Tips for Installing Luxury Plank Vinyl Flooring

4 Materials
3 Hours
As part of our basement renovation, we decided to use Luxury Vinyl plank flooring throughout our new space. The reason we picked this is we could install it ourselves, it's relatively budget friendly, we can lay it over concrete floors that are not 100% level, and it can withstand moisture. We are not professionals...these are just some tips we learned as we completed the project.
Open a few boxes to pull the flooring from as you install it. The manufacturer recommends mixing up the planks in case there are subtle differences between the boxes.

Start with a clean and smooth floor. Lay the first row of planks against a STRAIGHT wall if you have one! Make sure to leave 1/4 gap at the edge to allow for expansion/contraction. They make handy plastic spacers to help with this.
Make sure you stagger the seams so you don't have the ends on two consecutive rows line up exactly. During the first couple of courses, be mindful that the entire assembly can shift, come out of square! You can cut the planks using a utility knife for straight cuts and we used aviation snips to cut rounded edges, like around the toilet in the bathroom.
This was the laundry room before we started. We laid directly on the concrete and opted to not use underlayment, since we were not concerned about sound or warmth. Through trial and error, we found that if you installed the short edge of the tongue and groove first, then wiggled in the long edge, it would click into place a lot easier. We bought a Flooring Installation kit that had a rubber block and flat tool to aid with tapping in the planks as you installed them. I do not see how you could successfully install the floor with out it. It aided in getting tight seams so you could not see where the planks joined.
Once we got a groove going, it went fairly quickly. We finished the space by installing base molding to cover the small gap around the edge to allow for expansion/contraction.
If you are interested in our Basement Renovation series, head over to my blog :
Suggested materials:
  • Utility knife   (hardware store)
  • Flooring Installation Kit and Hammer   (Home Depot)
  • Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring   (Lumber Liquidators)
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Pat7923893 Pat7923893 on Jun 22, 2017

    Looks great! How long did this take? Two people working on it?

  • Sry24792084 Sry24792084 on Jun 22, 2017

    What if there is a floor drain in the room? How would you handle that?

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