How to Install Vinyl Flooring Without Using Adhesive
By: Danny Lipford
Most vinyl flooring requires adhesive between the subfloor and the vinyl flooring, but a new vinyl flooring material from Congoleum, called AirStep Evolution, can be installed with or without adhesive. This is because it is thicker and stiffer than standard vinyl flooring, which allows installation using only double stick tape around the perimeter to hold it in place.
To install AirStep Evolution vinyl flooring without adhesive:
- Remove Molding: Take up any shoe molding and door thresholds around the perimeter of the room.
- Remove Old Flooring: Remove any existing flooring using a floor scraper.
- Repair Subfloor: Repair any damaged plywood subflooring. Fill any holes or cracks with floor patch and allow to dry.
- Cut Vinyl Flooring to Fit: Cut the vinyl flooring several inches larger than the size of the room using a utility knife.
- Apply Double Stick Tape: Apply special double stick tape ½” from the wall around the perimeter of the room without removing the backing.
- Trim Vinyl Flooring: Roll out the vinyl flooring in the room. Align two of the sides along adjoining walls, and trim the flooring with a utility knife so it fits along the other two sides.
- Stick Flooring to Tape: Peel the backing off the double sided tape on one of the walls, and stick the vinyl flooring down to the tape. Repeat on the other three walls, smoothing the vinyl flooring out as you go.
- Install Molding: Reattach the shoe molding and thresholds around the perimeter of the room.
Watch this video to find out more.
- How to Remove Glued Linoleum or Vinyl from Wood Floor (article)
- How to Remove Glue and Adhesive from Floors (video)
- How to Patch Vinyl Flooring in Your Home (video)
Danny Lipford: Now, vinyl floor is a fairly inexpensive type of floor, but generally it’s installed by a professional, because if you’ve ever tried to use that notched trowel, and spread all that adhesive out, then put the vinyl down and have to roll it out to get all the air bubbles; it really does require some skill and some practice. But what if you could install a vinyl floor on the same principle that you have here on a laminate floor, where it basically just floats in place without any adhesive? That would be great and that’s exactly what we did recently in helping a friend of mine install a brand new product.
The product is called AirStep Evolution from Congoleum. And it’s a flexible sheet flooring with a fiberglass backing that’s much thicker than traditional sheet vinyl so that it can be installed either with or without adhesive.
Well, this material ought to go down pretty well. Let’s just get a rough measurement. And if you’ll hold that right over there, against the wall actually. Let’s go to the wall.
We’ll add a few inches to our measurements for doorways, but otherwise this is pretty straightforward, since the room is almost square. And now we got a few places here we’ll have to patch.
John Richards: Yeah, we had a water heater incident which flooded this room.
Danny Lipford: We’ll have to just take a putty knife and get the most of that out and we can just floor-patch that and go right over all of this.
The floor patch will fill in the low places, so that we don’t feel any depressions under the new vinyl. While it dries, we remove the shoe molding around the perimeter of the room. We want to reuse the shoe mold so we’re being very careful not to break it.
Outside, we roll the flooring out facedown on the drive, so that we can make our rough cuts. At about $2.75 cents a square foot, this stuff is pretty affordable, especially if you’re installing it yourself. And almost anyone can do this project. We roll it back up in the opposite direction so that we can roll it out face up back in the room.
One side of this tape sticks to the floors, really aggressive. It’ll stick very well. But the other side supposedly has the ability, if you mess up a little bit you can peel it. We’ll see how all that works out. Let’s go ahead, and we’ll put this down without peeling the backing off of it. So half-inch off the wall. The tape goes around all the walls to avoid any shifting while we’re working. Finally, we’re ready for the flooring.
With two walls set, we can peel off the backing on the tape and hold the flooring in position on those walls. Then it’s a matter of cutting the sheet to fit the two remaining walls by folding it at the baseboard and cutting it in the fold. Cutting around the doorways takes a little more time, but is still pretty easy if you have a nice, sharp utility knife.
All right, I’m ready for shoe molding.
So the final step is the threshold. John’s planning to replace the floors in the adjacent rooms soon, so we’re just gluing these in place to avoid putting any nail holes in the flooring where it will be seen. A few cinder blocks will hold them in place until they dry.
Well, John, one of the things, a big advantage of this, you don’t have to wait for any of the glue to dry before you can get in here with your drop cloth and go ahead and paint this room out.
John Richards: Right. Went down a lot easier than I ever imagined putting a floor down.
Danny Lipford: Yeah. Have you tried any, have you installed any floors at all before?
John: I have not, but I have the confidence to get some of these other rooms done.
Danny Lipford: It’s pretty easy, because without that glue process, installing vinyl like this is a heck of a lot easier. Because, like I said earlier, that notched trowel, and the glue just gets all over you. But, hey, you don’t have any glue on you, none on me.
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