Showers & Bathrooms


Bathroom Flooring – How To Lay Vinyl

Vinyl flooring is commonly used in bathrooms because it’s both practical, easy to clean and available in a wide range of colors and patterns.  There are plenty of inexpensive vinyls around, so this type of flooring is great for those on a limited budget.  There are also more expensive, thick vinyls that are comfortable and luxurious underfoot.  Installing a vinyl floor in the bathroom can be tricky, as it’s crucial to cut it to the right size to fit around all the fixtures.  The best way to do this is to make a template to cut around.

To make a template, lay sheets of paper on your bathroom floor and tape them together to form one big sheet.  Cut it to fit around the base of the toilet and pedestal sink and other permanent fixtures.  Crease the paper at the edges along the join between the skirting board and the floor, and draw a guideline here.  Then remove the paper and cut out your template – it helps if you’ve got a large room to do this is. 

A handy tip when laying your vinyl is to put the heating on in your bathroom, as vinyl is more pliable when it’s warm.  With thick vinyl, it can be hard to crease it accurately.  Try using a hairdryer on it to soften it around the edges.  Another handy hint is to remove your bath panels and lay the vinyl just underneath the bath.  Once you’ve fitted the vinyl, you can replace the panels and use silicone sealant along the join between the vinyl and the panels.  This helps create a neat and watertight finish.

Tape your paper template to the patterned side of your vinyl, in an appropriate position.  Cut around it, leaving an extra 2in around the edges, which can be trimmed when you finish.  It’s much better to cut your vinyl slightly too big than to cut it too small!  Lay your vinyl in place on your bathroom floor, with the excess overlapping onto the wall and skirting board.  Crease the vinyl into the join between the floor and skirting board – there should be a 2in excess all the way around.  Use a long straight edge to do this, or a bolster chisel, to get an exact fit.

When you’re confident you’ve got a good fit, use a craft knife to carefully and neatly cut the vinyl along the crease.  Around fixtures such as the toilet and sink, let the vinyl overlap and then make small cuts down the overlap to where it meets the floor, about 3/8in apart.  Use a craft knife for this, being very careful not to scratch your fixtures or to cut the vinyl too far.  You can then cut of each strip of excess vinyl, working around the base of the obstacle until you’ve achieved a perfect fit.

It’s then time to secure your vinyl to the floor.  This is particularly important in a bathroom, as it’s best to have a seal around the edge to prevent water damaging the floor beneath.  To do this, fold back the vinyl around the edges and stick double-sided flooring tape along the floor parallel to the skirting board.  Take of the tape backing and stick the vinyl down.  In larger bathrooms it’s often necessary to use more than one sheet of vinyl.  In this case, plan it so that two factory edges join, rather than hand-cut ones.  Use double-sided tape or flooring adhesive to fix the join.  Adhesive is generally a better option here, as it is more hardwearing.  Apply it to the floor with a notched spreader before sticking the vinyl in place.

To ensure a watertight barrier, it’s worth applying silicone sealant around the perimeter of your bathroom, in the gap between the vinyl and the skirting board.  Do this in the usual way, using masking tape to ensure a neat finish.