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How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl plank flooring offers an attractive, versatile and durable solution for every room in your home. In this article, we’ll show you how to install vinyl flooring on your own. Look out, it might not be as easy as you think!

Vinyl floor installation: equipment and tools

Before you start, be prepared. Make sure your vinyl floor installation goes smoothly by having the right tools and equipment:

  • Vinyl flooring
  • Vinyl flooring knife
  • 1/4″ spacers
  • Subfloor (according to manufacturer’s recommendations)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pull bar
  • Pencil, saw, mallet

Step 1: Prepare the room

Before installing vinyl flooring, you need to thoroughly prepare the room.

Start by removing any doors, doorsteps and baseboards. Most vinyl floors do not require a subfloor, but always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations to avoid making any mistakes. If your floor does require a subfloor, plan to install it before moving on to the second step.

Also, make sure your floor is level, and free of dust and moisture. It’s important to remove any debris or soil from the surface before you begin installation, otherwise your vinyl flooring may not stick.

Finally, it’s time to assess the size of your door frames. Since you’ll be increasing the thickness of your floor, you need to make sure this added layer won’t block your doors and keep them from opening. Take your subfloor (if you’re using one) and your vinyl flooring and lay them right next to your door frame. Mark the height of the plank on the door frame, then trim the frame. Make sure there’s enough space for the vinyl flooring to slip underneath.

Careful preparation is necessary before moving forward to the next steps, and to ensure that you get great results.

Step 2: Measure your room

First of all, a word of advice when ordering your floor: allow for about 15% more square footage than the actual area of your room. You’re likely to have to make some cuts and waste some of the flooring to get it installed correctly. With extra flooring on hand, you can avoid having to order more part way through the process.

For a clean installation, start by choosing which direction to lay the vinyl planks.

Measure the room and divide the size of the room by the width of the planks. With these measurements, you can calculate the width of the last row, which plays a crucial role in the success of the entire installation. Make sure that the width of this last row meets the flooring manufacturer’s specifications. It’s also important that you do not have too large a gap between the first and last rows, so you can center your flooring properly.

Step 3: Install the vinyl flooring

Now that you’ve taken all the necessary measurements, it’s time to install your floor.

Vinyl planks are generally of the tongue-and-groove variety. One side fits into the other.

Install the first plank, starting in a corner, with the tongue side along the wall. Always maintain the spacing recommended by the manufacturer when installing the expansion joint. You can use spacers to help you.

Add one more board at a time, until you’ve completed the first row. If necessary, use a mallet to square the joints.

Once you’ve reached the end of a row, you’ll usually need to make a cut. Use your tape measure to make the cut at the right place, and remember to leave enough space for the expansion joint. You can cut vinyl flooring with a utility knife, jig saw, circular saw, laminate knife or bench saw.

Carry on and install the next row, making sure you play with the sizes of your boards for a more realistic look, and vary the location of your joints. Make sure there’s no gap between the rows, and use your mallet if necessary. It’s generally recommended to leave a gap of 20 cm, or 8 inches, between planks.

Be careful to install the last row correctly

Installing the last row of vinyl floor planks can be a real challenge. It’s important that you don’t make any mistakes at this point, as it will ruin the entire installation, but if you have followed the recommended specifications for your flooring, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Measure the space between the second-to-last row and the wall. Add the width of the joint to this measurement, and cut all the boards of the last row to this dimension. Install the final boards using a pull bar, without forcing the tongue too much.

Finally, reinstall the doors, baseboards and mouldings.

Step 4: Clean your new vinyl floor

For professional results, it’s important to clean your floor thoroughly. This will not only make it shine, taking care of your floor will also make it last longer.

Pay particular attention to the areas near doors and baseboards. Little details can make a big difference when it comes to installing vinyl flooring. Overall, being meticulous can completely change the look of the final results, and make you even more proud of your new flooring.

Hire a specialist to install your vinyl flooring

As you can see, installing vinyl flooring isn’t all that easy. Please note that this tutorial is for informational purposes only and we are not in any way responsible for the results of any attempt at DIY vinyl floor installation. We can only offer general information to assist you, as individual situations and flooring products will differ. Always be sure to adjust your methods and materials as needed, keeping in mind how heavily your floor will be used.

If you don’t want to take any risk when installing your vinyl floor, call in specialists like us. At our flooring store, we have all the equipment and experience needed to install vinyl flooring. We can guarantee stress-free installation with high quality results.

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