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How do I Install Linoleum?

By Jessica Hobby
Updated Feb 23, 2024
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Many do-it-yourself home improvement projects are daunting tasks that will leave you wishing you paid a professional to do the work. Installing linoleum flooring can be an easy task regardless of your experience. Before you install linoleum you will need to decide if you wish to install linoleum floor tiles or sheet linoleum. Once you decide on your product, you will need to remove any baseboards to avoid damage and prep your floor, which is the most important part of installation.

In order to install linoleum correctly, the surface which you are laying it on must be completely level. If you are working on a cement floor in a basement, fill any large gouges or holes with self-leveling cement prior to installation. For installation over wood subfloor which is not newly constructed, you may have to add an additional layer of ¼-inch plywood to ensure that your floor is level. If you choose to use the existing floor, make sure to remove any staples or nails in the subfloor that could cut through the linoleum after it is installed.

After your floor is prepped, you will need to cut your linoleum. Place your piece tight to the walls and cupboards and trim off the excess. If you are installing linoleum tiles, you will need to pop a chalk line from the middle of two perpendicular walls. The center of the room will be approximately where the two chalk lines meet and this will be where you begin to install linoleum tiles. Layout all of your individual tiles and cut the tiles to the outside walls prior to gluing them down.

Next you will need to glue your linoleum to the floor. If you are installing floor tiles, spread adhesive in a circular motion with a trowel on the floor in small areas. Press each tile into the adhesive. If you are installing a sheet of linoleum, lay your sheet down and fold half of it back while spreading adhesive on the floor. Push the linoleum down and run over it with a broomstick or a piece of lumber to eliminate air pockets. Pull up the other half of the linoleum sheet and repeat the process.

For the best results, after you have finished gluing down your linoleum sheet or tiles, you should use a heavyweight floor roller to go over the finished area to ensure that the linoleum will stick. At this point you may install any thresholds that are necessary where your linoleum meets another floor surface. Finally, replace any baseboards, molding or trim that you removed prior to installation.

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