Installing Luxury Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl plank flooring is known for its versatility and durability. It is comfortable on your feet and adds an attractive finish to your room. In addition to being waterproof flooring, you can easily install it over any rigid and level surface, including concrete, wood or even up to one layer of other vinyl. Making it a preferred flooring choice for homeowners and investors.
Prepping Your Area for Vinyl Flooring
Once you have your flooring, there’s a few things you need to do first. Start by placing your new vinyl planks in the room you're installing them for 48 hours to allow them to acclimate and prevent warping.
To prep your area, start by removing the baseboards; it will ease your installation. Cut through any paint sealing the baseboards to the wall and gently pry the baseboards loose.
Make sure your subfloor is clean, dry, and level within 3/16-inch change per 10 feet. Use a self-leveler on low spots and/or sand high spots of wood or concrete.
Self-leveler dries fast, so you have to work quickly. You should never sand vinyl flooring as it may contain asbestos.
Planning Your Luxury Vinyl Planks DesignTo measure the walls, go from the center to the starting wall using a tape measure, subtracting the 5/16-inch expansion gap, and mark this distance at each end of the wall. Snap a chalk line between these two marks to get a straight line against the wall.
Finally, calculate the width of the last row. If it'll be less than 1/3 of a plank, cut about 1/3 of the plank off the first row to create even starting and finishing rows.
Laying the First Row of Your FlooringWhen Installing flooring, getting the first row down properly will help ensure a successful vinyl flooring installation project, making it easier as you go. Be sure to take your time here.
To prep your vinyl planks, score and cut the tongue off the first row of vinyl planks using a utility knife. Set the first plank in place on the starting line with the cut side toward the wall, maintaining the 51/6-inch expansion gap.
Hold the next plank at a slight angle against the previous plank's end and fold down to click it into place. To cut the last piece to fit, score it with a utility knife and snap the plank.
The end piece must be at least 6 inches long. If it’s not, just cut a bit off the first plank and slide the row. You can use the cut pieces to start rows if they are at least 6 inches.
The joints of your vinyl flooring need to be staggered at least 6 inches. Measure and cut your first piece accordingly, using a cut end from the first row can be helpful. Insert the tongue of the first piece into the groove of the previous row's first plank and rotate down to click together.
Adding the Remaining Rows
For the next piece, connect the short end first; you should feel it lock in place. Continue adding your remaining rows, making sure to stagger the joints by 6 inches and maintain the 5/16-inch expansion gap.
To get under door jambs, slightly bend the planks into place and use a pull bar or tapping block to lock the joint.
FinishingTo finish installing vinyl plank flooring, replace the baseboards and add floor transitions and additional trim pieces, like shoe molding, if desired. Be sure to nail the trim pieces to the wall, not the floor. Now your kitchen flooring or bathroom flooring is ready to be shown off!
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