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Updated on March 7, 2023

Do it yourself

How to Install Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl is an attractive, versatile, and durable flooring option that is easy to install and resists moisture well. Vinyl flooring can be installed over most subfloors, except carpet.

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Duration: 1 day
Before You Start
Before getting started, calculate the surface area of the room where the new floor will be installed. Add 10% to the total area to allow for spares and waste from cuts.

With proper storage, there’s no need to acclimate your vinyl planks. Just be sure to place them horizontally, in a dry place, and away from direct sunlight.
Person trimming a door frame

Prepare the Room

  • 1.1Start by removing the door and baseboards.
  • 1.2Trim the door casing:
    • Place a piece of underlayment and 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.
    • Cut the casing at the line.
    • Test to see if the plank fits under the casing without being too tight.
  • 1.3Use a workshop vacuum to remove any dust or debris.
Person using a utility knifePerson taping a membrane onto the floor

Install the Underlayment

  • 2.1Some new vinyl floorings have an integrated underlayment. If that’s the case, simply skip this step. However, note that if you’re installing your vinyl planks with integrated underlayment on a concrete slab, adding an extra underlayment is always a good idea because it will act as a moisture barrier.
  • 2.2Roll out the underlayment the length of the room, starting at the end where installation will start.
  • 2.3Smooth out any creases and folds.
  • 2.4Cut the underlayment to the length of the room using a utility knife.
  • 2.5Roll out the next piece of underlayment and cut it to size.
  • 2.6Place the underlayment so that it meets the first piece of underlayment, without overlapping the joint.
  • 2.7Use sheathing tape to tape this joint to ensure a continuous vapour barrier.
  • 2.8Repeat the steps above until the whole floor is covered with underlayment.

Plan the Layout

  • 3.1Plan the layout and decide what direction the planks will be positioned.
  • 3.2Measure the room and divide that by the dimensions of the vinyl planks to determine how many rows will be needed to properly fit in the space.
  • 3.3Calculate the width of the 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.
  • 3.4If the width of the last row will likely be too small, start the first row with a plank cut in half along the length, which will allow for a larger piece to be used in the last row.
  • 3.5Make sure the room is square and adjust the planks of the first row if necessary.
  • 3.6The vinyl planks will expand slightly, which is why it’s necessary to plan an expansion gap between the wall and the planks. Note that the recommended gap width and minimum width for the first and last rows may vary from one manufacturer to the next. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations on the box.

Pro Tip

Lay your flooring so that the longest edge of the plank follows the longest dimension of the room to help the room feel larger. Also, you should always install a new floor according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Make sure to follow any additional steps or instructions included with your flooring.


The next 2 steps should be done simultaneously, as you’ll need to cut the planks at the end of each row before moving on to the next row.
Wedges taped onto a wall

Install the Vinyl Planks

  • 4.1Vinyl planks will typically use a tongue and groove to join the planks together. Take a moment before starting to identify which side is tongue, and which side is groove.
  • 4.2Add a row of wedges along the wall with painter’s tape to create the starting line and help maintain the expansion gap.
  • 4.3Begin in a corner of the room and lay the first plank down with the tongue sides towards the walls.
  • 4.4Add a second plank, making sure to click the ends together.
  • 4.5Repeat until the end of the first row.
  • 4.6If needed, square the joints by tapping the long edge with a rubber mallet.
  • 4.7Use a mix of planks from different boxes to blend patterns and colour-shading.
Person cutting a vinyl plankPerson snapping a vinyl plankPerson using a laminate cutterPerson using a jigsaw

Cut the Planks

  • 5.1At one end of each row, a cut will be needed to fit the last piece into place.
  • 5.2At the end of a row where a full plank won’t fit, take a measurement of the space.
  • 5.3Transfer the measure to a plank, taking care to subtract the expansion gap.
  • 5.4Cut the plank using one of these 4 methods:
    • Table saw: Ideal for straight end cuts.
    • Utility knife: Use an angle square and utility knife to score the surface, following the line closely. Pick up the plank, then bend it backward along the line to make it snap.
    • Laminate cutter: Cheaper than a table saw, this will allow you to make straight end cuts.
    • Jigsaw: Indispensable for more complex, angled cuts.

Start a New Row

  • 6.1Go back to the opposite wall, then start a new row with the remaining piece of the plank that was just cut. Don’t forget to add wedges between the wall and plank.
  • 6.2To achieve a more realistic effect, don’t line up the joints evenly. Instead, use different lengths of plank when starting your rows to for a staggered look. This creates variation in the location of the joints.
  • 6.3Keep on installing planks until the final row.
Person cutting a vinyl plankPerson snapping a plank along a workbenchPerson installing a vinyl plank

Install the Final Row

  • 7.1Measure the space between the last row and the wall.
  • 7.2Transfer the measurement to a plank, making sure to subtract the expansion gap.
  • 7.3Hold the plank securely on a workbench with clamps.
  • 7.4Use a metal ruler and utility knife to cut along the mark.
  • 7.5Press the cut line against the corner of the workbench to snap the plank.
  • 7.6Gently work the last pieces of flooring in using a pull bar, being careful not to force the tongue at too much of an angle. Use a soft, clean rag under the pull bar to protect the surface of the floor.
  • 7.7Install mouldings and doors.

Pro Tip

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.


These DIY projects are provided for informational purposes only. The information contained in RONA’s DIYs is intended to provide general guidelines to simplify jobs around the house. Because tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes, and local regulations are continually changing, RONA inc. assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained herein and disclaims any liability for the omissions, errors, or outcome of any project. RONA inc. makes no representation on the feasibility of any project and the viewer bears all risks coming with the realization of the projects. It is the responsibility of the viewer to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, codes, and regulations for a project. The viewer must always take proper safety precautions and exercise caution when taking on any project. If there is any doubt in regard to any element of a project, please consult a licensed professional. 

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