Linoleum is a very popular floor covering. The popularity of this material is due to its democratic cost, wide color palette, as well as the ability to imitate a variety of surfaces, such as parquet flooring or floor tiles. Thanks to such features, linoleum is able to organically blend into the interior of any style. In order for such a flooring to last for a long time, it must be properly laid.
This material is most often stored in rolls and, after unrolling, does not have a very presentable appearance: creases, waves and other irregularities may appear. You will learn how to smooth linoleum on the floor in this article.
How to level linoleum floors?
To properly lay linoleum, you need to prepare the floor for installation. If this floor covering will be placed on a concrete floor, take care to level it.
The most common method used to level floors is cement screed or self-leveling mixture… A cement screed should be used if there are serious surface imperfections, since the cement is poured in a thick layer and can easily cope with such imperfections.
The self-leveling mixture is spread in a thin layer, so it is used either as a finishing step for leveling the floor, or on surfaces that have slight imperfections.
The process of leveling a concrete floor is as follows:
- Debris is removed and the remaining old coating is removed.
- Vacuum the floor thoroughly. For these purposes, it is better to use a construction vacuum cleaner that has a water filter. This filter not only perfectly collects, but also retains dust.
- Seams and joints between concrete floors are closed.
- The surface is lubricated with a deep penetrating primer.
- Next, you should pour the cement screed under the linoleum.
Wait until the surface is completely dry before laying the linoleum flooring, even if it takes several days. This will prevent it from getting wet, moldy and premature deterioration.
If a wooden floor will serve as a basis, then preliminary preparation is also necessary:
- Assess the stability of the boards. If any are loose, they need to be properly attached.
- Check for gaps between the floorboards. You can get rid of them with putty, or fill up the holes with wooden inserts.
- Remove old paint, as it will interfere with linoleum adhesion.
- Make sure that the heads of the nails and screws are completely hidden in the wood, otherwise they will create unwanted bumps and the surface will not be perfectly flat.
After you have managed to level the floors, you can start laying the linoleum coating itself. Pay attention to the temperature in the room, it must be at least 20 degrees, otherwise this material will be inelastic, and it will be difficult to properly lay it out on the floor.
What is placed under linoleum for leveling?
Experts recommend using a special underlay for linoleum, as it provides:
- Sound Isolation - Noise that usually comes from neighbors downstairs will become less pronounced.
- Thermal insulation - this is especially true for apartments located on the ground floor or above non-residential premises, as well as for a private house, the floors of which are often very cold.
- Removes irregularities and imperfections in the floor - the substrate is able to hide existing imperfections, irregularities, dents and other defects. Thanks to this, the floor covering will last much longer.
There are several popular options for linoleum substrates:
- Jute - made from plant fibers. A fire retardant is added to the structure of this material, which prevents the process of rotting and burning. Such a substrate absorbs excess moisture and gradually removes it without becoming wet.
- Cork - made from crushed tree bark without the use of synthetic substances. This material has excellent heat and sound insulation properties. The disadvantages of a cork substrate include a rather high cost, as well as a low surface rigidity, which over time can bend and deform under heavy furniture, leading to deformation of linoleum.
- Linen - allows you to maintain natural ventilation between the floor and the floor covering, thus preventing the formation of mold and mildew. Such a substrate has a natural composition, as it is made of flax. During production, a fire retardant is added to its composition, which prevents and protects from the establishment of various bugs and insects and stops the appearance of rot.
- Combined - linen, jute and wool are included in the composition of such a product. It perfectly retains heat and dryness in the room, and also has increased wear resistance and thermal insulation characteristics.
Thanks to the use of various substrates, the flooring will look perfectly flat, and the linoleum will last much longer.
How to smooth linoleum on the floor?
If you lay the linoleum incorrectly, you will have to try to straighten it from the waves. Rearrangement of the furniture set or the long service life of such a floor covering can also lead to the formation of such defects.
It is very easy to straighten new linoleum - just unfold it and place it on a flat surface. This will take some time, which may take several days. If you don't have time to wait, then you can use more radical methods.
If a mistake was made when laying linoleum and a bubble formed, then To get rid of such a shortcoming will help such actions:
- Pierce the place where the bubble has formed with a thin hairpin or "gypsy needle".
- Place a heavy object on top to remove air from the bubble. You can use any suitable object, for example, a heavy kettlebell, a stack of books, even a saucepan filled with water will do.
- When the air is out, using a syringe, squeeze a small amount of glue into the area where the bubble was.
- Use a roller to finish straightening the flooring.
This procedure is used if a small bubble appears on the linoleum.
If you notice waves on the surface of your flooring, then use an iron, a thick cloth, and a heavy object. You can straighten the linoleum from the waves by gradually ironing it with an iron.
Be sure to check that there is a gap between the flooring and the skirting board. Remove the baseboard and appreciate this moment. If there is no gap, cut a thin strip along the entire length of the product and repair the imperfections in the coating.
The step-by-step process of eliminating waves is as follows:
- Plug in the iron and heat it up well. The best option is to use an electrical appliance equipped with a steam function.
- You need to put a thick cloth on top of the wavy formation, it is better if it is soft, for example, take an old terry towel.Fold it in 2 or 3 layers to get a rather thick canvas that will protect the linoleum from overheating, but at the same time will allow it to heat up and soften well.
- A hot iron should be placed on top of the fabric and move along the surface of the fabric in smooth circular movements. This will allow the flooring to be heated evenly, making it very flexible.
- After the area with the wave heats up, you need to remove the iron and put a heavy object on top. Leave it for a day, during this time the linoleum will completely cool down, and its surface will be leveled.
How to spread quickly?
If you have to straighten material that has been lying on a roll for a long time, then you can use the following method - twist it with the front side inward. To do this, you need to completely untwist the roll and twist it again so that the wrong side is on top. Make sure that the part of the roll that was inside before rewinding remains there afterwards.
If the linoleum was stored incorrectly or for a very long time, kinks could appear, they must be leveled, otherwise they will interfere with the installation of this floor covering.
To level this product after bending, you need to spread it indoors. If you have an uncritical situation, and the linoleum has not broken, then it will take you 2 or 3 days to smooth it out naturally. You can safely walk on it, having cut it beforehand to the required size. The main condition is not to put heavy objects so that unnecessary dents do not appear
You can also straighten the flooring after bending by placing it face-in and placing plywood on top. Pay attention that the linoleum lies flat, without bending the edges under the plywood.
You can use an iron or hairdryer to get rid of dents or straighten out the squeezed linoleum. Under the influence of heat, the material softens and the surface is leveled.
If during storage this floor covering was broken, then you can get rid of such a defect by gluing it to the base. Be sure to try to smooth the products well by releasing all available air. Use a roller for this purpose.
Examples and variants
The most common methods for leveling linoleum, in addition to the above, include:
- Using a long stick or board… One edge of this cover is nailed to the wall. A wide long board is taken, a heavy object is placed on top of it. She moves in the opposite direction from the one that is already nailed. When you reach the end of the room, this side of the product must be secured. Trim the linoleum lengthwise, then do the same manipulation with the opposite side. Using this method, you will securely fix the floor covering.
- Helps get rid of the bubble common table salt… It needs to be heated in a frying pan and poured into a sock or specially sewn bag. Place a cloth on top of the bubble and press down on the sock with hot salt. You need to wait about 15 minutes for the material to heat up. After this time, remove the cloth and salt and squeeze the air out of the bubble, working from the outer edges towards the center.
- You can also remove unwanted waves using a heating pad… Pour hot water into the heating pad. Place it in a deformed place, do not forget to put a cloth in front of this, so as not to melt the product. Wait 15-20 minutes and smooth out the place where the wave was.
In some cases, if a large number of waves and deformations have formed, then the floor covering will have to be re-finished.
Also, pay attention to the quality of the material. If you initially purchase a product of poor quality, then problems and difficulties with its installation cannot be avoided. If you give preference to a more expensive and high-quality product, then the installation process will be much faster and easier.
If, in addition to everything else, you pre-level the floor, and besides, you use a special underlay, then all difficulties can be avoided and you do not have to eliminate defects. Linoleum will lie flat and will delight you and your household with a beautiful appearance.
For information on how to properly smooth linoleum, see the next video.