Buying and installing your own linoleum flooring is an easy way to cut costs when remodeling or building a new kitchen or bathroom. One of the most difficult aspects of taking on such a project involves the task of getting the new linoleum in place and keeping it there, flat to the floor, during the installation process. With a few tools and some patience, getting new linoleum to lay flat is a simple process.
Cut it down to size. Before fitting your new linoleum onto the floor, make sure it is cut to the appropriate size and shape, giving you an error margin of 2 to 3 inches you can remove during installation for a tighter fit. If the flooring company where you purchased your linoleum doesn't make the cuts for you, unroll the sheet on a smooth, flat surface and draw a diagram on the backing before making your final cuts.
Let it sit. Wherever possible, it is always best to lay the new linoleum flat on the floor for 24 hours. Use wood blocks or weights to hold the curled edges down, and check on the linoleum after 12 hours to make sure it stays as flat as possible. If you can't lay out the new linoleum on the floor, lean a loosened roll against the wall for 24 hours to acclimate it to the room's temperature.
Cut V's around corners. During installation, it can be difficult to keep the linoleum flat around the corners of the floor. To work around this problem, cut a V-shape out of every corner, bringing the point of the V down to the actual edge of the linoleum (removing only the extra 2 to 3 inches on the outer edge). This helps the material to bend around the corners without creating ripples or tears.
Cut finger strips around curves. If you have any rounded surfaces to work around, one sure method is to cut 1- to 2-inch finger strips around the entire rounded area, bringing the cuts down to the joint where the floor meets the rounded edge. These incisions create the same effect that V-cuts have on standard corners.
Heat it up. If you are still having difficulty unrolling the new linoleum onto the floor due to the stiffness of the new material, a room heater can make the job significantly easier. Simply heat the room to a comfortable temperature, allowing any warm air to blow over the linoleum's surface. Be sure to monitor this process, however, since too much heat can cause the linoleum to become warped or disfigured.