Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated April 27, 2022)
Installing new flooring has the potential to be one of the most expensive, and time consuming, projects you could possibly do around the home. That being said, an inexpensive and easy option does exist. Installing vinyl plank flooring is perhaps one of the easiest, and least expensive, methods around for replacing your flooring. If you are interested in using this option, then simply follow these general guidelines. Keep in mind that the manufacturer may have some specific instructions for their brand of flooring. In the event that they contradict with what is said here, follow the instructions of the manufacturer first.
- Tape measure
- Tile cutter
- Utility knife
- Framing square
- Pry bar
- Vinyl plank flooring (enough for the room)
- Double-faced tape
- Allow your flooring to get used to the area. After you have purchased enough flooring material for your room, bring it home and let it sit in the package for a couple of days. This will allow the floor to "acclimate" to room, and be ready to install. This allows the flooring to get to the same temperature and humidity as the rest of the room, and will allow you to have a better look when installed.
- Remove your baseboard. While the flooring is acclimating to the new room, begin removing the old baseboard that runs around the room. Use a claw hammer or a pry bar to do this, and do your utmost to not break it so that you can replace it after the flooring has been installed.
- Begin in the corner. Pick one corner of the room to start in, and begin laying out the vinyl planks. As you lay the planks down, make sure that you place the adhesive under edge of the plank so that it faces inwards, towards the center of the room. This way you can lock the planks together.
- What to do if your wall isn't straight. Despite what we may like to think, our walls aren't always straight. In the event hat you find that the wall is uneven, and that a gap forms between the planks and the wall, don't worry. All you need to do is trim a another plank so that it will fit into that gap.
- Practice the first row. Do a practice run with the first row, where you lay all the planks down without using any adhesive. This will allow you to get the measurements right, as well as seeing if there is going to be an excessive gap between the wall and the planks. As you lay the planks down, be sure that you keep a 1/8 inch gap between the wall and the planks to allow for expansion.
- Apply the double sided tape. Pick up the planks that you laid down for the test run, and then begin laying down the double sided tape. Place the tape about three inches away from the wall, to allow for maximum effect.
- Lay down the first row. Begin laying down the first row as you did in the practice. As you do this though, make sure that you are maintaining the 1/8 inch gap between the planks and the wall, and that you also are pressing firmly down on the tape. Keep the planks as straight as possible, and ensure that the adhesive underside is facing towards the middle of the room.
- Lay down the other rows. Begin laying the other planks down by laying them down long edge to long edge. The over edge of one plank should be placed over the adhesive under edge on the other piece. Use one hand to hold the plank at a 45 degree angle, and the other hand to guide it into place. Avoid allowing any gaps to form, and continue to repeat the process until the entire floor is covered. As you lay down each row, make sure that you stager the planks so that they do not have the same seams.
- Apply the finishing touches. Once the planks have been placed, go over all the seams with a roller to ensure that there is proper bonding between the planks. After you are completely finished, replace the molding and baseboard that you removed earlier.
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