YOUR FLOOR
Always work with your shoes off to avoid treading any grit into the underside of your new vinyl flooring. Starting against the longest continuous wall, roll out the vinyl flooring face up and lay it in the space it’s going to cover, taking care not to twist or damage the surface. Lay the material roughly cut, with an excess of around 10cm lapped up the walls so you can trim to fit exactly once the vinyl is fully in place. If necessary, make small relief cuts at right angles to the corners and alcoves to relieve tension and allow the material to lie flat on the floor. Flooring that may have minor edge damage or distortion should be trimmed off before installation. Brush the surface with a soft broom to remove any trapped air, making sure the sheet is laying flat on the sub floor. Press the vinyl sheet against the base of skirting boards or fitments using a small block of wood to form an angle. Using a paint scraper hold the sheet vinyl hard to the skirting and cut the vinyl flooring with a sharp, hook-bladed knife (you can buy one here). You may want to use a steel rule for accuracy. Avoid cutting in too tightly as this could stop the material lying flat - a gap of 1mm, the thickness of a credit card, between the edge of the floor and the skirting board is recommended to allow for buckling due to normal room expansion and contraction.
Move the knife carefully and remove waste every so often to help you see that you are making an accurate cut. Take your time on this phase. Small mistakes along edges can be covered but a major blunder can be costly.
If you are laying your vinyl flooring around a curve (for example a toilet pedestal or sink) then we recommend you use a paper template to guide you. To do this, take a piece of paper and cut a number of slits 1-2cm wide along one edge. The row of slits must be wider than the curved object you plan to lay your floor around. Place the paper with the slits up against the pedestal. Crease the slits against the curve and draw a pencil line around the curve in the crease. Remove the paper and cut along the curved line. Place your template on your vinyl flooring and draw around the line. Using a sharp knife cut the vinyl along the guide line. Check it fits snugly around the curve. Do any trimming that needs to be done to get a perfect fit. Once the floor lies smooth and flat you are ready to glue.
In rooms where more than one piece of vinyl is to be used, fit the larger of the rough-cut pieces first, then lay the next largest rough- cut piece so that it overlaps the first by 35-50mm. Try to avoid placing seams in thoroughfares. To cut the seam, place a steel rule or straight edge so that its guiding edge lies over both edges of the overlapping material, hold firmly and cut as vertically as possible through both thicknesses simultaneously to create a closely butting seam, using a sharp, concave-bladed knife (you can buy one here). This will require gradual cutting - do not attempt to accomplish in one stroke. In order to get the tightest possible seam the double cutting procedure described above can be carried out AFTER the adhesive has been spread on your subfloor. This will also avoid the need for welding.Press the overlapping piece of flooring into the adhesive as close as possible to the lower piece of flooring, so the overlap forms an 'L' shape. Then cut vertically through both pieces.
GLUING YOUR FLOOR
All the recommended adhesives and tools in this section are available to purchase here. For rooms larger than 15sq m, or which have heavy traffic, we recommend that you fully adhere the entire floorcovering to the sub floor. We recommend using our own Colour Flooring Adhesive applied evenly according to the instructions on the tub with a 1.5mm Groove Trowel. Important: to avoid bubbling, please ensure you allow the glue to dry to a firm tack before laying in the vinyl. For more details, see the video above. Don't leave a partial roll of material unadhered while the other side’s adhesive sets. This will help to avoid visible glue lines. While gluing, check your work with the lights on and off, as light and shadow can help you spot imperfections. We suggest using a threshold strip to cover doorways.
For other rooms, it is possible to lay the floor without fully adhering. You could stick it down only at doorways, edges, seams and under heavy moveable objects, using a high quality vinyl spray adhesive according to the manufacturer's instructions. We don't sell spray adhesive due to postal restrictions, but it is available at most good DIY stores. We suggest using a threshold strip to cover doorways.
After installing your vinyl floor, we recommend cleaning it to remove any loose dirt or debris that may result from the installation process. Any small gaps at the edges of the room, especially around baths and toilets etc should be carefully filled with a silicon mastic. For the long life of your floor, it is important to ensure that its cushioned underside remains completely dry. Try not to walk on your floor for around 24 hours after installation. In areas of extremely heavy footfall, such as household entrances, we suggest using a doormat or other protective covering.
SEAM-SEALING YOUR FLOOR
When installing more than one strip of vinyl flooring using our 3.2mm thickness material, it is not usually necessary to seal seams as the double-cut technique described above will result in a very tight, barely visible seam.
In commercial settings where hygiene is a priority (medical clinics etc), or where frequent water spills occur, hot welding my be the best option. Please contact us for matched welds.
Allow 48 hours after adhering your floor before hot welding. When the flooring is ready, the joints should be grooved to the depth of the outer layer either manually, or with a power tool; the recommended groove width is 2–3 mm. The joints should be thoroughly cleaned of any debris. Use ø 4 mm Colour Flooring weld rod. Set the working temperature of the heat welding gun to approximately 300–400 C°. The welding can be carried out with the help of an automatic appliance or with a hand-operated welding set. Before starting the procedure, trial welding is recommended in order to set the optimal welding temperature and speed.
After the welding seam has cooled down, remove the excess welding rod in two steps. First cut off the top half of the welding rod using a quarter moon knife. After the remaining weld has cooled to room temperature, perform the final trim. Please note the colour of the weld rod cannot be exactly the same as the colour of the floor.
COVING YOUR FLOOR
Our 3.2mm thickness flooring is suitable for coving. In order to make site formed cove skirting, draw a line on the wall to mark the height the coving will reach and fit the capping strip to the wall using contact adhesive. Attach the cove-former in a similar way: using a brush, apply contact adhesive to the back of the cove- former and the wall, up to the capping strip, and leave both to dry. When completely dry, firmly push the vinyl with the cove-former into place and tuck the top edge into the capping strip.