Are you thinking of giving a modern look to your concrete floors? If yes, consider installing vinyl plank flooring on your concrete floors. They will add a cozy touch to your room.
Vinyl planks are available in long narrow strips and are pretty easy to install.
They are waterproof, durable, and available at affordable rates. You can install vinyl planks in the kitchen, living hall, bathroom, and any traffic area.
You require a minimum amount of tools and material for vinyl plank installation. The hard part is to clean the floor and level it so that the installation of planks can be done at a proper level.
Once this is done, you just need to lay the planks on the floor and connect the tongue of one plank to the groove of another plank to complete the installation process.
The article discusses a step-by-step guide on how to install vinyl plank flooring on concrete. So you can keep reading this article to know the procedure by which you can easily lay vinyl planks on your concrete floors.
How To Install Vinyl Plank Flooring On Concrete?
Before installing vinyl planks on your concrete floors, you must gather some tools and materials. It will not only save you time but also make your work easy.
The tools and materials are listed below.
- Vinyl planks
- Utility knife
- Tape measure
- Putty knife
- Pry bar
- Carpenters level
- Chalk line
- Concrete filler or concrete patching material
- Belt sander
- Leveling primer
- Concrete self-leveling compound
- Flat mop
We are now discussing a step-by-step procedure on how to install vinyl plank flooring on concrete below.
1. Remove The Baseboard.
You are going to lay vinyl planks on the floor. There must be a small amount of space between the planks and the wall so that the plank can expand and contract properly. You may also have to lay vinyl planks below the corner of your room. So, for this reason, you have first to remove the baseboards.
Baseboards are usually made from wood and generally installed on the wall’s lower portion. The top of the baseboard usually attaches to the wall by caulking. You need to take a sharp utility knife to remove the caulking.
The blade in the sharp utility knife should be extended to half inches or less than it. Start to remove caulking from one of the baseboards and then continue till the end.
Now insert your putty knife between the baseboard and the wall. You have to wiggle the putty knife forward and backward. This process removes any glue or caulking between the baseboard and the wall.
You can then take the help of a pry bar—the putty knife must tuck between the baseboard and the wall. You must be careful to insert the pry bar between the putty knife and the baseboard. Now tap the pry bar with a hammer to make the baseboard loose.
Repeat the process along the whole length of the baseboard to easily remove it.
You can use a pryer to remove any nails that hold the baseboard in its proper position.
Handle the baseboard carefully after removing especially if you need to reinstall it.
2. Use Chisel To Remove Ay Derbis From The Cracks.
Do you find any hairline cracks in your concrete floor? If yes, then you need to take a chisel, hold it at an angle and tap it gently with the help of a hammer. It will help to remove small debris inside the crack.
You must be very gentle in this procedure while hammering the chisel. Otherwise, it can make the crack condition worse.
3. Clean Your Floor
Your next duty is to clean the floor properly. Take a broom and remove all the dust and debris falling here and there on the floor. You can use a vacuum cleaner to remove the leftover dust and dirt on your concrete floor.
4. Wash Your Floor With Soap And Water.
Take a bucket with 3.8 liters of warm water and pour 79ml of laundry detergent into it. Spread the soapy solution on your concrete floor and rub it with a soft bristle brush to remove stains.
Now mop your concrete floor with normal water and let it completely air dry.Sometimes spreading soap solution is ineffective if you have strong, greasy stains on the concrete floor.
You can use a degreaser or clean the floor with trisodium phosphate in such cases. But remember, trisodium phosphate is quite strong and may harm you. So use sleeve clothes, mask, and gloves while using trisodium phosphate.
Also Read : How To Soundproof An Apartment Door
5. Repair Cracks
Vinyl planks give a cohesive and warm look to your room. But these planks can come off the concrete floor if you don’t prepare the concrete floor properly. Any cracks on the concrete subfloor can cause issues in stability.
Your next duty is to repair all the cracks on your concrete floor. So for this, you have two options. The first one is to purchase a concrete filler, especially if you have hairline cracks. You have to hold the concrete filler very close to the crack and move its nozzle all along the crack to spread the filler. You can smoothen the filler with the help of a trowel.
The second option is to repair cracks with concrete patching material. Spread it over the cracks and smooth it with a trowel.
6. Measure Floor Levelness
Vinyl planks will always look good when installed on a flat surface or a level floor. You can measure the flatness or level of the concrete floor with the help of a carpenter level.
A carpenter level is a tool that helps determine whether the surface is vertical or horizontal.
It consists of a rectangular frame made from either wood or plastic. The carpenter’s tool comprises one or two vials with liquid and bubbles. A centered bubble will indicate that a surface is perfectly horizontal or vertical.
The bubble will move in the vial when the surface is slightly inclined or tilted. You need to take note of all these spots to determine where the concrete floor has ascended or descended than usual.
7. Sand High Spots
Now you have determined high and low spots on your concrete floor. If the carpenter level has shown the area slightly elevated than the normal level, you need to reduce it.
The belt sander is the most effective tool in reducing the level. But there will be a lot of dust while using this tool. You can open the windows to allow the dust to go out. It will even allow the fresh air to get inside the room.
But be gentle while using the belt sander. Don’t use it excessively as it can make the level too down.
Once you use the tool, use a vacuum cleaner to remove all the dust and dirt from your room.
8. Fill Low Spots
If the carpenter level has shown any spot lower than the normal level, you need to raise it to the normal level.
So in such cases, you need to apply concrete self-leveling compound to fill the low spots. But before using this, you need to apply leveling primer on the entire floor and wait for almost 6-7 hours so that it will thoroughly dry.
You can then pour a self-leveling compound by following manufacturer instructions. Mix 23 kg of the concrete self-leveling compound with 4.7 liters of water, then pour it on the concrete floor.
You can spread the compound evenly with the help of a push broom. Now wait 6-8 hours and then consider installing vinyl planks on the concrete floor.
9. Mark Chalk Lines
The vinyl planks need to be installed on the concrete floor in a straight line. So you need to mark your floor with a chalk line.
Take a tape and then draw a vertical line on the center of the four walls of your room. You have to connect all these points then together. It will divide the room into four quarters.
Next, you have to look for the expansion gap. You need to leave at least a 3/4 inches gap from every wall to allow for proper expansion and contraction of the vinyl planks. You can mark these gaps with the help of chalk lines.
10. Calculate The Width Of The First And Last Row Of Vinyl Planks
Now you have prepared the subfloor properly. Your next duty is to determine the width of the first and last row of vinyl planks, which you will need to install in the room. Planning the floor space is vital otherwise, you may narrow the last row, which will not be visually appealing.
You need to measure the room’s width and then the planks’ width. You can then divide the room width with one plank width to find the rows of vinyl planks you may need to install in the room.
For instance, the width of the room is 294 inches. You need to allow some gap of ½ to ¾ inches for the vinyl plank to expand.
So, the room’s width, which needs to be considered, is 294 inches -(¾ ) inches = 293.25 inches.
Suppose the width of a vinyl plank is 7.5 inches.
Now divide the room’s width by the width of a plank, giving us the total rows of planks required for the installation.
In our case, the Total number of rows for vinyl plank installation = 293.25/7.5 = 39.1.
Now you need to do slight mathematics to determine the width of the last row, as it is not even. You should not make the last row too narrow; otherwise, it will be susceptible to buckling.
Width of the last row = width of the room after considering gap – width of all other rows except the last one ‘
= 293.25 -(397.5) =0.75inches(we have rounded off the total number of rows for vinyl plank installation as 39)
If the last row’s width is less than half the width of one vinyl plank, then you need to trim on both sides of the room. Don’t keep the first and last rows too narrow.
Now add the width of the last row and the width of the plank and divide the number by two. It will give you the width of both the first and last rows.
(0.75+ 7.5)/2 =4.125inches
11. Prepare Doorways
You need to cut the door frame to install the vinyl plank easily. You need first to take a vinyl plank and lay it next to the door molding. Now take a pencil and make a guiding line on the surface. Take a jamb saw and then cut the marking.
12. Start laying Vinyl Planks In The First Row.
The first row of planks needs to be installed properly. It will determine the success of the entire vinyl planks installation on the floor.
You will find that every vinyl plank has one tongue side and another groove side—the tongue and groove interlock to keep the vinyl planks in the proper place.
Now you need to cut the tongue of the first row of the planks you wish to install. Lay the planks on the floor with face up, and then take a sharp utility knife to trim off the tongue.
Now start laying the first row of planks. You had earlier left ¾ inches from every wall and marked it as a chalk line. You have to use that chalk line as the reference line.
The edge of the tongue of the first plank of the first row should face the wall, and the groove end should face the room.
Hold another plank at a slight angle and lower it until the tongue of the plank interlocks with the groove of the first plank. You can take the help of a mallet to lock the vinyl plank joints completely. You can proceed similarly and complete installing the first row.
You always need to lay the planks parallel to the long side of your room. You can start from the left side of your room and begin installing planks towards the right wall.
The last plank you install in the first row should be at least 6 inches long. If it is not there, you need to trim the first plank so there is enough space to accommodate a vinyl plank of at least 6 inches long.
13. Install The Second Row
You must begin staggering the vinyl planks from the second row to avoid the H joint issue. Staggering will even strengthen the joints of one vinyl plank to another. You must stagger the joints in every row by 6 inches.
Now take a tape and measure the length of the plank. Now you need to determine two third of the plank and mark it with a pencil. Vinyl planks are generally 36 inches long. So two third of the plank will be around 24 inches long. Mark the position and cut it with the knife.
The 12 inches long vinyl plank will be the first plank of the second row. Hold this plank at a certain angle and connect its tongue to the groove of the first-row plank. You have to complete the installation process similarly.
14. Install baseboard.
Once you install the vinyl planks on the floor, you need to install the baseboard.
Additional Tips For Successful Installation Of Vinyl Planks On Concrete Floor
- Remove all the planks from the boxes and leave them in the room where you will be installing them for almost 24-48 hours so they can get acquainted with the new climate.
- You need to mix all the planks from various boxes to give a uniform color to your room.
- Cut the door jambs to install the vinyl planks under the door easily.
- Concrete is usually susceptible to mold, So you must insulate your floor before installing vinyl planks.
Vinyl plank installation can give your room a cohesive, warm, and inviting atmosphere. The best thing is you can easily install it without taking professional help. So gather the required tools and materials and install the vinyl planks in your room by following the above procedures to give a stylish look to your room.
FAQ : How To Install Vinyl Plank Flooring On Concrete
Q1. Can vinyl plank be installed directly on concrete?
Ans : Yes, you can install the vinyl plank directly on the concrete floor. But you need to read the manufacturer’s instructions. Some manufacturers recommend using adhesive or a moisture barrier before installing vinyl planks on concrete floors.
Q2. Do you need underlay for vinyl plank flooring on concrete?
Ans : Water underlayment is required, especially when laying vinyl plank on your concrete floor.
Q3. Will vinyl planks stick to concrete?
Ans : There are adhesive vinyl planks available in the market which can directly stick on concrete or plywood floors. But the surface must be thoroughly clean and free from any old adhesive. If you are using it on a concrete floor, try using a latex floor primer and then stick the vinyl planks.