I see many attempts and methods on how to install an end stop or return in a flash cove linoleum installation. Some installers cut the cove stick off square and put a plug in at the end, while others attempt to taper it like they would with a vinyl installation, which usually does not work because the linoleum will not stretch like a vinyl product. In this how-to article, I will give you a step-by-step process on how to install a linoleum sanitary return.
Photo 1 – Cutting the return
Install the cap strip leaving it about the thickness of the material off the floor. After cap strip is installed, cut the cove stick like you would for an outside corner, stopping the tip about ½ - ¾ inch from the flange of the cap strip. Then cut the other side of the miter, which will result in a small triangular piece of the cove stick. When completed, fasten the cove stick to the juncture of the floor and wall, by either nailing or gluing into place. It is best to glue the small piece into position.
Photo 2 – Installation of scribing felt
When installing the scribing felt I prefer the full pattern method for this; however the template method can be used. When cutting the felt, it must be cut exactly where the miter on the return is located. This will aid in cutting the first half of the miter.
Photo 3 – Scribing of the felt
Set your dividers to your preferred width and scribe the pattern felt as shown. Remember, the smaller the setting the more accuracy.
Photo 4 – Transfer of scribe marks to material
Remove the scribing felt from the floor and place the scribing felt onto the material and secure it to the material. The material should have been laid out to relax. Transfer the marks onto the material. Remember to make the necessary allowances for the cap strip flange. Next, at the place where the miter is going to be, place a pencil mark out from the cut edge of the pattern felt.
Photo 5 – Cutting the miter for the return
Cut out the material as you would for any other flash cove installation except where the miter is going to be installed. When cutting this, you will want to make the cut on a 45° angle as shown.
Photo 6 – Cut out complete
This photo shows the cut out of the material with the miter cut. It is ready to be installed. Prior to the installation, be sure to warm this area with a hot air gun to prevent any tearing during the installation process.
Photo 7 – Installation of the material
Spread the recommended adhesive and place the material into the adhesive and roll the floor surfaces with an appropriate roller. For the walls a steel hand roller works well. Remember, a heat gun will make the installation of the radius bend much easier. Once adhered, you are ready to install the return piece.
Photo 8 – Cutting of insert piece
Square off a piece of material for the return. Then put into place and cut into a triangle.
Photo 9 – Fitting of the return
Once cut into a manageable size, set the piece into place butting the one cut edge to the wall and the other to the seam at the bottom of the triangle. When in position run the back of the material to the edge of the materials miter. This should leave a mark on the back of the linoleum return.
Photo 10 – JPG – Cutting the miter in the return
If you have some difficulty seeing the mark, take either some water or adhesive and place along the miter edge to make it easier to see. Transfer a pencil mark to aid in seeing the indentation. Then take a knife and cut a 45° miter cut back from the line so you can cut through the material’s surface at the top of the miter.
Photo 11 – Gluing in the return
Glue in the triangular piece. For this I use the linoleum seam adhesive because this is a seam. When placing the return into place, a little heat will help this process too.
Photo 12 – The completed return
The sanitary return is completed, and when the adhesive dries it will be there for good and makes an attractive completion to your installation.