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The easy way to install vinyl flooring

Welcome to our simple guide for installing your new vinyl floors.

You're going to love just how quick and easy it is to lay your new vinyl plank floors.

Signs of moisture in your subfloor

Check for signs of moisture in your subfloor using a calibrated moisture metre. Moisture content must be;

  • Below 5% for concrete slabs
  • Below 12% for timber substrates

Subfloor is level and clean

Using a straight edge tool check subfloor is level according to relevant industry standards, 4mm deviation over 2m. Floor preparation and levelling may be required before installing your floors.

Floors have acclimatised

It is recommended that the packs be stored and allowed to condition in or near the installation area for 24hrs, or until the product has reached the ambient room temperature range of 15-28 degrees.

Optimal laying conditions

Room temperature is between 15-30 degrees and humidity levels are between 30%-70%. 

Defective boards

All installed boards will be considered as accepted by the installer and/or homeowner, therefore it is essential that the boards be thoroughly checked pre-installation, with adequate lighting. Boards should be checked for the following prior to installation;

  • Board defects
  • Excessive colour variation
  • Excessive feature
  • Locking System

1. Get organised

Set up your installation tools and open multiple packs to pre-select boards that blend best with matching scotia, skirts and trims.

Check door and door frame clearances to ensure that doors will move freely without contacting the floor surface.

Perimeter expansion gaps are not required when installing vinyl planks/tiles. They may be butted up against perimeter walls on all sides.

Where an opening, threshold or doorway meets another surface, a decorative trim is recommended to ensure a smooth transition and to protect the exposed edge from damage.

2. Set out

  • Assess the layout of the first room where laying will commence. To determine a starting point, find the center of the room, then use a chalk line or straightedge to strike/ mark a line.

  • Measure out the total width across the room wall to wall. Divide the measurement by the width of the plank or tile. If the last plank is shorter than 1/3rd its width, move the center point as needed so the plank/tile can be trimmed to be cut more than 1/3rd width, where the material meets the wall.

Although vinyl floors can be installed in any direction, as a rule, they are usually installed perpendicular to a window. Installing the floor parallel to the longest wall tends to make a room appear larger. 

3. First Row

  • Once the layout has been determined, start by cutting the first row as required. Typically, the first board will not be cut in length unless the layout means that the last board shall be less than 150mm. Dry fit (no adhesive)  several rows initially to check the position of the layout, and  recheck where the floor will finish at each wall.

  • Once your starting point has been checked, apply adhesive to the subfloor along the line (use the appropriate notched trowel  according to adhesive manufacturers specifications), where the first few rows are to be installed. Trowel only enough adhesive for the flooring to be laid within the working time of the adhesive. This is typically three to four rows at a time. If in doubt, start with fewer rows. If any adhesive gets on the surface of the vinyl, immediately wipe it off with an adhesive removal wipe or wet rag.

  • Depending on the adhesive  used and environmental conditions, some “tack-up” time may be required prior to the material being laid into the adhesive, follow the adhesive manufacturers advice.

  • Once the adhesive is ready, commence laying the already pre-cut first rows, ensuring that the material remains straight and square as you progress.

4. Second row

  • Repeat this process of cutting several rows at a time, then applying adhesive, until you reach the last row where the floor meets any vertical surfaces, walls, cabinets etc.

  • To cut the last row to width,  place one uncut board on top of the already laid second last row, to mirror the plank or tile underneath. On top of this board, place a second board on top, but hard up against the finishing wall, this will now allow you to mark the board that has been dry laid in the second last row, to be cut to the correct width.

  • Repeat this process at any vertical surface. If the material cannot be fit where unusual shapes or obstacles are encountered, use a measuring tape to transfer dimensions onto the board to be cut or make a template out of rigid cardboard and transfer the shape required to the surface.

5. Let's roll

Once each individual area has been laid, and prior to the adhesive setting, use a 45kg roller, to roll over the floor in both directions. This will ensure that the material has bedded into the adhesive fully, and that no air pockets are present.

6. Finish with caulk

The perimeter of the floor may be finished either by caulking, by installing matching quad or scotia, or by re-fitting fitting existing trims or skirting boards that may have been removed prior to installation.

Lastly, Get Insta Ready

Congrats, you did it! Before you kick back and admire a job well done, don’t forget to snap some photos and share your new floors. Tag us on Instagram @flooringonlineau to really make our day.

Can I float my vinyl flooring?

No, vinyl flooring is designed for glue down installation.

When do I put the glue down for my vinyl flooring?

It is important to do a dry fit (no adhesive), of several rows initially to check the position of the board layout and recheck where the floor will finish at each wall. Only once you are confident in the length and order of the boards you are going to lay, should you apply the floor adhesive. Glue also has a window of time in which it is effective after being applied, ensure to work in sections to avoid racing the clock to lay a large area.

Why do I have to level my subfloor?

Without a level subfloor you leave your boards vulnerable to cracking & damage. A maximum of 4mm deviation over 2 meters is the industry standard.

Do I need to acclimatise vinyl flooring?

It is recommended that the packs be stored and allowed to condition in or near the installation area for 24hrs, or until the product has reached the ambient room temperature range of 15-28 degrees.