tiles, to which you must add 5 percent for waste. The
total number of tiles required is 1,028.
When tiling large areas, work from several different
boxes of tile. This will avoid concentrating one color
shade variation in one area of the floor.
SHEET VINYL FLOORING
Because of its flexibility, vinyl flooring is very easy
to install. Since sheets are available in 6- to 12-foot
widths, many installations can be made free of seams.
Flexible vinyl flooring is fastened down only around the
edges and at seams. It can be installed over concrete,
plywood, or old linoleum.
To install, spread the sheet smoothly over the floor.
Let excess material turn up around the edges of the
room. Where there are seams, carefully match the
pattern. Fasten the two sections to the floor with
adhesive. Trim the edges to size by creasing the vinyl
sheet material at intersections of the floor and walls and
cutting it with a utility knife drawn along a straightedge.
Be sure the straightedge is parallel to the wall.
After the edges are trimmed and fitted, secure them
with a staple gun, or use a band of double-faced adhesive
tape. Always study the manufacturers directions
carefully before starting the work.
Wall-to-wall carpeting can make a small room look
larger, insulate against drafty floors, and do a certain
amount of soundproofing. Carpeting is not difficult to
All carpets consist of a surface pile and backing. The
surface pile may be nylon, polyester, polypropylene,
acrylic, wool, or cotton. Each has its advantages and
disadvantages. The type you select depends on your
needs. Carpeting can be purchased in 9-, 12-, and
Measuring and Estimating
Measure the room in the direction in which the
carpet will be hid. To broaden long, narrow rooms, lay
patterned or striped carpeting across the width. For
conventional y rectangular rooms, measure the room
lengthwise. Include the full width of doorframes so the
carpet will extend slightly into the adjoining room.
When measuring a room with alcoves or numerous wall
projections, calculate on the basis of the widest and
longest points. This will result in some waste material,
but is safer than ordering less than what you need.
Most wall-to-wall carpeting is priced by the square
yard. To determine how many square yards you need,
multiply the length by the width of the room in feet and
divide the result by 9.
Except for so-called one-piece and cushion-
backed carpeting, underpayment or padding is essential
to a good carpet installation. It prolongs the life of the
carpeting, increases its soundproofing qualities, and
adds to underfoot comfort.
The most common types of carpet padding are latex
(rubber), sponge-rubber foams, soft-and-hardback vinyl
foams, and felted cushions made of animal hair or of a
combination of hair and jute. Of all types, the latex and
vinyl foams are generally considered the most practical.
Their waffled surface tends to hold the carpet in place.
Most carpet padding comes in a standard 4 1/2-foot
Cushion-backed carpeting is increasing in popu-
larity, especially with do-it-yourself homeowners. The
high-density latex backing is permanently fastened to
the carpet, which eliminates the need for a separate
underpadding. It is nonskid and heavy enough to hold
the carpet in place without the use of tacks. In addition,
the foam rubber backing keeps the edges of the carpet
from unraveling so that it need not be bound. Foam
rubber is mildewproof and unaffected by water, so the
carpet can be used in basements and other below-grade
installations. It can even be laid directly over unfinished
The key feature of this backing, however, is the
dimensional stability it imparts to the carpet. This added
characteristic means the carpet will not stretch, nor will
it expand and contract from temperature or humidity
changes. Because of this, these carpets can be loose-laid,
with no need for adhesive or tacks to give them stability.
Preparing the Floor
To lay carpets successfully on wood floors, you
must ensure that the surface is free of warps, and that all
nails and tacks are either removed or hammered flush.
Nail down any loose floorboards and plane down the
ridges of warped boards. Fill wide cracks between
floorboards with strips of wood or wood putty. Cover
floors that are warped and cracked beyond reasonable
repair with hardboard or plywood.