How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring: Step-By-Step

Are you ready to install new vinyl plank floors but don’t know exactly where to start? Getting new flooring is an exciting time when it comes to the new look and life of your home! Because so many family memories are created in your home, why not make its appearance the best it can be and one that makes you happy?

We’ve ready! We’ve put together all of the key steps needed to ensure that you’ll be able to install your vinyl plank flooring with ease. So, let’s dive right in!     

What Is Vinyl Plank Flooring?

All flooring is different! In fact, each type has a unique make and composition to satisfy the variety of needs of homeowners, whether it’s placed in their home or in a workspace.

Vinyl plank floors can also be referred to as luxurious vinyl planks or luxury vinyl flooring. It can be best defined as flooring made with vinyl materials that come in long strips rather than in traditional square tile shapes. It’s a favorite among many when they’re designing a new look in their home.

Instead of the thin layer of vinyl that the material is usually known for, this type of flooring actually has a reputation for being thick and strong. It’s also super affordable, so it’s a great budget-friendly option for anyone who’s trying to give their floors a facelift without breaking the bank.   

These Are the Tools You’ll Need

There are specific tools that you’ll need to complete this project. Depending on how you follow the steps for installation, there may be additional tools that will better assist you as well. However, the ones listed below are a solid set that should help you finish the project with no issues.

The tools you’ll need are:

·         Sander

·         Flat pry bar

·         Pair of pliers

·         Measuring tape

·         Utility knife

·         Straightedge

·         Fine-tooth saw

·         Carpenter’s square

·         Hammer

·         Drawbar tool

·         A nailset

Follow These 10 Simple Steps 

Now that we know what the flooring installation entails in terms of materials and tools needed for the project, let’s take a look at the process needed for proper installation. These super easy steps are perfect for anyone looking to give their floors a fresh revamp, even if you’re a beginner!  

Step 1: Plan Your Flooring Layout

Start by planning out how you want to lay out your new flooring. Vinyl flooring should be laid out in a way that is visibly appealing, especially if it’s in the main area of your home that you’ll be seeing every day.

Pro Tip: Begin working from the wall that is most visible to you. This is usually the one that first meets the eye as soon as you walk into the room.

Line the first set of planks out across that wall. Then make your way through the room to ensure you’re following the same pattern. Keep in mind that the last row may not appear to be even. This is due to the fact that older homes may not have rooms that are perfect in measurement.

Step 2: Remove Any Trim

Though it adds a little extra time, it makes the installation process much easier when you remove any existing trim. This can include the base shoe moldings, baseboards, and even moldings around the doors. To ensure the smoothest process, you can even remove the doors to keep them out of your way while working.

The majority of trim can be removed pretty easily with the use of a flat pry bar. 

Step 3: Prepare Your Floor

Now, it’s “go time!” You can prepare the actual floor for the real work to begin. Vinyl plank flooring can be laid over the top of regular flooring, but if there are any uneven areas, then they can be sanded down for ultimate satisfaction. You’ll want the flattest and smoothest surface possible.

Keep these two tips in mind:

·         If you are laying vinyl plank over concrete subfloor, then plug any cracks or divots with concrete patcher.

·         When you are laying the flooring over a plywood subfloor, make sure to fill the holes with a compound that’s floor leveling.   

Step 4: Test-Fit Your Planks

There is a higher visual appeal if the planks that are cut of equal lengths are placed at opposite sides of the walls. Begin with a full plank, and place it at the center. Maneuver between either side so that the pre-cut planks will prove to be equal.

Make sure to also leave a ¼-inch space at the ends of the wall. Spacers can then be placed up alongside the walls to create the expansion gap. 

Step 5: Cut the Planks to the Right Size

 Now it’s time to cut the planks down to size. You can cut the planks by using a carpenter’s square and a utility knife.

Pro Tip: Take the knife and move it up and down the plank a few times to get the blade to run smoothly. Since the material is known to be a bit slippery, there might not be a straight cut right after the first attempt.

Make sure to also move the board over to the other side, so the finished piece is facing down when you’re cutting. Take the plank and fold it down, and then it may come off alone without any extra pressure.

Step 6: Cut the Flooring Planks

Now, the cut planks can connect for a seamless finish! This can be achieved by attaching the planks from both edges or from both ends.

The beginning row may seem like it’s the most difficult because there’s nothing to base it on. However, once you get into the groove of it, you’ll be able to work through the rest of the floor seamlessly. 

Step 7: Cut Protrusions

We have to expect at least a few obstacles in this process, right? Of course! There will be obstacles found in your room, such as doorways and floor canals. When you encounter these, all you have to do is cut for protrusions. Vinyl planks are then cut easily down to your desired shape. This can be achieved by using tin snips or scissors.

Step 8: Cut and Fit the Final Planks

After you’re finished making cutouts, you can pair the planks and attach them, all while holding the cut-out part at a slight angle. Carefully fold down the cut plank until it falls into place with the adjoining plank. It’s not secure until it locks.

Not all obstructions are the easiest to maneuver. If this is the case, then you may need to disassemble your first attempt, so you can maneuver the best position for it. 

Step 9: Cut and Fit the Final Planks

Hooray! You’re now nearing the end of the installation process. Ensure that you repeat the same step and maneuvers you made to the first wall.

Join the narrow edges together and move down the ends into the previous grooves. You’re doing great!  

Step 10: Reinstall Trim Moldings

Finally, reattach the trim moldings and doors that may have been removed for the installation. Be careful, especially since the existing materials can vary. You may even have to adjust the trim moldings to better align in your newly renovated space.   

The Bottomline

That’s it— it can all be done in 10 simple steps! So, are you ready to install your own vinyl flooring? With just ten steps and a day dedicated to completing the project successfully, we think this particular home flooring transition will run quite smoothly. You just need a few materials, a few tools, and a little determination.

If you’re still unsure about getting the project done solo, grab a friend or partner with a flooring professional to get everything completed seamlessly. There’s no harm in asking for an extra pair of hands. Because in the end, there’s nothing more rewarding or satisfying than a newly renovated space!







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