How to Lay Vinyl Floor in a Bathroom

Confession: I’ve been living in our bathroom for five years, with a ragged old floor. It was a beige horror show from the ’90s that made me shudder every time I went in there, and I have developed an expert ability to divert from it with delicately arranged plants and bath mats over the years. But I finally switched to other ways – replacing it myself with a much better vinyl. And I mean by ‘myself,’ entirely on my own. Yeah, this is one of those jobs for which you can think you need to employ a trader, but if I can do it, I guarantee you can do it!

Vinyl flooring is an acceptable budget compromise, while the dream is to have ceramic tiles of dreams one day. The beauty of choosing vinyl is that with a tile-effect style, as I have gone for, you can not only lay it yourself, saving on labour costs, you can also achieve a more traditional look.

And while it’s undoubtedly a fiddly work, it’s not as tricky as I figured it would be, so if you’re still stuck with a less-than-pretty floor, I recommend having a go.

I have also created a video tutorial for this to watch here or proceed to scroll for the step-by-step instructions.

Tip: I think it will be more comfortable than a bathroom to suit a floor in every other room – cutting around the sink and loo was certainly the trickiest bit!

You’re going to need:
Vinyl roll – I got this square tile-effect piece of 2m x 2m from eBay.
Knife and sharp scissors from Stanley (I used both the scissors for larger cuts and the silverware for smaller ones)
Pistol and silicone
Vinyl tape – I picked up some at Homebase.
Tape measure measurement
Pencil Pencil

First of all, measure your floor space, double and triple your measurements. Do not forget to measure up to the middle point of the door frame to ensure that you get the maximum size and add 100 mm to all measurements to enable some shrinkage when the cuts are made (and for any error, of course)

The vinyl I ordered was from an eBay flooring shop and came in a range of sizes. I went for the scale of 2m x 2m, which at just £ 55 was a complete steal. When unwrapping the vinyl, the first thing I did was cut the vinyl down a bit to get it into the room, meaning I could then make my cuts with it in place.

However, if you can, it’s a good idea first to remove the current vinyl, as you would then be able to use it as a template to draw around – if you match a bathroom floor, it’s a handy idea. I should have done that in retrospect, but I was worried that I might screw up, and we would be left with no floor at all – I really should have more confidence in myself, I know! The positive thing about leaving it down was that I could use the old vinyl as the frame.

You’re prepared to make the cuts now. Cut using a Stanley knife where the wall meets the vinyl, taking care to hold the cuts straight. Here, you’re only trying to make the floor suit as snug as possible, as though you’re going to have wrinkles in the vinyl for the space to be slightly too large. Slightly too small, and with holes on the edges, you’ll be behind. So take your time and make plenty of minor cuts until it suits perfectly for you to be satisfied.

The next bit – cutting around the sink pedestal and toilet – is the most difficult. With the Stanley knife, make precise, angled cuts. Again, please don’t hurry. It’s still better than too little to be left with too much vinyl. Angling down the cuts that point to the toilet and sink will allow you to get a much neater finish. Or that’s what I found, at least!

It’s time to stick the vinyl down until you’re all done with the cutting. I went for the cushioned vinyl, so I could only use the vinyl tape. You’ll want to use glue to stick it down if you’re laying a non-cushioned flooring, though.

Please make sure the current floor is clear, as it will prevent the tape from sticking correctly with any grime or dust. Pull the edges away from the wall and attach strips of tape onto the floor with your vinyl laid in place. Then cut the top of the double-sided tape and stick the vinyl down while you do this, making sure to force out any wrinkles or air bubbles. Workaround the room, take your time and make sure it’s fixed firmly.

Lastly, to seal it, you may need to add silicone around the edge of the vinyl. I found this bit surprisingly tricky, and it took me a little while to use the silicone gun to hang up. As a final move, run a wet finger or piece of cloth over the silicone to ensure that it is securely attached.

You will need to change your door strip, which connects the bathroom to the next room, depending on your room. You’ll usually need to lift it with more giant strips, tuck the vinyl underneath and replace it. Mine, however, is a smaller, fixed style, so I just sealed the vinyl on it the same way I did around the rest of the room.

And that’s what you’re done with! You put up a brand new, lovely floor all by yourself! You see, it wasn’t that bad. And didn’t it change this room completely? Whoever thought anything so easy could make a difference like that.

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