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The Vinyl fitting process: How to lay vinyl flooring

Choosing from one of the many types, colours and textures of vinyl flooring is only half the battle. An arguably more involved task awaits when it comes to fitting. With this in mind, here are some handy tips it's worth knowing before you lay any vinyl flooring. Installation will vary depending on whether you choose adhesive, self-adhesive or Click flooring, but here is a general guide of things to bear in mind - as well as some nifty tricks to help the process run more smoothly.

First, when it comes to installation you should always follow the manufacturer's instructions for your chosen product; these can be downloaded from the relevant product page on the Flooring Megastore website.

1. Measuring up

Working out how much flooring you might need is easier than you think. Checkout our handy guide for help calculating the amount. Remember that it's better to buy more than you need - you can always return full boxes, but colours can vary between batches so it's better to be safe than sorry. Plus, a few extra boxes may come in handy for repairs later.

Good to know:

> Transport and store cartons of tiles flat and never upright.

> Have the right underlay for the vinyl, for example Xtrafloor is recommended with Moduleo click flooring.

2. Preparing the sub floor

The surface beneath the floor must be sufficiently prepared in advance, to guarantee successful fitting of floor covering. In particular, it must be clean and dry, with a smooth surface. Unevenness of the subfloor in excess of 3mm over a 3m length must be levelled with an appropriate levelling compound. Lastly, ensure the surface is not contaminated with grease, oil or chemicals.

Good to know:

> New concrete floors can take up to six months to dry completely. Before this it is unwise to lay vinyl flooring.

> Underfloor heating must not be used for 48 hours before and after fitting.

3. Getting the right adhesive

Always use the manufacturer-recommended adhesive and follow the instructions. If using IVC Luxury Vinyl Tiles, we recommend the Xtra Floor High temp adhesive.

4. Planning and marking the room

Finding the centre line for the room is important, as ideally you want the tiles around the edge of your room to be equal width on both sides. The best look will be if the vinyl tiles are centred in the doorway. Use chalk to mark the centre lines; one down the middle of the room and one from the centre of the doorway, you'll end up with a cross.

Loosely lay all of the tiles along these lines first to see how the borders appear, and make an adjustment to the chalk lines if you're not satisfied.

5. Laying the tiles

It's a good idea to lay all of the centre tiles first. When placing neighbouring tiles place each tile carefully, butting each one up to the next but never sliding tiles that have already been backed with adhesive. A block of softwood and a hammer can help level out vinyl tiles, ensuring an even height.

6. Cutting the border tiles

To get the right fit you can cut vinyl tiles to size easily by scoring the underside, then carefully bending along the score to break it neatly. A clever technique to use to get the correct size edge tile involves using 2 tiles; loosely place one tile (Tile A) down next to the last one placed. Lay the second tile (Tile B) on top and butt it up to the wall. Score the bottom tile (A) and cut it. This tile will now be the perfect sized edge tile so simply swap B and A around then voila!

7. Tackling pipes and architrave

When fitting a vinyl tile around an architrave it's often easier to actually cut into the fitting than to shape the tile to it. You can do this by laying the saw on top of the tile and sawing into the wood to create a snug fit.

For pipes, you'll need to create a rounded hole that's a little larger than the pipe. Using a scrap of pipe the same size works as a perfect cutter; simply sharpen the inside edge of one end using a file. Mark the pipe's position on the vinyl tile and line up the cutter. Hit it firmly with a hammer to create the hole, then use a knife to carefully cut a line from the hole to the edge of the tile, which will allow you to slot the tile around the pipe.

8. Finishing around doorways

A metal threshold strip will give a neat water-resistant edge to your doorway tiles.

Some tips for Click installation:

> Always fit at room temperature.

> Check the tongue and groove of the click profile is undamaged and free from dirt.

Tools you might need

> Broom and/or vacuum cleaner

> Tape measure

> Pencil

> Set square and ruler

> Utility knife

> Rubber mallet

> Tapping block and hand roller

> Saw

> File