Linoleum is a natural product made of linseed oil, cork and wood dust, limestone, natural resin and coloring agents. While many people call all forms of sheet flooring "linoleum," sheet vinyl and linoleum are distinctly different products. While the installation of both products is very similar, a high-quality linoleum floor will last 30 or 40 years. If you are extending the linoleum up the wall instead of using baseboards, it is essential to precisely match the corners on the flashed coving. A mistake may haunt you for many years to come.
Things You'll Need
- Spackling compound
- Sandpaper, 180-grit
- Cove sticks
- Finishing nails
- Nail set
- Tape measure
- Spirit level
- Cap strips
- Miter box and saw
- Nails, flat-head
- Poster board
- Utility knife
- Painter's tape
- Hair dryer or heat gun
- Recess scribe
- Adhesive for linoleum flooring
Prepare the floor and wall surface by thoroughly sweeping and vacuuming to remove all dust and debris. Repair any dents or holes in the wall with spackling compound and sand smooth.
Install a cove stick along the base of the wall. Cut the corners at a 45-degree angle and butt the cove sticks together tightly. Attach to the wall with finishing nails, tapping the nails flush to the cove stick surface with a hammer and nail set.
Measure up the wall to the desired height of the flash coving. Using a spirit level and yardstick, mark the height of the flash coving around the perimeter of the room.
Nail the cap strip to the wall at the mark, using flat-head nails. Cut the corners at a 45-degree angle with a miter box and saw.
Measure and mark a 4-inch square onto poster board. Draw diagonal lines from corner to corner, extending 1 inch beyond the square at one corner. With a compass, mark the radius of the cove strip onto the board, centering it on the extended line. Cut out the triangular template with scissors, removing the excess material on the opposite side of the extended point.
Measure and mark a T-shaped template onto poster board. The template is 6 inches wide by 8 inches tall, with the top and base measuring 2 inches thick. Cut the T template out with scissors.
The Inside Corner
Measure and cut the linoleum to the room's shape, allowing an extra 4 inches on each side for the flash coving. Mark each corner carefully with a pencil.
Place the T template over the mark for an inside corner. Butt the top of the template to the edge of the linoleum and the mark. Mark the cut lines with a pencil. Remove the T template and align the sides of the triangular template with the pencil lines. Draw around the edge of the curved corner point.
Cut out the inner corner with a utility knife and straight edge. Place painter's tape over the cut to prevent it from tearing as you move the linoleum into place.
The Outside Corner
Align the lower edge of the T template's top bar against the edge of the linoleum, with the corner butted to the corner mark. Draw around the T template with a pencil. Repeat on the other side of the corner mark. Connect the bottoms of the lines to make a corner, using a straight edge.
Draw a 45-degree diagonal line from the corner of the linoleum to the template corner's mark. Continue the diagonal line so it extends 3 inches beyond the corner. Draw a parallel line 3/4 inch from the diagonal line on the less visible side of the corner.
Cut along the T template lines on the less visible side of the corner, up to the first diagonal line. Set aside the piece of linoleum to use as a template for the fill piece. Use painter's tape at each cut corner to prevent the linoleum from tearing.
Warm the linoleum with a hair dryer or heat gun to soften the material. Push the linoleum up into the corner until it touches the cap strip. With the linoleum firmly against the wall, cut off the excess material along the second diagonal line with a recess scribe. Use the triangular template to complete the curved cut along the cove strip.
Place the reserved scrap from Step 3 over an extra piece of linoleum, matching the pattern. Cut the new piece 1 1/2 inches wider than the scrap.
Warm the fill piece with a hair dryer. Slide into place, fitting it under the cap strip and butting it tightly into the space.
Cut the fill piece along the corner with a recess scribe so the two edges meet exactly at the corner. Use the triangular template to cut from the bottom of the cove strip up to the cut line on the corner.
Following the diagonal lines, cut through both the fill piece and the linoleum. Trim at the edge of the fill piece. Remove the bottom piece of the cut linoleum so the upper piece fits precisely into the space. Once the linoleum is glued into place, this will lock the fill piece into place, attaching it securely to the corner, the wall and the floor.
Apply two coats of adhesive to the wall and floor with a brush or roller. Allow to dry until it is pressure-sensitive, according to the manufacturer's directions. With a helper, place the linoleum over the adhesive, working it into the corners until it is smooth.
Warm the linoleum to soften it as you insert the fill pieces on the outside corners, rolling and burnishing according to the manufacturer's directions. Tuck the inside corners into place, also rolling and burnishing to firmly attach the linoleum to the wall, cove trim and floor.
Tips & Warnings
- Practice making corners with extra pieces of linoleum before you cut into the sheet linoleum.
- Adjust the size of your templates according to the height of the flash coving.
- Ask a helper to assist you in installing the linoleum. If you misalign the sheet during application, you may have difficulty in lifting and adjusting it without a second person.
- Flash coving serves the same purpose as baseboards, providing a clean finish around the perimeter of the room.
- Wear safety glasses and gloves when working with linoleum.
- Linoleum is a natural product. Use only manufacturer recommended adhesives to avoid damaging the linoleum.
- Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images