Installing Linoleum Flooring Do–It–Yourself (DIY) Guide
Installing linoleum flooring is a good choice if you're looking for an all–natural, durable, beautiful floor for
your home or office. Below are the essential things you'll need to know during your linoleum installation. For more detailed
information on how to install linoleum flooring, see the full Installing Linoleum Flooring guide on
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Our Linoleum installation quick guide has been posted below for your convenience. Should you choose
not to download the free pdf of our install guides, feel free to browse below using the green navigation at the top of the
page to go to each linoleum installation section.
Linoleum is installed one of three ways depending on the type of linoleum you choose:
Tools and Materials
Below are some tools and materials you may need for linoleum installation. For a more specific supply list, refer to the
installation guide for your particular installation
- Carpenter's square
- Masking tape
- Measuring tape
- Half–moon knife and guide plate
- Pencil and/or felt–tipped pen
- Respirator or mask
- Scribers, snips and/or shears
- Straight edge
- Utility knife, edge trimmer and/or trimming knives (under, over, straight)
- 100 lb roller and/or rolling pin
- Chalk line
- Floor pattern or craft paper
- Full–spread adhesive
- Notched trowel
- Seam–sealer kit or seam welder
- Staple gun
Prepare The Floor
- Do not remove any existing flooring if you find asbestos. Follow all local, state and
federal guidelines when handling and/or disposing of asbestos.
- All subfloors and existing flooring must be structurally sound, level and dry before you begin to lay the linoleum.
- Some subfloors require an underlayment for stability. Only choose underlayment grade plywood, Class 4, 0.215"
service–grade hardboard or Type 1 lauan plywood. For more specific information about these underlayments, see the
Full Installing Linoleum Flooring guide.
- Do not use other types of lauan plywood or lesser quality plywoods as they are not dimensionally stable enough to support
the floor. These plywoods tend to have hollow spots (which causes soft spots in the floor) and have higher instances of
delamination (which causes your linoleum to bubble).
- For concrete slabs, perform all moisture tests as recommended by your manufacturer. Moisture tests may include
Polyethylene, Calcium Chloride, and/or pH Alkalinity tests. Follow all your manufacturer's recommendations if your subfloor
has excess moisture.
- If you are laying linoleum on a concrete slab or in a Below Grade environment, use 4–6mm plastic sheeting or a
paint–on moisture barrier/waterproofer below your linoleum. Laying linoleum on concrete without some kind of moisture
barrier can potentially ruin the adhesive.
- Ensure your subfloor is level and free from all dips, valleys or imperfections (such as drywall mud, paint overspray,
etc.). Scrape your subfloor completely clean. Sand down any high areas. Use self–leveling compound to level all low
- Place your linoleum in the installation area 1–2 days before your installation to allow the material to acclimate.
Follow all the manufacturer's recommendations for room temperature (both before and during the installation) and
- If desired, undercut door casings in your installation area.
- If desired, remove all molding. In some cases, you can leave molding in place and either install the linoleum under the
molding or install the linoleum almost flush with the molding.
- If you are laying sheet linoleum, remove all doors and set aside.
- Remove the toilet if working in a bathroom.
- Sweep and/or vacuum your subfloor before installing your linoleum.
- Always install safely using the proper safety equipment. Follow all manufacturer safety recommendations.
Tips and Tricks
- When possible, use the same brand adhesive as the linoleum to ensure compatibility.
- Some linoleum will expand slightly width–wise and shrink slightly length–wise. Always follow your
manufacturer's recommendations for expansion spacing. Some manufacturers recommend leaving an expansion space while others do
- If your linoleum floor will have seams, follow all seam width recommendations. Some manufacturers recommend fitting the
linoleum flush at seams while others may require a 1/64" space between seams.
- Always wear gloves if using a full–spread adhesive.
- If using sheet linoleum, do not unroll the linoleum until you are ready to cut and install it.
- Never store your linoleum in direct sunlight.
- "Hook blades" work well for trimming linoleum after you lay it. These work with most utility knives and can be purchased
at many home improvement stores.
- When trimming linoleum along walls, use a scrap piece of wood to create a crease in the linoleum along the wall. Cut
along this crease.
- On outside corners, cut the linoleum vertically from top to bottom.
- On inside corners, cut "V" shapes in the linoleum until it will lay flat along both walls.
- Place heavy objects on the linoleum during trimming, rolling and gluing to ensure the linoleum does not shift before it
is secured to the subfloor.
Install The Underlayment
If installing a plywood underlayment, keep these things in mind:
- Stagger sheets so seams are at least 12" from all subfloor seams.
- Leave a 1/8" expansion perimeter around the whole room.
- Leave an expansion gap of 1/16" and 1/32" between the sheets of underlayment. Fill these gaps with leveling compound,
then sand so the seams are level and flat with the rest of the subfloor.
- Place factory edges together whenever possible.
- Use 1/4" crown divergent, galvanized staples spaced 4" apart in the floor and 2" apart at all seams. (Some manufacturers
also recommend 11/4" 3d ring shank nails.)
- Let the underlayment acclimatize for 24 hours before beginning your linoleum installation.
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