How to Install Luxury Vinyl Flooring
To establish flooring for a room, you must determine the actual uses for the specific room so that you pick the correct flooring that will be most suitable. Homeowners often prefer using luxury vinyl floors for kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. These vinyl tiles or planks have benefits such as being waterproof and highly durable. After purchasing the vinyl tiles or planks, the next step is usually to install them into the room of choice. This guide from Bassett Carpets will provide detailed instructions for the installation process!
Before doing any flooring installation on your own, it is always important to check with the manufacturer’s approved guidelines and confirm whether or not the installation is covered by warranty. This will help avoid any disputes related to manufacturer warranties.
To install vinyl flooring, the process can be split into 2 phases:
- Prepare the Old Flooring
- Apply the Vinyl Tiles/Planks
Prepare the Old Flooring
Before starting the installation process, you need to measure the room. Using a measuring tape, survey the size of the room and obtain accurate measurements. Keep a small amount of extra vinyl above what you measured. Remove any free-standing furniture and appliances that would interfere with installation. For the kitchen, you will need to remove the refrigerator and oven. For the bathroom, you will need to take out the toilet. After those have been taken out, remove baseboards and/or trim along the bottom edges of the wall.
If the old flooring is carpet, make sure to take it out completely. Vinyl flooring can cover most surfaces if they are rigid, flat, and dry. Pull up the old floor and work along the subfloor to remove staples and nails that have not been driven into the floor surface. For safety, contact your county for an asbestos test before disturbing adhesives that might contain asbestos.
To get accurate measurements, make a paper template of the floor. Cut heavy construction paper that will be laid across the floor. Cut any corners and customized pieces, so that you will be able to cover the entire floor. After cutting, you are ready to prepare the underlayment. The underlayment (or underlayer) is usually a ¼ inch thick layer of plywood which will smooth out the floor and provide a straight, effortless base for the vinyl. Tape the paper template to the underlayer plywood and use it as a guide to cut the plywood so it fits.
With all the pieces gathered, place the underlayer plywood sheets in the room and leave them there for 2 to 3 days. This time will acclimate the plywood to the home’s humidity levels and prevent the vinyl from tearing at a later stage. After a few days, prepare a special underlayer stapler with 7/8 staples to install the underlayer. You should never use nails or screws, as they will cause noticeable bumps in the vinyl. While working across the room with the staples, remove any that do not go all the way through the plywood.
To finish the underlayer, work across the floor with a sander and smooth down edges that are not flush where they meet. Using a leveling compound, fill spaces and cracks in the underlayer. Carefully follow the package directions of the leveling compound so it is compatible with the underlayment and vinyl adhesive.
Apply the Vinyl Tiles/Planks
With the above mentioned preparations complete, your floor is finally ready for vinyl! At this point, you should have a pattern already picked out. You will need to check if the vinyl you have is self-stick or a glue down type of vinyl. The self-stick vinyl is easier to install because the adhesive backing is on the tiles or planks. The glue down type will require some additional work.
Mark down your pattern on the paper template. Lay down the vinyl on the template and use a pattern to cut the vinyl to size. Start gluing the vinyl flooring with the adhesive and a notched trowel. Scoop out the glue onto the trowel and spread it across the underlayer in a section of the room. Wait a few minutes before laying the vinyl down on the adhesive so it sets and the air bubbles dissipate.
For solid vinyl tiles, place each one flat and aligned along the rows. Do not slide any of the tiles or planks, as this will drag the adhesive. Press down on the vinyl to make it stick to the adhesive. With small tiles, use a rolling pin to help push down on the vinyl. Apply the vinyl across the floor according to the pattern and fill the floor until you reach the edges.
Wait several hours to dry the adhesive, then replace the molding/trim and add threshold strips. If vinyl is in the bathroom, use a caulk gun for the edges of the floor where they meet the baseboards to protect from eventual water damage.
And that’s all it takes! If you still have questions, be sure to call/email the Bassett Carpets team or contact your local contractor to help throughout the process.