How to Install Luxury Vinyl Flooring
When deciding on flooring for a room, you should first decide on the uses for the room, so you can pick the most suitable flooring material. In many cases, homeowners use luxury vinyl floors for kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. These vinyl tiles or planks provide benefits such as being waterproof and highly durable. After you have purchased the vinyl tiles or planks you want, the next step is to install them properly into the room. This page from H & R Carpets and Flooring will provide guidance 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.
For vinyl flooring, the work requires 2 phases of installation:
1. Preparing the Old Flooring
2. Applying the Vinyl Tiles/Planks
Preparing the Old Flooring
Before starting, you will need to measure the room. With measuring tape, establish the size of the room to get accurate measurements. Be sure to keep a small amount of extra vinyl above what you measured. Remove any free-standing furniture and appliances that would interfere with installation. If it’s in the kitchen, you will need to remove the refrigerator and oven. If it’s in the bathroom, take out the toilet. After the items have been taken away, remove the baseboards and/or trim along the bottom edges of the wall.
Next, if you have a caret floor, take out the old flooring. Vinyl flooring will cover most surfaces as long as they are rigid, flat, and dry. Pull up the old floor and work along the subfloor to remove staples and nails that are not driven into the floor surface. For safety reasons, contact your county for asbestos testing before disturbing adhesives.
For precise measurements, make a paper template of the floor. Cut heavy construction paper to lay across the floor. Cut any corners and customized pieces, so that you can cover the entire floor. After this step, you are ready for the underlayment. The underlayment (or underlayer) is usually a ¼ inch thick layer of plywood that smooths out the floor and provides a 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 the flooring.
Once you have all the pieces, place the underlayer plywood sheets in the room and leave them on for 2 to 3 days. This will help the plywood acclimate to the home’s humidity levels and prevent the vinyl from tearing later. After the few days, you will need a special underlayer stapler with 7/8 staples to install the underlayer. You should never use nails or screws, as they will cause bumps in the vinyl. As you work across the room with the staples, remove any that do not go all the way through.
To finish the underlayer, work across the floor with a sander and smooth down any edges that are not flush where they meet. Using a leveling compound, fill the spaces and cracks in the underlayer. Follow the package directions for the leveling compound so it is compatible with the underlayment and vinyl adhesive.