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Cut Vinyl Flooring For A Tight Fit

Whether you’re updating your kitchen, bathroom, or any other area of your home with new sheet vinyl flooring, achieving a precise fit is essential for a professional look and long-lasting performance. Sheet vinyl is popular due to its water resistance, durability, and ease of maintenance, but cutting it correctly can be a challenge without the right technique and tools. In this post, we’ll guide you through the best practices to cut sheet vinyl flooring accurately for that perfect, seamless fit.

Preparing to Cut Sheet Vinyl Flooring

Before you start cutting, proper preparation is crucial to ensure a smooth installation process. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Measure Your Room

Accurately measure the room where you’ll be laying the vinyl. Be sure to include closets, alcoves, and doorways in your measurements. It’s advisable to purchase a little more material than you calculate (around 10% or add 150mm extra on both the length and width ) —you’ll need the extra for trimming and to account for any mistakes.

2. Clear and Clean the Area

Ensure that the subfloor is clean, dry, and smooth. Any debris or roughness can affect how the vinyl lays and is cut. Remove any existing flooring, if necessary, and sweep and mop thoroughly.

If you’re installing on wooden boards, ensure there’s no nails or screws protruding – you’ll be able to feel all of these once the vinyl is laid. Simply screw in any screws further, or use a nail punch to hammer any nails or pins further into the wood.

3. For Concrete Floors

You need to make sure there’s no chance of water damage or ingress. To do this simply place down a clear plastic sheet, preferably a 1m square, and tape down the edges. Leave it over night, and peel it up the next day. Check for any condensation on the plastic sheet. If it’s dry, continue. If it’s wet, you’ll need to treat the floor first.

4. Let the Vinyl Acclimate

Unroll your vinyl flooring and allow it to acclimate to the room for at least 24 hours before installation. This helps the vinyl adjust to the temperature and humidity conditions of the room, reducing the risk of expansion or contraction after cutting and installing.

Tools You Will Need

To cut vinyl flooring properly, you will need the right tools. Here’s a list of what you should have on hand:

  • Utility knife with a fresh blade
  • A vinyl cutter (optional, but recommended)
  • Knee Pads (optional, but recommended)
  • Straightedge or Long Metal Ruler
  • Adhesive
  • Silicone Sealer
  • Caulk Gun
  • A firm roller

Steps to Cut Sheet Vinyl Flooring

1. Position The Vinyl Flooring

Move the flooring to get it roughly in place as best you can, allowing your 75mm excess on all sides. With objects like kitchen counters or toilets you’ll need to cut around these to get the flooring fitted roughly in place. 

2. Trimming Around Obstacles

To cut around these, roll back the vinyl so that it’s straight along the entire length, then roll it out until it means the obstruction. 

For Toilets and Sink Pedestals – These are typically round and slightly more difficult to cut around. Cut a line from the centre of where the vinyl meets the obstruction. As the flooring wraps around the toilet or sink, cut regular lines where the flooring meets the obstruction, angled towards the first cut you made. You’ll have to do this on both sides. 

For cupboards – if you’re working around cupboard feet then the process is similar to that of the toilets and sinks – slice from the centre of each feet starting at the one closest to the centre of the room. You may have to make a few cuts to get the flooring to wrap around the feet. 

Press down your flooring and fold the flaps up around the obstruction, then trim to remove the flaps. 

3. Cut Around The Room

The rest of the room should be easier. For long straight lengths, you can either use a long metal ruler or a vinyl cutter to get the best quality cut. Check your Skirting – if you have space underneath the skirting you can cut the flooring a little larger and tuck it neatly under the skirting. 

4. Glue Down

Most Vinyl flooring needs to be stuck down. You can either use a spray adhesive or a liquid type which can be rolled or brushed onto the floor. Make sure to give generous coverage around the edges of the flooring and around the obstructions you cut around earlier. Start at the most difficult side, around those sinks or cupboards. Peel back the flooring to expose the subfloor and give you about a foot extra of space that you’ll need next, apply the adhesive and then roll the flooring back down firmly, ensuring good contact with the adhesive. 

Now peel back the other side of the flooring and roll it all the way back until you reach the area you’ve just stuck down. To fit the rest of the flooring, simply apply your adhesive (and extra around both sides to create a strong bond around the edges of the room) and roll the flooring back over it. Ensure you’re firmly pressing the flooring into the adhesive as you go.

5. The Final Touches

Not all walls are perfectly straight, and not all cuts are either. If earlier you saw that there was a space under the skirting then you’ve likely hidden any gaps between the flooring and the walls. It’s recommended you still follow this step to get that waterproof guarantee though. 

Use a silicone sealant around the edges of the room to fully block any potential spills from seeping under the flooring and damaging the adhesive. Cut the nozzle at an angle, not flat, to get the best result. This will also help mask any gaps from the cutting process.

If you have any bubbles in the flooring this is due to trapped air. Before the adhesive is dried, go over the flooring with a firm roller and push out any of these bubbles towards the closest wall.

Conclusion

Cutting sheet vinyl flooring for a tight fit requires precision and patience, but with the right tools and techniques, you can achieve a professional-looking finish. Remember to take your time with measuring and cutting, as a good fit is crucial for the best final appearance and performance of your flooring.

Easipay Carpets can help you get brand new flooring without the high up-front cost – by simply letting you spread the cost of the flooring over time instead. There’s no interest on our plans so you aren’t spending a penny more than you would buying it outright and we include underlay, door trims, carpet grippers and laminate beading for free. Prices start from just £10 per week! 

It starts with a free home appointment and quote, to get booked in at a time that suits you, tap the “Get Started” button below and fill out the contact form!

Still Got Questions? Here's 10 FAQs!

While scissors can be used for small cuts or trimming edges, a utility knife provides more precision for straight, clean cuts.

If the vinyl tears slightly, you can use vinyl seam sealer to repair it. Make sure the area is clean before applying the sealer.

For pipes and other small protrusions, measure the location accurately and use a compass to draw a corresponding circle on the vinyl for cutting.

Always use a straightedge or T-square when cutting and keep the utility knife firmly against it as you cut.

Yes, you can lay new vinyl over old vinyl as long as the existing floor is in good condition. Make sure to clean and smooth out the old surface before installation.

Not allowing for expansion gaps or failing to double-check measurements before cutting are common mistakes.

Ensure the subfloor is completely smooth and clean before laying the vinyl. After laying the vinyl, use a floor roller to smooth out the surface from the centre towards the edges, which helps to eliminate any trapped air bubbles.

In tight or awkward spaces, creating a paper template is the most effective method. Trace the shape of the room onto paper, and then cut the vinyl accordingly. This helps prevent waste and ensures a precise fit.

Vinyl becomes more brittle and harder to cut cleanly in cold temperatures. It’s best to cut vinyl in a warmer environment, or at least let the vinyl acclimate to room temperature if it has been stored in a cold area.

If you accidentally cut the vinyl too short, you can use a vinyl patch that matches the pattern and colour of your flooring. Carefully cut a patch to fit the shortfall and use a vinyl seam sealer to blend it seamlessly with the surrounding area.

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