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Both large and small residential bathrooms can benefit from the installation of sheet vinyl flooring because it has fewer seams than most other covering materials thereby reducing any chance of water seeping through your baseboards. And since vinyl decking comes in rolls of up to twelve feet wide, depending upon the size of your bathing space, you may not have any seems at all.
Perimeter-bond sheet vinyl is quick to install and requires that you seal the material by placing adhesive around the perimeter of your bath floor. This is great if you are in a hurry, but because the adhesive is only around the room’s edges, it is also more inclined to come loose in high traffic areas.
On the other hand, full spread vinyl can be used on your walking surfaces for a more permanent solution. This type of covering material has a felt paper backing and requires that you spread adhesive over the entire surface of your floor.
The advantage this method has over the perimeter-bond sheet vinyl is that it forms a tight bond over your entire bath floor making it extremely difficult for the material to come loose. The disadvantage of this type of product is that it is time consuming to install and your subfloor has to be impeccable because any surface imperfections will show up as a bump on walking surfaces.
The quality of sheet vinyl can be measured by the thickness of the product. While installing sheet vinyl flooring in your bathroom is relatively easy, there are a few tips and tricks that seasoned renovation experts use so you too can get professional results.
Not all Plastic Floor Coverings are Made Equal
Don’t make the mistake that most first time renovators make by ordering the cheapest sheet vinyl flooring materials you can find, this would be a mistake because interior design professionals know that with this type of product, you get what you pay for.
Solid vinyl products are the thickets, most expensive, plus the most durable and since the color and patterns are ingrained in the base material, it won’t be fading anytime soon. Vinyl composition products are your next best bet, they have both vinyl and non-vinyl materials but because it is not wholly composed of vinyl, the cost is reduced.
Your cheapest sheet alternative is rotogravure sheets, the bad thing about this type of base material is that the pattern is printed on the top of the surface protected by only a thin layer of urethane so once this layer wears out, the pattern will eventually fade in your bathroom.
Accurately Preparing Your Vinylite Sheet
If this is your fist time cutting vinyl, you’re probably wondering where to begin. You want to make sure that you’re not going to wastes any expensive material and to achieve this you need to make an accurate template of your lavatory floor layout.
So, on your walking surfaces, measure out about a quarter of an inch from your bath walls and taking butchers paper or another kind of thick heavy paper, begin covering your floor (overlap the pieces about two inches), taping the paper pieces together to eventually cover your entire bath floor to form the shape of the room.
To help keep the paper in place while you work, cut out little square or circular shapes in the paper so that you can temporarily (anchor) tape the paper down to the subfloor as you progress. When finished, take this paper template and place it over the sheet of vinyl.
If your room is larger than the vinyl sheet, overlap the seam edges by at least three inches. An important thing to note here is to try to line up the edges of the template with the sheet vinyl pattern lines for a visually appealing fit.
Tape the paper template down on top of the sheet vinyl and mark in the edges of the layout with a washable marker. Using a straight edge along the layout marks, cut out your floor pattern using a utility knife.
Laying and Installation
Unroll the sheet at the bathroom door, make sure your vinyl sheet is under door castings and gently pull and shift it into place. If you are using full-spread vinyl flooring, lift up one half of the sheet and fold it back to expose the subfloor.
If on the other hand you are using a perimeter-bond sheet vinyl then all you have to lift is the edges. Starting at the edges and making your way towards the center, spread your floor adhesive with a notched trowel. Gently roll the vinyl sheet back into place.
Next, using a rented one-hundred pound floor roller, start at the center of your bathroom, smooth down any bumps or air pockets on your walking surfaces, slowly making your way towards the edges.
Clean up any extra adhesive around the edges using a damp cloth. To finish up the installation process, replace the trim, crown molding and base boards around your bathroom and rehang your bath door.
Creating Professional Seams and Edges
To cut a straight seam, overlap the area where you want the seam to occur by at least three inches. Try to keep the seam location in an out of the way spot or low traffic section of your bathroom floor.
Snap a chalk line where the seam is to occur and using a straight edge, cut through both layers of sheet vinyl with your utility knife. Now all you have to do is pull back the edges and apply flooring adhesive under the two pieces.
Next using a J-roller while firmly pressing down, roll the seam. Wipe up any excess adhesive and let the adhesive cure according to the manufactures drying time. Once this has occurred, apply seaming solvent to permanently fuse the edges of your vinyl flooring.
As a special note, try not to walk on the joint seams for at least eight hours and don’t wash your bath floor for at least five days after installation.
Installing this type of covering can be done in an evening if you have four to six hours to spare. The only skills you need are the ability to measure and cut accurately and learning to seam your vinyl sheets.
What a quick and easy way to spruce up your bathing space without the hassle of laying down tile. If you are still looking at alternatives for your bath floor, another interesting flooring material is laminate flooring.
Here are some more answers on lavatory flooring you can use.