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Flash coving, or self coving, resilient sheet goods is generally considered to be the most challenging type of installation for resilient installers.

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Throw in a rounded outside corner and it becomes even more challenging. The following steps describe how this can be accomplished using sheet linoleum.

Note: As with any installation, prep work will influence the finished job. Take the time to make sure all the wall surfaces are solid, smooth, and flat. The cove stick should be a quality, rigid or semi-rigid material that will adequately support the flooring material.

1. Install the cove stick: Mark the beginning and end of the outside corner radius on the cove stick. Using a miter box, make relief cuts approximately 1/8-inch apart between the marks (Photo 1).Cut from the bottom of the cove stick to the back, taking care not to cut all the way through. Install the cove stick, making sure the cove radius is uniform around the corner (Photo 2).

2. Install the cove cap: Mark the beginning and end of the outside corner radius on the cove cap. Insert a scrap of the material to be installed in the cove cap in the area to be bent; this will keep the cove cap from collapsing when bent. Form the cove cap around a pipe of similar radius as the outside corner (Photo 3). Bend slightly past 90 degrees; the final shape can be “fine tuned” on the actual corner.

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Remove the scrap and cut out the back of the cove cap with tin snips. Take care not to damage the face of the cap (Photo 4). Test fit and “fine tune” the bend if necessary, then install the cove cap (Photo 5).

3. Make the pattern: Cut scribing felt to fit for either the T-Template or Full Felt (scribing felt up the wall) scribing method. If using the Full Felt method, cut the felt away from the outside corner so that the entire corner and cove stick is exposed. Mark the pattern for the top of the cove cap on each side of the outside corner using standard scribing methods (Photo 6 - A T-Template was used here). Align a straightedge with the bottom of the cove stick on one side of the corner and mark the pattern on both sides of the straightedge at the corner. Repeat for the other side of the corner (Photo 7). Mark a straight line from the bottom of the cove stick through the corners of the box formed by the marks from the straightedge (Photo 8). This line is the center of the corner.

Locate a point on the cove stick approximately 1/3 of the way down from the top, and in the center of the corner. Using dividers set at approximately 3 inches, strike an arc from the mark on the cove stick that intersects the corner center line (Photo 9).

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Make sure to save the divider setting on the pattern.

4. Transcribe the pattern: Transcribe the marks for the top of the cove cap. Take care not to mark past where they intersect at the corner (Photo 10). Place masking tape on the material at the bottom of the corner and, using a sharp pencil, extend the corner center line onto the tape.

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Using dividers set at the same setting used for scribing the arc in Step 3, mark a point along the center line from the intersection of the arc and center line (Photo 11). This point is the bottom of the outside corner fill.

5. Make the cutout for the outside corner fill: Scribe a line from the intersection formed by the lines for the top of the cove, to the point at the bottom of the corner. Measure up from the mark at the bottom of the corner approximately 3/4-inch along this line. Using that point as the center, scribe a circle that goes through the point at the bottom of the corner. The actual radius of the outside corner may vary from job to job, and will determine the best size for this circle.

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Experiment with trial cutouts made on scrap material to determine the best fit for the outside corners you are working with. Scribe another circle of the same radius at the top of the corner, using the intersecting lines at the top of the corner as the center (Photo 12). Scribe parallel lines tangent to the outside of the circles and cut from the top of the cove down around the radius and back to the top of the cove (Photo 13). This cutout forms the shape of the outside corner fill.

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Do not undercut the material in the radius of the circle.

6. Install the field material: Use tape to reinforce the bottom of the corner cutout. Do not spread adhesive in the area of the corner fill. The test cutout from Step 5 can be used to mark adhesive spread lines at the corner. Install the field material, carefully forming it around the outside corner (Photo 14). A heat gun on a low setting will make the material more pliable and help avoid damage at the bottom of the outside corner. Make sure the material conforms tightly to the radius of the cove stick.



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7. Fit and install the outside corner fill: Cut a triangular shaped piece of scribing felt slightly larger than the outside corner fill. Round off the bottom of the triangle and make three or four small relief cuts in the rounded area. Rub white chalk on the edge of the field material around the corner fill and carefully place the triangle of felt up in the cove cap, centered on the corner (Photo 15).

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While holding the felt tightly against the corner, carefully press along the chalked edges to transfer the chalk to the back of the felt. Remove the felt and cut along the chalk outline. Mark the side of the pattern that had the chalk on it (Photo 16).

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Place the felt pattern on a scrap of material with the marked side down. Align the top of the felt pattern with the machine direction (length) of the material and carefully trace around the pattern (Photo 17).

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Do not undercut the rounded area at the bottom of the fill piece. Carefully dry fit the fill piece and make adjustments if necessary.

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Apply adhesive and install the fill piece, again using a heat gun on a low setting to help form the material at the cove stick. Use tape to hold the fill securely in place while the adhesive is drying.

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Small scraps of material can be placed behind the tape where extra pressure is needed. After the adhesive has dried, remove the tape.

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Fill in any small gaps with a paste made by mixing powdered shavings from a scrap, and white glue. Wipe the corner clean with a damp cloth and finish it off by applying a thin coat of floor finish along the seam.

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Wipe the corner clean with a damp cloth and finish it off by applying a thin coat of floor finish along the seam. A little patience and careful fitting will produce the finished outside corner shown in Photo 18.

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