How to Install Natural Linoleum Flooring

Be kind to your feet and the environment with these step-by-step instructions.

Natural linoleum is a great flooring option because it’s made from renewable resources and is antibacterial, making it ideal for areas that have lots of kid traffic. It’s also comfortable underfoot and comes in an assortment of colors. Here’s how to lay it down:

Materials and Tools:

natural linoleum
template material (simple roofing felt works well)
duct tape
7/8-inch staples with a ¼-inch crown
¼-inch birch plywood underlayment
floor adhesive
portland cement
finish
scribing tool
hooked-blade knife or utility knife
pneumatic stapler
notched trowel
roller
mudding knife
orbital sander

Steps:

1. Remove the existing flooring material in the area. Linoleum doesn’t adhere well to the rough wafer-board subfloor typically found below existing carpeting, so it may be necessary to lay down a ¼-inch birch plywood underlayment before applying the natural linoleum. If so, nail down the underlayment with a pneumatic stapler, making sure the seams between pieces are tight.

2. Use a mudding knife to spread a thin layer of portland cement between the underlayment seams. Sand down the cement with an orbital sander for a smooth finish.

3. Lay down the material to use as a template on the floor, scribe around the outline of the wall, and use the hooked-blade knife to cut along the scribe line. Have some duct tape handy in case you need to overlap the template sheets to cover the entire floor.

HCCAN-213_green-building-linoleumC

4. Lay the linoleum sheet on a flat surface. Carefully roll up the template and unroll it onto the linoleum.

HCCAN-213_green-building-linoleumD

5. Cut the linoleum to size around the template with the hooked-blade knife. A large straightedge will help with cutting straight lines.

6. Roll up the linoleum and move it to the room where you’re installing it. Spread adhesive with a notched trowel on the underlayment, and then gradually lay the linoleum down. Be sure to set the material down immediately, since the adhesive dries quickly. A heavy roller will push out any air pockets and help seal the linoleum to the adhesive.

7. Wait 72 hours for the adhesive to cure before allowing normal traffic in the room or placing heavy furniture in the room. For a shinier surface, apply at least two coats of a finish that also seals the surface.

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