Agree, in our time, despite the huge selection of flooring, linoleum has been and remains a very popular material. I would even say that this is the most “popular” and affordable floor material. But here, however, there is one problem. Linoleum is sold, as a rule, in rolls, and if a piece of the desired length can be cut off, then problems arise with the width – the width of the linoleum is often less than the width of the room.
What to do? For example, one could put two canvases in parallel, “covering” the missing distance. But then an “ambush” arises: over time, the joints between the canvases will peel off, begin to bristle, water will certainly get there (the floors must be washed regularly!). Water will begin to “undermine” the linoleum from the inside, shortening its already not very long life.
There is only one way out: correctly process the joints. That is, cook them “tightly”. And cook according to all the rules.
Now let’s look at both processes.
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Experts divide linoleum into two types: household and commercial. We have already told you how they differ. But in short, we recall that household linoleum is softer than commercial linoleum, and less resistant to abrasion, it is made exclusively from PVC. But more durable commercial linoleum is made of PVC, and natural – from resin, linseed oil, chalk and jute.
Nadezhda Kozlova The width of a roll of commercial and household PVC coating is on average from 2–2.5 meters (less often 3-4 meters wide). The width of natural linoleum is 2 meters on average. That, we repeat, as a rule, less width and even less the length of the room.
How to cook? There are two options – hot and cold welding. The choice depends on two points.
First, from the type of linoleum. If it is a commercial coating, the welding can be hot or cold. And if the coating is household, then only cold, otherwise not only the seams will melt, but also the floor surface adjacent to them.
Secondly, the choice depends on the seam complexity. For example, if you want to make an applique on linoleum, then the seam will be curly, complex. Such a seam is easier, more accurate, and faster to cold weld..
Boil the seam while it’s hot
So, we decided that only commercial linoleum is cooked by hot welding (at a temperature of 350–400 ° C). You can, of course, apply cold welding, but, as a rule, commercial linoleum is laid where there is a lot and often walk. Therefore, it must be welded stronger than the household one, that is, it must be cooked using the hot method. But let’s make a reservation right away: hot welding is a specialist’s business. The master will work with a special tool, he also has a special cord for welding commercial linoleum. And the owner’s job is only to control the process. What to control?
We answer: welding should be carried out only after the linoleum is already well glued to the floor (ideally, “welding” work is carried out only the next day after gluing).
Move on. What the process will look like?
1. Along the entire length of the joint of carefully laid linoleum canvases (the gap between them should be minimal) with a mechanical plane or a chisel, the master cut a groove (groove) for the cord, which will be welded. Each type of linoleum has its own cord. The average cord price is 67 cents per running meter for PVC linoleum and $ 1.50 for natural covering. If you buy linoleum from a company, and not from hands, then the sellers will choose the necessary cord for you..
2. Craftsmen carefully clean the joints with a special vacuum cleaner.
3. The cord is tucked into the welding gun-hair dryer, the gun is plugged into the network. With the tip of the pistol, the cord is pressed into the groove for a second – the cord is firmly fused into the joint. And so – along the entire length of the joint.
4. While the seam has not cooled down, the master cuts off the part of the fused cord protruding above the surface with a special arcuate knife or flat chisel. This must be done in two steps – otherwise the seam will turn out to be concave.
First, cut a groove for the cord. The cord is fused into the groove between the linoleum sheets.
Cut off excess cord and sand the seam.
That’s it – now the seam is strong and tight.
It would seem how easy and simple everything is! However, experts advise against performing the operation on your own. First, high-temperature welding is a rather dangerous job. Secondly, let us remind you that you cannot do without special equipment. Buying it “for home, for family” is pointless: next time it will hardly be useful to you. And it’s also expensive: one pistol will cost $ 500-700.
Of course, you can rent equipment. But I, for example, found only one company where it is rented. All firms prefer to lay them themselves, without handing over “priceless units to someone who knows who” (as one manager rightly noted). In addition, in order for “it is not clear who” to use the pistol, you will have to leave a deposit of $ 500 and passport data. Plus the rental fee itself will cost $ 35 per day.
| How much is it? |
So you bought a commercial linoleum. Where to call the “welders” of the seams? Of course, from a company dealing specifically with seam welding.
The price list is as follows:
But these prices are suitable only if the seams are straight, like a ruler. And if, for example, you decide to make an application, then prices may increase by 10 times – it all depends on the complexity of the application. For example, craftsmen from one firm (who wished to remain anonymous) had to redo the applique three times. They worked at the facility of the cosmetic company “Schwarzkopf”. Moreover, they had to alter the image of the company’s trademark – the silhouette of a woman’s head. How much the order for “Schwarzkopf” cost, the performers do not say – a commercial secret.
But if you do not need special delights and you are planning to lay commercial linoleum without any special undertakings, then definitely choose hot welding. Especially if you need to process long joints.
Cold and simple
But for household linoleum, hot welding is not suitable. The high temperature will immediately melt linoleum, and not only along the seam. For domestic linoleum welding or for complex or short seams on a commercial floor, cold welding is fine..
By the way, when I told the story of the suffering with the image of the Schwarzkopf trademark to the specialists of the Tarkett Sommer concern, they were very surprised:
– It’s strange. Why didn’t they use glue??
– What other glue? – I was also surprised.
It turns out that the problem could be solved quite simply. There is a special glue for welding linoleum seams. It is called cold seam welding. The main advantage is that it is ideal for home conditions and does not require the participation of masters. In addition, it is perfect if you accidentally damage the PVC coating: the glue will seal the cut so that there are no marks left.
There are two types of glue: A and C. The first type (A) is suitable for welding seams of “freshly laid” linoleum. The second type (C) is for sealing seams on linoleum, which has already been in the apartment for some time, and the seams, quite possibly, have diverged a little.
The difference between A-glue and C-glue is in consistency, that is, in its density. C-glue (for old linoleum) is made much thicker: they have to fill the “parted” joints, sometimes several millimeters wide. It is poured between the old canvases, filling the gap formed, and holds them tightly. A-glue “works” in a different way: it holds tightly laid new pieces together, actually melting (“welding”) the edges of the linoleum.
– How long will the glue last? What is the expiration date? – I asked.
– We guarantee: as much as linoleum will be in your house. Especially if the floor is flat and the linoleum is glued to it. But we warn you: if there are so-called airbags (that is, non-glued places), the seams may come apart..
| Expert opinion |
Valentina Knyazeva, Professor of the Department of Architectural Materials Science, Moscow Architectural Institute:
– According to all technical standards, glue for cold welding of linoleum is quite suitable for use at home. Although, according to the MARCHI research center, the glue contains more than 40% chlorine. But it cannot be otherwise, otherwise it will not melt the PVC coating. By the way, in the West today they generally try not to use linoleum at home and, therefore, do not weld the seams. But since nothing else has been invented for fusing the seams of the PVC coating, you will have to use this for now.
Well, good. However, keep in mind: natural linoleum cold welding may not take. Now let’s figure out how to work with cold welding..
Cold welding with A-glue
Carefully dock the linoleum canvases. Stick the tape on the joint.
Cut through the tape with a knife. A-glue is poured into the slot.
1. First you must (necessarily) wear gloves.
2. We thoroughly clean the seam from dust with a vacuum cleaner. If water gets into the joint, wipe it dry.
3. We glue a wide one-sided tape on the edges of the panels (at the joint) (it will protect that part of the linoleum that does not need to be melted).
4. Carefully cut the tape over the junction of the linoleum canvases with a blade.
five. Now you can gently apply the glue. There is a “needle” on the tip of the tube – this is the guide along which the glue rolls. Hold a cotton swab under the tip so that excess glue drips onto it and not onto the linoleum. The height of the adhesive bead (i.e. the part protruding above the surface) should be approximately 4 mm.
6. After 5-10 minutes, you can remove the tape. In half an hour, when the glue is completely dry, you can walk and even run along the seam.
7. If the glue accidentally spills onto the linoleum, you do not need to wipe off the excess immediately. Wait for the glue to dry and then remove with a sharp knife.
Cold welding with C-glue
It looks like a seam on linoleum after cold welding with C-glue
Scotch tape is not needed: the glue is thick, it will not creep. Everything else follows the same pattern..
1. Put on gloves.
2. We clean the joint from dust and remnants of old glue (on which linoleum was glued).
3. We apply glue and wait until it dries. Attention: during cold welding, we advise you to open a window in the room, as the adhesives contain volatile solvents that are harmful to health!
There is still one more ambiguity. What is the best way to lay linoleum and, accordingly, weld it – along or across? So, experts said that everything here depends on how the light falls. In general, this does not affect the strength of the seams. And also keep in mind: the shorter the seam, the more reliable.
By the way, at the representative office of the Tarkett Sommer company I was presented with a tube of glue and several samples of PVC linoleum. For a sample. They know very well our habit of testing everything “for ourselves.” I checked, and what?
Indeed, the pieces of linoleum were welded very firmly. Our entire editorial office tried to dismember them with all available means at hand – nothing came of it! And the seam is really practically invisible. Moreover, we were so carried away by the entertaining process of cold welding that literally a queue lined up, my colleagues certainly wanted to “glue” it. But I called them to order, it will still come in handy: I will glue toy plumbing from linoleum with my nephew.
You shouldn’t laugh – at one construction exhibition, representatives of the Tarkett company built a small bath of linoleum and poured water into it. So this bath stood with water for the entire exhibition and did not lose a drop.