Giving your house a much needed upgrade can seem like a daunting and rather expensive task.
To paint new walls to hiring a professional to lay down your new flooring. It can all seem a bit overwhelming when you start to think about it.
Well, you can easily cut costs by taking it into your own hands. Literally. Ditch the dated carpet for some easy to install vinyl plank flooring.
You lay it yourself and reap the rewards of a modern, sleek flooring design.
We have a step by step guide below and a handy video for you to follow below!
How To Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring
Before we can get into the step by step guide there are certain tools you are going to need to ensure the job is done correctly.
Tools You Will Need
- Vinyl Plank Flooring
- ¼ inch Spacers
- Nail Set
- Fine-tooth Saw
- Tape Measure
- Flat Pry Bar
- Carpenter's Square
- Drawbar Tool
- Utility Knife
- Floor Leveling Compound (if needed)
Step By Step Guide
Now that you have assembled all of your tools and materials we can now get into the nitty gritty of laying vinyl flooring.
Step 1- Create A Floor Plan
While you might be eager to get in and start laying down planks of flooring, much like laminate or wood flooring, vinyl flooring needs a strategy.
The most common plan is to work from the most visible wall when you enter the room.
The initial row of planks should be laid parallel to this most noticeable wall or room feature before continuing across the space.
Due to the fact that few rooms are actually square, your last row may be slightly uneven.
On the other hand, baseboards or shoe moldings typically hide this unevenness.
Plan to space out rows so that adjacent rows' end joints do not fall at the same spot.
End seams should be offset from row to row by at least six inches, according to manufacturers.
Step 2- Take Off Trim Moldings
If this step is not completed, installing your flooring may become increasingly difficult.
Removing the baseboards, base shoe moldings, case moldings, and even the doors will make your job easier.
However, if you do not wish to remove the trim then you can simply cut the vinyl flooring to fit the awkward angles.
The trim must be removed carefully with a flat pry bar and pliers.
If you keep the trim in good condition it can then be reinstalled after the flooring has been fitted.
Step 3- Prep The Under Flooring
As the base floor boards are unveiled and if they are smooth without any blemishes then you can lay down your vinyl flooring start over them.
However, if your flooring needs smoothing, any crack to be filled in, or leveled then you may have your work cut out for you.
Fill any cracks or divots with a concrete patcher if you are installing vinyl plank flooring over a concrete subfloor.
You should also fill any depressions with a floor-leveling product if you are installing the flooring over plywood.
Step 4- Test The Planks
Before laying your entire flooring, test fit the first few planks against the length of the wall. You want your planks to be roughly the same length on opposite walls.
Begin with a full length plank at the center of the wall working outwards to either edge.
Make sure to leave a ¼ inch gap from the wall itself and the end. This is when your ¼ inch spacers will come in handy to keep your right.
Step 5- Cut Planks To Size
Cutting vinyl planks is easier than it seems. Firstly you should score where you are going to cut with a utility knife or carpenters square.
Ensure to run the knife over the line to make it easier.
You can also use a fine-tooth saw to cut the vinyl planks without having to make a score.
The final surface should now be facing down as you turn the board over. The plank is retracted. It might automatically snap off.
If not, finish the cut by slicing the fold with a utility knife.
Step 6- Join The Planks
The majority of tongue-and-groove luxury vinyl planks have a fold-and-lock method for edge-to-edge and end-to-end attachment.
One plank is laid level on the flooring, while the other is held at an angle and inserted into the recess of the first board.
Drawing the boards together and locking them in place is made easier by folding the second board until it is flat and parallel to the first board.
Simply repeat with each row ensuring that the new row is positioned along the edge of the row prior.
Step 7- Cut & Fit Around Protrusions
Vinyl planks can be simply cut with a utility knife to fit around obstructions like door frames or floor ducts, or they can be quickly and easily chopped to the necessary form with tin snips or heavy-duty shop scissors.
Once you have created the necessary cuts to your planks your plank should be joined with your full-length plank, angled upwards and slowly folded down into place.
This may take some problem solving and puzzle work but the vinyl planks are flexible enough to work around door frames.
Step 8- Lay The Final Planks
As you reach the far wall the final planks may have to be trimmed along the edge in order to fit.
Ensure there is a ¼ inch gap between the row of planks and the wall when fitting for your trim.
Join the trimmed planks end to end, just as you did with the previous rows, and then tuck the tongues into the grooves of the preceding row.
This last narrow plank can be pushed up against the first row if necessary using a drawbar tool.
Step 9- Install Trims
Now that your vinyl flooring is laid it is now time to re-install the baseboards and trims. If using a manual hammer, be extra careful not to cause damage.
Youmay find it helpful to use a nail set to support the nail heads underneath the trim.
There you have it! You are now prepped and ready to lay your own vinyl flooring.
All in 9 easy steps. Ensure that work from the most visible wall and you will have gorgeous vinyl flooring throughout your entire home.
You can also take this opportunity to replace your old trims and shoe moldings with new, fresh ones to get an entirely new flooring feel.