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Installing a vinyl floor

Vinyl is an attractive, versatile, and durable flooring option that stands up well to moisture and is easy to install. A vinyl floor can be laid over most subflooring aside from carpet.
Difficulty level : Intermediate
Duration : 1 day
Project preparation

Before getting started, calculate the surface area of the room where the new floor will be installed. Add 10 to 15% to the total area to allow for spares and in case of any breakages.

After purchasing the vinyl planks, leave them boxed and laid flat in the room for 48 hours so that they can acclimate to the surrounding temperature. During this time, you can prepare the subfloor.

Prior to installation, the subfloor must be clean and dry. It also needs to be smooth and level, so remove any mouldings and lay down a polyethylene foam underlayment. If installing over a concrete surface, use a polyethylene underlayment with a moisture or vapour barrier.


Trimming door casings

  • 1.1 - Place a plank flat on the floor beside the door casing and mark, with a line, where the casing needs to be cut so that the floor can fit underneath it.
  • 1.2 - Cut the casing at the line, using a backsaw or a multi-function tool. Test to see if the plank fits under the casing.

Drawing reference lines

  • 2.1 - Use chalk line to draw straight reference lines on the floor and plan out the alignment of the planks.
  • 2.2 - Draw reference lines along the walls that leave a 5/16-inch expansion gap between the wall and the planks. Note that the recommended gap width may vary among manufacturers.
  • 2.3 - Calculate the width of your last row and check that it meets the manufacturer's minimum recommendations. The specified width will ensure that the planks stay in place after installation.

Pro tip

You should always install a new floor according to manufacturer's recommendations. Make sure to follow any additional steps or instructions included with your flooring.

Installing planks

  • 3.1 - Begin in a corner of the room and lay the first plank down with the male sides towards the walls.
  • 3.2 - Use spacers to ensure that the expansion gap between the walls and the planks is maintained as you proceed with installation.
  • 3.3 - Install the rest of the planks in the first row according to the manufacturer's instructions. Use a mix of planks from different boxes to blend patterns and colour-shading.
  • 3.4 - Install the rest of the rows, starting each new row with the piece left over from the last one.
  • 3.5 - Make sure that the previous one is perfectly straight and square before starting each new row.

Installing the final row

  • 4.1 - Measure the exact width of the last row and cut the planks to fit.
  • 4.2 - Install the final planks using a pull bar and ensure that you have kept the necessary expansion gap.

Pro tip

Finishing touch

No new floor is complete without installing elegant baseboard trim to cover the joints between the floor and the wall.

Read our guide for installing baseboards to learn how to do it yourself.

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