For those who are interested in adding a wooden floor to one or more rooms in their house but find themselves on a budget, there is always the option of a vinyl plank floor. Not only is this option affordable—it’s also durable and perfect for kitchens and areas with raised moisture levels, such as bathrooms or basements.
Whether you’re installing it over wood, concrete, or even existing vinyl (one layer only), vinyl plank flooring can be installed by those who are a bit more comfortable with fairly extensive DIY projects. If you feel you’re up for this kind of project, let’s get started.
Materials and Supplies
At least two full days before installing, set your new vinyl planks into your chosen room, so they can acclimate. Also, during the installation, mix the planks from different boxes to help blend the dye patterns and create a more even appearance.
Directions for Vinyl Plank Flooring Installation
Step 1: Take out the baseboards. Clean the subfloor, making sure it’s dry, clean, and level, preferably within a 3/16-inch change for every ten feet. For low spots, use the self-leveler. For high spots, use a sander or grinder for concrete or wood, but don’t use it on vinyl (in case of asbestos). Note: self-leveler can be found in pre-mixed or powder form and be used for creating a smooth, flat surface. Self-leveler is much like concrete—it dries fast, so work fast.
Step 2: Since some walls can be bowed, it’s best to make a starting line that is square to the room. So, for each wall, mark their center, snapping lines between all of them with your chalk line. You should have four even squares marked in the floor.
Measure the distance from the center along your starting wall, leaving a 5/16-inch extension gap. Mark this distance to each of the starting wall’s ends. Then, snap another chalk line between the two marks, which should leave a straight line up against the starting wall. Lastly, calculate what the last row’s width will be. If the last row will take less than a third of one plank, cut off around 1/3 of the first row’s plank to have even beginning and concluding rows.
Step 3: With your utility knife, cut off the tongue of the vinyl plank you’re using for the first row. Then, the cut side facing the wall, set the plank on the starting line while upholding the extension gap. At a minor angle, press the subsequent plank for the first row against the first plank’s end, folding it downward to set it in place. To make the last plank fit, cut off the excess with the utility knife (make sure the cut is straight) before setting the plank in place.
Step 4: For the rest of the rows, keep the joints staggered by six inches, at least. So, make sure to measure and score the first piece appropriately. Push the first piece’s tongue into the rut of the last row’s first plank, rotating downward to click them together. While installing the next plank, attach the shorter end first before connecting the longer end.
Keep installing, remembering to keep the joints staggered by six inches while maintaining the extension gap. For getting under doorjambs, bend the planks slightly into place, using a tapping block or a pull bar for locking the joint if need be.
Step 5: Once you’ve finished, replace the baseboards, adding transitions and trim pieces if you so desire. Remember, do not nail any trim pieces to the floor. Nail them to the wall.
If you think you’re in need of some new vinyl plank flooring, please click here, and feel free to check out the rest of the Hipp’s Help store. We offer FREE ship to store for all of Mountain View customers. And we also offer reasonable shipping rates for the rest of our customers throughout the country.
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