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Old 02-17-2016, 12:05 PM   #1
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Sheet Vinyl Template Tips


I recently installed a sheet vinyl floor in a bathroom. It was only my third time doing it. I did it 2 other times, once in an empty laundry room (simple 6'x5' rectangle) and once in a small water heater closet (2x3 rectangle). Those first two installations were simple; I templated the floor with paper and scotch tape, lifted the template off, and placed it on the sheet vinyl, traced it, and cut it.

However, this last installation, was a bit different. The templating process itself went smoothly with pieces of computer paper and tape. I removed the template, and laid it on my sheet vinyl. Then I started in one spot and went around the perimeter of the template to make sure it was flat/straight/smooth all the way around before tracing it. By the time I got back to where I started, my template was rippled, as if I was off by an inch or so. So I went back around again and tried to straighten everything. I got it a little better, but not much. So I traced it and cut it anyway. I laid the newly cut sheet vinyl on the bathroom floor, and yup, I was off. So I spent an hour or so trimming here and there, and finally got it to fit okay, but it was a pain, and I'm sure there was a better/easier way to do it, which is why I come to you folks.

Where did I go wrong? Perhaps it's because there were lots of "ins" and "outs" in this bathroom that I had to template around, i.e. odd layout/room shape, diagonal entrance-way, tub, toilet, vanity, and radiator base to go around? Perhaps I should have put "cross pieces" in my template (up & down AND/OR left & right) to ensure the template would stay true to itself after removing from old floor and placing on new floor?

Any thoughts?
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:16 PM   #2
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First thing I do is remove the toilet and vanity if it's a stand alone vanity.
There's suppose to be extra that needs to be trimmed, there is no way to get a perfect fit when precutting it.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:16 PM   #3
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Use heavy paper ,like rosin paper, and cut v shaped slashes near the edges so it can be taped down well when applied to the sheet goods.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:34 PM   #4
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Yeah, I had it taped down. I like the idea of using a heavier paper. That's one of the things I can try next time.
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Old 02-17-2016, 07:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Use heavy paper ,like rosin paper, and cut v shaped slashes near the edges so it can be taped down well when applied to the sheet goods.
+1 I've always used rosin paper and plenty of V cuts with tape to keep the paper true.Forget about the scotch tape and use a good quality masking tape.
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:09 PM   #6
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I always use wall paper. I buy the cheap $2 rolls from the "end of stock" bins.

The wall paper wants to roll up on me, so I put a pipe in the bath tub and run the wallpaper over the shower curtain rod and then under the pipe to get it wet and then lay it out to let it dry overnight. When dry, it lays pretty flat.

What you should do is get your template to fit reasonably well, and then tape pieces of paper along your edges and contours so that it fits exactly. THEN put it on your sheet vinyl and trace it out with a felt pen.

I've done this over 20 times using wallpaper and never had a problem.
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:47 PM   #7
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Tarpaper taped together and cut within an inch of all objects.
Tape at several cut outs to the floor.
Use a compass scriber to transfer the walls and contours to the tarpaper.

Now place the tarpaper over the vinyl and transfer the scribe marks back to the vinyl. The pins will leave a mark on the vinyl to show where to cut.

* Note; The scriber shown is generic and not exactly the right type for this purpose. The correct scriber will have pins that will go right to the object, and not curved like the one shown. The correct scriber is easy to find, I'm just not seeing it now.

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Old 02-18-2016, 08:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nestor_Kelebay View Post
What you should do is get your template to fit reasonably well, and then tape pieces of paper along your edges and contours so that it fits exactly. THEN put it on your sheet vinyl and trace it out with a felt pen.
Thanks everyone. I think what I'll try next time is the above. It's a good hybrid method of what I was doing with just paper around the perimeter and with what everyone else suggests (rolls of rosin paper or wallpaper or tarpaper. That way, covering up the whole are of the floor and then taping paper along the edges/contours will give me that cross-support that I'd need to keep everything from otherwise going out of whack with just paper.

Thanks!
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:12 PM   #9
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I used to do like Jaz said. Taped 15# roofing felt together, cut triangle shaped cutouts to be able to tape it to the subfloor. I would cut the felt roughly a half inch shy of the walls. Then I would take the 12" blade out of my combination square and place it against the wall. I used a ball point pen to draw a line on the side of the blade that was facing away from the wall, sliding it around the room to get a continuous line. Then just carefully pull up the felt and lay it on top of the vinyl, line it up with the pattern, and tape it down. Then put the blade back on the line and cut on the outside of the blade, using the blade for a guide. If I was careful doing the pattern, the vinyl would fit exactly, with no trimming. Roll up half at a time to apply the glue, roll it, go have a beer.
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Old 02-20-2016, 08:57 AM   #10
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Thanks Mike, my only issue with using roofing felt is that it's dirty. I feel like if I accidentally hit an outside corner on a wall with it or rub it up against the tub, and it'll leave a nasty black tar mark. That being said, I could be totally wrong about that.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:46 AM   #11
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Hello,

That may be partially true with #30 tarpaper on a hot day, it's too stiff too. #15 is better but the industry used to use felt paper or a product known as slater's felt. I can understand improvising if you only use it once in a great while.

Use what ever works for you. In the old days lino installers often used felt paper as an underlayment and did not automatically install ¼" ply underlayment, so they had the right paper on hand.

Jaz
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