Sheet vinyl is quicker to lay than tiles. Unless your room is very large, you can usually lay it in one seamless piece, which looks better than two or three strips (although it can be more difficult to fit). You can work out how much you'll need by calculating the area of the room and adding 50mm-100mm to each edge. Don't forget to measure right into any alcoves and up to the half-way point in the doorway.
Tools & materials required
Use protective knee pads when laying flooring products. Keep sharp knifes out of reach of children.
How to lay sheet vinyl flooring
Remember to keep your roll of vinyl for 48 hours in the room where you'll be laying it, as this brings it up to room temperature. If the weather's cold, you can stop the vinyl getting brittle by put the heating on. Skirting is not often completely straight, and you'll need to trace its profile onto your vinyl before you cut it to fit the longest clear wall. You can use a home-made tool known as a scribing gauge to do this.
Start by unrolling your vinyl and fitting the longer side of the sheet parallel to the longest clear wall, about 25mm away from the skirting. To make a scribing gauge, take an off-cut of wood and hammer a nail into it about 30mm from one end until the point is just sticking out of the other side. Carefully move the gauge along the skirting so the nail traces the outline of the skirting onto the vinyl. Then cut the sheet along this line with a knife or scissors, and slide the vinyl against the skirting.
To get the vinyl to lie as flat as possible, you'll need to cut a triangular notch at each internal corner with scissors. The cut is made in the extra allowed along each wall.
Press the vinyl into the angle between the skirting and floor with a bolster chisel to make a sharp crease.
Hold a metal straightedge against the crease and cut carefully along it with a knife held at a slight angle.
For external corners, make a straight cut from the edge of the vinyl down to the floor level and cut away the excess vinyl, leaving 50mm - 100mm turned up at the skirting.
Use a bolster chisel to press into the angle between the skirting and floor. Hold the straightedge against each crease and cut along it, holding the knife at a slight angle to get a neat finish.
When you've laid the whole vinyl sheet, lift the edges and stick them to the sub-floor with double-sided tape or adhesive.
How to fit difficult areas when laying sheet vinyl flooring
Sometimes, it can be a bit of a challenge to lay sheet vinyl flooring in a bathroom. After all, quite a few of them have architraves and radiator pipes - and there are toilet and basin pedestals to deal with too. It's always a good idea to apply silicone sealant to the edges of your bathroom floor to create a waterproof barrier.
Top tip - Gluing vinyl
Not all vinyl has to be glued to the floor. Heavy duty 'stay flat' vinyl doesn't shrink or lift, so you can lay it without using adhesive. If you're laying cushioned vinyl, you should glue it around the edges and at joins. Thinner, non-cushioned types need to be stuck down all over. Once you've fitted your vinyl, roll half of it back and apply adhesive to the floor (using the type that's supplied or recommended by the manufacturer). Re-position the vinyl and repeat the process for the other half of your room. When it's all back in place, press the vinyl flat with a soft broom.
To fit vinyl around your toilet or wash basin pedestal, you'll need to lay it as far as the front of the pedestal, then fold it back on itself. Use scissors to cut in from the edge in a straight line to the centre of the pedestal.
Make a series of cuts in the vinyl around the base of the pedestal until the sheet lies flat. Be careful not to cut too far in, or tear the vinyl.
Use a bolster chisel to make a sharp crease in the vinyl all the way round the base of the pedestal.
Cut around the crease you've made and carefully trim off each flap of vinyl until it fits. Next, peel back the vinyl, put adhesive on the floor around the pedestal and press it back into place. You can seal the edges with silicone sealant if you want to.
To fit vinyl around a door frame, make a series of vertical cuts to the point where the vinyl meets the floor. Cut off the excess, but make sure to leave 50mm-100mm turned up at floor level for more accurate trimming.
Press the vinyl into the angle between the door frame and the floor, and cut along the crease. Then cut the vinyl straight across the line of the door so it ends half-way under it. Fit a threshold bar to hold down and protect the edge of the vinyl.
To fit vinyl around a pipe, make a straight cut in line with the pipe to the edge of the vinyl. Then make a series of small cuts at the pipe end of the slit until the vinyl lies flat around the pipe. Trim the slit pieces to get a neat finish.
How to join vinyl sheets
If you're working in a large room, you might have to join two or more sheets to cover the whole floor. Try use sheets from the same roll, as different ones can vary slightly in colour and try not to create a join in the doorway, because this area gets the most wear.
If you're joining patterned sheets, you'll need to slide the second sheet along until the pattern matches the first sheet. If you're finding this difficult, try overlapping the sheets until the pattern matches, and then make a cut through both sheets using a straightedge and a knife.
Without moving the sheets, fold back the edges and use double-sided tape or adhesive to secure them to the floor. Press down firmly with both hands to glue the join.