How To Lay Vinyl Click Flooring
Whether it’s your first home or you just want to spruce up your current living space, luxury vinyl click flooring is a cost-effective, stylish and easy to install choice that can instantly transform your space. Learning how to lay vinyl click flooring can seem daunting, but with our step-by-step guide here at Build & Plumb, you’ll find all the handy tips and tricks you’ll need to make sure your first attempt is a complete success.
You Will Need:
- Vinyl click flooring
- Vinyl click flooring underlay
- Masking tape
- Tape measure
- 7-10mm spacers
- Stanley knife
- Tapping block
- Rubber mallet
Step 1: Prepare your subfloor
Let’s assume that you’ve bought vinyl click flooring and you’re wondering where to go from there. Preparation is key when you’re about to lay any new vinyl click flooring, so we’re going to start with some handy tips on how to get your room (and your flooring) ready for its fitting.
- Acclimatise your new vinyl click flooring to the room
Before you even think about laying your new floor, you need to let it acclimatise to its new home. Stack your flooring packs in the room where they’ll be fitted for 48 hours to let them acclimatise, as this will prevent them from shrinking or expanding after they’ve been fitted.
- Empty your room of all furniture and flooring
Whatever you do, don’t attempt to fit your flooring around your furniture. You also need to remove any existing carpets and flooring, including carpet grips and underlay. Start your project with a bare floor, of either wooden floorboards or concrete. Never lay a new floor over the top of a tiled surface or existing flooring, as this can trap damp and moisture which can eventually lead to warping and damage.
- Make sure the subfloor is level and clean
Before you lay your vinyl click flooring, you must make sure that your newly exposed subfloor is level, even and, in the case of concrete, isn’t showing any signs of damp. If everything looks okay, vacuum the floor to remove any dust and dirt before laying your underlay.
Step 2: Lay your underlay
As vinyl click flooring is different to laminate, it needs its own underlay. Installing vinyl click flooring underlay will help support the flooring and ensure it is level. It’ll give your flooring a much neater finish, protect it against damage, moisture and will help to add insulation and noise cancellation.
If you’re installing vinyl click flooring onto concrete, be sure to opt for underlay with a damp-proof membrane in order to protect your flooring from moisture damage.
How to lay vinyl click flooring underlay
- Start from the point of the room that you plan to lay the floor from and lay the underlay so it runs in one direction.
- Tape joints together with waterproof tape and keep working until you reach the far wall, before trimming to fit with a utility knife and ruler.
- Repeat the process by laying the next row of underlay out, side by side, making sure the rows touch without any overlap.
- Once your rows are laid, seal any joints with waterproof tape.
- Cut around any radiator pipes with a knife or scissors, leaving a 10mm gap between the pipe and the underlay and continue laying the foam until the whole floor is covered.
Step 3. Decide on direction
Choosing which way to lay vinyl click flooring is also important before you start the installation process. The direction you choose to run your vinyl click flooring in will ultimately come down to personal preference, but these are the tips to remember:
- Fit the vinyl click flooring from the corner of the most prominent wall in the room. This allows you to avoid any difficult features such as doorways and pipes until later on in the process.
- However, you’re fitting the floor in a small room, you may want to start with any difficult features first, as they will be more difficult to work around at the end in less space.
- As a general rule of thumb, vinyl click flooring is laid in the direction of the flow of the room’s natural light.
- You can make a narrow room seem wider by laying your flooring in a horizontal direction, add depth to a room by laying it vertically and add space to a room by laying it diagonally at a 45-degree angle. All of these methods trick the eye and create the illusion of space.
Step 4. Lay your vinyl click flooring
How to lay vinyl click flooring
Once you’ve prepared your subfloor and installed your underlay, you’re ready to start the installation. Follow these simple steps on how to fit vinyl click flooring with ease.
- Starting in the left-hand corner of the room, place your first board flat against your underlay and add spacers between both its sides and the wall. This is called an expansion gap, which will ensure that the edges of your flooring don’t touch the walls, door frames or radiators.
- Next, fit the next plank in the row by inserting the tongue into the groove of your half plank. You should hear a ‘click’ when it’s slotted in. Repeat this step for the whole row, tapping your boards lightly on top with your rubber mallet to ensure they are properly clicked in place.
- You will find that you have to cut the last plank in your row. To do this, measure the distance between the previous plank and the wall, making sure you also factor in your spacer. Scoring a straight line with a ruler and a utility knife should be enough to snap the board to size.
- If the remaining piece you cut from the board over 20cm, you can use this as the first plank for the next row.
- Follow the same process as before for the second row, working left to right. But this time, you need to join the second row to the first row by inserting the tongue of the long edge into the groove of the one above it. Use a mallet and tapping block to ensure they’re clicked properly into place.
- If you find you have to cut your final row to size, follow the same method and remember to factor in your spacers.
- Remove all the spacers and cover the appearance of your expansion gap with floor trim for a polished finish.
Follow our step-by-step guide on how to lay vinyl click flooring, and you should have a smooth installation process and perfectly fitted new floors. Browse our full range of Quickstep vinyl click flooring here at Build & Plumb to find the perfect options for every room of your home.