Installing Engineered Vinyl Plank Flooring – Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. Tried, True, Trusted Home Advice

How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring Today’s vinyl flooring is light years better than the peel-and-stick type we remember from long ago, but it’s as easy as ever to install. Here’s how to do the job.

Installing Engineered Vinyl Plank Flooring

Many homeowners look down on plank vinyl flooring because they equate it to the stuff you could buy at big-box stores in the 1990s — you know, the ugly patterns with mismatched seams. Today’s vinyl planks are the world’s best, both aesthetically and qualitatively. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is that learning how to install vinyl plank flooring is just as easy as ever.

How To Install Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring (diy)

With modern advancements in quality, design, and appearance, plank vinyl flooring is an excellent option for almost anywhere in the home. It’s especially good for homes with children or dogs, and for high-traffic areas that are prone to scratches or wear.

If you’re ready to give your home decor a fresh and relatively easy update, grab a few boxes of vinyl flooring, sharpen your pencil, and put a fresh blade in your utility knife. It’s time to lay down some vinyl plank flooring.

When it comes to quality flooring choices, vinyl plank flooring has one of the lowest installation costs. Vinyl planks generally cost per square foot and are sold in 22- to 24-square-foot boxes, depending on the brand. It ranges in price from under a dollar up to $5 per square foot.

Generally speaking, the higher the price of quality vinyl plank flooring, the better quality it is. Less expensive options could be thin, or peel-and-stick (still, today’s peel-and-stick are better than the tiles of old). Better quality, more expensive flooring is thicker, has built-in underlays and moisture barriers underneath, and uses a tongue-and-groove interlocking system. You may see these products labeled as luxury vinyl flooring (LVP), but installing it is no more difficult than it is for other vinyl flooring products.

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Vinyl planks often require a coating to create a moisture barrier, provide support, and reduce noise. The installer rolls the coating sheet out of the gap and taps the seams before installing the floor on top. In some cases, the best vinyl plank flooring will have underlayment adhered to its bottom, which speeds up the installation process in a big way.

Note: Underlayment is primarily used for floating plank vinyl flooring. It does not make a good substrate for peel-and-stick flooring because it does not adhere to the subfloor below.

Regardless of the price, style, and quality of the vinyl flooring, the finished product requires a smooth and flat surface. If the sub-floor has warps, cracks, missing pieces, or (more often) uneven seams, vinyl plank flooring will show it. It might bounce, wear unevenly, or show bumps in the floor.

Diy Vinyl Plank Flooring Install

There are relatively simple solutions to these scenarios, such as installing a layer of ¼-inch luan floorboards above or below the existing floor. This creates a flat, even surface and provides the ideal substrate for vinyl plank underlayment flooring.

While installing plank vinyl flooring requires some specialized tools and techniques, it’s nonetheless a DIY-friendly job. These tips will help you see the project.

One thing that hasn’t changed about installing vinyl flooring—or any type of flooring, for that matter—is the need for a perfectly smooth and level substrate or subfloor. Inspect the condition of the existing subfloor and determine if it will work as is, or if a luan layer needs to be installed.

When installing the replacement floor, it is necessary to measure carefully to ensure that the floor penetrations align with the cutout in the existing floor. Cut holes for penetrations such as pipes and heaters with a hacksaw.

How To Install Vinyl Plank Flooring Yourself

Attach the luan to the floor with screws 8 inches apart in each direction, and fill all joints and fixing holes with plate compound. Just make sure that the fastener heads are placed under the underlayment surface, otherwise they will show through the finished floor.

If the choice of vinyl plank flooring does not have a sub-layer that adheres to its bottom, it is necessary to put a roll on layer. Remember that peel-and-stick floors do not require covering.

Put the sub-layer from the wall to the wall, taking care not to overlap the seams. Instead, tape the seams together with underlayment or housewrap tape.

Starting at one end of the room, measure across to the other side and divide that measurement by the width of one vinyl plank. The number of decibels represents how wide the final plank will be on the other side of the room (in percentage). Do some quick math to make sure this percentage won’t be less than 2 inches. Adjust if necessary and place the first row in a straight line across the wall.

Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

For example, if a room is 107 inches long, and the vinyl floor is 5.5 inches wide, divide 107 by 5.5 inches: 107 / 5.5 = 19.45. The decimal value (.45) represents 45 percent of the 5.5 inches, which is approximately 2.5 inches (5.5 x .45), a suitable width for the final row of planks. If the width should be less than 2 inches, cut the first board a little thinner to achieve a wider final row.

For any cuts, use the tape measure or mark the board in place. Use the utility knife to score and snap the boards to length. For round cuts, use the graphs to transfer contours to the boards before repeatedly scoring and removing the cut. Make sure you space your seams by 3 or 4 inches, too.

Installing vinyl plank flooring has its pros and cons, but it’s a fairly simple way to make a significant impact in a room. As long as the subfloor underneath is in good shape, a vinyl plank floor can provide a new, fresh, luxurious feel to any space. By following the steps above, DIYers can learn how to install plank vinyl flooring of any type.

Even though we have just presented a lot of information about installing vinyl flooring, you may still have some questions about the process. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on the subject.

Must See Hardwood Plank Looks In Durable Luxury Vinyl Tile

It depends on the size of the room and the condition of the existing floor, but most vinyl flooring projects take less than a day. Once the first course is in, the workflow increases and DIYers can cover ground quickly.

Yes, it is possible to paint vinyl flooring. Sanding the glossy finish at the top, then priming the floor with latex paint should provide a suitable substrate for latex paint. Just be sure to cover the finished product with a clear, durable seal.

When installing plank flooring, whether it’s vinyl or wood, there are three rules to consider. First, you can follow the flow of the floorboards in the hallways and connecting rooms to prevent the space from feeling choppy. Second, for south-facing walls (in the northern hemisphere) it makes sense to install the boards from north to south, as the sun’s rays pour through the windows to complement the texture. Finally, if none of these scenarios apply, simply install the boards on the longer walls.

Vinyl plank flooring products are better than they used to be. Products today are less prone to warping, cracking, separating, or wearing than products sold 25 years ago were. However, improper installation or poor quality substrates and underlayment can still cause the same problems.

Tips For Diying Vinyl Plank Flooring

Older peel-and-stick floors tend to split due to excessive moisture, poor installation, unsatisfactory substrates, and age. New vinyl plank flooring could separate from excess heat or cold, causing the planks to expand or contract. We are fairly experienced when it comes to trying different types of flooring. We don’t install flooring every day but we have done our fair share of different types. In the past we have installed tile, hardwood floors, engineered hardwood, and laminate flooring. But one thing that is relatively new to the DIY world at large is Luxury Vinyl Plank (called LVP) and I was really excited to get my hands on it! In my closet, we were removing the rug for a cleaner, updated look and I thought it would definitely be worth checking out as an option. I’m so glad we did because now I’m obsessed. OBSESSED.

If you are looking for more information about LVP, here is an article about our specific type that we bought and it walks you through all the advantages and disadvantages of this product. It looks like wood, is ridiculously easy to install, is waterproof, and easy to clean. Oh and did I mention that it’s affordable and virtually indestructible? Sounds like a winner to me! But I’m not here to convince you to try LVP …. I want to talk installation.

Today I wanted to share with you tips on how to install luxury vinyl flooring and how we did it in our own space.

I heard about Luxury Vinyl Plank

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