Vinyl has advanced as a building material over the last century. From house siding to countertop solutions, all the way to flooring alternatives, vinyl’s versatility and durability are near unrivaled. Many homeowners and businesses have been converting to Luxury Vinyl Planking for its many benefits, making it the fastest growing flooring option in the industry to date. This high-quality flooring replicates hardwood and can be virtually installed anywhere in your home, including bathrooms and basements. It is incredibly durable, as well as easy to install. Unlike sheet vinyl, LVP comes in planks which can be floated directly over your subfloor with no adhesive. This allows you to save money on prep work, which also makes LVP a very economical solution. The installation process is simple, involves few tools, and requires light prep work. If you are looking to install this beautiful flooring option yourself, you have come to the right place.
Luxury Vinyl Planking does not require any elaborate tools to install. Typically, most planks can be scored with a utility knife and snapped when making your cuts. For your tools, you will need the following:
- Utility Knife
- Rubber Mallet
- Pry Tool
- Tape Measure
- Right Angle
When you first get your Luxury Vinyl Planking, put it inside the room which you plan on installing it. This can allow the vinyl planking to acclimate to the room and prevent unwanted contraction and expansion after installation. Typically, this floor needs about 24-48 hours to acclimate. It is natural for your floor to need to adjust to the temperature and humidity of the space. Next, you will need to do some simple prep work to your room. If you are installing it in a room that has carpet, remove the carpet, padding, and tackless. For rooms that have tile, hardwood, or concrete, this floor can be installed directly over these floorings without removing them. Broom the area you are looking to install your LVP to remove any dust or debris. You may want to remove your baseboard or undercut it if it is too flush to the floor. You can do this by using your pry tool. Write a number on the back of each piece you remove and write the corresponding number on the wall where it was-this will help you reinstall each piece without being confused where each one went. You can also use this technique on quarter-round.
Most LVPs are manufactured with a built-in underlayment. Open a few boxes and mix your luxury vinyl planks to assure randomization in the planks. Select the wall you want to start your installation. Preferably, select a wall that is connected to the exterior of your home. Also, decide what direction you want your planking to run. Typically, the length will follow the length of the room; however, this is your personal preference. Place your planks down and create your first row; you will want a slight gap between the wall and your planks to allow room for contraction and expansion. You may want to invest in spacers. Your planks will simply snap together with the interlocking system the manufacturers provided. For stubborn planks, consider using your rubber mallet to bump each into place. You can cut a small piece of scrap-plank to create your own tapping block. Be careful when tapping not to damage the locking system. For a natural look, make sure your next row is stagger at least 1/3 of a board. Use your tape measure to get the length you need to cut your last board in each row. You can use your piece from the end of one row to make the starting plank for your next row. To cut planks, use your right angle and score the boards. Simply snap them after scoring them.
Pro-Tip: Luxury Vinyl Tiles can be a little more challenging to interlock. You may need to use a tapping block more in this process.
The installation process is simple in comparison to many other floorings. With just a couple of household tools and a little handyman skills, you will be able to install your new flooring with ease. For more installation tutorials, make sure to subscribe.