Residential Sheet Vinyl Installation Instructions

THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING AHF PRODUCTS FLOORING

If properly installed and cared for, your new flooring will be easy to maintain and and will look great for years to come. These directions are based on industry standards and best practices. Failure to follow these installation instructions may result in damage to the flooring and void the floor’s warranty.

  • For complete warranty information call 1-866-243-2726 or go to www.ahfproducts.com.
  • For technical or installation questions, or to request a Safety Data Sheet, please call 1-866-243-2726 or visit www.hardwoodexpert.com our technical website.
  • For general questions or comments, please visit us at www.ahfproducts.com or call 1-866-243-2726.
WARNING: EXISTING IN-PLACE RESILIENT FLOOR COVERING AND ASPHALTIC ADHESIVES. DO NOT SAND, DRY SWEEP, DRY SCRAPE, DRILL, SAW, BEADBLAST, OR MECHANICALLY
CHIP OR PULVERIZE EXISTING RESILIENT FLOORING, BACKING, LINING FELT, ASPHALTIC “CUTBACK” ADHESIVE, OR OTHER ADHESIVE.
These existing in-place products may contain asbestos fibers and/or crystalline silica. Avoid creating dust. Inhalation of such dust is a cancer and respiratory tract hazard. Smoking by individuals exposed to asbestos fibers greatly increases the risk of serious bodily harm. Unless positively certain that the existing in-place product is a non-asbestos-containing material, you must presume it contains asbestos. Regulations may require that the material be tested to determine asbestos content and may govern removal and disposal of material. See current edition of the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) publication Recommended Work Practices for Removal of Resilient Floor Coverings for instructions on removing all resilient floor covering structures or contact your retailer or AHF Products at 866 243 2726.
The floor covering or adhesive in this package does NOT contain asbestos.

Installation:
Location: All grade levels

Tools:

  • Push Broom
  • Seam Sealer
  • Seam Cleaner
  • Utility Knife
  • Bruce® TuffLink™ adhesive
  • 3/8˝ Short Nap Paint Roller
  • Recommended Floor Primer (if needed)
  • Straight Edge
  • Silicone Caulks
  • One Sided Seam Tape
  • Tape Measure
  • Double Sided Tape
  • Denatured Alcohol
  • Recommended Trowel**
  • 75 lb Floor Roller

General Information:
Vinyl flooring is designed for interior applications only. To select the most suitable flooring among AHF Products’ range of products, you should consider the type of traffic in the areas intended for installation. Softer vinyl flooring is not suitable for areas under heavy static or dynamic loads, including areas subject to caster wheels without proper protection.

STORAGE AND HANDLING

AHF Products sheet vinyl and installation accessories must be stored in a climate-controlled environment protected from weather conditions for a minimum of 48 hours prior to installation. Jobsite temperatures should be maintained at a minimum temperature of 65° F and a maximum of 85° F and a relative humidity of 35%-55% before, during and thereafter installation. Interior temperature should never be allowed to fall below 55° F. Storage area must be dry, without direct sunlight and away from heat generating or combustion appliances. If flooring material is to be pre-cut, it should be rolled face out around a sturdy cardboard tube and stored in a manner that will not distort the product. Never store or transport in a manner that will distort the product.

Keys to Successful Locking Installation:

  • For loose lay installations, sheet vinyl should not be exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods. Direct sunlight can result in discoloration, and excessive temperatures may cause expansion. The use of drapes or blinds is recommended during peak sunlight exposure.
  • Proper conditioning of both the jobsite and the flooring is necessary. Sheet vinyl should not be exposed to sudden changes in temperature.
  • Store, transport and handle sheet vinyl so as to prevent any distortions. Do not store rolls on their sides. Distortions will not disappear over time. Ensure that the rolls lay flat after unrolled.
  • Protect the floor from heavy-rolling loads, other trades and replacement and/or movement of appliances by using sheets of plywood or similar.
  • Sheet vinyl alone is waterproof but excessive subfloor moisture may promote mildew or mold issues.
  • Radiant Heated substrates must not exceed a maximum surface temperature of 85° F.

SUBSTRATES

All substrates listed must be properly prepared and meet certain requirements. There may be other exceptions and special conditions for these substrates to be suitable for the as noted below. The application of subfloor preparation materials must be in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. All warranties and guarantees pertaining to the suitability and performance of any preparation or ancillary product rests with that material manufacturer or the Flooring Contractor.

Embossing levelers, patches, concrete, gypsum-based products and other such items, are the sole responsibility of the Flooring Contractor, General Contractor, and/or manufacturer of the particular subflooring product.

All substrates must be flat within 3/16˝ in 10’ or 1/8˝ in 6′

Suitable Substrates Include:

  • Concrete – dry and smooth on all grade levels
    • Acceptable moisture levels:
      • 12 lbs /1000 ft2 (ASTM F 1869 – Anhydrous Calcium Chloride)
      • 99% relative humidity (ASTM F-2170 In-Situ Relative Humidity)
  • Suspended wood subfloors with approved wood underpayments – must have minimum of 18˝ well ventilated crawl space underneath
    • Moisture content should not exceed 12%
    • OSB must be underlayment grade or additional underlayment is required
  • No more than two layers, fully-adhered, existing resilient floors – must not be foam-backed or cushion backed
  • Properly prepared ceramic tile, terrazzo, marble
  • Polymeric Poured (seamless) Floors
  • Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum

Underlayment Panels:
Underlayments for resilient flooring must be:

  • Structurally sound
  • Specifically designed and warranted for resilient flooring
  • A minimum of 1/4˝ (6mm) thick
  • Of a smooth surface, so as to prevent telegraphing
  • Able to resist indentations
  • Free of any substances that may cause flooring to stain

AHF Products is NOT responsible for:

  • Joint or texture show-through
  • Tunneling or ridging over underlayment joints
  • Underlayment panel problems caused by local climate conditions, basement, wall and subfloor construction, or improper installation

We strongly suggest you secure a written guarantee and installation instructions from the supplier or manufacturer of the underlayment board being used.

DO NOT INSTALL OVER:

  • Existing resilient tile floors that are below grade
  • Existing cushion-backed vinyl flooring
  • Carpet/carpet pad
  • Hardwood flooring that has been installed directly over concrete
  • Floating floors
  • Cement tile backer boards

Job Conditions/Preparations:

  • Surface Preparation: The surface must be free of dust, solvents, varnish, paint, wax, oil, grease, sealers, curing compounds, residual adhesive, adhesive removers and other foreign materials that might affect the adhesion of resilient flooring to the substrate or cause a discoloration of the flooring from below. Spray paints, permanent markers and other indelible ink markers must not be used to write on the back of the flooring material or used to mark the substrate as they could bleed through, telegraphing up to the surface and permanently staining the flooring material. If these contaminants are present on the substrate, they must be mechanically removed prior to the installation of the flooring material.
  • In renovation or remodel work, remove any existing adhesive residue so that 100% of the overall area of the original substrate is exposed.
  • Temperature: Sheet flooring should only be installed in temperature-controlled environments. It is necessary to maintain a constant temperature before, during and after the installation. Therefore, the HVAC system must be in operation before the installation of resilient flooring. Portable heaters are not recommended, as they may not heat the room and subfloor sufficiently. Kerosene heaters should never be used.
    • Allow all flooring materials and adhesives to condition to the room temperature for a minimum of 48 hours before starting the installation.
    • The area to receive the resilient flooring should be maintained at a minimum of 65° F (18° C) and a maximum of 85° F (29° C) for 48 hours before and during installation, as well as 48 hours after completion.
    • The performance of the flooring material and adhesives can be adversely affected outside this temperature range. During the service life of the floor, the room temperature should never rise above 100° F (38° C) nor fall below 55° F (13° C). The performance of the flooring material and adhesives can be adversely affected outside this temperature range.

INSTALLATION

Installation Preparation:
BEFORE INSTALLATION

Before installation, AHF Products sheet vinyl should be laid flat and left for two hours at a minimum room temperature of 65° F. If not possible to do this then the flooring should be loosely rolled and left in the room where it is to be installed for at least 24 hours. These temperatures will allow the flooring products to be more pliable and installation sundries cure appropriately as designed.

Carefully clean the surface of all debris and contamination and confirm the subfloor is properly prepared and complies with installation and adhesive requirements before proceeding. Installation of flooring implies acceptance of subfloor and jobsite conditions. Adhesive removers and/or other solvents should not be used to clean existing adhesive residue or other contaminates from the surface of the subfloor.

LOOSE LAY INSTALLATION – 225 SQ. FT. OR LESS

**Loose lay installation method allows AHF Products sheet vinyl to be installed over many substrates unsuitable for fully adhered cushion vinyl products such as lightweight concrete, OSB, particleboard and chipboard. Loose lay installation isn’t suitable for areas with heavy pivot points, rolling traffic, stairs, appliances prone to vibration (washing machines) and landings. Substrate moisture and consistent ambient temperature requirements still apply. Loose lay is suitable for areas that require no more than one seam. Use Low Gloss Cold Weld Seam Sealer and one-sided seam tape. For areas requiring multiple seams, AHF Products sheet vinyl should be installed fully adhered. Do not install cabinetry on top of loose laid vinyl floor coverings. Loose lay installation method should not be used if the AHF Products sheet vinyl backing becomes creased, distorted or the room layout is complex. Perform appropriate substrate moisture test and ensure ambient temperatures are within tolerance.

Remove all furnishings, appliances, shoe moldings, quarter round and transition strips. Undercut all decorative trim moldings and door jambs to allow the sheet vinyl to move freely without any pinch points.

  • Prepare substrate. Remove all foreign substances. Sweep or vacuum floor to remove all dirt, debris or contaminants.
  • Remove the sheet vinyl from core taking care not to allow the floorcovering to wrinkle, crease or become distorted.
  • Position the sheet vinyl to allow for best overall room design. Place seams in the least conspicuous and least traveled area in the room.
  • Make rough cuts leaving 2˝-4˝ excess to be trimmed later.
  • Apply double face tape at doorways with a transition strip and next to sliding glass doors and apply an X of double face tape underneath appliances.
  • Make relief cuts at corners and projections to allow material to lay flat before final cuts are made.
  • Allow flooring to relax and lay flat. Use a push broom to remove distortions or air pockets.
  • After final cuts are made, inspect all expansion gaps to ensure no pinch points have been created and appropriate expansion space has been observed. A minimum 1/8˝ expansion gap is required around the perimeter and all vertical objects.
  • Apply silicone caulk next to sliding doors, patio doors, around metal door jambs, bathtubs, showers, and other similar areas.
  • Use a minimum 3/8˝ quarter round or baseboard to cover expansion gap.
  • Transition strips, thresholds, in-floor vents, and quarter round should leave a 1/8˝-3/16˝ gap to allow the sheet vinyl to move freely during periods of expansion and contraction and eliminate pinch points. Always fasten quarter round and decorative trims to the wall and not through the floor

NOTE: DO NOT apply double face tape around the perimeter of the installation area.

SEAMING
It is important that each piece is cut from the same parent roll. This will ensure that you have true colormatch along the seam. To keep seam visibility to a minimum, position the seams whenever possible so that:

  1. Main traffic runs parallel to instead of across the seam.
  2. Light doesn’t strike directly across the seam.
  3. Seams are not located in areas subject to pivoting traffic.
  4. In doorway openings connecting adjoining rooms, parallel seams are required. If pieces are cut from different rolls, please check with your supplier to ensure rolls have the same batch number. AHF Products will not accept responsibility for color variation.
  • Seam cuts required in the primary part of a room should be made after the product has been rough cut and is lying flat in position but prior to final fitting.
  • Overlap the vinyl flooring and bring the pattern into an exact match.
  • The most accurate method of maintaining the pattern grout line/plank joint width is to make the seam cut alongside the grout line/plank joint.
  • With sheets aligned, position the steel straight edge so it completely covers the grout line/plank joint of the top sheet. Using the straightedge as a guide, cut the length of the seam in the grout line/plank joint with a utility knife.
  • This technique will ensure that all grout lines/plank joints are of the same width. (Scribe cutting will produce the best results on the seam).
  • Cut the seam net, not full. Do not add fullness to the cut by placing scrap under the seam. Keep the utility knife blade parallel to the straightedge, at a 90° angle to the floor covering. Fold back one side of the cut seam and remove the piece that was cut off.
  • Using a pencil, mark a line on the substrate along the seam to be used as a reference for positioning the acrylic single sided tape.
  • Install the tape centering it under the seam. Use a hand roller or clean cloth to press it against the substrate.
  • Peel the release layer off of the tape begin to carefully reposition the two sides of the seam on top of the tape.
  • Carefully fold both pieces of vinyl back about 8˝. While the edges are folded back apply a small bead of a Low Gloss Cold Weld Seam Sealer to the edge of the vinyl that is on the floor.
  • Tuck the seam edges together and wipe off excess with a clean dry cloth. If seam sealer hardens on the surface use denatured alcohol on a rag to clean up the seam.
  • Protect the seam and allow it to dry. Do not clean or allow heavy furnishings or appliances to be moved across the seam for 24 hours. When possible use plywood panels or similar material to roll appliances across, or lift appliance.

NOTE: When using a new blade for cutting seams, clean oils off of the blade with denatured alcohol to prevent contaminating the seam.

Fully Adhered Installation Instructions

All substrates must meet the same requirements as listed in General Subfloor Information in regard to moisture, temperature, stability, smoothness and general suitability for fully adhered AHF Products vinyl flooring. Perform appropriate substrate moisture test and ensure ambient temperatures are within tolerance.

Remove all furnishings, appliances, shoe moldings, quarter round and transition strips. Undercut all decorative trim moldings and door jambs to leave a 1/8˝ relief gap to allow flooring to slip underneath. Prepare substrate. Remove all foreign substances. Sweep or vacuum floor to remove all dirt, debris or contaminants.

  • Remove the sheet vinyl from core. Do not allow the floorcovering to wrinkle, crease or become distorted.
  • Position the sheet vinyl to allow for best overall room design. Place seams in the least conspicuous and least traveled area in the room. Make rough cuts leaving 2˝- 4˝ excess to be trimmed later.
  • Make relief cuts at corners and projections to allow material to lay flat before final cuts are made.
  • Allow flooring to relax and lie flat. Use a push broom to remove distortions or air pockets.
  • After final cuts are made, inspect all expansion gaps to ensure no pinch points have been created and appropriate expansion space has been observed. A minimum 1/8˝ expansion gap is required around the perimeter and all vertical objects. Final cuts must be made prior to applying adhesive.
  • Fold back material one half at a time and using a 1/16˝ x 1/32˝ x 1/32˝ U notch trowel, apply Bruce® TuffLink adhesive.
  • Allow adhesive to become semi-wet (TACK) before placing floor covering into adhesive.
  • Position the sheet vinyl in place so that no shifting can occur. Do not lift the vinyl into place because it may shift slightly and wrinkle.
  • Use the 3 section 75 lb. roller to roll the fully adhered flooring to ensure good contact with adhesive bed and remove air pockets from flooring.
  • Apply silicone caulk next to sliding doors, patio doors, around metal door jambs, bathtubs, showers and other similar areas.
  • Use a minimum 3/8˝ quarter round or baseboard to cover expansion gap.
  • Transition strips, thresholds, in-floor vents and quarter round should leave a 1/8˝-3/16˝ gap to allow the sheet vinyl to move freely underneath during periods of expansion and contraction to avoid pinch points.
  • Always fasten quarter round and decorative trims to the wall and not through the floor.

Finishing the Installation

Replace molding or wall base, allowing slight clearance between the molding and the planks. Nail the molding to the wall surface, not through the flooring. At doorways and at other areas where the flooring planks may meet other flooring surfaces, it is preferable to use a T -molding , or similar, to cover the exposed edge but not pinch the sheet vinyl. Leave a small gap between the planks and the adjoining surface. (Loose lay installation)

The new flooring can be exposed to light traffic immediately. Heavy traffic should be avoided for 24 hours. Avoid wet mopping the floor for 72 hours after the installation is complete.

Moving Heavy Appliances and Furniture:

  • When moving heavy or sharp objects (such as appliances) over resilient flooring installations, place a wood panel under the object. Without moving the panel, slide or roll the object over it. Follow with additional panels as needed. This method prevents scratches, tears, or buckling of the flooring material.
  • Before moving wheeled or caster objects over newly adhered flooring, use wood panels to protect the floor by distributing the load. Otherwise, permanent wheel tracking could develop in the flooring, caused by movement in the fresh adhesive. We recommend protecting the resilient flooring with wood panels whenever heavy objects are moved across it.
  • Equip table and chair legs with floor protectors to minimize scratches and indentations.

NOTE: Since rolling-type casters and certain feet on furniture and appliances may damage resilient flooring, any warranty as to the furniture’s or appliance’s suitability rests with their manufacturer.

Guidelines for Floor Protection Devices (furniture feet, rests, casters, wheels, etc.)

  • The contact area should be smooth and flat to provide full contact and be free of small protrusions, irregularities, roughness, depressions, mold lines, embedded dirt, grit, etc.
  • The contact area should be large enough to distribute the load evenly without damaging the floor.
  • All edges should be slightly rounded to prevent damage if briefly turned on edge.
  • Floor contact devices should be manufactured from non-staining materials.
  • Floor contact devices should be properly maintained. Worn, damaged and missing devices should be replaced.
  • Furniture, appliances, equipment, etc. should be properly leveled so that all floor contact devices rest fully and firmly on the floor at all times.

Proactive Protection for Your Floor:

  • When moving appliances or heavy furniture it is always wise to lay a plywood panel, or similar, on your floor and “walk” the item across it. This protects your floor from scuffing, gouging and tears.
  • Use floor protectors under furniture to reduce indentation. As a general rule, the heavier the item, the wider the floor protector needed.
  • Place a walk-off mat at outside entrances to reduce the amount of dirt brought into your home. Mats without a latex or rubber backing should not be used because these backings can cause permanent discoloration.

Caring for Your Floor:

  • Sweep or vacuum regularly, to remove loose dirt which can scratch your floor. Note: We do not recommend vacuums that have a beater bar since it can visibly damage your flooring surface. Additionally, we do not recommend electric brooms with hard plastic bottoms with no padding as use may result in discoloration and de-glossing.
  • Wipe up spills as soon as possible. Never use highly abrasive scrubbing tools on any resilient floor.
  • Wash your floor regularly with a vinyl floor cleaner such as Bruce® Multi Surface Floor Cleaner.
  • Do NOT use detergents, abrasive cleaners, or “mop and shine” products. These products may leave a dull film on your floor.
  • Vinyl flooring, like other types of smooth floors, can become slippery when wet. Allow time for floor to dry after washing. Immediately wipe up wet areas from spills, foreign substance, or wet feet.

More Information

For detailed maintenance and product information, please visit AHF Products’ technical website at www.hardwoodexpert.com.

Updated on July 21, 2022

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