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We put down a sheet 12X9 of linoleum in our kitchen and it went under the new cabinets and baseboard. The flooring depot said no glue was needed. Well now we have bubbles, a great big one and several others. What is the easiest way to fix this problem?

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Many manufacturers will state that a flooring does not require adhesive when in fact it does. Always insist that they use adhesive in the future. –  maple_shaft Feb 25 '13 at 12:39

3 Answers 3

Most likely you have the new style of fiberglass, vinyl flooring. It has a softer feel than regular inlaid vinyl (slight padding on back) and in some cases can be laid without adhesives. I have been using this type of sheet goods a lot lately. My customers love it.

More directly to your problem. Since you installed cabinets and baseboards on top of the flooring, it has no space to expand into, thus the bubbles. Also, it may have not been rolled well before the cabinets and base were installed. I would never have installed without an adhesive. You cannot use regular flooring adhesive on these types of fiberglass flooring. If an adhesive is used, it must be the new non-setting type. This adhesive is kind of like the glue on a post-it note. It never dries up hard and allows the flooring to be peeled up years from now. It must be applied very thinly across the entire field, never just around the perimeter. The flooring must then be rolled with at lest a 75 to 100 pound roller. We usually go back an hour after the initial rolling and give it a second roll.

In your case, I'd remove the baseboards, roll the flooring up against the cabinets, apply the proper adhesive and let the flooring back down. Roll it from the cabinets out to the edges, so the adhesive does not pool up. If you are brave, you could cut the flooring along the edge of the cabinets, take it out of the room then apply adhesive and reinstall the floor.

I should note, depending on what you have under your new flooring, you may have to apply an ultra thin coat of embossing leveler to assure proper bonding of the glue to the existing floor.

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I'm not an expert on installing linoleum, but I've never heard it being installed without some form of adhesive.

I imagine the issue you are having is that because you installed without an adhesive, it's technically now a floating floor. A floating floor will expand/contract with changes of temperature and humidity. Because of that, you never have a floating floor span the entire width of the room as you want to leave a small gap to allow this expansion/contraction some place to go. Because you've 'pinched' the edges under your cabinets, the only place the linoleum can go when expanded is 'up' and it buckles in the center.

I think you have two options:

  1. Pull it up and reinstall with adhesive

  2. Pull it up and trim it so that it doesn't reach the cabinets/wall (leave a small gap). You may then need to install shoe moulding to cover the gap.

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I recently pulled up my vinyl flooring and replaced it with some tile in my kitchen. While I was pulling up the vinyl I noticed that for the most part the flooring didnt have any adhesive on it. The installer/ previous homeowner did however use an adhesive on the edging of all the vinyl in the kitchen. It appears they made it tight and then glued the ends to prevent the bubbling. I've owned my home for 2 years before I ripped up the vinyl, and the vinyl has been down since '94 and there has never been any bubbling.

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