How to Install Linoleum Flooring – Forbes Home

  • Work time: 4 to 6 hours
  • Total time: One day
  • Competence level: Intermediate
  • Project cost: Linoleum flooring can cost between $0.60 and $5 per square foot, or $900 on average for a 300 square foot project. With professional help, expect to pay around $1,200.

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Installing linoleum flooring requires patience and a bit of planning. Linoleum flooring can be a great choice because of its durability and ability to enhance a room with just a little work. Many people think that linoleum flooring is the same as vinyl flooring, but there are a few distinct differences.

Linoleum is water resistant while vinyl flooring is waterproof. Another difference is that linoleum is made from linseed oil, pine resin and wood dust and has a jute backing, while vinyl is made from synthetic material. Linoleum flooring has its pros and cons, but it’s important to decide if this type of flooring is right for you before buying linoleum flooring.


  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Hammer or lever
  • Screwdriver
  • utility knife
  • Notched trowel
  • floor roller


  • Linoleum
  • Marking paper/tape measure
  • Pencil or marker
  • Flooring Adhesive
  • Linoleum sealant
  • Caulk

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How to lay linoleum flooring instructions

1. Measure the room

Take a tape measure and write down the dimensions of the room so you know how much linoleum you will need. When measuring, be sure to purchase linoleum flooring approximately 10% larger than the actual dimensions.

Pay attention to the subfloor if you choose to remove the old flooring. Linoleum flooring doesn’t bond well to rough chipboard, and you’ll probably need to add a layer of plywood to rip up the old flooring.

2. Let the linoleum acclimate

Linoleum typically takes about 24 to 48 hours to acclimate to your home environment. Since linoleum can expand and contract slightly, it’s important to let it sit for a bit before laying it down. Once you start laying linoleum flooring, it will be important to leave an excess of ¼ inch on each side to allow for expansion and contraction.

3. Remove furniture, baseboards, appliances and doors

You will want to remove all furniture, baseboards, appliances, and doors before installing linoleum flooring. You will need a hammer or pry bar to remove the baseboards and a screwdriver to remove the doors. You don’t want to try to get around doorways when laying linoleum floors.

4. Fix and level the existing floor

Linoleum flooring doesn’t always require an underlay because it has a backing, but you’ll need to make sure your existing floor is level and has no pockets or bumps. If you can’t fix a dent, you’ll notice it later and the linoleum may crack. Use a level to make sure the floor is level before proceeding.

5. Mark the cut lines on the linoleum

Measure twice and cut once, right? This do-it-yourself principle applies when laying linoleum flooring. Before you start cutting you will want to mark cut lines on the linoleum to avoid any mistakes. Use a tape measure to make sure your lines are straight.

6. Cut the linoleum

A utility knife will do the job of cutting the linoleum flooring, but a jigsaw can also be useful. When using a utility knife, be sure to mark the ground before completing the cut.

7. Lay the linoleum

Begin applying the flooring adhesive to the existing subfloor or floor with a notched trowel. You can find flooring adhesive and a notched trowel at any hardware or hardware store. Be sure to apply a thin, even coat of flooring adhesive before placing the linoleum flooring. As you install linoleum flooring, remove excess flooring adhesive with a damp cloth.

8. Roll the linoleum and apply the sealant

After laying the linoleum, you need to roll it with a floor roller. You probably don’t want to buy a floor roller for a one-time project, so check with your local hardware or home improvement store to see if you can rent one. You will want to apply sealant between the seams to prevent peeling or potential water damage. Linoleum sealant can help give the floor a nice shiny finish.

9. Let the soil sit for a day and replace the removed elements

Keep all foot traffic off the floor for an entire day so the flooring adhesive can do its job with the linoleum flooring. After a day, you can start replacing appliances, doors, baseboards, and furniture that you have moved from the room.

10. Caulk the floor where needed

Some areas of the room may need to be caulked as you reassemble them. Pay attention to baseboards, toilets, and other areas near appliances that use water. Latex or acrylic based sealant will work best.

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When to call a pro

If your floor is uneven or suffers from bumps and dips, it might be time to call a professional to fix it or add a layer of plywood over the subfloor. A professional can save you time by coming to repair the subfloor.


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