How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring on Concrete? [7 Steps]
Vinyl plank flooring is one of the most popular types of flooring available on the market today.
Despite the fact that they are composed entirely of synthetic materials, vinyl planks are designed to look and feel like actual flooring materials such as wood and stone.
A robust flooring material with excellent water and stain resistance, it is also known as linoleum.
Furthermore, vinyl planks are reasonably priced, and they come with the option of a “do it yourself” installation that is simple to complete.
The placement of vinyl planks on concrete creates a warm and inviting floor surface.
Despite the fact that vinyl plank flooring appears to be a suitable flooring option, it is prudent to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of this flooring material.
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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.
What You Should Know Before You Begin
If you have previous expertise installing flooring or are a DIY enthusiast, laying vinyl plank flooring on concrete should not take you more than a day.
It is one of the most affordable options available, and at the time of writing, it might cost you as little as a few hundred dollars, depending on the size of the area you are trying to cover.
Is it necessary to install a subfloor beneath vinyl plank flooring?
A subfloor is a layer beneath the surface of any floor.
It can be made of a variety of materials, including wood, plywood, plastic, and concrete.
If you are installing vinyl plank flooring on concrete, you already have a subfloor in place, according to the rules.
Some folks, on the other hand, choose to place an additional thin layer of subflooring between the concrete and the vinyl.
This additional layer may increase insulation, causing your vinyl plank flooring to become warmer and less resonant.
Adding an extra layer of concrete can help to even out minor irregularities in the concrete or to level it out if the concrete has dropped or sunk in some spots.
It might be appropriate if your concrete is too old or too damaged to be repaired.
You do not, however, need to include the additional subfloor layer.
The most important thing is that the concrete is smooth, devoid of flaws, clean, and dust-free and that there are no cracks.
Preparing a Concrete Subfloor for the Installation of Vinyl
According to Milliken & Company, freshly poured concrete emits water vapor and requires between 120 and 150 days to dry out before it is suitable to take floor coverings and other finishing materials.
Vinyl plank flooring is water-resistant, and if it has a WPC core, it is waterproof, so it will not be harmed by moisture.
Vinyl plank flooring is available in a variety of colors and styles.
Mold and mildew, on the other hand, will grow underneath it, which might lead to health problems in the future.
Over time, excess moisture will weaken the adhesive used to install glue-down board flooring, resulting in lifting.
Floating vinyl flooring should emit no more than 5 pounds of moisture vapor per 1,000 square feet over a 24-hour period, according to Armstrong Flooring’s recommendations for maximum moisture vapor emission.
When it comes to glue-together and glue-down floors, the weight ranges between 8 and 12 pounds, so be sure to check the moisture requirements for the product you intend to purchase.
Although vinyl flooring is flexible, it will separate if it is installed over an uneven surface.
If the concrete has high places, you must grind them down, and if it has low spots or cracks, you must fix them with a concrete patching compound before installing the flooring.
Running a straightedge over the floor over a 10-foot distance should reveal no more than a 3/16-inch difference in measurement.
Extra Insulation is Being Provided
Installing a thermal underlayment, preferably composed of cork, fiber-felt, or a similar substance, beneath a floating vinyl floor on the concrete is perhaps the most straightforward technique to improve the insulation of the floor.
In the event that you choose an underlayment that does not come with a moisture barrier, it’s a good idea to add a piece of plastic beneath it as a precaution.
Plastic sheeting is simple to install, and it will not add much to the overall duration or cost of the project.
Alternatively, if you want to attain the highest level of comfort, you can install a plywood subfloor on sleeper joists or install a subflooring system such as DRICORE tiles.
With this method, moisture from a below-grade subfloor can be dissipated while the floor covering remains separate from the concrete surface.
If you add insulation between the joists before laying the plywood, it will make the floor feel warmer.
Due to the fact that this sort of subfloor raises the final floor significantly in height, it may cause issues around doors and transitions to other floors, so careful consideration should be given to this.
As long as the temperature of the subfloor does not exceed the manufacturer’s recommendation, which is normally in the range of 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, you can install floating vinyl flooring on a radiant-heated subfloor.
As long as the subfloor is dry and you use a product with a strong backing and core, you can safely forego the usage of an underlayment.
When installed over a radiant-heated subfloor, glue-down vinyl plank flooring is not advised.
Always follow the installation instructions provided by the flooring manufacturer when installing over concrete.
Before You Begin the Installation Process
Baseboards are typically removed before installing a floating floor and reinstalled subsequently, but if this is not possible, quarter-round molding should be attached to the existing baseboards once the flooring has been installed.
You’ll need it to cover the 1/4-inch expansion gap that you’ll need to leave to keep the floor from buckling and to keep it from shifting.
Having extra flooring on hand will also ensure that the job is completed successfully.
To be certain, measure the size of the floor in square feet, multiply the result by ten percent, divide the result by the number of square feet in a box, and purchase the appropriate number of boxes.
You’ll require the additional funds to reduce waste and deal with other issues that will certainly occur.
When the new flooring is delivered, open the boxes and scatter the planks around the installation area for at least 48 hours to allow them to become acclimated to the environment.
It’s a good idea to mix up the planks from different boxes as well, as this will ensure that the color of the finished floor is consistent.
While you’re waiting, undercut the door jambs with a handsaw, using a piece of flooring as a guide to ensure that you only cut enough to reach the flooring underneath, and nothing more, to prevent the jambs from splitting.
THE THINGS YOU’LL REQUIRE
- measuring tape
- a line is drawn in chalk
- Knife for everyday use
- Spacers \sPencil
- Using the tapping block
- Pull bar made of mallet laminate
Step 1: Measure the space and draw a line through it
A strategy that professionals use to avoid significant triangular gaps in the last row works well for most rooms that aren’t quite square.
Choose the wall along which you want to place the first row of tiles and then use a tape measure to measure the width of the space at both ends of the room.
Add 1/4 inch to account for expansion, and measure half that distance from a wall at one end of a room that is wider.
Layout the first row along this line, marking it with a chalk line and snapping it from this mark to the opposite corner, again adding 1/4 inch to the length of the line.
Step 2: Begin laying the first row of tiles
Make use of a tool knife to cut the tongues off the planks that will be used in the first row, and then arrange the end of the plank to end, snapping the ends together as you go.
Cut a few inches off the first plank and move the row back to accommodate a longer plank at the end of the last plank turns out to be shorter than six inches.
It’s a good idea to use spacers between the planks in the first row and the wall to ensure that the essential expansion gap is not lost during the construction process.
Step 3: Use a Utility Knife to make your cuts
Vinyl plank flooring can be cut without the need for a saw.
Create a line with a pencil and straightedge, then score along the line with a knife, and snap along the scoreline to create a crosscut in the fabric.
Knives can also be used to cut notches and curves, although it normally takes two or more passes to cut all the way through the material before it is completely through.
Step 4: Attach the Second Row of Stairs
Use the offcut from the first row to begin the second one, as long as the end of the second row does not get any closer than 6 inches to the end joint of the first one.
Maintain a 6-inch stagger pattern throughout the whole floor for aesthetic and structural reasons.
Because vinyl is flexible, the most convenient approach to install a plank is to snap one end of it to the previous one and then snap the other end of it to the one next to it in the lengthwise direction.
It is possible that you will need to tap the plank with a tapping block and mallet in order for it to lock.
Step 5: Continue Walking Towards the Opposite Wall
In this manner, continue to install the planks, maintaining the 6-inch stagger pattern and cutting notches and bends as necessary to fit the boards into their respective spaces.
The pattern of staggers should be as unpredictable as it possibly maybe.
Avoid using regular increments that result in a step pattern, as well as joints separated by one or two planks that are parallel to one other, which is known as an H-pattern pattern.
Step 6: Attach the final row of the Table
Rather than cutting all of the planks at once when the room is not square, it is preferable to cut and install the last row of planks board by plank rather than cutting everything at once.
The distance between one end of the first plank and the other end of the second plank should be measured and added 1/4 inch.
Draw a line on the plank and cut it along the line using a knife.
Install the plank by using a laminate pull bar to drag it up against the board next to it before nailing it in place.
Install all of the boards in the last row using the same procedure as before.
Step 7: Attach the Baseboards to the Walls
Make use of baseboard material that is wide enough to cover the gaps between the studs.
If the baseboards are wider than 3/4 inches as a result of the room being substantially out of square, you may need to enlarge conventional 3/4-inch baseboards with quarter-round foot molding to compensate.
Make certain that the baseboards are secured to the wall and the foot molding is secured to the baseboards.
If you nail or glue anything to the floor, the planks will be unable to move and the floor may buckle as a result of the weight.
In this step, you will glue the planks together and glue them down.
It is nearly identical to the technique for installing click-lock planks; however, instead of snapping the planks together, you must first remove the backing from the glue strips, but the planks together, and then press down to ensure that the adhesive is completely sealed.
Following the removal of the backing, the most important thing to remember is to avoid getting dust on the glue strip.
Dust hinders the adhesive from adhering to the planks, resulting in the boards lifting.
Glue-down planks are installed by spreading a coat of mastic on the subfloor using a 1/4-inch notched trowel and then laying the planks in the mastic to hold them in place.
You can use a knife to cut the boards, but you must still leave an expansion gap between them to avoid buckling from occurring.
Then, using a floor roller, push the planks into the glue to prevent bubbles and rising.
This will help to ensure that the floor is completely waterproof.
Our Final Thoughts
The instructions in this guide on how to install vinyl plank flooring on concrete are straightforward and straightforward.
Invite a friend over to assist you if you don’t have all of the necessary tools or if you want to be absolutely certain that you don’t waste any materials.
Additionally, it is critical to take your time and prepare thoroughly before beginning the assembly process.
Prepare the flooring and take measurements of all of the walls so that you will know where to begin.
In the long run, this will save you a great deal of time and effort.
You may not require all of the tools and safety equipment on the list, but having them on hand is a good idea to save you from getting hurt or damaging the planks.
Frequently Ask Questions
Is it possible to install vinyl plank flooring directly on concrete?
Click vinyl flooring is made up of planks or tiles that may be snapped together in place using a click-lock method to keep them in place once installed.
They are typically placed down without the need for glue.
Glued-down LVT and floating LVT are both suitable for use on concrete subfloors.
For vinyl planks installed on concrete, what type of underlayment do you recommend?
Vinyl floors with a thickness of less than 4mm should be laid directly over the subfloor.
Wherever there is potential for moisture on a concrete subfloor, it is recommended that you utilize a vapor barrier underlayment that will not offer any cushion to the planks.
As a result of not using underlayment beneath vinyl plank flooring, what happens is as follows?
Vinyl planks necessitate the installation of a strong, thin underlay because the product is softer in nature.
When you install vinyl plank over a soft product, you will end up with an unstable floor that is much more susceptible to being damaged and even punctured or ripped over time.