May 302011

Wood look vinyl plank flooring is becoming one of the most popular floor coverings used today.  With the growing choices in quality and price you should not have a problem finding a luxury vinyl plank that fits your style and price range.  There are a couple of choices when it comes to installation and the style of vinyl wood plank you choose, such as

  • Self adhesive vinyl plank flooring
  • Glue down vinyl plank flooring
  • Floating vinyl plank flooring or glue-less vinyl plank flooring

How To Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

In this DIY I will cover the most popular type of installation, the glue down of a luxury vinyl  plank flooring.  For the most part the same steps can be followed with a self adhesive vinyl plank floor just leave out the glue.  A couple days before you begin its alway important to have your vinyl plank flooring in the room so it can acclimate to the temperature.

  1. Clean Floor ready to install flooringFirst like with most any flooring projects you want to start with a clean structurally sound floor.  If your going over a concrete floor be sure to remove any old paint or Sheetrock dust that is commonly found under carpet.  If your going over plywood floors you want to check for any soft spots or peeling of the plywood layers.  I always recommend if possible to cover existing plywood floors with a 1/4 inch plywood underlayment.  This will give you a nice new smooth finish keeping your vinyl flooring looking good for years to come.
  2. Now that you have your floor nice and clean or your underlayment down you will want to use a good feather finish product and fill any holes, low spots or imperfections in floor.  I also like to skim coat the hole floor using a 16 inch trowel, this helps fill any low spots in the floor you may not be able to see and gives a nice clean surface for the glue to stick too.
  3. Once your floor patch or feather finish has dried its time to find your starting point.  First thing you need to decide is on the direction you want the wood look vinyl planks to run.  There are a couple of ways to do this and you cant really go wrong  whatever way you decide, but I normally will run the planks vertical with the length of the room or with the entry point or natural light source such as a window or door.  I like to take some planks out of the box and lay them out in the room to help you decide.  Once you decide take a measurement of some planks mark this measurement of the wall, its always good to make sure you will not end up with a small cuts on the other walls if possible.  If your starting in a small space such as a hallway I like to center the walkway giving you equal cuts on both sides.  Now using a chalk line you want to chalk a line on the floor that will be able to reach once the glue is down.
  4. In this glue down vinyl plank installation I will be using a spray glue called spray-lock 6500 but all the same steps can be followed with a trowel on glue.  Itsspray lock 6500 spray glueusing a shield with spray lock glue important with any glue down installation to have a very clean floor especially with a spray glue.  You will want to vacuum the floor using a shop vac and follow that with a damp mop.  If your using a spread on glue you can get away with only vacuuming but its never a bad idea to mop.
  5. Time to apply the glue you will want to start in the back of the room and work your way toward the door.  With the spray-lock spray glue I use a piece of cardboard as a shield to protect the walls and baseboards from over spray, its also helpful to mask of corners and other hard to shield areas with paper.  Spray using a back and forth motion making sure to get good coverage without overdoing it.  With both types of glues you will need to let them tack up this can take 10-45 min depending on the temperature and humidity, this is one advantage the spray-lock has on other glues, it has a very quick tack time.  The glue will begin to turn clear as it dries, you can check it by touching it and see if you get any transfer on your fingers.  Once there is little to no transfer you are ready to begin installing your wood grain vinyl flooring.starting vinyl plank installation
  6. With the glue dry and clear you should now be able to see your chalkline.  Start by laying your first plank making sure it is on your chalkline, you should be able to pullup and adjust the plank if needed but this glue can be sticky so try to get it right the first time.  Follow with a cut piece next to it to offset the planks, I do not like any patterns so I will use random sizes.  The general rule of thumb is to never have a seem closer than the width of a plank, so if your using 4 inch wide planks your end seems should never be closer than 4 inch’s.
  7. Once you get to a wall its time to make cuts, most vinyl planks or pvc plank flooring can be cut with a simplewood look vinyl plank installation razor blade knife.  This can be done by lining up a plank on top of the plank next to the wall take another plank and push it up against the wall and trace cut the underneath plank.  If your having problems making good cuts its never a bad idea to remove the base first or install a shoe mold when your done.
  8. Last thing you will need to do is roll your flooring with a hundred pound roller, I know most Diy folks are not going to have one of these but if possible you may want to look into renting one or at least using a small handheld roller as you go.rolling vinyl plank floor

Time To Clean Up

I normally will keep a wet rag with me as I am installing the flooring to keep the clean up to a minimum at the end.  Depending on the glue you are using if its water based or solvent based you will want to check that out before hand.  The spay-lock glue I am using is water based so clean up is done using a wet rag.  If your using a solvent based glue you may need to use a little mineral spirits or goo gone.  Again keeping the work place clean as you go makes clean up in the end much easier.

I hope you enjoyed this write up if you have any question post them up and ill try to get to them as soon as possible.


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