You can create a dramatic new look and 'feel' in a room by laying sheet vinyl. With all floorcoverings, it is vital to provide a smooth, dry, clean subfloor to guarantee it wears well.
Essentials: * Sheet vinyl * Trimming knife * Double-sided vinyl tape * Threshold strip * Hacksaw *Screwdriver
Besides being water-resistant, durable and easy to clean, sheet vinyl is also comparatively inexpensive and you can buy it in 2m and 3m widths.
Laying sheet vinyl
1. Leave the vinyl loosely rolled in a warm room for 24 hours. It will be much easier to handle when it comes to laying. Unroll the vinyl to leave at least 50mm turning up the wall.
2. In areas where there are large amounts of waste, for instance where there is a chimney breast, simply cut through the waste to leave 50mm excess only for final trimming.
3. At corners cut directly down from the edge of the vinyl. This is called release cutting. The vinyl will now lie flat.
4. Press the vinyl into the angle between the floor and the skirting board with a block of wood, and trim accurately using a sharp knife.
5. To cut around a WC pan or basin gradually work around the curve, making release cuts at 75mm intervals. Then trim around the obstacle to leave the vinyl fitting neatly.
6. Leave the vinyl to settle for a few days. Then, stick down the edges at doorways with double-sided vinyl tape. If you make an error in cutting and the vinyl is left short of the skirting, cover the mistake with a strip of wood beading fixed to the skirting.
Laying vinyl at doorways
To protect the edge of the vinyl in a doorway, cut a threshold strip to the desired length. Simply screw it down to cover the join between the flooring on one side of the door and the other. On concrete, the strip is fixed with adhesive.
Preparing a sub-floor
Use a nail punch and hammer to drive any protruding nail heads below surface. If working in an upstairs room, use screws rather than nails as hammering could damage ceiling plaster in the room below. Any loose boards should be fixed down - but ensure there is no pipework or wiring below the fixing point. Cover the boards with 3mm thick hardboard fixed mesh side up and secured with 19mm long annular nails, again with heads punched below surface. Before fixing hardboard, condition it to the room's atmosphere by brushing three-quarters of a pint of water on to the mesh side of each board and leave them stacked flat, mesh side to mesh side, in the room for 48 hours. Cracks in a concrete floor can be filled with cement mortar. If a floor has uneven patches, smooth them with a self-levelling floor compound.