How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

Many floor buyers continue to buy vinyl plank flooring since it gives the look of real hardwood with a tenth of the maintenance. Thanks to being durable and affordable, vinyl flooring is often a first consumer choice.

Getting it installed sometimes worries customers, though. Since more people are starting to use vinyl flooring beyond kitchens and bathrooms, it could take a little more work installing it in large homes or businesses.

What are the proper installation steps involved? You really don’t need a lot of tools to get it done, if time varying depending on floor space. With three different types of vinyl plank flooring available, each of those installs have different steps.

Preparing Your Subfloor Could Take the Most Time

Prepping your floor for your new vinyl plank floor sometimes requires a couple of days. When adding in the time to remove your old floor, then cleaning the subfloor, it may require some extra work on your part.

If hiring a professional floor installer, you can save time and money prepping the floor yourself.

Be sure to measure the size of your subfloor first so you know the vinyl planks will properly fit the space. It’s always a good idea to buy some extra planks, just in case you underestimated on the measuring.

Next, cleaning the subfloor could take time if it’s dirty enough. You may even need to remove fixtures like toilets when preparing the floor in a bathroom. Removing wall base temporarily will also need to be done.

Checking to Make Sure the Subfloor is Level

One of the most essential things to check on your subfloor is how level it is. Don’t start installing your planks if determining the floor looks rigid or has cracks.

Any spots that look too low could be fixed with a leveling product. Many of these come in packages or squeeze bottles where you can easily fill in low areas. Fix-a-Floor is one particularly good product to use.

High spots on your floor can easily be ground down with a sander tool.

Before beginning to apply the planks to the floor, do a quick calculation on the length of planks you need. Simply divide room width by plank width for your answer. You might have to cut bordering planks to half the width they are in the box.

Is Click-Lock Vinyl Plank Flooring the Easiest to Install?

No doubt many have heard about click-lock vinyl plank flooring as one of the simplest install techniques available. While it’s certainly popular, it isn’t the only method available.

When buying click-lock floors, you’ll need to pay close attention to the install instructions. To lay the first plank, properly space it from the wall (about 1/4-inch) to allow for your wall base to go back in.

From there, you have to hold the next plank at an angle and insert the tongue of the piece into the groove edge of the first piece. These should snap together with ease.

Once getting the hang of this, it becomes easier to do. You may need to trim bordering planks appropriately, but it’s not hard to do with a simple cutting tool.

What Other Install Methods Are There?

You can also buy grip strip vinyl planks, using an adhesive. These use a grip strip seam to essentially glue themselves together. Adhesive strips are on each plank edge that you put together by using a hand roller.

One thing to keep in mind is you may need to roll the entire floor with a larger floor roller to ensure the pieces stay adhered properly.

For those of you preferring a traditional glue-down method, it’s also available through most vinyl flooring manufacturers. Using this method requires a slightly different technique, as in dividing the room into four quadrants.

Here, it’s recommended you start in the center of the room and then work out from there. You do this by applying the adhesive in the center of the subfloor first using a trowel.

As with grip strip, you’ll have to use a floor roller to make sure all the planks stay together with the adhesive. Also, be sure to wipe up any excess adhesive that gets on the floor surface with a dry cloth to prevent it from setting in permanently.


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