Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring – Want a budget-friendly alternative to a wood floor? Try vinyl plank flooring. It’s durable and great for high moisture areas like basements and bathrooms. Vinyl can be installed over concrete, wood, and existing vinyl—as long as it’s only one layer thick. Your subfloor should be clean, dry, and relatively level—no more than 3/16-inch change per 10 feet. Use a self leveler on low spots and sand or grind high spots on wood and concrete. Do not sand an existing vinyl floor–it may contain asbestos. Removing the baseboard can make the installation easier. Let the vinyl flooring planks acclimate to the room for about 48 hours and use planks from different boxes to mix up colors and patterns. When installing, maintain a 5/16-inch expansion gap at the perimeter and stagger the joints at least six inches.
You’ll need a starting line square to the room. However, many walls are bowed or out of square, so here’s what you do. Mark the center of each wall and snap lines between. Then measure from the center to the starting wall, subtract the expansion gap, and mark this distance at the ends. Snap a line between to get a straight line against the wall. Also, calculate the width of the last row. If it will be less than 1/3 plank, cut about 1/3 of the plank off first row. Begin the install by scoring and cutting the tongue off the first row. Then set the first plank in place on the starting line—cut-side toward the wall. Hold the next piece at a slight angle and fold down. To cut the last piece to fit, score with a utility knife and snap it.
The end piece must be at least 6 inches. If it’s not, cut a little bit off the first plank, and slide the row. Onto row two. Insert the tongue of the first piece into the previous row and rotate down. For the next piece, connect the short end, then the long end. You should feel it lock. Continue the installation, staggering the joints at least 6 inches and maintaining the expansion gap. To get under doorjambs you can slightly bend the planks into place, and use a pull bar or tapping block to lock the joint if necessary. And that’s how simple it is to install floating vinyl plank flooring. Another vinyl plank option is peel and stick flooring. It’s as easy as it sounds–just peel, and stick onto the subfloor.
To finish your installation, add transitions, and trim. Nail to the wall, not the flooring. Vinyl plank flooring gives you the great look of a wood floor with the durability and low-maintenance of traditional vinyl. Want more great ideas and how-to’s? If you’re looking for another flooring option, check out How to Install a Tile Floor.