Ordinary linoleum is sold in rolls two yards wide. If either dimension of the room approximates four yards, omitting bays and recesses, two strips each the length of the other dimension will nearly cover the floor. Add to this length sufficient space over the remaining areas and allow for matching the pattern.
Should the room be considerably less in width than four yards, but more than two, twice the length of the other dimension will still be needed, but less may be added for bays, recesses and matching. When neither measurement of the room approximates four yards, but both are greater, take the one that is nearest to six yards, multiply the other length by three, and add sufficient for bays, recesses and matching, if these items cannot be schemed out of the surplus due to the shorter width than six yards. In measuring up for a bay, the depth and the greatest length must be considered the proper dimensions, unless joins are allowable.
The centre join running the length of the room should be hidden as much as possible by furniture.
Fitting and Laying.
Hammer down the projecting nails in the floor, then fill in crevices with paper pulp, sweep the boards carefully, spread out sheets of brown paper or newspaper and tack down just sufficiently to keep them in place. Now unroll linoleum. Supposing the room is 13 ft. by 10 ft., with a bay projecting from the long side, it will be best to fit the material in two long strips and not to place it in three, the short way of the room.
A length of 13 feet with an inch or two added for trimming, is cut from the roll and fitted from end to end of the rooms, in the space away from the bay. The angles of the wall may not be quite square, and so the material must be trimmed a little at a time until it fits snugly against the side walls. Unwind the remainder of the roll and put its edge against the edge of the piece already in position. It will not have space enough to lie flat, but that will not matter ; it can rest against the opposite wall for the moment. Place the length so that the pattern of the two joining edges match. Trim the two ends of the piece so that they will fit fairly against their respective end walls. Of course, the lino will not lie fiat as it is two feet wider than the space it has to fill.
Pull the length away from the wall so that part of it overlaps the fitted length ; it now lies flat. Measure from one corner of the room to the angle of the bay, and also from this latter point to the nearest point in the edge of the fitted section. Mark these positions on the lino and cut away the surplus, leaving an additional inch for trimming later. Repeat this process at the opposite corner of the room. Lift up the lino, place the long edge against the long edge of the first strip so that the pattern matches, and let the remaining length fall into position. Trim such parts as do not lie flat around the skirting.
We have been careful to leave two feet of width to go into the bay. This section is now trimmed, and should the bay be wider than two feet, an extra strip is let in. The join will be far less noticeable, being nearer to the window than if it came at the junction of the bay and the room proper.
If the lino has no pattern a simpler method is possible. The first strip is laid as described above ; the second is then fitted against its own wall, and the surplus width tucked under the the first length. Guided by the edge of the upper strip, a cut is made with the knife from end to end of the room. The top length is lifted, the cut-away piece drawn aside, and the two lengths fit snugly.
At first it is unwise to tack the lino firmly, except at the door, and where people are likely to be tripped up. It takes at least a fortnight to settle down and become flat, and if fixed securely at once will gradually rise in waves and is liable to crack.
Fixing is done by means of small brads ; never use flat-headed tacks,’as these wear bright and look unsightly. Place the brads in the dark parts of the pattern. Do the trimming with a hooknosed knife. Those who make shift with table knives or pocket knives will find the work arduous and untidy. Never lay linoleum on a cold day; not only do the hands suffer, but the material becomes flinty; it is hard to cut and difficult to uncurl.