Vinyl plank flooring has risen in popularity in recent years, and for good reason: it is durable, easy to clean, and affordable.
Luxury vinyl plank‘s durability and water-resistance features, combined with its ease of installation, have made it a popular choice among experts and many do-it-yourself homeowners alike.
As a result of advancements in vinyl flooring manufacture and technology, current vinyl plank flooring is available in a variety of wood and stone patterns and textures that are highly lifelike.
Because of its water-resistant features, vinyl is currently the preferred flooring material for a wide range of applications, including corridors, living rooms, kitchens, and even bathrooms.
However, even though DIY installation of vinyl plank flooring is easier than other types of floor coverings such as tile or carpet, Do-It-Yourselfers are typically unaware of the usual hazards that professionals are aware of.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF VINYL PLANK FLOORING
Vinyl plank flooring is designed to be laid in one of two ways: either glue-down or floating over subflooring.
It is typically less difficult to install floating or click-lock vinyl flooring than it is to install traditional vinyl flooring because there is no glue or mess to deal with.
This process involves locking together floating floor-style vinyl planks with a built-in tongue and groove system before laying them on the subfloor — or even directly over an existing floor if the subfloor is already in place!
This kind of installation is referred to as “floating” because the flooring is installed above the subfloor without the use of adhesive, allowing for natural expansion and contraction due to variations in humidity or temperature.
Because vinyl flooring is sensitive to changes in temperature, it is recommended that you provide a 14-inch expansion space around the perimeter of your floor.
By doing so, you can ensure that the flooring extends as needed and does not warp or buckle in the midst of a room.
Having warped vinyl planks is the absolute last thing you want after all of your hard work planning, prepping, and laying your vinyl planks!
It is not necessary to be concerned about this spacing gap surrounding your finished floor because decorative trim and shoe molding can be applied to fill this space once the project is completed.
Vinyl planks that are glued down offer their own set of advantages.
As the name implies, this type of vinyl plank adheres directly to the subfloor with a high-quality adhesive.
One advantage of gluing vinyl planks down is that it makes it easier to perform a repair later on since you can simply pop off a scratched or broken plank, add new glue, and then put a new plank in its place if necessary.
While it may seem simple to describe, glue-down vinyl planks take a steady touch and a lot of patience in order to achieve a professional-looking installation.
As a result, this is an option that is best left to the professionals.
THE MATERIALS REQUIRED ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Having the correct equipment for the job is critical, just as it is for any other home improvement project.
When compared to other types of flooring, such as tile and hardwood, vinyl plank installation can be significantly simpler.
Here are some of the most popular tools you’ll need to install floating vinyl planks on your own, and don’t forget to use knee pads to protect your knees while doing so:
Safety and comfort are important considerations
- Knee protectors are recommended.
- Spectacles for protection
Materials & Instruments
- Saw with a flush-cut blade
- Saw with a circular blade
- Mallet made of rubber
- Using the tapping block
- Carpenter’s square is a type of square.
- Knife with a razor blade
- Pry bar or putty knife made of metal
- Tin snips are a type of scissors.
- Vinyl flooring for a specific location
- Trim for the transitional period
- Shoe molds or quarter rounds are both acceptable.
WARNING: When purchasing flooring of any kind, make sure you purchase all pieces from the same dye-line, run, or batch.
This will ensure that there are fewer noticeable color differences between the pieces of flooring on your finished floor.
How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring
Vinyl plank is intended to be joined together using techniques such as click and lock and glue down.
The vast majority of vinyl planks are intended to be installed over an existing floor.
If you wish to install vinyl planks on a concrete surface, you must first determine the quality of the surface.
Before beginning the installation process, you need to ensure that your sub-floor is in excellent condition, including smoothness, cleanliness, dust-freeness, and damage-freeness.
The most frequently asked question is whether or not underlayment is required for vinyl plank flooring.
In the case of concrete floors, an underlayment is required for the sub-flooring to be installed.
Because of the underlay, your floor will be softer and more cushioned, and its insulating properties will grow, keeping your floor warm even throughout the winter.
Taking Measuring Instruments
The first step in putting vinyl plank flooring on concrete is determining the size of the area that will be covered by the flooring.
Use a tape measure to determine the exact area, and make a 5-square-foot tolerance for any unexpected situations that may arise during the flooring installation.
After you’ve determined the best location for your flooring, you’ll need to discover a retailer that sells low-cost vinyl plank flooring.
You will need to purchase the type of flooring material that is appropriate for this type of flooring installation.
In many ways, vinyl planks are similar to laminate flooring in that they have a click-lock system.
However, vinyl flooring is a little bit thinner than laminate flooring.
Current vinyl planks are available in a variety of thicknesses ranging from 2mm to 8mm.
When installing vinyl planks with a thickness of less than 4mm, the use of a foam underlay can improve the effectiveness of the click-locking mechanism.
Preparation of Building Materials and Sub-Floors
Leave the vinyl flooring material in the store for at least two days after it arrives on the day of delivery to allow it to become acclimated.
Prepare the sub-floor by removing any obstructions, cleaning the flooring, filling, applying underlay, and lastly starting the installation procedure before you can begin working on the floor itself.
In order to complete a good vinyl plank installation process, you will require only a few simple tools and pieces of equipment.
These include a measuring tape, sharp utility knife, the flooring of your choice, spacers, markers, rubber mallet, chalk, tapping block, T-square, and level.
The tools are in your possession, and you are ready to begin.
Identify the pattern you want to utilize for your flooring and begin cutting the pieces of flooring necessary to meet the pattern specifications.
It is also critical to uniformly mix all of the planks from the crates in order to get a uniform appearance.
The Procedure To Be Followed
1. The amount of Space
With the spacer, make sure that there is a gap of 1.3cm between the vinyl plank flooring and the wall, and then begin installing your first row of vinyl plank flooring from the left.
Ascertain that the groove of one plank fits tightly into the tongue of the other plank before continuing.
The rows should be completed by interlocking the groove and tongue connectors while keeping the seams aligned.
2. Tapping on the shoulder
As the boards are being laid, gently tap the planks together using a rubber-made mallet and a tapping block to ensure that they are completely flush.
Prepare the next row of flooring by using the leftover terminals, which should be at least 6 inches in length.
Mix the pieces together to create a more uniform appearance on the flooring.
3. Check the first row of planks for proper fit
Test fit the first row of vinyl planks down the length of the wall to ensure that they are a good fit.
If the cut planks at the opposite side walls are about similar in length, the visual effect of the flooring pattern will be the most pleasant.
Begin with a full plank in the center of the wall and work your way out to either side, making sure that the chopped planks at the ends are all the same length.
A quarter-inch expansion gap should be left at the wall and at the ends; spacers can be placed against the walls to create this expansion space.
4. Cut the planks to the appropriate length
The process of cutting vinyl planks to size is identical to that of cutting drywall panels.
Use a carpenter’s square and a utility knife to score a part through the face of the wood with a square and a utility knife.
Instead of attempting to cut the board in a single pass, lightly run the knife across the face of the plank many times.
Because vinyl planks are slick, extreme caution should be exercised when pulling back on the blade.
If you want, you can use a fine-tooth handsaw to cut straight through the entire wood as a substitute.
Then, turn the board over so that the finished surface is on the bottom of the board.
The plank should be folded back.
It’s possible that it will snap off on its own.
If this is the case, finish the cut by lightly slicing through the fold with the utility knife.
5. Join the Flooring Planks Together
The majority of luxury vinyl planks are installed edge-to-edge and end-to-end using a tongue-and-groove technology that is fold-and-lock in nature.
One plank is laid level on the subfloor, while the other plank is held at an angle and inserted into the receiving groove of the first plank, as shown.
It is helpful to fold the second board so that it is flat and parallel to the first board in order to draw the boards together and secure them in their position.
Having placed the first row, proceed across the floor with consecutive rows, first attaching the planks end-to-end, then laying the new row along the edge of the preceding row and folding its tongue into the groove of the previous row, and repeating the process.
Make sure that the end joints in each row are staggered such that they are at least 6 inches apart from the end joints in the preceding row before starting the next row.
The end butt joints on the final planks in a row might be difficult to align correctly.
To snug up these joints, a drawbar tool can be used to gently withdraw the end plank from the middle plank.
One end of the tool should be hooked over the far end of the plank, then lightly tap the other end of the drawbar together to pull the butt joint together.
6. Protrusions should be cut out
You can cut vinyl planks to fit around obstructions like door frames or floor ducts with a utility knife, and you can quickly snip them into shape with tin snips or heavy-duty shop scissors if necessary.
7. Wrap Planks Around Protrusions (Optional)
Following the completion of the cutouts, attach the plank to the neighboring plank by holding the cut-out plank at an angle and attaching it to the adjoining plank.
Fold the cut-out plank down slowly until it is locked into place with the adjacent plank, then repeat the process.
It is frequently possible to bend vinyl plank flooring enough to fit around door frames and other protrusions because it is sufficiently flexible.
It may be necessary to deconstruct preceding planks in order to maneuver the cutout plank into position, depending on the nature of the obstruction.
8. Trim and assemble the final planks
It is possible that the last row of planks on the far wall will need to be reduced longitudinally in order to fit.
Always cut it narrow enough to provide for a 1/4-inch gap between the planks and the wall when installing it.
Using a utility knife guided by a long straightedge, make lengthwise cuts on the boards until they are the correct width.
Make numerous passes with the knife until the planks are the desired width.
As with the previous rows, attach these narrow planks end-to-end and then fold the tongues into the grooves of the preceding row to complete the project.
An additional tool, such as a drawbar, can be used to pull the final thin plank into position against the previous row if necessary.
9. Replace the trim moldings around the Windows
Immediately after laying the floor, reconnect the baseboards and trim, preferably with the help of a pneumatic brad nailer.
A hammer can easily harm the trim when nailing by hand, whereas a brad nailer makes quick work of the job with little effort.
Use a nail set to recess the nail heads below the surface of the trim if you are going to manually nail it down.
Because of the higher floor level, it may be required to trim the ends of door case moldings to make them fit into the new, smaller space.
When replacing shoe moldings or other trim, you may want to take advantage of the opportunity, especially if the original trim was cracked or damaged when it was removed from the wall.
New moldings, installed in conjunction with new flooring, create a polished and beautiful appearance.
Our Final Thoughts
In the event that you’ve seen moisture forming on the concrete in your basement or if you have some bare concrete in your home that you’d like to cover quickly and affordably, vinyl plank flooring may be the solution you’ve been looking for.
There are a variety of vinyl plank flooring alternatives to choose from.
Furthermore, they are simple to install and may be completed by the average person.
Frequently Ask Questions
Is it necessary to use underlayment for vinyl flooring?
Underlay. The majority of vinyl floors do not require an underlayment. With a well-cushioned vinyl floor, you shouldn’t have any problems with it on its own as long as the surface you’re laying on is level and smooth.
As a result, we recommend that you use an underlayment, and we have underlays that are specifically developed for this vinyl flooring alternative.
Is it simple to put down vinyl flooring?
Vinyl plank flooring (also known as luxury vinyl flooring) is one of the most straightforward floor coverings to install out of all of the do-it-yourself floor coverings.
It is simple to cut, does not require any bonding to the subfloor, and snaps together edge-to-edge and end-to-end with no additional tools.
What should I use as a subfloor for vinyl flooring?
The rule of thumb is that any vinyl that is over 4mm thick can be underplayed with a vinyl-specific underlayment.
Adding a foam underlayment to vinyl flooring that is thinner in manufacture can have an impact on the locking system strength.
Vinyl flooring less than 4mm thick should be laid directly over the subfloor.