Luxury Vinyl Floor Install Guide

If you have some experience with laying laminate is something you may want to consider. The toughest part of installing vinyl flooring is making the necessary cuts around corners and other obstacles and you’ll need a steady hand and very accurate measurements. 

Should you choose it, our installers are experienced and more than prepared to install your new laminate floor. Otherwise this guide is to provide an overview of the tools and techniques involved with laying vinyl flooring, as well as discuss a few popular installation techniques and best practices. You may also want  to browse additional vinyl flooring guides in this site including the Vinyl Floor Buyers Guide, and Maintenance and Care of your floors.

Tools and Supplies

  • Tools: Notched trowel, Calk Line, Tape Measure, Straight edge/square, Pry Bar, Utility Knife and a heavy roller for pressing down the installed flooring. 
  • Supplies: Adhesive

Prepping the Floor

Vinyl is quite thin, so the floor beneath it must be smooth and free of debris. If carpet has been removed, then all staples must be pulled out and the carpet tack removed. If you’ve been hanging drywall, remove all drywall mud from the ground.

Sand down raised edges of subflooring such as plywood or OSB. Use skim coat to fill in crevices. If the underlayment is in poor condition, consider replacing it for best results. If installing over concrete, fill in cracks and remove raised imperfections with a chisel and hammer. Wear eye protection when doing so.

Installation Techniques

 

Step 1: Mark the center of each wall and snap lines between them with a chalk line. Measure from the center to the starting wall, 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.

Step 2: 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 expansion gap.

Step 3: Hold the next plank at a slight angle against the previous plank's end and fold down to click it into place.

Step 4: To cut the last piece in the first row to fit, score with a utility knife and snap the plank.

Step 5: To start the second row, insert the tongue of the first piece into the groove of the previous row's first plank and rotate down to click together. The joints must be staggered at least 6 inches. Measure and cut your first piece accordingly, using a cut end from the first row if necessary.

Step 7: For the next piece, connect the short end first and then connect the long end. You should feel it lock.

Finishing the Job

The final step is to replace molding and trim. Remember to elevate it slightly. Nail it to the wall, not the floor, so you won’t pinch the vinyl and hinder if from expanding when necessary. It may buckle if you don’t.