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Step-by-Step Vinyl Loose Lay Flooring Installation Guide

It’s no secret. Vinyl loose lay flooring is one of the easiest types of flooring to install.

In fact, there are only a few tools needed in a lot of cases, and if you have a level floor with no more than 3mm tolerance over a 3-metre straight edge, the installing and cutting of the vinyl planks is very easy. Depending on how many rooms you’re installing, it can even be done in under a day!

However, like any other DIY project, there are a few steps to follow.

Step 1 - Remove Existing Carpet

Before you begin laying down the loose lay vinyl planks and setting them in place, you must first remove the existing carpet flooring. If you have carpet, make sure to remove the carpet gripper or smoothedge. It’s the spiky nailed timber slats around the edge of your walls underneath the carpet.

The underlay below the carpet is pulled up next. This sometimes can be stapled down if your sub-floor is Timber, or can be glued or just loose laid with taped joins. If you find the carpet underlay is glued or stapled simply scrape the sections with a hand or stand up scraper

For many, this is the most difficult part of the job. Of course, it all depends on the size of the space you’re renovating. The more flooring you need to replace, the longer and tougher the job can be. Just remember if the job seems too big and stressful for D.I.Y you can always ask Online Flooring Store if there are any fully certifies layers in your area.

That being said, with help from a friend or neighbour, you should be able to speed up the process and tackle it in just a few hours.

After this, however, the rest of the process will seem like a piece of cake, and the end result will be well worth it! Guaranteed.

Step 2 – Level the Subfloor

After you remove the old flooring, chances are the concrete or timber subfloor underneath will have some popped up nails, pieces of dried glue, possibly paint splashes and other uneven bits often dropped on the floor last time the house was built or renovated.
These also need to be removed with a scraper and vacuumed after.

Your new Loose lay vinyl plank flooring should be placed in and around the areas you wish to install st least 48 hours prior to laying.
This gives the planks time to acclimatise to your home and reduce any expansion or contraction after installation.

The good news is during this time, you can get the floor ready for the vinyl.

Like other types of vinyl flooring, LVT and other loose lay vinyl flooring products are resilient, and they also conform to the surface they’re installed on. This is called sub-floor migration which is a direct cause of laying the planks on an uneven surface.

If the surface isn’t level, it will create a noticeable elevated area that won’t look or feel good when walked on. Frequent walking on any uneven spots can also put strain on the vinyl planks, and cause edges to lift.

For a smooth application, the sub-floor should be sanded and cleaned to minimise imperfections. The floor should be completely level with no divots or bumps.

In addition to sanding, you can achieve this by applying a skim coat, or self leveling compounds which we can supply. For areas over 16m2 it is recommended to use a pressure sensitive adhesive which is easily rolled on with a 11mm nap paint roller attached to a handle to save you bending down.

Step 3 – Plan and Calculate

When the skim coat or self-leveling compound has cured, the vinyl plank flooring can now be installed. Fortunately, today’s loose lay vinyl plank flooring is getting more DIY by the day and much easier to install than older vinyl sheet flooring products.

Before you begin laying the planks, however, it’s important to do a little planning. This will help avoid short or narrow plank lengths near the doors and walls.

First, decide which way you want the vinyl planks to run. Generally, vinyl, wood, and other plank products look best running the length of a space.

Nonetheless, this is really just a matter of preference. You can also run them horizontally, or even diagonally, but this would require more work.

To decide, try laying some planks out on the floor in different directions. This will allow you to see which way they look best in your space.

After deciding on the direction the planks will run, calculate the number of full boards that will fit into the space and how much space is leftover for partial planks.

To calculate the width and length of the partial planks needed, simply measure the extra space and divide the number by two. This will ensure all sides look even and professionally installed.

Step 4 – Install the Vinyl Loose Lay Planks

With the flooring layout planned and the skim coat or leveling compound cured, you can now begin the install process.

First, in order to prevent curling and secure the flooring under appliances and at thresholds, it’s a good idea to use pressure sensitive glue made just for loose lay vinyl.

Use a string or chalk line to String a straight line down the length of your floor to follow.

Next, use a paint or floor roller to apply a layer of pressure sensitive adhesive, or PSA. When this is done, you can begin laying the vinyl planks down in your desired direction. Just remember when the glue is applied it will be white and often covers your string line. Don’t worry as when the glue dries and starts to tack off it will go clear and you will see your line once again

Start laying the planks up your string line one row at a time as you make your way towards the other wall. The planks should be randomly installed and the end joints should be staggered at 25cm minimum stagger to create a professionally installed look.

Make sure there are no gaps between the planks and they are laid tight against each wall.

Once you have done each of these steps and laid the vinyl planks down across the entire space, your new floor is ready for use. Yes, it’s really that easy.

Step 5 – Enjoy the Finished Product

The last step is to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour. You now have new premium vinyl plank floors that look great and are designed to provide you with years of worry-free use.

As you can see, installing vinyl loose lay planks is a rather simple and straightforward process. However, issues can arise from time to time.

If you run into any problems or issues during the installation, any of our knowledgeable professional flooring experts will be more than happy to help.

While you’re here, check out our full range of vinyl loose lay planks and other premium flooring solutions.

From Perth to Brisbane, Cairns to Melbourne and Adelaide we deliver right across Australia directly to your home if required, and pride ourselves on being one-stop solution for all your flooring needs.

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