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Competencies covered

MSFFL3013: Install commercial vinyl floor coverings

MSFFL3014: Install resilient floor coverings using custom designs and decorative finishes

Borders and feature strips

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Borders and feature strips are designed to make a floor look more attractive.

Borders go around the field area of a floor and can vary in size and style.

Feature strips are generally narrower, and often form part of the overall floor design.

Apart from these differences, they are much the same in terms of installation techniques.

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Installing a simple border

This drawing shows a yellow feature strip set in 300 mm from the wall, and a beige coloured border against the wall.

The steps involved in installing the border are as follows.

  1. Strike a chalk line to mark out the inside edge of the border pieces (that is, the edge furthest away from the wall).

  2. Cut the field material so it overlaps the chalk line by about 50 mm.
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  1. Spread the adhesive to the chalk line only and press in the field material, leaving the last 50 mm unstuck. Roll out the field material with a roller.

  2. Transfer the chalk line to the top of the field material, using the line on the floor either side of the material as reference marks.
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  1. Cut along the line with a straight edge and upright knife and then roll the edges again.

  2. Cut the border strip 50 mm wider than its finished size will be (that is, cut it to 350 mm) to allow for scribing and trimming.
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  1. Butt the border piece against the field material, set the bar scriber to make allowance for the 100 mm distance from the wall, and scribe the wall line onto the piece. Then cut the piece to size.

  2. Cut the feature strip to the exact width (100 mm).
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  1. Check the fit of the feature strips and border pieces by putting them into position, starting at the inside and working towards the wall.

  2. Remove the pieces and spread adhesive between the wall and field. Press the pieces into position and roll thoroughly with a hand roller.
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Some installers like to weld the seams using a contrasting colour of welding cable.

A seam weld can even be used as a feature strip in its own right, set into the floor in a contrasting colour.

It's also possible to install the border first, before you lay the field. This helps with the overlapping of the two colours in the weld.

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Learning activity

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Have you worked on any installations that involved borders or feature strips?

What type of project was it? What was the design?

If you haven't done these sorts of installations before, have a look around in your travels at some examples of borders and feature strips. You're likely to find them in shopping centres, foyers in large offices, hospitals, and so on.

Also ask your supervisor or another experienced installer about the types of jobs they have worked on. What were the designs and patterns? How did they set them out on the floor?

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