How to Install Linoleum Flooring

Lead Image
  • 2-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • $30-100
What You'll Need
Plywood floor stapler
Tape measure
Chalk line
Linoleum tiles
Utility knife
Flooring adhesive
Floor roller

Learning how to install linoleum flooring can help you make your home more eco-friendly. Linoleum is made of linseed oil and wood dust, making it a rapidly renewable, all-natural and recycled product. It is an affordable and durable material that, when correctly installed, can last 30 years or more with careful, yet minimal, maintenance. It is also incredibly easy to install, making it a great do-it-yourself project.

What Is Linoleum?

Englishman Frederick Walton invented linoleum in 1860 and patented the formula. He started commercially manufacturing it as a flooring product in 1864, and by 1869, it was available in the United States. Linoleum was considered the best choice for flooring because it was inexpensive and held up well in high-traffic areas. It gained popularity mainly in hallways and other passages, but soon it found its way to what people know as its most common use – kitchen flooring. Its natural, water-resistant properties and resilience made it easy to stand on and low-maintenance.

Step 1 - Prepare for the Project

Make sure to remove all baseboards and inspect the sub-floor to ensure it is sturdy and level. Remove any nails or staples because these will eventually poke through your linoleum floor. If the surface appears to be uneven and rough, cover it with 1/4-inch plywood sheeting. Nail or staple the plywood every 8 inches so that you create a level base to install the linoleum.

Step 2 - Acquire the Materials

Add a buffer of 10 percent to the length and width room measurements taken before buying flooring material. Any material left over after the installation is complete will come in handy later on when making repairs or replacing damaged tiles. Remember, nothing is worse than a damaged floor with discontinued tiles.

Step 3 - Find the Center

Snap a chalk line from the center of each wall so that the intersection of the chalk lines lands in the middle of the room.

Step 4 - Do a Dry Run

Lay dry tiles down, working from the center out toward any wall to determine the final layout. Do not apply adhesive at this point.

Step 5 - Cut Tiles to Size

Using a utility knife, cut any tiles as needed to fit along the walls. Also, be sure to allow for any piping coming up through the sub-floor.

Step 6 - Applying Adhesive

Start applying adhesive and laying tile in small, 5-foot square areas after you have determined the layout. Use a circular motion to apply adhesive with a trowel, by picking up the tiles one at a time. After applying the adhesive, press the tile firmly in place before proceeding to the next one. Repeat the process until the entire floor has been installed.

Step 7 - Roll Tile

Use a 100-pound floor roller in order to ensure a firm and secure installation. You can rent a floor roller from a tool rental center.

Step 8 - Finish

Complete the project by reinstalling all baseboards and trim.