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Vinyl Flooring Installation Tips

Tips for managing your vinyl flooring installation.

Vinyl flooring is probably the easiest flooring to install because of its low profile and simple snap-together or glue-down installation. A perfect floor surface is critical, especially if your vinyl floor is on the thinner side.

Prep the Subfloor

Vinyl can be installed over existing vinyl floors, wood floors or concrete as long as the subfloor is properly prepared. Concrete must be at least six weeks old before installing vinyl over it.
It is critical with vinyl flooring that the subfloor be perfectly level and smooth. This will require filling any gaps or seams in the underlying floor with special floor patch and sanding any high spots. Improper floor preparation will deliver unsatisfactory results.

Trim Jambs and Casings

You will need to trim door jambs and casings to allow the flooring to slide underneath it. To do this, lay a piece of the vinyl flooring up against the jamb and mark the depth with a line. Cut the trim along the line, parallel to the floor. The vinyl should slide right under it when you are done.

Install Underlayment

If you have a rough wooden subfloor, you can install ¼” plywood underlayment to provide a level surface. You may also consider installing a vinyl underlayment recommended by the manufacturer for use with your vinyl.

Lay Out the Pattern

Depending on your vinyl floor’s design, layout may be critical. If you are installing square vinyl tiles that look like ceramic, you will want to snap a center line and center the design to ensure evenly trimmed pieces on all edges. If you are working with a wood plank design, this may not be as critical, but the layout is still important. It pays to do a dry layout of one row of flooring in both directions to see where the edge tiles will hit and adjust accordingly.

Lay the Floor

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to glue or snap your floor tiles into place. To cut the vinyl, simply score it with a utility knife and snap to break it. Corner cuts and custom shapes will require some utility knife artistry.

Grout When Desired

You may grout vinyl tiles that have a ceramic design using grout designed to work with your vinyl floor. If so, you will need to grout according to the directions and allow the grout to dry for 24 hours. Clean excess grout with water and sponges as you go.

Install Moldings

When the floor is complete, install base and transition moldings to complete your floor.

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