How to install vinyl plank flooring

How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

You bought vinyl plank flooring and you don’t know how to install it? You’ve come to the right place because here we show you how to install vinyl plank flooring, easily, economically, and effectively. We show you what you need, the step by step of the installation, and the best tips for a perfect floor.

Without further ado, let’s get started:

Let’s start by saying, your choice was the best. Vinyl flooring is beautiful, durable and, as if that weren’t enough, water-resistant. That’s why we can use them in places exposed to moisture such as bathrooms, basements, and kitchens. Vinyl flooring comes in many different forms, including rolls, planks, and tablets. Here we present you the vinyl plank flooring installation, which is done by clicking.

Vinyl plank flooring installation is not complicated but it requires taking into account different aspects to achieve the expected result. That’s why we recommend you read carefully every step and every advice and tell us if the process has been clear. Below, you will find everything you need for your project on how to install vinyl flooring.

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What you will need to install vinyl plank flooring

First of all, you must have all the tools and of course, the materials for the project:

Materials:

Tools:

  • Utility knife
  • Level
  • Pull bar
  • Pliers
  • Straightedge
  • Square Tool
  • Pencil
  • Hammer
  • Nail gun
  • Sander (optional)

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Project planning and floor preparation

In vinyl plank flooring, project planning, and floor preparation are key steps to a perfect finish. For this reason, we have specified the steps to follow so as not to leave out any important details.

Step 1: Acclimate vinyl plank flooring

In the first place, floating floors require some time to acclimatize to space where they will be installed. Therefore, when you purchase your vinyl flooring, we recommend that you leave it at least 48 hours before installation at the chosen location. This will ensure that it is ready at the time of installation.

Vinyl plank flooring

Step 2: Prepare the space

When we say to prepare the space, we mean that, for a better result, it is suggested to remove, the baseboards and the doors. The suggestion to remove the baseboards has two purposes. The first is to allow edge-to-edge installation of the space and the second is to replace them if they are old or damaged.

Prepare the space

Regarding the doors, it is suggested to remove them from the hinges, and if you prefer you can remove the hinges as well. In this way, you get a cleaner installation without any major material cuts. Once the baseboards, the doors, and, if you prefer, the hinges are removed, the space is ready for installation.

Step 3: Where to start                      

After that, Choose the wall to begin your vinyl plank flooring installation. It’s always better to start with the longest wall in the room, but it should also be checked if this is the most visible wall in the room. The combination of these two factors will give you a pretty good idea of where to start.

Step 4: Preparing the floor             

This step of project preparation is especially important. Due to the flexible nature of vinyl flooring, it is sensitive to any bumps or unevenness in the subfloor where it is to be installed. A small nail protruding from the surface can cause bumps and deformations in the planks causing uneven floor wear.

Vinyl flooring can be installed over most surfaces, although it is not recommended to install it over another floating floor. If you have a concrete subfloor, fill in the low spots with concrete. If you have an old floor, it is advisable to remove it to install the vinyl flooring.

For this reason, you must prepare the floor by sanding down any lumps or bumps if necessary. If you have low unevenness, fill these with floor mats and allow them to dry thoroughly before starting installation.

Check the condition of the floor with the level to ensure that there are no unevennesses – high or low – greater than 2 mm (1/8″).

Step 5: Planning the installation

Before installing vinyl plank flooring, plan your project to achieve the desired result and look great. Planning includes projecting the first row and the length of the room.

To project the first row (on the wall you selected to start with), be careful not to start the vinyl flooring installation before measuring the width. Position the pieces along the wall and measure the distance left over. If it is less than 10″, it is recommended to cut the first plank to leave more room at the end and make sure that the same space is left on both sides of the wall. This will improve the appearance and installation of the floor.

How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

When planning the length of the room, keep in mind that it is not recommended that the first or last row be less than half the width of the table. To do this, measure the width of the room and divide this value by the width (shorter side) of a table. If this value results in a decimal place less than 0.5, decide to cut the first row to ensure this uniformity.

With these five steps, you are ready to start installing the vinyl plank flooring you have purchased.

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Step by step to install vinyl plank flooring

The first thing you should know about vinyl flooring installation is that your planks are very easy to cut. That’s why, you don’t need dangerous and noisy table saws, with a simple utility knife you can do it. In other words, you can achieve circular and irregular shaped cuts without much effort, for a perfect fit and appearance.

Besides, this floor does not need a noise-insulating subfloor, because it is flexible and makes it naturally quiet. So, if you decided to leave the doors and hinges, you can easily cut out the pieces of the vinyl flooring to fit.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

Step 1 – Lay the first plank

To install the first vinyl plank flooring, be sure to place the spacers to allow for the necessary expansion space. This space should be between 6mm and 9mm (1/4″ to 3/8″). It is important to keep this in mind when measuring the last plank in the row.

Lay the first plank

Step 2: Join the second plank

The planks are joined at the shortest side of the plank so that it slides into the groove until a perfect fit is achieved. To check that it is properly fitted, simply run your finger over the joint, if it is not noticeable to the touch, that’s it.

Join the second plank

Tip: It s better to mix boards from different boxes to combine the patterns and achieve a more uniform appearance.

Step 3: Cut and join the last plank

To cut the last board, use the square tool and utility knife. Measure the piece and mark the cut with a line. Run the knife once or twice along the line you drew. After that, take the piece and fold it over the cut. This should be enough for the piece to be cut properly.

Cut and join the last plank

Once we have cut the piece, place it in the determined space, and adjust it in the same way as the previous ones. Check that you have used the spacers on all the pieces.

Tip: It is recommended to be very careful when cutting the piece since vinyl flooring is slippery.

Step 4: Install the second row

Then, installing the first plank of the second row is very simple, lift the plank and locate the slot in the tongue. Lower the plank until you hear the “click” of adjustment and that’s it. Install the second plank starting from the short side of the plank, then lift the entire row and perform the same procedure (locate the slot in the tongue and lower the planks until you hear the click).

Install the second row

Check that the floor design is staggered and that the last plank of each row is not less than 25 cm long. This is to ensure stability to the floor.

Tip: If you find a place where the adjustment is difficult, use the flat bar and the hammer to achieve the perfect fit.

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Finish the vinyl plank flooring installation

For the following vinyl flooring rows, we are going to perform the same steps as described in step 4 “Install the second row” (see above). When you reach the last row and in a particular case, please take the following steps into account:

Step 1: Install the last row

To install the last row, cut the planks to the required width. Don’t forget to leave the required expansion space (described above). The space for the installation of the last planks can be reduced, in this aspect, the flexibility of the vinyl flooring is a factor in favor. You can bend the plank as much as required to achieve the fit. If this is not enough, use the flat bar and hammer to complete the installation.

Install the last row

Tip: The hammer blow should be light. Vinyl flooring does not require much outside to achieve the fit.

Step 2: Adjust and install the floor according to the site details

Perform this step if your space has figures or spaces that require different details. This could be pipes, ducts, or irregular corners. To achieve the perfect fit, measure the space where you need to adjust the floor. Transfer these measurements to the plank, if they are straight cuts use the utility knife. If they are circular cuts, use tin snips to achieve the desired shape.

Once you have cut the pieces, install them in the required place. Begin by installing the piece to the adjoining plank in the vinyl flooring design by keeping the other end raised off the floor. Finally, slowly lower the piece to fit the detail you are installing until it is in place.

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Put the finishing touches

Finally, the final touches of the project, which are the baseboards, doors, and hinges installation (in case they have been uninstalled).

Installing the baseboards and transition pieces

Use the nail gun to secure the baseboards to the wall. This allows you to do the job very quickly, easily, and safely. You can attach a baseboard of the same design as the floor installed or the color of the door moldings. Select the baseboard according to your taste.

Transition pieces are installed where the new floor joins the old floors, stairs, or entrances. To install, cut the piece to size, remove the paper covering the adhesive, and stick the piece in place.

Reinstall hinges and doors

Perform this step if you removed the hinges and doors for installation. Put the hinges back in place. If necessary, cut out space at the bottom so that it is above the installed floor. Then reinstall the door and call everyone to see the result.

With these simple steps, you have completed your project on how to install vinyl plank flooring. Now, it’s up to you to decide which new project you want to start.

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Come on and watch with us how to install vinyl plank flooring in the video tutorial below…

2 thoughts on “How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring”

  1. Great article! I always envied people who can do these things on their own. Unfortunately, I am not that experienced, so I would rather turn to professional flooring installation.

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