Tips on Measuring and Cutting Linoleum Flooring

By Samantha Volz

Linoleum flooring, also known as sheet vinyl flooring, is often a suitable choice for flooring in kitchens and bathrooms, where frequent spills and moisture exposure can cause damage. The ease of cleaning up linoleum nearly matches the ease of installation; the material is simply rolled into the room and glued down. However, measuring correctly and cutting the linoleum to fit are two key components of the installation that can make a big difference between success and failure.

Measuring and Calculating

Linoleum flooring is generally sold in rolls, and knowing how many rolls or how large of a roll to purchase is key. Flooring manufacturers generally ask for the measurements of your room to determine how much to sell you. To determine this, measure the longest wall of your room lengthwise and width-wise. Multiply these two numbers to get the square footage of the room. For example, if the room is 7 feet by 8 feet, your total square footage is 56 square feet. If the manufacturer sells rolls in square yards, divide the number of square feet by nine to get the square yardage.

Initial Cutting

All cuts can be done with a sharp utility knife, or even a very sharp pair of scissors. When you are initially cutting the linoleum flooring to fit in your room, allow an extra 3 inches of space on all sides. So if you need 7 feet in one direction, add an extra 3 inches. This allows for shrinking due to moisture and temperature changes, as well as small mistakes in measuring. When you roll the linoleum into the room, the extra flooring will sit up against the walls a little bit. Center the flooring as best you can and proceed from there.

Cutting Corners

Wherever the linoleum hits a corner, whether it's an inside or outside corner, you need to cut into the linoleum to make the appropriate space. When you hit an outside corner, where the corner protrudes into the room, cut a straight slit down the linoleum where it hits the corner. Cut all the way down to where the linoleum touches the floor. This will create flaps on either side of the corner, allowing room for the corner to stick out and the linoleum to sit flat against the floor. Cut these flaps away with a utility knife or an oscillating tool and a flush cut blade. For inside corners, cut a “V” shaped slice into the linoleum from the top to where it hits the floor. The bottom of the “V” will sit in the inside corner, allowing the linoleum on either side to lay flat against the floor.

Cutting Excess

Once the floor is fully glued down and secured, you then must cut off the excess. Cut the linoleum even with the floor so that no flooring protrudes up above the floor or along the wall. This will allow room to install baseboards or molding as necessary.

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