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How to lay vinyl in your bathroom

Our guide to adding a cost-effective, durable flooring option for your bathroom

Mira Inspired
Friday 1st September 2017

Vinyl can make a relatively inexpensive alternative to tiling on your bathroom floor. It’s also easier to lay than you may think. As a flooring option for your bathroom, it has many advantages. For one, it is almost completely impervious to water, which is obviously a major plus for a bathroom or any other room that has to contend with a lot of moisture or water spillages.

It is also much more comfortable to walk on than a lot of other flooring options for bathrooms. It is soft underfoot and the more upmarket vinyl flooring options even have a padded layer underneath to make it extra comfortable. Unlike stone or ceramic tiles, it doesn’t get cold in the winter, so late night or early morning bathroom trips aren’t as traumatic for your toes.

Vinyl is easier to lay than other options, although you do need to make sure your subfloor is completely smooth as any lumps and bumps will show up. It’s easily cut to fit into awkwardly shaped nooks and crannies and around the bases of bathroom units, shower enclosures and toilets.

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Another major advantage is that it is easy to care for and extremely durable. It is more stain resistant than other flooring options and high quality vinyl flooring could last up to 20 years if cared for well. Using vinyl tiles means you can simply replace any tiles that get damaged with new ones.

If you’re still unsure about what option is best for you, our comprehensive guide will help you to select the best tiles for your bathroom.

If you’re planning on laying vinyl flooring, you might want to get a professional to prepare your sub-floor and ensure it’s smooth, but otherwise it’s a relatively straightforward DIY job. Follow our steps below and you’ll have a long-lasting, waterproof bathroom floor in no time.

Remember to wear protective knee pads when laying flooring.

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  1. Ensure the whole sub-floor is clean and smooth and that anything that could disturb the flooring has been removed. Skim a scraper lightly over it to make sure no nails or screws are sticking out. Then sweep the floor thoroughly.
  2. Fill any gaps or cracks in the floor with silicone filler in a caulking gun. Make sure to use filler especially designed for bathrooms and kitchens. Remove any excess filler with your scraper.
  3. Roll out the vinyl but don’t fit it right into the corners yet. Allow roughly a centimetre of overhang to roll up the wall. Draw a line on the vinyl with a pencil along the skirting board, so you know where to cut.
  4. Use a utility knife to cut the vinyl where you’ve marked it so that it fits against the skirting board.
  5. To fit the vinyl into or around corners, cut a triangular wedge into the excess vinyl, with the point of the triangle meeting the point of the corner. Then trim off the excess as usual.
  6. Now to apply the glue. It’s advisable to wear a dust mask if your bathroom is poorly ventilated. Heavy ‘stay flat’ vinyl doesn’t need adhesive. Cushioned vinyl can just be glued around the edges and around the pedestals of sinks and toilets. Thinner vinyl needs to be glued to the floor all over.
  7. Roll back the vinyl from the walls. Dip a trowel in your glue and let any excess glue drip off before applying it. Then scrape the glue onto the floor starting at the back wall and working your way forward.
  8. Use a sponge to carefully smooth the vinyl back down onto the glued floor, moving the sponge from side to side to smooth out any air bubbles.