Do it Yourself Lay Your Own Sheet Vinyl

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The updated print version is now available.

In the Mid 1970s

In the Mid 1970s, When I was working for Manning Vally Floorcoverings in Taree, N.S.W.,-

Clive Norling  (the Owner) asked me If I could do a demonstration in the shop to show customers how to D.I.Y. Rubber-backed carpets. Rubber-backed Carpets were popular as ‘Kitchen Carpet’ at the time.

Clive had just bought a heap of end-of rolls of a particularly cheap but trendy carpet. 
Rubber backs were easier to lay as they did not require stretching, tacking or fastening. 
At the time, we had a good portion of customers who liked the idea of a soft kitchen floor. So I said Yes! (I’ll try anything once)  Most of our rubber-backed carpets had a thin backing layer of black rubber. In no time, I realised that the simple method of running a piece of white chalk around the room’s perimeter (generally  Kitchens) ensured a heavy chalk deposit at the base of the wall and floor. Simply Running A brickies, bolster held hard against the edge of the carpet and transformed the chalk line to the back of the carpet.

The old bolster was merely a tool that  I had handyI had handy at the time, But it was heavy and worked a treat.


Recent studies show that more people now attempt tasks that were previously confined to specialised trades. These handy D.I.Y. people attempt and succeed every day in creating, building, writing, repairing, trying, and successfully completing tasks that had previously been in the domain of the professionals. Undoubtedly, many handy people have a range of personal requirements, skills, and the opportunity to do it themselves, but fear that they lack the skills, knowledge, or specialised tools. This book demonstrates that this fear is unnecessary. With a few simple tools with a bit of practice and assistance from 50 years of experience as a floor covering professional at hand, you can undoubtedly surprise yourself. Often, these specialised tools are merely adopted to save time. The professional most crucial function is to save time. The hidden truth is that in many circumstances, you are simply paying for YOUR OWN TIME saved. If you have spare or unused time, why not capitalise on it and buy for yourself a sense of achievement, pride, and self-satisfaction?

  Back To Today

A few months previously I sold  a roll of 4-metre wide sheet vinyl to a customer that asked, “Do you think I could lay this myself?”

“That is not a problem,”  I told him. 
He then asked me, “do you have any tips on how to go about it”.    “Tips?”  I asked. “I can give you instructions that will have you laying it in no time”.
I have always believed that most people can achieve anything they attempt. Providing they take small, simple steps. And that each small step achieves success.

I also understood from my past experiences that I knew all the small steps he required. And that I fully understood that minor failures cause the most significant setbacks.

I promptly dedicated an hour to this customer. He wanted to buy the vinyl. I wanted to sell. But he had nagging doubts that he could lay the vinyl successfully.

I had the know-how and experience to shatter those doubts.

I a very short time I arranged it so that  this customer was cutting small off-cuts of sheet vinyl against the shed walls  Successfully,

Success breeds confidence. I showed him all the elementary tools he would require, and the sale was made. He left feeling completely capable.

He returned to see me about a week later and told me that it went down brilliantly “looks like a professional laid it”.

Do It Yourself   –   Lay your Own Vinyl floor

 by  Patrick Davis.

An expert vinyl layer

shows how a complete novice can lay domestic sheet vinyl to complicated floor shapes’Every trick in the book’

 I have chosen this particular bathroom, Toilet, and Laundry area(see images above).This area has nearly all of the problems a DIY sheet vinyl layer will encounter. All in one spot. including fitting (one piece) large sheet vinyl, into small complicated area.

Knowledge of these following techniques will be helpful for installing sheet vinyl into Caravans, Motor Homes, and any small intricate areas where laying a pattern square to the room is achievable, With no need to lay boring marbled or  bland, polished concrete non patterns. Simply because patterns are too complicated and never seem to run straight.

Type of  Vinyl We Shall Be Laying

This image (below) is a typical modern soft ‘felt back’ sheet vinyl. these vinyls come in a general width of 4 metres.

Very popular at this time are imitation plank patterns.

Small  areas can be dificult to lay square and true, especially in areas where it is not possible to align the sheet vinyl with a longer wall.  Our intended area is one of these. so we shall be placing some guide marks on the walls.

A little exra time lining up the sheet square to the walls can sometimes be favourable to simply laying a marble paternless sheet.   paterned ‘end of rolls’ also have the advantage of a better discount on “END OF ROLL”  specials.  Many people will avoid patterns for caravans etc. Floorcoverings sales staff know this, the patternless remnants and ends of rolls sell faster.  (lesser discount)

You Will not Require a host of tools

A  D.I.Y  layer can manage quite well with six tools

(1) A Roofing Square.

Over the last 50 years I have taught or shown many apprentice vinyl layers how to succesfuly cut in vinyl. This method is fairly safe for fingers, More importantly it is safe for sheet vinyl

(2) The stanly knife

This  has proven to be the best shape

(3) Masking Tape

Never write or leave marks on sheet vinyl always write on masking tape

so that any markings can be removed. REMOVE the tape as early as possible.


Previously I mentioned That these 

Previously I mentioned That these newer felt backed sheet vinyls are a gift to ‘Do It Yourself’ enthusiasts.

The soft backing on these vinyls are not at all abrasive.

they can be accidently (or carelesly) scraped against painted walls, skirtings. without damaging paintwork

The extra padding on the underside will cover most minor short comings of floor surfaces. and they will lay quite nicely without adhesives. This is Excellent becauseGlueing sheet vinyl to the floor can be tricky, and messy for the inexperienced Vinyl layer.

They are easily folded (carefully) so that The D.I.Y person can wrangle them into uncompromising areas. Like small caravans, toilets, children’s cubby houses, and mobile homes.

Avoid using  knives with the slide

Avoid using knives with the slide out blade, These are designed for people who place their thum on the top of the knife.

Vinyl layers get sore hands if they use them

A tape measure

a (heavy duty  pencil

 A caulking gun and some transparent (clear) silicon.

and some thumb tacks


1a. Grasp your knife use above image to get it right .when cutting on the floor, your thumb has the power to add the nessasary force to move the knife. and importantly, a brake

1b The most common error is too much pull on the knife – it slips and cuts further than you intended. Your arm arm has too much power to be let loose on such a small area. Use it in combinaton with your thumb. Let Your Thumb do the work