Vinyl sheeting installations are different to other types of flooring installations. Here are our top tips for successful sheet installations:
Focus on the substrate
For the best possible results, the substrate should be level, smooth and clean. It should also be free of parting compounds, curing compounds, grease, and paint. It should also be dry to a minimum of 5.5% moisture or 70% relative humidity.
The material should be acclimatised on site for a minimum of 24 hours and approved substrates such as concrete, plywood, tempered Masonite should be present.
Laying the sheet
Once you have chosen the direction that the sheet will be laid in, measure the overall length of the first drop. Allow 15mm for fitting and cut the sheet. To allow for scribing, put two marks on the floor 1.9m from the skirting board. Place the sheet on the wall, allowing the excess to run up the wall on both sides. Using a square and a pencil, place a checkmark on both the sheet and wall.
Using a straight edge, extend the lines to the edge of the sheet and cut carefully along the line. Place the sheet against the wall, making sure the two checkmarks line up. Use a quality edge trimmer to remove the factory edge of the sheet. This will make it easier to weld later on.
Ensure straight edges
The edges of the sheet being installed need to be straight and, if not, cut straight using a chalk line. Where necessary, the factory edge should be trimmed off to create a neat and strong weld. The recommended method by most manufacturers is to overlay and seam scribe the join to achieve the correct tight butt join. A bad, incorrect habit that has been taught is to leave a gap for the welding. This should be avoided.
Good-quality, straight and hook knives should be used appropriately for cutting and trimming and should always have new, sharp blades. They should not be re-sharpened by the installer.
Get the grooving right
The join then needs to be grooved and there are several types of groovers available. The first is the “P”-type groover which is effective and economical. It has replaceable blades that should be changed on a regular basis. Blunt blades give an erratic and poor-quality groove. Secondly, there are electric groovers, which are really worth using for large hospital-type installations. Once set correctly, a perfect groove will be achieved as long as the groove is not too wide or deep and only two thirds through the sheeting. What should not be used is a triangular-shaped scraper as it grooves too wide and often creates an erratic groove that goes right down to the concrete, creating a weak weld.
Main image: Tarkett
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