How to Install Premium Vinyl Plank Flooring

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Vinyl flooring is a fantastic option because it's waterproof, strong, and simple to maintain. Additionally, it makes a fantastic do-it-yourself (DIY) project. Concrete, hardwood, tile, and already installed vinyl flooring can all be covered with vinyl plank flooring. It will function as long as the surface is level and uncluttered.

So how do you go about installing premium and luxury vinyl plank flooring in your house? One important rule to remember is that vinyl shouldn't be laid over laminate since it can be uneven. Another tip is that a neater finish can be achieved by using coordinated transition strips. If you don't live somewhere that gets too cold, you can use vinyl on covered porches.

General Steps Involved in Vinyl Plank Flooring

Although the actual type of vinyl plank flooring can vary, there are a few standard procedures and guidelines that must be followed when installing it. To begin, let the new vinyl plank flooring acclimate to the space for at least 48 hours before installation. 

If the prior floor layer is an inch thick, you can put vinyl layers over existing vinyl layers. The following are general instructions for installing vinyl plank flooring:

1) Plan the Flooring Layout and Remove the Baseboards

Like laminate or wood flooring, vinyl plank flooring requires an aesthetically acceptable layout. In general, this is accomplished by starting with the wall that’s the most noticeable—typically, the one that catches your attention as you enter the room—and moving outward toward the entrance. The initial row of planks should be laid parallel to this most noticeable wall or room feature before continuing across the space. 

Due to the fact that few rooms are actually square, your last row may be slightly uneven. On the other hand, baseboards or shoe moldings typically hide this unevenness. Plan to stagger rows so that the end joints of the adjacent rows don’t fall at the same position. According to manufacturers, end seams should be offset from row to row by at least 6 inches.

2) Remove the Trim Moldings and Baseboards

It’s always preferable to remove the trim that comes into touch with the floor to make installation easier. Baseboards, base shoe moldings, and case moldings around doors are included in this. Use a utility knife to first cut through any paint and seal the baseboards to the wall. The baseboards can then be carefully loosened using a pry bar. Taking doors off of their hinges facilitates installation as well.

It’s possible to remove trim molding by carefully pulling it off with a flat pry bar. Trim molding is normally attached with tiny bead-like nails. Using pliers, pull the brads straight through the molding from the back to remove them from the trim. If the trim is still in good condition after removal, save it for installation once the floor is put in.

3) Prepare the Floor and Subflooring

Most of the time, vinyl plank flooring can be installed directly over pre-existing flooring, but any high places should be sanded down to produce a smooth surface for the new flooring. The underlayment for the vinyl plank flooring should be as flat and smooth as you can make it.

Fill any cracks or divots with a concrete patcher if you're installing vinyl plank flooring over a concrete subfloor, as well as depressions with a floor-leveling product if you're installing the flooring over plywood. You can also get ready for the installation by marking the room's center, leveling the subfloor, measuring the size of the walls, and figuring out the breadth of the last row.

4) Lay Down the First Row of the Vinyl Flooring Installation

Along the length of the wall, test fit the first row of vinyl planks. Cut boards that are nearly similar in length at the opposing side walls will make the flooring pattern seem its best. Work from the middle of the wall outwards, starting with a full plank, making sure to cut the ends of the boards to be of equal length. To create this expansion gap, place spacers up against the walls. Leave a 1/4-inch gap at the wall and at the ends.

5) Make Precise Cuts from the Second Row Onwards

Vinyl planks can be cut to size in a manner akin to how drywall panels are. Your vinyl flooring's joints need to be spaced apart by at least 6 inches. Utilizing a cut end from the first row if necessary, measure and cut your first piece appropriately. First, score the face of the plank partially with a utility knife and carpenter's square. Rather than attempting to cut the plank in one motion, lightly run the knife across the plank's face numerous times. 

When pulling back on the blade, exercise extreme caution since vinyl planks are slick. Alternatively, you can cut through the entire plank with a fine-tooth handsaw. The final surface should now be facing down as you turn the board over – but note that if the plank is retracted, it might automatically snap off. If not, finish the cut by slicing the fold with a utility knife.

6) Connect the Edges of the Flooring Planks 

Before rotating down to click together, place the tongue of the first piece into the groove of the first plank of the row before it. Connect the short end of the next component first, then the long end. You must sense the lock. Continue the installation while keeping the expansion gap constant and staggering the joints by 6 inches. Planks should be slightly bent into position in order to fit underneath door jambs; if necessary, use a drawbar or tapping block to seal the joint.

The majority of tongue-and-groove luxury vinyl planks have a fold-and-lock method for edge-to-edge and end-to-end attachment. One plank is laid level on the flooring, while the other is held at an angle and inserted into the recess of the first board. Drawing the boards together and locking them in place is made easier by folding the second board until it's flat and parallel to the first board.

7) Account for Protrusions

With a utility knife or tin snips or strong shop scissors, vinyl planks are readily cut to the required shape. This can assist you in navigating installation-related obstructions such as protrusions. Due to its flexibility, vinyl plank flooring can typically be bent to fit around door frames and other protrusions.

It could be necessary to remove earlier planks in order to maneuver the cutout plank into place, depending on the type of impediment. After cutting out the planks, hold the cut-out plank at an angle and attach it to the adjacent board first. The cut-out plank should then be progressively folded down until it locks into place with the next plank.

8) Reinstall the Trim Moldings and Baseboards

You must add the baseboards after installing the floor. Calculate the number of baseboards you'll require. Utilizing a miter saw, trim the baseboards to size according to the wall length. Construction adhesive should be used to fasten the boards to the wall. You should next add a quarter round and finish with caulk. 

Installing Click Lock Vinyl Plank Flooring

  • Remove the first vinyl plank's short tongue edge by trimming it.
  • Place the first board correctly spaced from the wall. Holding the second plank at an angle, insert the tongue edge into the groove edge of the first plank to complete the installation. To secure the planks together, lower the second plank.
  • Trim the final plank as necessary, then carry on in a similar fashion for the rest of the row.
  • Attach the planks in the second-row side by side to the ones in the first row as well as to one another using the same angle-and-snap technique, a. For the remainder of the space, continue.
  • Leave adequate expansion space between the border planks and the wall and trim as necessary.
  • Obtain a new baseboard.

Installing GripStrip Vinyl Plank Flooring

  • Lay the first row of vinyl plank flooring parallel to the wall, leaving the manufacturer-recommended expansion gap (often about 1/4 inches) between the plank's edge and the wall. Make sure the cut edge of the planks is facing the wall if they have been cut.
  • Cover each plank evenly by butting the boards end to end, overlapping the adhesive strips, and applying strong pressure with a hand roller.
  • Make sure that every plank is firmly and tightly squeezed together at the grip strip seams as you work your way around the room.
  • As with the first row, trim the planks to size for the border and press them into position, providing enough room for growth.
  • Instead of fastening it to the floor, replace the baseboard.
  • Remove the spacers after the installation is finished, then roll the entire floor in both directions using a 75- or 100-pound floor roller.

Installing Glue Down Vinyl Plank Flooring

  • Start in the middle of the room rather than the corners while learning how to lay vinyl plank flooring with the glue-down method. Locate the middle of the space, then draw a line there using your chalk and straightedge.
  • Draw a second line dividing your space into four equal quadrants at a right angle to the first line.
  • Measure the distance parallel to the direction of the plank from the center point to the wall. The measurement should be divided by the width of the plank. Move the center point as necessary to ensure that the final board is only cut down to half its original width if it needs to be.
  • Using a trowel, apply the manufacturer's advised glue to the subfloor, working from the center outward into the desired region.
  • The glue should be given some time to build up so that it's sticky but still foggy or hazy in color. Don’t let the adhesive sit for too long or it will become transparent.
  • If adhesive spills onto a vinyl plank's top surface, remove it right away with a dry cloth to prevent drying.
  • At the intersection of the 2 chalk lines, place the first plank with its short edge.
  • Row by row, continue laying the planks, making sure that the edges of each plank are tightly affixed to its neighbor. Work following the parallel chalk line.
  • Trim the border planks as necessary, leaving the expansion room advised by the manufacturer.
  • After installation, the majority of glue-down vinyl plank flooring needs to be rolled using a floor roller to uniformly and firmly seat the vinyl planks into the adhesive. If any adhesive leaks into the joints between boards, wipe it off or use a knife to peel it away.
  • Change out the baseboard.

Advantages of Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring

carpenter installing premium vinyl plank flooring

Vinyl plank flooring has a reputation for being adaptable and robust. While still giving your area a sleek, elegant appearance, it's comfortable underfoot. Vinyl is a popular flooring option for households with children and dogs because it's moisture-resistant, stain-resistant, and noise-diffusing.

Many individuals decide to put vinyl plank flooring in bathrooms and basements for the same reasons. But you can also put in vinyl plank flooring in your bedroom or kitchen. Any firm and flat surfaces, such as concrete, wood, or even one layer of other vinyl, can be readily installed over it. The following are some benefits of installing vinyl plank flooring:

1) Waterproof

Although waterproof vinyl planks can be used anywhere, they work particularly well in bathrooms, basements, and kitchens. Zothex's worry-free vinyl plank solutions keep your flooring dry from unintentional spills and pet messes.

2) Realistic visuals

The variety of appearances vinyl plank flooring may have is possibly one of its major draws. Vinyl planks have incredibly realistic patterns, hues, and textures that give your floors the appearance and feel of real wood.

3) Easy to clean & maintain 

Vinyl plank needs to be cleaned now and again, just like any other kind of flooring. This is particularly true if it's utilized in a busy place, but fortunately, they're simple to maintain and clean. Utilize a broom, vacuum, or microfiber sweeper for a quick clean-up to keep your vinyl planks looking brand new.

A moist mop and a mild cleanser work well for thorough cleanings. Plus, there's no waxing necessary — vinyl plank flooring includes a protective wear layer that enables it to keep its brilliance for many years.

4) Extremely durable 

Vinyl plank flooring is designed to be walked on daily. It’s child and pet-friendly since it resists stains, indentations, and scratches. You can install vinyl planks just about anywhere in your house, thanks to their durability.

5) Ample variety

Your possibilities for flooring are essentially endless and include anything from wood to marble, stone, ornamental tile, and concrete. You won't simply have no issue finding a floor you love that matches your ideal home décor style—you could even find it difficult to pick just one favorite.

How to Choose a Type of Vinyl Plank Flooring

Choose the vinyl plank type that best fits your remodeling needs before installing vinyl plank flooring. Based on how they're installed, vinyl planks can be divided into 3 primary groups: glue down, click-lock, and gripstrip.

  • Vinyl plank flooring that interlocks produces the appearance of a floating floor, but tongue-and-groove connections, rather than adhesive, are used to secure the planks together.
  • The planks of GripStrip vinyl flooring are joined together by an adhesive coating that the manufacturer applies. By using this method of installation, GripStrip vinyl planking covers the subfloor without attaching or fastening it in any way. This results in a floating floor. Floating floors are a simple, clean method of installing new flooring without necessarily removing the old.
  • Vinyl plank flooring that is installed using glue can be installed on top of either pressure-sensitive or hard-set adhesives. The subfloor is covered with hard-set glue before the vinyl planks are placed on top. 
  • When the plank is put into position, pressure-sensitive glue that is already on the bottom of the plank adheres to the subfloor. Although both types of adhesives are strong, replacing individual vinyl planks may be simpler with the pressure-sensitive adhesive.

All 3 installation techniques are simple to use, take minimal time, and may be installed over any subfloor that is firm and level. Which approach you use will rely on your particular preferences and the room you intend to refurbish.

Tools That are Used in Vinyl Plank Flooring Installation

Depending on the type of vinyl plank flooring you wish to install, you will need to equip yourself with the appropriate tools and materials. The following are a few of the most commonly required tools and materials: 

  1. Tape measure
  2. Pneumatic brad nailer (optional)
  3. Floor-leveling compound (if needed)
  4. Fine-tooth saw
  5. Straightedge
  6. Sander (if needed)
  7. Carpenter's square
  8. Pliers
  9. Concrete patcher (if needed)
  10. Hammer
  11. Drawbar tool
  12. Nail set
  13. Vinyl plank flooring
  14. Sandpaper (if needed)
  15. Flat pry bar
  16. 1/4-inch spacers
  17. Utility knife

Preparation and Planning for Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring

Measure and prepare the subfloor before you start the installation. To calculate how much vinyl plank flooring to buy, measure the space. Purchase 10% to 20% extra flooring than you think you'll need after taking the most exact measurements available. This will guarantee that you have enough planks to cover the full floor of the room in addition to extras for replacement or cutting.

Your subfloor needs to be spotless, stiff, level, and without any gaps. Take down any old vinyl flooring or carpeting, and temporarily take off the baseboard. The toilet may need to be temporarily removed in order to put vinyl planks in a bathroom, or you can install them around it. If the subfloor is uneven, you can sand or grind down high spots and correct low spots with a self-leveling solution.

Asbestos may be present in ancient vinyl flooring, so don't try to sand it down. If the old vinyl flooring isn't level, remove it totally instead. To make the process as quick and simple as possible, plan how you will lay the planks before installation after preparing the subfloor and choosing the type of flooring to use. The following are some pro-tips that can help you get the perfect vinyl plank flooring for your household: 

  • Undercut door jambs to make it simple for the planks to slide below them.
  • Between the planks and the walls, leave the expansion gap advised by the manufacturer. With your chalk or crayon, measure the distance and make a mark.
  • Plan to install all vinyl plank cut edges against the wall so the newly built baseboard may cover up the cuts.
  • Remove all the planks and mix them up to produce a variation that looks more natural. The color and pattern of the planks in each vinyl plank flooring bundle may vary slightly.
  • To minimize cutting, start perpendicular to the longest wall.
  • For the finest appearance, stagger the ends of the planks by about 6 inches between each row after cutting them to fit the size and form of the space.
  • To estimate how broad the planks bordering the walls should be, divide the room's width by the plank's width using the measurements you discovered in the previous step. Make sure the border plank widths are at least half their original width for the greatest effect. 
  • You should cut the vinyl plank to a minimum of 3 inches broad, for instance, if it's 6 inches long. If the last row can only allow less than a plank's half-width, trim the first row to make up the difference. You may just need to trim the last row.
  • Trace the shape onto paper, then use the paper as a stencil to cut the vinyl plank to fit while attempting to install vinyl flooring planks around a unique shape.

Get Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring at Zothex

premium vinyl plank flooring at Zothex

Vinyl flooring is considered to be one of the finest options for household purposes due to its versatility and durability. While bathrooms and kitchens are common places that are chosen for installing vinyl plank floors, other areas such as the dining room can also use luxury vinyl flooring for a more polished and refined look.

Here at Zothex Flooring, you can meet with our team of experts who will guide you and help you choose the perfect flooring option for your needs. Our skilled craftsmen will provide you with the best vinyl planks installation services in the area with exceptional customer care. To learn more about us and the services we provide, you can contact or stop by one of our showrooms in California.

Read More: All You Need to Know About Vinyl Tile Flooring

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