How-To: download Your own Laminate or Locking Vinyl Plank Flooring

Laminate and vinyl plank flooring is just one of the finest recent breakthroughs in DIY home improvement. This low-cost job requires couple of tools, tiny technical knowledge, and also can be completed by a mildly knowledgeable DIYer. Monitor this step-by-step guide and learn how to choose and install laminate flooring yourself

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Image courtesy that Armstrong Flooring

Installation "How To" because that Floating Floors with a Locking System, Such together Laminate and also Vinyl Plank

Thank friend for taking a look at our installation overview for laminate and also vinyl plank (with a locking system) flooring products. Hope we have the right to answer numerous questions the you were searching the web for and get you a better understanding the the process. We will have some recommended and required tool listings, desription that the correct processes, and also ever a few videos.

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As constantly fill totally free to contact us with any questions friend may have actually or through anything us should add to this guide. 

Necessary Tools

Renting vs. Purchase Tools

Most that the tools on this list room probably currently on your device bench in the garage. The best component is, all of the important tools because that this DIY task are quite cheap. The significant pieces of devices you require are the electric saws.

An oscillating witnessed to undercut her doorjambs and also casings can assist make this DIY task look professional. An oscillating device will come in handy for many future DIY home advancement projects, so it"s a an excellent investment!

A miter observed can likewise work because that this project. A slide miter observed is preferable for its ease of use, you might need a bigger witnessed if you have broader planks and/or have diagonal cuts. Return an cheap jigsaw can obtain the task done, a sliding miter observed is a much superior piece of equipment.

Another saw that can make the job simpler that is not really essential is a table saw, great for your rip, or long, cuts. A jig saw can also achieve this task for a lot less money.

These are tools that you"ll use over and also over again if friend DIY, and also will be precious the investment in most cases. Considering the money that you"ll save by act the flooring yourself, skip the problem of renting and also buy these tools for yourself.

Locking system Flooring Product Options

Laminate flooring locking systems are glueless and are well-known for being universally simple to install. You have several high high quality flooring assets to select from.

The practiced thing about this format of flooring is that any product that uses a locking mechanism basically installs the same way. That method that floating hardwood floors and floating water-proof vinyl floors that have actually locking systems deserve to all usage these very same instructions! One minor distinction is the vinyl flooring won"t need a miter saw, because it"s thinner it have the right to simply be scored with a razor knife and also then snap to make many of your cuts!

Choosing the appropriate Product because that You

For the best DIY flooring results, you should shop trusted sleeve brands. These high quality products are an easy to install and are expert grade, with warranties available.

For laminate and vinyl plank flooring you nearly alway desire an underlayment, however you desire to be sure the product you room purchasing doesnt have one already pre-attached (common because that vinyl, yet rare for lamiante). This should be debated or determined during the to buy process. Some civilization like to usage a vapor barrier, most underlayments have them constructed in, some carry out not. Vapor obstacles will be compelled for laminate on or listed below grade.

MohawkRevWood plus is a step up in your product line, which includes a waterproof height coat, all Pet to add protection, and also a waterproof vouch if the edges are sealed. RevWood pick has the exact same warranty, yet just for 10 years.


ShawThey function wood serial designs also as vast tile formats, and require no curing time meaning they deserve to be go on appropriate away.Shaw"s equipment are known to install quicker in large open areas, however in particular spots (such as under door casings) their locking device needs to be shaved off and the planks glued, which deserve to slow down the project.


Step-by-Step DIY surroundings Process

Pre-Installation Steps

It is important to remember the for her warranty to be precious you have to follow the product instructions v fidelity! No cut corners, or skip steps. High quality is in the details, so monitor the instructions closely to achieve the best possible DIY results. Note: this pre-installation actions are recommended by Mohawk and also Shaw Flooring.

Preparation: Laminate flooring, of any brand, is a floor covering however is not supposed to serve as a structural product itself. Begin by clearing far carpet, padding, or lumber flooring the is at this time installed on your subfloor. Be mindful that laminate flooring materials are not designed come be offered in rooms through sump pumps or floor drains.

Acclimation: execute not keep unopened crate of laminate flooring in the sunlight or nearing cooling vents. Laminate flooring materials need to collection unopened because that 48 hrs in the space in i m sorry they will be provided so the they deserve to acclimate to the exactly temperature and also moisture that the space. Part flooring brands execute not require acclimation, yet we suggest you perform so regardless for a an ext trouble cost-free installation.

Subfloor preparation: Laminate flooring installation requires a clean and also dry subfloor surface ar that is approximately code. Move away and clean any type of debris from the subfloor. Let"s talk around requirements because that the flatness of your subfloor before installation of her laminate or vinyl planks, as you would need to fill in any kind of holes or crack depressions in subfloor and level any peaks v a floor leveling compound. Some high spots may need to it is in sanded or grinded under which is a dusty process. This is as soon as using your directly edge come in handy! Mohawk suggests no more than 3/16" unevenness per 10-foot span, to attain best results with their RevWood (laminate) and also Solidtech (vinyl) products.

Concrete subfloors require installation of a vapor barrier to stop unwanted moisture underneath the laminate flooring. Many of the time, the recommended 6 mil polyethylene film comes v the underlayment pad as a combo. No vapor obstacle is required for a timber subfloor.

Subfloor moisture testing: Mohawk flooring proposal the following for moisture trial and error your subfloor, "When utilizing a calcium chloride humidity test for concrete subfloors, values need to be ≤ 5 lbs/1000ft2/24-hr or Note: the last row cannot measure much less than 2" in width! This way you can need to reduced the an initial row of planking shorter, to permit for a nice also looking complement will the last row.

Inspect boards for damage: This simple step will save you a large headache under the road. Carefully inspect each plank the flooring for damage prior to installing it. Look closely for chips, cracks, etc. It would be a serious pain if, later on on, you realized a plank in the center of the floor was compromised!

Installation Steps

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Image courtesy of distinctive Wood Floors

Note: these installation steps are because that floating, glueless laminate flooring products.

1. Anytime possible, start by laying the laminate or vinyl flooring planks along your longerst and also straightest wall, often an exterior wall. Many human being like to start at the hard cuts in bespeak to do them easier. As for the best direction to lay the laminate or vinyl planks, the is largely preference however it is said that planks must be mounted parallel to the key light source of the room. If over there is no organic exterior irradiate source, planks must be mounted parallel to the longest wall. Remember, the an initial row of planks should be roughly the very same width as the critical row! do your vital cuts.

2. For a natural look avoid using a repeating pattern. Alternating pulling planks from several various cartons at a time to accomplish a arbitrarily appearance. Brick look laminate floors are set up in a 33% or 50% counter in a pattern, yet a wood look laminate floor is expected to be inserted at random. This is a usual DIY mistake! constantly use reduced pieces native the end of each row for starting planks top top the next row, and also stagger finish joints a minimum that 12 (narrower planks have the right to be less).

3. Making use of a saw, you may need to eliminate the tongue ~ above the planks that abut the walls. This will allow room because that spacers and prevent problems from spills. Note: Mohawk recommends cutting pattern side-down as soon as using a jigsaw, sabre witnessed or circular saw. Reduced pattern side-up when using a laminate cutter, handsaw, table saw or crosscut saw.

4. The smallest usable piece will it is in 12-inch in length, and also you should permit for 5/16-inch min to 3/8-inch max expansion roughly fixed objects such together pipes, etc.

5. Working from left to right, install pink lengthwise in rows while dealing with the beginning wall. When lengthwise connection is set, reduced plank into place and simply use pressure by pressing finish down to lock into place. Note: no hammer needed!

6. Come measure and cut the last item in a row, rotate your plank 180 degrees, however one end against the wall, note it at the ending suggest of thepreviously set up piece (remember come account for expansion), cut, rotate earlier 180 degrees and also slot right into space.

7. Proceed with this technique of assembly to include additional rows, once sufficient flooring is down, you should work on height of the newly installed laminate. Working on peak of your initial start rows, pull the planks toward you to place them prior to locking them right into place. Together you carry out so, you now are working appropriate to left. The is crucial that every joints room a tight fit, girlfriend don"t want any gaps. If a share is loosened or if all edges room not even with surrounding planks you need to stop and also reconnect. Tip: it help to collection a complete carton the laminate on height of the an initial planks in a row, it helps protect against them from unlocking together you job-related down the rest of the row.

8. As soon as the length or width of the planks steps 40-feet, an development gap T-strip is required. Transition strips should be placed in all doorways measure up 36 inches or less. Many installers overlook these rules, but issues may occur, and also you would need to add the t-moldings later. Also, if you ever have a guarantee claim, the inspector could report the floor as being set up incorrectly.

9. You"ve made it to the critical row! reduced the last row to size, if the reduced isn"t straight, you have the right to scribe it. To easily scribe, set full boards straight on height of the most recently set up row, climate take a scrap that has it"s complete width still, but maybe simply 3-4 inches long and also remove the tongue. Then slide the scrap follow me the wall with a pencil top top the other side marking the plank sitting on peak of the last set up row. It couldnt hurt to number these planks so girlfriend don"t forget i beg your pardon order to download them after they are reduced to size, you would then cut these planks with your jig or table saw. Relying on their size, you may need to install them through your traction bar or crowbar.

10. Time to placed on the finishing touches. Remove all spacers and also install her moldings. This way the floor can expand and contract under the molding. Execute not attach the molding come the floor! because that a perfectly edged finish around pipes, usage flexible silicone sealant. If there are spots moldings cannot be placed, just fill expansion gaps with flexible silicone sealant (sometimes you can undercut objects and tuck the flooring underneath). Most professionals will use a high-grade building adhesive to download any change strips instead of utilizing the supplied tract system. Note: carry out not caulk the bottom of your baseboards, as your floor will certainly move and the caulking will certainly pull away.

Installing in limited Clearance Area

When working v Shaw flooring products, sometimes you can encounter a room that just won"t allow for 20 degree angle clearance, such together under a radiator, cabinet, or door frame. As soon as this is the case with long edge joints, you"ll need to remove the top part of the groove profile and also use quality wood glue to make the connection. You"ll on slide the plank into an are horizontally and slot into profile, quite than snapping and locking it into place at an angle. Usage your blue painter"s ice to host these planks with each other while the glue dries.

Finishing Up

Now the you room finishing up your laminate floor, you may be wondering about how shortly you have the right to walk or relocate furniture earlier onto the newly installed flooring. In many cases immediately is fine, however if girlfriend have any freshly glued moldings, friend would want to continue to be off of those for 24-48 hrs to for sure they effectively cure and will have actually a lengthy life of gift firmly attached. No one like loosened moldings which can be a tripping hazard.

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Protect her Work: Floor treatment & Maintenance

Routine care & Cleaning

When you placed a the majority of time and also effort into a DIY flooring project, you desire to make sure it looks great for years to come, follow these recommendations!

To save your laminate flooring in pristine condition:

Never usage wax, polish, oils, soaps, detergents, light enhancers/restorers, or varnish top top the floor.For slightly wet maintenance, us recommend an authorized laminate cleaner which girlfriend spray directly and also lightly top top a duster.Never put moisture directly on the floor. Always wipe dry instantly until no an ext moisture is visible on the floor. The use of other cleaning commodities might damages your floorFor bevel edge products, we strongly recommend dried cleaning only.Do not use any form of cleaning an equipment such as heavy steam cleaners, spray mops, power cleaners or buffers.Wet maintain will damages the floor. Remove any kind of water immediately.For challenging stains such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, or ink, usage acetone/nail polish remover on a clean white fabric to wipe clean.

Follow this guide and also you are great to go. Through the right tools, products, and careful attention to detail during installation, you"ll it is in DIYing a brand-new laminate floor in no time!

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