Namba's World

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Flash coving of resilient flooring requires true craftsmanship. In this issue, we will cover the installation procedures for an outside corner “V” plug, using a homogenous product.

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Start with the installation of the cove cap and cove stick, using either a wood or vinyl cove stick. After cove cap and cove stick are installed, take your utility knife or sand paper, and round out the top area of the cove stick so that there is not a sharp point where the two pieces of cove stick come together at the outside corner. What you are trying to create is a smooth, round radius rather than a sharp corner on the cove stick. Once you have installed the cove stick and cove cap, you need to measure for the V plug.

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The procedure we will be covering creates four V plugs, since most installations require more than one V plug. To measure for a V plug, take a tape measure and measure the distance from the substrate to the top of the cove cap. Our module measured 5 1/2 inches from substrate to the top of the cove cap, so we will double the measurement to 11 inches. Take a piece of the material to be installed and cut a piece approximately 18 to 24 inches square; this will allow the square to lay flat on the material while cutting. Place the square on the product and mark, in this case 11 inches, on each side of the square and create an 11-inch right angle (Photo 1).

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Score the 11-inch right angle using a linoleum knife or a knife with a utility blade (Photo 2). Take the square and mark another 11-inch right angle to form an 11-inch square; mark and score (Photo 3). Once you have formed a square and scored all sides, take the square and make a pencil mark diagonally form corner to corner (Photo 4); repeat this step with the opposite corners, you should see four triangles (Photo 5). A 0.5mm mechanical pencil works best, but for photo enhancement we used a #2 pencil. From the intersecting point, mark one-half inch on each intersecting line to create a one-inch square box (Photo 6). This creates the V Plug without the point.

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Place the square on a diagonal and score with a knife, repeat on the other diagonal, and finish scoring the lines that form the one-inch square.

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After you have scored the two diagonals and the one-inch square, groove diagonal lines and the one-inch square. Use a hand groover and the carpenter’s square and groove two thirds the depth of the product, making sure to keep the score mark in the middle of the groove (Photo7).

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Make sure you keep enough pressure on the square to prevent movement. When you are finished scoring, you should have a triangle without the point (Photo 8). Do not groove the outside lines that form the box. Proceed to cut out the triangle along the score marks (Photo 9). Fold the V plug carefully in half and mark the center on top and bottom; this will help in the alignment of the V plug to the outside corner (Photo 10). Adhere the V plug to the outside corner with the appropriate adhesive. If necessary, heat the V plug with a heat gun to conform to the outside corner, and use a damp cloth to help shape the V plug (Photo 11). Lay out and cut in the pattern felt, running the pattern felt up the walls that are to be flash coved and temporarily secure felt to the substrate by cutting windows into the felt and applying masking tape.

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Cut the felt paper 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch away from the V plug and the cove cap (Photo 12).

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Take a pair of dividers that are spaced 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch; you will need a narrow opening in order to accurately follow the contour of the V plug. If the dividers are too wide, you will not have a true fit. Scribe to the V plug, transferring the lines to the pattern felt maintaining a right angle with the dividers to the areas being patterned (Photos 13 and 14). You may want to use a different set of dividers that can be set to a wider spacing to pattern scribe areas other than outside corners of the installation.

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Once you have pattern scribed the area that you are installing, transfer, align, and tape the pattern felt on to the material. Transfer marks onto material with the dividers, making sure to stay at a right angle to the scribe marks (Photo 15). Once you have patterned out the material, score the scribe lines. Next, take the hand groover and carefully groove the radius and two sides that will be seamed to the V plug, two thirds the depth of the material, once again, making sure to keep the score line in the center of the groove (Photo 16).

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Cut out material and install. The corner should have a clean seam that is ready to be heat welded (Photo 17). Depending on the product, the amount of time will vary before heat welding can commence; follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

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Apply blue painter’s tape to the wall above the cove cap and at the base of the V plug to minimize the potential of scorching the wall and material with the heat weld gun. Use the recommended welding rod and welding tip for the material. A contrasting welding rod was used on this material for photo enhancement.

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Clean the area of any debris and tools prior to heat welding, as once you start, you will need to heat-weld in one continuous motion.

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Make sure the tip of the heat gun is clean and do a practice run on a scrap piece to make sure the temperature of the heat gun is properly adjusted.

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Pre-heat the starting point by running the heat welding tool over the grooved area, making sure not to overheat, then proceed to heat weld the V plug (Photo 18). Once you have heat welded the V plug, you will need to trim the excess welding rod; this is called skiving (Photo 19).

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Generally, on a flat surface a skive plate is used to trim the majority of the excess welding rod, but this is not possible to use on a vertical, angled, V plug, so care must be taken to prevent gouging or slicing the material (Photo 20).

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I try to do a first pass with a quarter moon knife and an X-Acto type tool (Photo 21) while the material is just slightly warm on a vertical surface because the welding rod will trim easier.

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Also, I don’t want to take the chance of pulling the welding material out by trying to trim all of the excess when the welding rod is completely cool.

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Don’t attempt to do a finish skive at this point; all we are doing is reducing the amount of excess welding rod while it is still slightly warm.

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Once the material has cooled sufficiently, finish detail skiving using the quarter-moon knife and the X-Acto type tools.

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After you have finished, you may have some dull areas where the knife or X-Acto tools dulled the surface of the material; use the manufacturer’s floor finish product to create a smooth consistent look (Photo 22).

I would like to thank Scott Parks of Tri-West Distributing in Southern California for the helping hands.