Flash cove heat welding is among the hardest skills to master in floor heat welding. Without the right tools and practice, it can be tricky to pull off without errors.
A solid foundation in flash coving can separate you from most flooring installers in your area. Knowing how to heat weld vinyl flash cove is necessary when heat welding on vinyl base, under toe kicks and cabinets. Heat welding flash coving can be a challenge at first but with some practice and the right tools it will become easier. For a comparison of how heat welding can greatly differ using different tools and techniques check out Choosing the Right Tools: Heat-Welding Flash Coving Under Toe Kicks. It’s an excellent article written by Jon Namba for the Floor Covering Installer Magazine.
We normally work directly with installers on this technique but today we’re going to share a step-by-step guide on heat welding vinyl flash coving.
Step 1: Grooving
** Tip: Grooving flash coving is easier if you lightly pre-heat the flooring material with your heat welding gun. **
Assuming that you have already laid the sheet vinyl with a narrow gap in the seam – approximately 1/64th of an inch – it’s time to groove out the seam. We recommend using the Turbo Cove Groover. The Cove Groover is designed with a front guiding fin that that will help keep the groover in place even when there is low visibility. The Turbo Cove Groover really stands out when you are grooving under toe kicks and cabinets by guiding you through the seam when it can’t be seen.
- The Turbo Cove Groover was designed specifically to groove flash cove areas with special technology to guide you through the grooving process.
Most groovers are built for straight paths – making them a real challenge to use in these types of situations. Your typical hand pull groovers work a little better because of their size but they’re still limited. Under toe kicks and cabinets, the guiding fin will prevent you from jumping out of the seam and gauging the material. The Turbo Cove Groover was built specifically to groove flash coving and can groove in any direction without issue. Just make sure that the handle is at approximately 90 degrees to the surface and you’ll get that even groove throughout.
Step 2: Heat Welding – The L-Welding System
Heat welding vertical seams is dependent on two tools. The heat welding gun and the heat welding tip.
Heat Welding Gun
When choosing a heat welding gun you will likely come across larger guns such as the Leister Triac. Although it is a great heat welding gun for straight seams, it can make heat welding vertical seams very challenging or impossible. For heat welding flash coving – we strongly recommend using the Leister Hot Jet S.
- The Leister Hot Jet S has the perfect design for heat welding flash cove, corners, toe kicks, doorways, details, hard to reach areas, etc.
The light weight design allows the installer to heat weld with higher precision and more control. Flash coved vinyl can leave you with very tight spots that need heat welding. Trying to maneuver the larger heat guns is not only tiring but makes you more likely to accidentally scorch the material. The lighter design does not compromise quality in your heat welded seams. The Leister Hot Jet S also allows the installer to control the heat and the air flow to heat weld at the highest quality with a simple turn of the wrist.
Heat Welding Tip
When choosing your heat welding tip you have a few options. The traditional way of heat welding would suggest using a speed tip. On linoleum this could be a good option. However – on vinyl sheet flooring – using a traditional speed tip increases the chances of burning the material. It’s a lot of power for such sensitive material. Simply put, controlling all of the hot air fired through such a large opening while heat welding vertically is tough.
In recent years an advancement in heat welding tools has revolutionized vertical heat welding. The invention of the Turbo L-Welding System successfully allows an installer to heat weld up walls with full control and accuracy. Built with the patented Turbo Precision Design, the L-Welding system is built to allow you to effectively heat weld flash coves with ease.
How does it work?
The Turbo L-Welding System is powered by the Detail Nozzle attached to the L-Welding adapter on a Leister Hot Jet S. The Leister Hot Jet S provides the power needed for the job while being light and small enough to not compromise your visibility or get too heavy. The Adapter L Pencil Tip gives you an easier, more comfortable angle while welding vertically. Finally, the Detail Nozzle was designed for these type of difficult seams – allowing you to heat weld vertically without scorching the material.
- The Detail Nozzle is aptly named as it was created specifically for “detail” work. Flash cove areas, toe kicks, corners, vertical heat welding, etc. This patented technology ensures that you avoid scorching the material.
It was created with the “field knowledge” that visibility is low and space is limited. The Turbo Detail Nozzle holds the welding rod in place and ensures that the welding rod gets heated to the optimal temperature.
With the L-Welding system you can simply turn your wrist instead of moving your entire arm throughout the process.
The combination of these three components constitutes the L-Welding system. This will make heat welding flash coving easier than ever.
Step 3: Skiving
To skive off the welding rod using an X-Acto knife – start at the curve and work your way up and down. Alternate your direction and keep shaving off the welding rod until the seam becomes smooth.
When skiving with your quarter moon knife start by skiving the rod in an upward direction and then alternate downward. Start at the curve and continue skiving until the seam becomes smooth.
We hope this helps you in the future and you refer to this guide whenever you have questions about heat welding flash coved vinyl. If you have any more questions or comments, send us a message on our Facebook page or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org Our goal is to be a resource to installers around the world and if anything isn’t clear in this article, we’d be happy to try and help.
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