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How to install self adhesive vinyl flooring

How to install self adhesive vinyl flooring

Kate, Flooring Expert, Swansea

Guide written by:

Kate, Flooring Expert, Swansea

24 guides

Self adhesive vinyl floor planks and tiles are both cost effective and easy to fit. Combining the benefits of vinyl with self adhesive flooring, this type of floor should be installed in stages from laying out the tiles or planks to fitting them and making your cuts. Read on to find out how to get a neat and attractive finish when fitting self adhesive vinyl flooring.

Important features

  • Lay the first row of self adhesive vinyl planks or tiles
  • Cut the last plank in the row
  • Lay the rest of the self adhesive vinyl floor
  • Cut around any obstacles
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Self adhesive vinyl flooring is a particularly practical option for renovation projects since they can be fitted over an existing floor, provided it is clean and that there isn't any significant unevenness. Self adhesive vinyl planks and tiles also provide good thermal and acoustic insulation.

In terms of style, these floors can in all sorts of colours and patterns and are often made to look like materials like wood or even concrete. Another bonus is that if one of your planks or tiles gets damaged, it can simply be swapped out for another without you having to replace your entire floor!

Vinyl floor resistance

There are several factors to consider when investing in self adhesive vinyl floor tiles or planks.

  • Wear resistance: to determine how well the floor will stand up to footfall;
  • Compressive strength: to determine how well the floor will withstand indentation;
  • Water resistance: to determine how well the floor will cope with water splashing;
  • Chemical and stain resistance.

Bear in mind that a self adhesive vinyl floor will not be as durable as other vinyl plank floors such as luxury vinyl planks (LVP).


  1. Lay the first row of self adhesive vinyl planks or tiles
  2. Cut the last plank in the row
  3. Lay the rest of the self adhesive vinyl floor
  4. Cut around any obstacles
  5. Finish your self adhesive vinyl floor

To start, your floor must be clean and level. If this is not the case, you will have to level out the floor before starting. If your surface is porous, it is best to apply a bonding primer to ensure your self adhesive vinyl planks or tiles will last. Store your vinyl planks or tiles in the room in which they will be installed for at least a day prior to installation.

To start, use a builder's rule to mark out a line parallel to the wall in the direction you will lay your floor. This means that even if your wall is not straight, this won't affect the way you lay your planks. For tiles, it's best to start in the centre of the room.

Lay out your planks lengthways is you are looking to create the illusion of depth and width if you are looking to make the room appear wider.

Then you can move onto installation. Carefully remove the protective film covering your first plank or tile.

Position the plank or tile on the ground to line up with the line you marked on the ground. Make sure to always place planks in the correct direction. This should be marked on the underside of the plank with an arrow. Press the plank or tile gently into place to ensure it adheres perfectly.

Place the next plank in the row edge to edge with the first. When you reach the wall, place the last plank over the one next to it with the protective film still in place.

Use a straight edge and pencil to mark out a faint line where the boards overlap. This is where you need to make your cut.

Place a metal straight edge along the line and press down firmly with the blade of a utility knife to keep your cut straight.

You can then move onto the rest of your rows. To ensure a neat result, be sure to spread the joints between the planks out. Aim for a gap of at least one and a half times the width of your boards.

When you get to the last row, you may need to cut your boards widthways. Once again, use a metal straight edge and a utility knife to make your cuts.

If you have to cut around an obstacle, start by adjusting the length and/or width of the planks that will sit on each side.

For the plank that sits in front of the obstacle, make a cardboard template taking care to make it as accurate as possible.

Cut out your template and use it to mark out the board or tile you need to cut taking care to ensure that the pattern matches the surrounding the planks or tiles.

Use a utility knife to carefully cut around your line and stick the cut piece down in front of the obstacle.

Once all your self adhesive vinyl planks or tiles are in place, clean the floor thoroughly using white spirit to remove any traces of glue.

If you want to fit skirting boards now is the time. Skirting boards or scotia beading will provide your vinyl floor with the perfect finish.

Required skills

  • Taking accurate measurements
  • Creating a template
  • Making cuts using a utility knife
  • Laying tiles or planks
  • Being able to work on your knees
  • Cleaning a surface

Time required

Half a day, depending on the size of the room

Number of people required

1 person

Tools and equipment

Safety and workwear

Please note: this is a non-exhaustive list; be sure to match your personal protective equipment to the job at hand.

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Safety and workwear

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Guide written by:

Kate, Flooring Expert, Swansea, 24 guides

Kate, Flooring Expert, Swansea

Flooring is my life. I love what I do, and I've been doing it for as long as I can remember. So, I'm not bragging when I tell you I know all there is to know about every flooring product. From laminate, parquet and linoleum to PVC, carpeting and tiling, my workdays are spent learning about manufacturing processes, composition, performance, laying techniques and maintenance methods. I've certainly seen my share of mistakes made on construction sites because of what was essentially a lack of information or understanding of the product. Flooring elements are constantly evolving and being improved upon - even us pros can find it hard to keep up! Some of us in the industry use language that is overly technical or loaded with jargon you'd have to be an expert to understand. What's more, flooring salespeople are often so focused on closing the sale that they don't take the time to explain the products in any detail. That's why I want to pass on my knowledge in a way that's clear and accessible, and maybe a bit fun too. Because flooring shouldn't be a chore!

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