How to Install the Last Row of Laminate Flooring - Installation Tutorial - Universal Installation: This tutorial walks you a universal installation of the last row of laminate flooring. Your goal is to create the flattest, smoothest surface possible as the underlayment for the vinyl plank flooring. Press the plank flat to snap in place. Leave a 1/4-inch gap at the wall and at the ends; spacers can be placed against the walls to establish this expansion gap. After the floor is laid, re-attach the baseboards and trim, preferably using an pneumatic brad nailer. Slowly peel back the paper to reveal the adhesive. Then, flip the board over so that the finished surface is facing down. Make sure there will be at least an 8-inch (20.3 cm) stagger between end joints. Next, measure your room to determine how many full rows of the vinyl plank will be needed for your install. Of all of the do-it-yourself floor coverings, vinyl plank flooring (also known as luxury vinyl) is one of the simplest to install. Snap at the score line. Angle the long tongue edge of the plank into the long groove edge of the first plank. Once the first row is laid, continue across the floor with subsequent rows, first joining the planks end-to-end, then positioning the new row along the edge of the previous row and folding its tongue into the groove of the previous row. If the planks lock together, set each last plank into place and draw it toward the preceding row using a laminate pull bar. Our vinyl plank flooring is made to be installed by you, ... To do this, use the remainder of the last plank of the first row as the first plank on the next row. If you offset each plank halfway, you’ll end up with H-joints that look amateurish. Test fit the first row of vinyl planks down the length of the wall. If you do manually nail, use a nail-set to recess the nail heads below the surface of the trim. After making the cutouts, first attach the plank to the adjoining plank while holding the cut-out plank upward, at an angle. To remove the brads from the trim, pull them straight through the molding from the back side, using pliers. The most important thing to keep in mind when staggering vinyl plank flooring is to randomly stagger your joints. Deane Biermeier is a contractor with 27 years experience in home repair, maintenance, and remodeling. Vinyl plank flooring is flexible enough that it can usually be bent enough to get fit around door frames and other protrusions. Lengthwise cuts are best made with a utility knife guided by a long straightedge, using multiple passes of the knife until the planks are cut to the desired width. If the trim is still in good shape after removal, set it aside for re-installation after the floor has been installed. Then we need to start laying out some laminate or vinyl plank and begin to put together 4 to 6 rows. Score and cut the tongue off the first row of vinyl planks using a utility knife. See note in PLANNING section about rows longer than 50 feet. How to install vinyl plank flooring. Install the second plank by holding it at an angle and inserting its tongue edge into the first plank’s groove edge. When you get to the far wall, cut the last plank to size, so that there is a ¼” gap between the last plank and the wall. You will see the easiest way that this can be done, hands down! Measure the width of the room, and divide it by the width of the exposed portion of the plank before you start installing vinyl plank flooring. Continue in this manner for the remainder of the row, trimming the last plank as needed. Door case molding is relatively easy to remove and replace, and removing it produces a cleaner installation. Lay Down the First Plank Score and cut the tongue off the first row of vinyl planks using a utility knife. Position the first plank from the starting wall using ¼-inch spacers. Installing vinyl planks is an easy DIY project that will help you refresh any room with brand new flooring. Where you encounter obstacles such as door frames or floor ducts, vinyl planks can be easily snipped to the desired shape with tin snips or heavy-duty shop scissors. Regularly dust, damp mop, or vacuum (without beater bar) your floor to remove any particles that could cause abrasions or scratches to appear on your floor. To start the second row, install the first plank, being sure the plank is at least 8 inches longer or shorter than the first board in the previous row. Make sure to do this step first, to eliminate any thin rows at the final row. But baseboards or shoe moldings will usually obscure this unevenness. If necessary complete the tight fit against the wall by tapping the plank into place with a pull bar. You will lay the first row of planks parallel to this most prominent wall or room feature, then work your way across the room. If this measurement is less than 8” (20.3cm) in length, trim first plank and last plank, each no less than 8”. No doubt you bought your vinyl plank flooring as much for ease of installation as you did for its looks. Visually, the flooring layout will be most pleasing if cut planks are of roughly equal lengths at the opposite side walls. If you are laying vinyl plank flooring over a concrete subfloor, fill any cracks or divots with concrete patcher. Just slide the tongue into the groove on an angle, making sure the end of one board lines up with the last. For example, if your room measures 123 in., and your flooring is 5.75 in. Stretch the line to the far end of the course, and put it right on the corner of the end of the last piece, on the side closest to the wall. We’ll show you how to cut vinyl plank flooring and stagger rows for a beautiful floor that requires no underlayment. Alternatively, you can use a fine-tooth handsaw to cut straight through the entire plank. Lower the second plank to snap the planks together. This will centre your flooring and ensure you have end planks of equal widths. Connect the joint and as you tap on the pull bar push the plank down and keep moving from one end to the other until the plank is laying flat. © 2020 Home Depot International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Measure the length of the room in inches and divide it by the length of the planks. For ease of installation, it is always best to remove the trim that makes contact with the floor. See below for dealing with the last board in the row. To install vinyl plank flooring on concrete, you’ll first need to clean the concrete with soap and water and fill in any cracks with concrete filler. Complete the job by installing the baseboard. Drop and lock the end joints together. Step 7: For the final row, cut the last plank to the right width and length. Make sure that end joints are staggered so they are at least 6 inches away from the end joints in the previous row. Assemble the first row of vinyl plank flooring, putting the tongue of one board into the groove of the previous board. As with previous rows, join these narrow planks end-to-end, then fold the tongues into the grooves of the previous row. The last plank in the first row may need to be cut. Always refer to manufacturer instructions as installing vinyl on the wrong subfloor can void the product’s warranty. When cutting vinyl planks use a straight edge and a utility knife to score the surface. Step 2: Place the Planks The Second Row Onward After cutting the laminate to the correct size I will install it with the pull bar along the long side of the plank. When installing a vinyl plank floor you will need to make cuts to fit at the end of a run, and to fit around obstacles in the room. Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. Ensure your plank or tile is facing the correct direction by checking the arrows on the back of your vinyl product. Ensure that the plank at the end of row one is no less than 6 inches in length. If you are laying the flooring over a plywood subfloor, fill any depressions with a floor-leveling compound. Often, removing doors from their hinges helps with installation, too. Depending on the cut you are making you will have two different choices for cutting the planks. To install the last row of laminate under a door jamb, you have to first cut the plank to fit the space. Learn how to install vinyl plank flooring with our easy step-by-step guide and video. In a small bathroom, the most visible row might be the one that runs alongside the bathtub. Square the joints by tapping the long edge with the profiled tapping block and soft-faced hammer. Trim molding is typically attached with thin brad-like nails, and it can be removed by carefully prying it off with a flat pry bar. we need to layout some pad along the wall where we plan to start. Now this doesn’t need to be perfectly in place but close. Remember to do the handy calculation described above. Stagger the rows by cutting the first plank of the second row to two-thirds plank length. Fold the plank back. If the level of the floor has been raised enough, it may be necessary to trim the ends of door case moldings to fit the reduced space. So the next step in how to start a laminate or vinyl plank floor is also pretty simple. Manufacturers recommend that end seams be offset at least 6 inches from row to row. Don’t forget to insert spacers along the perimeter of the room. Subtract 5/16” (8.2mm) from this measurement to allow for the spacer. Manually nailing with a hammer, while possible, can easily damage the trim, while a brad nailer does this work effortlessly. Step 1: Install the first row Start with a full plank at the center, and work to either side, so that cut planks at the ends will be of equal length. Make sure to cut it narrow enough to provide a 1/4-inch gap between the planks and the wall. How to install a vinyl plank floor How to cut vinyl plank flooring. Depending on the nature of the obstruction, it may be necessary to disassemble previous planks in order to navigate the cutout plank into position. Install the second plank into the first row by inserting the plank’s short tongue side into the last installed plank groove at a 20-degree angle. Do not install vinyl over carpet, laminate and floating floors. Press the second plank so that it lays flat. This ensures that the last plank, which generally must be cut to width, will be at least 2 inches wide. Follow manufacturer’s requirements for partial rows and cut your starter row to width. So, before you get started, take a look at our guide on how to install vinyl plank flooring on concrete. Hook the bar on the wall-side edge of the piece you're installing, and tap the bar to lock the planks together. A soft hammer is perfect for finishing off the joint and then you can use a scrap piece of flooring or a tapping block and soft hammer to … Install remaining rows, one row after the other, and maintain the required 8-inch (20.3 cm) stagger throughout the install. Born out of the DIY generation of home improvement, vinyl plank flooring is an affordable surrogate for traditional hardwood floors. Make sure to cut it narrow enough to provide a 1/4-inch gap between the planks and the wall. Then, drop the board into place. Lay the first plank, appropriately spaced from the wall. A drawbar tool can be used to gently pull the end plank to snug-up these joints. LAYING THE SECOND ROW. Run the knife lightly across the face of the plank several times rather than trying to cut it in one pass. Cut and Fit the Final Planks At the far wall, the last row of planks may need to be trimmed lengthwise to fit. Now that you have done your prep and planning it is time to learn how to install vinyl plank flooring. That is, it would take 21.39 planks to complete the floor. Order 10% more flooring than your square footage to account for cuttings and waste. Divide the width of the room by the width of the plank. Set the first plank in place on the starting line with the cut side toward the wall, maintaining the expansion gap. Learn the way to lay Vinyl plank (VP) with snap-collectively wood. Make sure your subfloor is clean and level. If it is less than 6 inches, cut off enough from the first plank of the row so that the last piece is longer than 6 inches, the minimum needed for structural strength. How to Install Allure Vinyl Plank Flooring, How to Install Shoe Molding or Quarter-Round Molding, How to Fit Baseboards With Mitered Inside Corners, Vinyl Plank (Luxury Vinyl) Flooring Review: Pros and Cons, How to Save Your Laminate Floors From Water Damage, How to Prepare for Hardwood Floor Installation, How to Choose the Right Subfloor Leveling Techniques, Vinyl vs. Laminate Flooring Comparison Guide. Install remaining rows, one row after the other, and maintain the required 8-inch (20.3 cm) stagger throughout the install. Promptly wipe up any water spills and avoid cleaning your floor with a steam cleaner or wet sweeper pads. The good news is, that if you’ve made it this far, you’ve already done the hardest parts, as the actual installation of vinyl flooring is quite easy. You will want to have even rows on both sides if possible. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. For doorways, use a jamb saw and a scrap piece to fit flooring underneath. If you have difficulty using this method, you can use a jig saw, circular saw or miter saw. Next, remove all baseboards and thresholds with a pry bar. If necessary, a draw bar can be used to tug this final narrow plank into place against the previous row. Check your subfloor for moisture and make sure it’s level to within ¼-inch in a 10 foot span. It is easy to cut, requires no bonding to the subfloor, and snaps together edge-to-edge and end-to-end. Make sure there are no gaps and, if necessary, tap along the long groove edge using the soft-faced hammer and profiled tapping block to ensure a tight fit. NOTE: Not all laminates will allow you to … A moderate-sized room can easily be covered with vinyl plank flooring with just a few hours of work. If you encounter irregular shapes like a floor duct, make a paper template then trace the pattern on the plank to cut. Then slowly fold down the cut-out plank until it locks into place with the adjoining plank. Vinyl planks can be installed above or below grade on most surfaces including concrete and tile. Set your chalk line on the 1-inch mark at the end of the final board. Vinyl planks are slippery, so be very careful when pulling back on the blade. Don’t forget to insert spacers along the perimeter of the room. At the final planks in a row, the end butt joints can be tricky to fit. First, use a carpenter's square and utility knife to score partially through the face of the plank. Generally, this is done by working from the most visible wall—usually, the one that greets the eye as you enter the room—then working outward toward the entryway. Vinyl plank flooring, like laminate or wood flooring, needs to have a layout that is pleasing to the eye. Before you start, make sure all your vinyl is from the same production run by locating the 8-digit Run Number on the short end of each vinyl flooring case. Install one row at a time clicking the ends together. Reinstall the baseboards and shoe moulding with a nail gun once the floor is completely laid. It’s so clean to install that you could arrange a beautiful, yet long-lasting hardwood ground in a weekend—no messy glue and no heavy nailing. How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring in a Long Narrow Room. Remember, vinyl planks come with a pre-attached sound-mitigating pad and don’t require underlayment. Nails should go into wall, not the floor. When using tongue and groove planks, vinyl flooring installation should start in a lefthand corner with the tongue facing the wall. At the far wall, the last row of planks may need to be trimmed lengthwise to fit. Make … Measure the distance between the wall and the surface of the last full plank. You will also need to back-cut the under pad on the bottom of the plank. There are 9 steps to completing this project: Vinyl plank flooring, such as Lifeproof, doesn’t require acclimation if stored properly - horizontally and in a dry area away from sunlight. Step 3: Assemble First Row of Planks. Your last row might be slightly uneven because few rooms are truly square. Cutting vinyl planks to size is similar to how drywall panels are cut. It can be used in any type of room including one that may have obstacles, cabinets or tight spaces. Knee pads. What's more, installing them is something you can easily do on your own. Ideally, this includes baseboards, base shoe moldings, and case moldings around doors. New moldings installed alongside new flooring makes for a very polished, elegant look. Compared to installing a hardwood floor, or even a laminate one, installing a vinyl plank floor is a walk in the park. When starting a new row, you can use the cut piece from the previous row, as long as it is more than 8-inch (20.3 cm). Save any leftover planks in case you need to replace a plank in the future. If not, finish the cut by lightly running the utility knife through the fold. Set the first plank in place on the starting line with the cut side toward the wall, maintaining the expansion gap. Tips on Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring. In this video i will share how to install the first few rows of laminate and vinyl plank. Step 1: Prepare for Installing Vinyl Plank, Step 3: Measure the Length and Width of the, Step 4: Start in a Corner with Your Precut, Prepare for Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring, Carefully Remove Baseboards and Thresholds. There are a number of vinyl plank flooring options. Use of this website is subject to certain terms of use which constitute a legal agreement between you and Home Depot of Canada Inc. Measure the width of the room and divide that number by the width of the plank. Next you slide the plank under the door jamb and tap it back toward you with a pull bar so it … Vinyl plank flooring can usually be laid right over existing flooring, but if there are any high spots, they should be sanded down to create a flush surface for the new floor. Vinyl plank flooring is also ideal for high-moisture areas such as bathrooms and basements since the material is completely impervious to water. It may snap off by itself. Vinyl planks are a great option if you want durable flooring but don't have a ton of installation experience. Hook one end of the tool over the far end of the plank, then tap lightly on the other end of the drawbar to tug the butt joint together. It's actually the LAST row of planks that you'd need to determine how they will be arranged. Plan to stagger rows so that end joints do not fall at the same point for adjacent rows. Most luxury vinyl planks attach edge-to-edge and end-to-end with a fold-and-lock type of tongue-and-groove system. Divide the remaining space by 2 which will be the width of the starter row and the last row. You may want to use this opportunity to replace shoe moldings or other trim, especially if the old trim was cracked or damaged when it was removed. wide, you’d divide 123 by 5.75, which is 21.39. The pull bar (above) is a LIFE saver, so you definitely want to have one handy for the last row. If you do not wish to remove door trim or if you have protrusions that cannot be removed, you can cut the vinyl flooring to fit around these obstacles. High spots on concrete can be levelled with a grinder and any cracks can be filled with patching compound. If the resulting number is less than 8 inches you will need to cut your first plank accordingly to avoid having planks that are less than 8 inches on the opposite end of the room. One plank lies flat on the subfloor, while the other plank is held at an angle and placed into the first board's receiving groove. Lee has over two decades of hands-on experience remodeling, fixing, and improving homes, and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years. Instead, after you set up the first row so that the last plank is at least 6 inches long, use the remaining part of that plank to start the next row. If you encounter irregular shapes like a floor duct, make a paper template then trace the pattern on the plank to … Complete the first row by exposing the adhesive and firmly placing the tile or plank onto the floor. While you could have purchased solid hardwood or engineered wood or ceramic or porcelain tile, you may well have chosen vinyl flooring because you knew you could do it all by yourself and very inexpensively. Randomly pull planks from three different cases to ensure good colour and shade mixture. Safety Glasses. Here are some of the most common tools you’ll need to install floating vinyl planks yourself and be sure not to skimp on the knee pads: Safety & Comfort. Do not tap the short end if the long joint is not properly engaged, as doing so can cause damage to the tongue and groove. Firmly place the tile or plank by pressing it down onto the surface. Folding the second board until it lies flat and parallel to the first board helps to draw the boards together and lock them in place. Steps for staggering vinyl plank flooring: Lay a full plank to begin row one. 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The cut-out plank upward, at an angle and inserting its tongue edge into the first row of plank! Have end planks of equal widths narrow plank into place with the profiled tapping block and soft-faced hammer the row! Follow manufacturer ’ s groove edge of the plank will see the easiest way that can!