All flooring installers have encountered situations throughout their careers that demanded special and immediate attention. Perhaps it was a problem that called for immediate resolution, or perhaps the product arrived somewhat differently than expected. It may also have been an area that did not match what was ordered or any number of situations in which the professional installers always appear to find a way to make it work.
tips are very helpful; flooring installers sharing with others makes everyone’s
work easier. We have received an abundance of ideas from installers who gladly
share techniques that work for them. It
is possible that they may not work for you.
But, just in case you encounter a situation on the job; perhaps you’ll
remember someone’s proven method that worked for them just at the right moment
to achieve the ultimate goal, customer satisfaction.
Resilient Flooring Installation Tips
Tim Provence (CA) Manager, AFP Field Installation Services
When preparing to install cove cap
to flash cove sheet vinyl or linoleum, cut a piece of cove stick the same as
the desired height of the finished material on the wall. (ie: 4" piece for
4" high coving). Use this section
to mark the walls for using the chalk line to establish a line for the cove
cap. This eliminates using a tape measure for marking the wall and will mark
both sides of an inside corner wall without having to reposition the piece.
When cutting cove stick for inside
corners when flashcoving, use the same coping technique used for wood and
laminate quarterround or crown moldings.
Coping the cove stick rather than cutting 45-degree angles, eliminates
gaps encountered when the inside corner is not a true 90-degree angle. It also provides a solid backing for the
material in the corner, especially when heat welding is involved.
Roy Davison (MO)
Always be sure to stuff a rag down
the flange opening after a toilet is removed.
This not only prevents the escape of sewer gas, but can also save you
dollars! Once, when I was installing
vinyl in a bathroom on a residential job, I did not stuff the flange. Needless to say, I am now short one good
Armstrong vinyl knife. This would not
have upset me so, but you see, I had done this once before about nine years
earlier. At that time, I was fortunate
enough to have a 4-year old son that I could coax (with a little effort and
using a piece of candy for bribery) into putting his “spindly” little arm down
into the flange to retrieve my tool.
However, this time my “little” boy is much older. He no longer has arms small enough to do such
a job. I’m sure not even bribing him
with money would convince him to put his arm in such a place! A good installer should always learn from
Al Brown (MO) (deceased)
Most installers make a pattern or a
template when installing vinyl composition tile around a floor drain or just
cut into the tile. A much easier way is to simply coat the rim of the drain
with chalk or pencil lead, place the tile section gently over the drain. When you lift it up, the exact pattern you
need is marked on the reverse side of the tile. Then, just heat the tile and
Stan Cunningham (MO)
If you've ever had a job where the
customer wanted you to remedy a lightweight perimeter glue-down vinyl (such as
Interflex) that has shrunk away from the wall, there is hope. You may be able
to use your powerstretcher to stretch the vinyl back in place. Cover the teeth
of the powerstretcher head with a ¼" piece of masonite secured with duct
tape. Cover the bottom of the masonite with strips of double-faced tape. This
allows the powerstretcher head to be secured to the vinyl so that it may be
stretched. However, before attempting to
stretch the vinyl, you must apply heat.
Use a hair dryer instead of a heat gun or torch, because too much heat
will ruin the vinyl. Heat will make the vinyl expand and stretch easier. Fasten
the vinyl next to the wall as you normally would.
Bob Gillespie (MO)
In small bathrooms, especially ones
that require a lot of irregular cuts, normally we install the underlayment, prep
it and then install the vinyl flooring.
To save time measuring, marking and dry-fitting the underlayment, cut
the vinyl first. Next, lay it on top of
the underlayment, using the vinyl as the pattern.
Marc Prentice (FL)
During the installation of a
prefinished wood floor, use light bulbs that plug directly into the wall
outlets when applying urethane adhesive. They illuminate the flooring to
avoid leaving adhesive on the floor surface.
Al Brown (MO) (deceased)
As most vinyl composition tile
setters are aware, they can use a 12” tile as a template when cutting border
tiles in a square layout. But, it is a
whole different story on a diagonal layout.
It is necessary to make a square template out of sheet goods, hardboard
or metal. Cut it to the diagonal width
of the tile being installed. Example: For a 12” x 12” tile, the measurement is
Roy Davison (MO)
Check when estimating a vinyl
installation job over an existing vinyl flooring. New underlayment must be installed if:
The existing flooring is a perimeter glue-down vinyl and must be taken
old vinyl is not solidly glued down;
underlayment joints show through the existing vinyl;
nail heads are visible through existing vinyl when looking toward a light
source. If the existing vinyl is in
good shape and does not fall under any of the listed criteria, it is necessary
to remove all wax and dirt. Then, instead of installing new underlayment, you
can use embossing leveler.
All door jams must be undercut for
a professional-looking job. Make sure there is base-shoe installed where it is
needed. Check to see if the customer has floor protectors on their tables and
chairs. To prevent damage to the vinyl, never move appliances or heavy
furniture on the vinyl without at least ¼-inch underlayment or equivalent
All vinyl flooring must be
acclimated before installing. Even though some installers take shortcuts and
get "lucky", there are NO exceptions when installing perimeter
vinyl. Shortcuts taken in acclimation
with perimeter vinyl can result in wrinkling which will not come out.
Try this to prevent a “ridge line”
from showing through a section of vinyl (especially a light-colored, high-gloss
vinyl). Fold back the vinyl and spread
the adhesive. After sufficient open time
is allowed for the adhesive, walk and roll the sheet vinyl. When rolling the vinyl be sure to stop
approximately 6- inches short of the glue-line.
By doing this, you can fold back the other side farther than if you had
rolled all the way to the glue line.
Most important is not to over-lap the adhesive at the glue line when
spreading. Overlapping is what causes
the “ridge-line” in the vinyl. When you
have a long glue-line, such as a piece of 6-feet wide inlaid vinyl, LIGHTLY
mist the adhesive at the glue-line with water.
This will extend the open time on your adhesive.
Installation Tips from the Pros - Part 2-- Resilient
April 14, 2009