How to lay vinyl sheet flooring

Date posted: 20/07/17

Whether you opt for sheet or tiles, vinyl flooring is one of the most versatile and durable types of flooring on the market. Available in a seemingly limitless variety of finishes, styles and colours, it is suitable for use in just about any room of the home and is far more affordable than many other flooring options. If you are thinking of installing vinyl flooring in your home and fancy laying it yourself, this article will give you an overview of the process from start to finish.

Where to start

First, you will need to acclimatise your vinyl by leaving it in the room in which you will be laying it for 48 hours. This brings it up to the temperature of your home. If it is very cold, switch the heating on to stop the vinyl becoming brittle. When you are ready to start laying your floor, unroll your sheet of vinyl, with the longest edge running parallel to the longest wall.

You will now need to trace the profile of your room’s skirting onto the vinyl to ensure a perfect fit. Even if your skirting looks straight, it might not be. Place the vinyl approximately 25mm from the skirting board. Take a small piece of wood and hammer in a nail approximately 30mm from the end, ensuring you hammer it far enough in so that the point of the nail is sticking slightly out of the other side. This will be used as your scribing gauge. Gently slide it along the length of the wall, with the nail lightly marking the skirting outline onto the vinyl. Cut the vinyl along this line using a suitable knife or pair of scissors and push the vinyl up against the skirting.


To ensure a neat finish in corners, and to help the vinyl to lie completely flat, you will need to cut out a small triangular notch in every corner. You can do this by pressing the vinyl into the corner with a chisel to leave a sharp crease in the vinyl. Carefully cut along the crease with a knife and a metal guide. If you are dealing with external corners, cut from the vinyl edge to the floor and remove the excess, leaving between 50mm and 100mm of vinyl turned up against the skirting. Using a metal guide pressed up against each crease, cut the vinyl with a knife held at an angle to ensure the neatest finish.

Finishing off

When the vinyl is all laid, use a recommended adhesive or sticking tape along the edges to hold it down.