FlooringHow to Install Vinyl Flooring Like a Pro: Tips & Tricks

How to Install Vinyl Flooring Like a Pro: Tips & Tricks

Are you looking for an inexpensive and quick way to renovate your floors? Your search is over because vinyl tiles are a perfect choice as compared to expensive hardwood or laminate floors. The main benefits of vinyl tiles are that they are water-resistant and available in multiple sizes and patterns. Also, they don’t break easily, have low and soft profiles, and, most importantly, they are easy to replace and repair.

In this comprehensive guide, we will tell you the multiple steps to installing floor tiles like a pro just with the right tools and basic skills. Not only this, you can complete the installation process of vinyl flooring in one or two days depending on the size of the space. So, let’s start without any further ado!

How to Install Vinyl Flooring Like a Pro?

1. Prepare the Floor

As the vinyl flooring is a floating floor, the first step in installing the tiles is to prepare the subfloor. You can install LVT on wooden, concrete, wooden, or even existing vinyl flooring.

Make sure that the subfloor is dry, clean, free of any debris, free of cracks and irregularities, and well-leveled so that the tiles can adhere strongly to the adhesive.

If you have wooden subfloors, make sure they are securely attached and sturdy. For concrete subfloors, apply a self-leveling compound, such as concrete filler, to make it even. In case you have subfloors of ceramic, it is best suggested to remove the tiles before placing the vinyl tiles.

2. Measuring & Planning

The next step is to determine the number of vinyl tiles you need for a space. This is achieved by measuring the dimensions of the room.

  1. Assess the shape of your room to find out if it is rectangular, square, or has an irregular shape.
  2. Sketch the shape of the space on paper.
  3. If the room is not square or rectangular, divide the space into a series of small imaginary rectangles or squares.
  4. Determine the center of the room and use a chalk line to create guidelines. Measure and divide the length of the room measured in inches by the length of the vinyl plank. Do the same to find the width.
  5. Add all the calculated values to get the total square footage of the space.
  6. Make sure to consider the ¼ inch gap in both measurements. The gap you need to leave around the perimeter of the space.

3. Acclimating the Vinyl Tiles

Before installation, the luxury vinyl tiles need to acclimate to room temperature and humidity. You can do this either by laying the planks side-by-side or simply leaving the boxes open. Keep them as such for 48 hours at a temperature of 66-80 degrees. Meanwhile, adjust the humidity level with a hygrometer as per the manufacturer’s guide or between 35-75%.

4. Apply Adhesives to Tiles

There are generally two types of luxury vinyl tiles. One is self-adhesive tiles and the other one is installed using commercial glues. With the help of a notched trowel, start applying the vinyl floor adhesive to the subfloors as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure that the adhesive doesn’t dry before you lay the tiles and for easier application, work in small sections.

5. Lay the Vinyl Tiles

  1. After applying adhesive to the tiles, choose a starting point that is typically recommended to be in the center of the space or at the most visible and longest wall. For this purpose, you can use a straight edge or chalk line to make guidelines for straight and even installation.
  2. Start placing the tiles at the intersection of two reference lines, and firmly press each tile into the adhesive. You can use a flooring roller or a rolling pin for proper adhesion and applying even pressure.
  3. Continue laying the tiles by placing subsequent ones next to the first one.
  4. Follow the recommended spacing by using tile spacers if required.
  5. Work row by row to maintain straight lines and check the accurate alignment of pattern and color variations.
  6. You need to cut the tiles to fit properly when reaching the edges of the room by using a vinyl cutter or a utility knife.

6. Grouting the Joints

You can apply grout between the vinyl tiles for a more grouted look. Grouting is not always necessary but it can give your floor a more polished look. Mix the grout as per the manufacturer’s guide and apply it gently with the help of a grout float. Before the mixture dries, wipe off the excess grout with a damp sponge and give it time to cure.

7. Finishing

After the grout and tiles are set properly, remove the spacers and install molding or baseboards to cover the expansion gap. To remove any grout haze or adhesive residue, clean the floor with a gentle cleaner.

8. Let the Floor Dry!

The floor might take a couple of hours to dry depending on the type of adhesive used. During this ample time, try to completely get off the floor. In case you are installing vinyl tiles in a moisture-prone or humid area like a bathroom or laundry, don’t forget to apply silicone caulk around the wall to protect the tiles from moisture leaks.

Basic Tips and Tricks

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s guide and instructions about installation, applying adhesives, and procedures for cleaning and maintenance.
  • Accuracy is the key so double-check the measurements and take your time to make precise measurements before cutting the tiles.
  • If the adhesive seeps deeply between the tiles, promptly wipe it using a damp sponge or cloth because the dried adhesive is difficult to remove later on.
  • Place soft clothes always under your knees while applying tiles to protect them and provide cushioning.
  • To create a uniform and professional appearance, use tile spacers to maintain a consistent space between the tiles.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to installing floor tiles, vinyl floor tiles are best as they feel cleaner and more hygienic. These are perfect alternatives to hardwood flooring which is a lot more expensive. So, deciding to install luxury vinyl floor tiles is a smart choice for your home’s aesthetic appeal and pocketbook. As you have seen they don’t require high expertise and time to install them. Using the above step-by-step guide, you will be well on your way to having a swanky new floor in just a few hours. So, happy flooring!

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