DIY Vinyl Plank Flooring – Part 3 – Laying the Floor

Once everything was torn apart, it was time for the best part of the whole project, laying the planks!  This part goes pretty quickly, at least for us it did.  Our planks were 8 inches wide and 6 feet long, which meant when you got going, it didn’t take much to cover a pretty good area.

Keep in mind I’m not a professional.  In fact, this is the first time I’ve ever done this.  You know what that means though? You can probably do it too.  🙂  I did learn a few tips that I will share as I go.

Things you’ll need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil/pen/marker (depending on what color the flooring is will depend on what you need to use to show up on it) – I used a Sharpie
  • Straight edge
  • Box cutter or utility knife
  • Small saw for precise cuts – I used this Dremel saw that I won at a silent auction and never thought I’d use.
  • 1/8 in spacers –  I actually didn’t spend the money on these…just eyeballed it
  • Hammer
  • Finishing nails – for the baseboards

Laying the Vinyl Planks

I started at our garage door and worked through the hallway to the rest of the house.  Neil and I went back and forth on which direction we should run the planks and we decided because of the layout of our house, that we should go parallel to the front of the house.

Start out with a full board 1/8 inch from the wall and work your way from one end of the room to the next, interlocking end to end making sure the fit is tight.

Cut your last plank to fit with an 1/8 inch space at the wall.  This vinyl flooring is super easy to cut.  Score the plank three or four times where you measured for the cut and  then bend and snap it where you scored over your knee.  It should pop in two with no problem.

When you’ve finished that entire row, go back to the wall you started and do the next row.  This is a “learn from your mistake” tip.  I thought I’d be able to just work down my hallway and get that section done first and I found myself having to pull up boards to get others to fit in place.  Once I learned that the hard way, things went super fast.

For the second row, cut the first plank in half (or whatever length you wish to have your planks staggered) and start with that.  You’ll then use full planks down the row until you get to the end of the row.  Cut the last plank to fit and begin with the next row where you’ll start with a full plank.  At the start end of your house, you should be working with the pattern of full plank, half plank, full plank, half plank, the full planks the rest of the way down.

Ideally, from all the videos I watched, you should start in the corner of the room.  Knowing what I know now, I may have started in the corner on the opposite end of the house if I had to do it again.

For tougher cuts and long cuts, I used the Dremel saw.  For pretty much any cut other than a length cut.  This little tool is the perfect amount of power to slice through vinyl.  I typically used this around edges and cutting holes for the vents.

Make sure the edges of each piece are interlocking well so the product can stay waterproof like it says.  Once you get in the groove of laying the pieces, you’ll be done in no time at all.

It felt good to finally be done with the main part of the house.  Neil snapped a picture of me laying the last board.  I still have to finish the utility room and half bath, but (I can’t believe I’m saying this) I may actually hire that out.  Moving toilets, water heaters, and washer and dryer doesn’t really seem like fun to me.

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Baseboards

Once you’re done laying all your planks, you’re ready to put your baseboards up, or back up in my case.  Since they were numbered, it was easy to put them back where they belonged.  Best case scenario, you have an air compressor and nail gun to quickly go through this process.  I didn’t so I just got my finishing nails and my hammer and got to work.  It really wasn’t that bad.  And I only hammered my thumb a few times.  😉

And for the grand finale, the moment for which you’ve all been waiting.  The after pictures.  The TV area is temporary until we get another fireplace or I get the courage to build an entertainment center.

I hope you enjoyed walking through this DIY adventure with me.  I’d love to hear about your DIY adventures.  Share them with me in the comments!

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