How to Install Linoleum Floors

Friday January 30, 2009
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Once linoleum floors are installed in your home, they can be relatively easy to install. Unfortunately, the installation process can be a bit tricky for the inexperienced installer. There are 3 types of installation methods for linoleum flooring: floating click and lock, and linoleum tiles and sheets. Sheet linoleum and linoleum tiles are secured to the subfloor with adhesive, while floating click and lock linoleum panels join together and float over the subfloor.

General linoleum floor installation tools:

  • Half moon knife
  • Masking tape
  • Gloves
  • Carpenter's square
  • Measuring tape
  • Scribers
  • Utility knife
  • Straight edge
  • Pencil
  • Respirator

In most situations, linoleum floors are recommended for installation over concrete and wood subfloors. Linoleum flooring can be installed in above and on grade areas. Before installing linoleum floors in below grade areas, check with the manufacturer. Linoleum floors can also be installed over radiant heating systems, as well as existing floor surfaces (e.g. linoleum and vinyl) so long as they are level and free from cracks.

Linoleum floors should be allowed to properly acclimate (or adjust) to the installation area prior to being installed. This could take up to 2 days depending on the manufacturer's recommendations. Make sure that the room is at the recommended temperature in order to ensure proper acclimation.

Use these tips and tricks to help you successfully install linoleum floors:

  1. Always follow seam width recommendations (if applicable). Some flooring professionals recommend fitting the linoleum tiles flush at the seams.
  2. When working with sheet linoleum, never unroll the linoleum until you're ready to install.
  3. Do not store linoleum in direct sunlight as this can cause discoloration.
  4. Choose a floor adhesive that's compatible with your linoleum floor.
  5. When it comes to expansion spacing, always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  6. Use a wood scrap when trimming linoleum tiles and sheets along the walls.
  7. Use heavy objects when trimming linoleum to ensure that they do not shift as you secure tiles and sheets to the subfloor.

For more instruction on installing linoleum floors, check out's new Floortube site. There you'll find videos specifically on linoleum flooring installation.


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