FOCUSfloors & Furnishings has recently introduced vinyl plank flooring to its line of durable and beautiful flooring products, which also includes carpet tiles for residential and commercial installation. Vinyl plank flooring is a unique product that looks like natural wood. The high resolution finish is very realistic and difficult to discern the difference with a visual examination. Vinyl plank flooring has a couple of distinct advantages over traditional wood flooring. The first being that vinyl is much easier on the pocketbook and the second being that vinyl is waterproof making it ideal for kitchen, bathroom, and basement installations. Installing this product is similar to other modular products. It’s important to start with smooth solid surface. Follow these steps for a basic installation.
- Measure your room wall-to-wall. If required, remove any moldings. Measure in standard feet. The length times the width of your room will give you the square footage that will be required to cover your area. Make sure that you add nooks and closets to your measurement. Additionally, add at least 10% to your measurement to allow for trimming and waste. (our room calculator)
- Pull the old flooring up and dispose of it. If you have adhesive residue from the old flooring, you will want to remove it with a scraper or mild solvent. Light sanding may be required in corners. It is important that the surface is as clean as possible to ensure your new vinyl plank flooring sticks well to the floor.
- Once you have cleaned and scraped the floor (if required), you are ready to smooth the surface and fill any cracks. Use a patching or putty compound (formulated for your subfloor type i.e. wood) and a putty knife to fill any cracks and holes. Once you have applied the compound, level, and smooth the surface to ensure a flat surface. Once the putty has dried and the floor is clean, it is recommended that a primer be used to create a moisture barrier.
- Now, you are ready to install your new vinyl plank flooring. Typically, you will want to install the vinyl planks parallel to the longest wall or the wall that is the focal point of the room. After insuring that the floor is clean of dust and debris, begin spreading the adhesive with a trowel. Please note, different planks from different manufactures may require a specific adhesive. Use the manufacturer recommended adhesive. The adhesive should be applied in a manner where there are no peaks and valleys and the application is smooth. You can apply the adhesive in sections depending on how large the room is to ensure that the adhesive doesn’t “setup” before completion.
- Starting in one corner, begin laying the vinyl planks ensuring that you press the first line squarely against your wall and firmly into the adhesive for a strong bond. Once, you get to the end of the first row, you will have to cut the final plank to size. Place an unused plank against the end point wall and mark with a pencil. Use a straight edge or carpenter’s square to ensure that your cut is straight and true. Press the cut plank into adhesive.
- Once your first row is installed, you want to make sure that your joints are staggered by at least 6 inches. To achieve this, you may have to cut a plank with a utility knife. Use the same cutting technique mentioned above. Follow this procedure until your vinyl plank flooring is complete.
- The final step is to use a floor roller to press your new flooring into the adhesive for a strong bond that will last for years to come.
We believe that this procedure will produce good results for most vinyl plank flooring. However, we recommend that you refer to specific instructions from the manufacturer of your flooring for specific guidance that may differ from this DIY How-To article. This document is only intended as a generic guide.