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Everything You Need To Know About Installing Vinyl Planks the DIY Way

vinyl flooring

Most of you who like to install flooring in a DIY way will prefer vinyl plank flooring. While you could also have other flooring options like solid hardwood, engineered wood, ceramic, or porcelain tile, vinyl flooring is ideally suited for DIY projects.

Among all available floor coverings, perhaps vinyl plank flooring is the simplest one to install. It can be easily cut, need no bonding with the subfloor, and can snap together edge-to-edge, and also end-to-end. Also, vinyl plank flooring will be an ideal choice for high-moisture areas like bathrooms and basements, as this material is completely water-resistant.

You will need the proper tools for installing vinyl floorings. Some of them are a utility knife, measuring tape, sanding block, safety glasses, putty knife, pneumatic brad nailer, pliers, nailset, knee pads, hearing protection, hammer, flat pry bar, fine-tooth saw, dust mask, chalk line, carpenter’s square, brad nail gun, belt sander, aviation snips, air hose, and air compressor.

If you don’t have all the necessary tools, then it is better to hire the services of professional installers. It surely works cheaper than buying all the tools. However, it might be a good idea to buy these tools if you plan to do multiple projects and if you have the time and patience to do it.

The following materials will be needed

  • Vinyl plank flooring
  • Sandpaper (if required)
  • Floor-leveling compound (if required)
  • Concrete patcher (if required)
  • 1/4-inch spacers.

Now follow these step by step procedures for installation

1. Sand down all the high spots –

  • Find your low and high spots on wooden subfloors.
  • Sand down the entire high spots by using a belt sander.

2. Fill in all the low spots – Fill your low spots by using a floor patch, and then feather it out by using a trowel.

3. Undercut doorjambs – Trim casing and jambs so that you can slide your flooring underneath.

4. Leave an expansion gap – Insert shims for creating about a ¼ “ to 3/8” gap between the wall and flooring 

5. Snap the planks in your first row –

  • Slide the first plank’s tongue on the second row and into the first row’s groove at a lower angle and then lay it on your floor.
  • Install the next and also subsequent planks in each of its rows by locking their ends together. Work your way down to the plank, by pushing the tongue into its groove as you go.

6. Stagger the seams – Stagger the seams minimum 6”, and do not start or end at any row with any plank less than 6” wide.

7. Tap in your end planks – Now hook the pull bar onto one end of the piece, then tap the stubborn seams to get it closed.

8. Install bridge molding –

  • Cover the expansion gap in between the base trim and the flooring.
  • Avoid nailing into the flooring, as that can separate from the floor to get expanded freely.

9. Install shoe molding –

  • After your flooring is laid down, install shoe molding for covering the expansion gap in between the flooring and your base trim.
  • Shoot 1” to ¼ “ finish nails through the shoes and also into the base trim.
  • Be careful that you do not pin the flooring beneath. Finish your molding for matching the trim and not the flooring.

This will complete your vinyl plank flooring installation. Good luck with your DIY flooring project.