Vinyl plank flooring is a popular hardwood floor substitute for many compelling reasons. It requires little maintenance, is water-resistant, inexpensive, and has a lengthy lifespan.
Many homeowners love the remarkable balance of firmness and flexibility, providing a comfortable feel underfoot of springy support.
Vinyl plank flooring is fairly easy to install but there are several critical elements that must be understood before embarking on your floor installation.
Guide to installing Vinyl Plank Flooring on a Concrete Floor
What is Vinyl plank flooring?
Vinyl plank flooring, a great alternative to hardwood flooring, is produced in strips that can be clicked and locked together and stuck down with glue. While vinyl plank varieties are designed to be laid on various floor surfaces, the guide below focuses on how to install vinyl flooring specifically on a concrete underfloor.
Tools and Supplies for Installation:
- Tape measure
- Dust mask, hearing
- protection, safety glasses and knee pads
- Air compressor and hose
- Utility & putty knife
- Square and chalk line
- Aviation snips
- Sanding block
- Belt sander and nail gun
- Cold chisel and hammer
Step 1 – Remove Baseboards:
It is ideal to remove all baseboards prior to installing vinyl wood flooring. This creates space between the walls and vinyl boards, where the vinyl will then expand and contract. This space also enables the installation of planks under the corners of the room.
To remove baseboards, cut any standing coating (often paint) between the wall and baseboard, then insert a putty knife to lift and cut the boards out. Loosen any nails that may be securing the boards to the wall using a pry bar. Be sure to remove the baseboards with care if you intend on reinstalling them again.
Step 2 – Prepare the Subfloor / Repair any Cracks:
Ensure the subfloor is clean, dry and level before installation. First, check for cracks. Vacuum any cracks to ensure there is no loose rubble or debris. Then, fill them with a concrete patching filler or compound and smooth over with a trowel. Leave until dry. A smooth subfloor surface is critical for the upcoming vinyl floor installation.
Step 3 – Prepare the Subfloor / Ensure the Floor is Level:
Use a carpenter’s level to measure the level of the subfloor. Any area that is below or above 3/16 inches of the general level of the floor at a distance of ten feet requires leveling.
For areas that are too high you can use a belt sander to sand the floor to the appropriate even level. Be sure not to over-sand as this will further uneven the floor in the opposite direction.
For areas that are too low, use a self-leveling compound to even out the area, as follows: 1. Rub leveling primer to the concrete flooring and leave for 4-5 hours until dry.
2. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and prepare a leveling compound.
3. Immediately pour the solution onto the floor and leave to dry.
Step 4 – Calculate the amount of wood you will need:
Measure the width of the room and divide by the width of one vinyl plank of wood to determine how many planks of wood are needed to fully cover the space.
Step 5 – Prepare the first row of planks:
Mark around ¼ inch from the wall using a tape measure (you can draw the line with chalk). Start installing the planks by cutting the tongues of the first-row planks. Do this by positioning the planks face up and trimming their tongues using a sharp utility knife.
This is the only time that you will cut the edges of the wood, unless you need to resize the last row’s planks to match with those of the first row.
Step 6 – Position the first row of planks:
Using the ¼ inch chalk line as a guide, install the first plank. The side with the cut-off tongue should face the wall. To install the second plank of the first row, position it at a slight angle together with the width of the first wood. Hold the wood in place and lower it until the tongue and grooves interconnect. Tap gently on the joint using a mallet to ensure the planks are properly locked into place.
Step 7 – Install all rows of planks in a staggered pattern:
As you continue to install the remaining rows of planks, ensure to do so in a staggered pattern as shown in the image below.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Install Vinyl Wood Flooring on Concrete Floor
Is underlay needed for vinyl plank flooring on concrete?
No, underlayment is not necessary to install vinyl planks on concrete, although it can be installed for noise reduction or to provide extra softness to the flooring.
Is leaving a space with vinyl plank flooring necessary?
Yes, you should allow approx. ¼ inch expansion space around the edge of your floor. This is because vinyl flooring is climate-sensitive and needs some space to expand, preventing warping or buckling in the middle.
Vinyl Floor Installation in Dallas
For inquiries, contact a representative at Dallas Floors who will gladly guide you through the entire process: choosing your vinyl floor in relation to your personal taste and budget, issuing a clear and transparent estimate, and guaranteeing a smooth and professional installation. Make an appointment with our experts today!