Vinyl plank flooring is becoming increasingly popular due to its durability, ease of installation, and wide range of design options. Whether you’re renovating your home or starting a new construction project, vinyl plank flooring can be a great choice. However, there are several things to consider before laying vinyl plank flooring to ensure a successful installation. You may be wondering what direction to lay vinyl plank flooring. The best way is parallel to the longest wall in the room as this will create flow and continuity.
Let’s learn more!
What is Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Vinyl plank flooring is a type of synthetic flooring that mimics the look of hardwood or stone. It is made of several layers, including a durable wear layer, a photographic layer that replicates the desired design, and a core layer that provides stability. Vinyl plank flooring is known for its water resistance, making it an excellent choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and other moisture-prone areas.
Things to Consider When Laying Vinyl Plank Flooring
When laying vinyl plank flooring, there are some things to consider.
1. Room Shape May Require You to Be Creative
The shape of the room can affect the layout and installation process of vinyl plank flooring. Irregularly shaped rooms may require more cuts and adjustments during installation, which can be more time-consuming and challenging. Also, it’s important to plan the layout carefully, considering any curved walls or corners that may require special attention.
2. Direction of the Light Is Important
The direction of the light in the room can have a significant impact on how the vinyl plank flooring appears. If the room has abundant natural light coming from a specific direction, you may want to consider installing the flooring parallel to the light source. This can create a visually appealing effect and enhance the overall aesthetics of the space.
3. Room Features and Stairs
Take into account any room features, such as built-in cabinets or fireplaces, when planning the vinyl plank flooring installation. These elements may require additional cuts and modifications to ensure a seamless transition between the flooring and the feature. Similarly, if you have stairs in the room, you may need to use specialized stair nose molding or other transition pieces to achieve a polished look.
Which Direction to Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring?
The most common direction to lay vinyl plank flooring is parallel to the longest wall in the room. This helps create a sense of continuity and flow. However, there are no strict rules, and you can choose any direction that suits your preferences and the layout of the space. It’s always a good idea to test different directions by laying a few planks temporarily before committing to a final decision.
Materials Needed to Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring
Now that you know the direction to lay the vinyl plank flooring, it’s time to gather all the materials you will need.
- Utility knife or flooring cutter
- Measuring tape or ruler
- Chalk line
- Tapping block
- Rubber mallet
- Pry bar
- Adhesive (if required by manufacturer)
- Moisture barrier (if required by manufacturer)
- Transition pieces for doorways and edges
- Safety goggles
- Dust mask
- Knee pads (optional but recommended)
How to Install Vinyl Flooring?
You have gathered all the materials and it’s time to get started!
- Prepare the subfloor: Ensure the subfloor is clean, dry, and level. Remove any existing flooring, nails, or debris. Repair any imperfections or unevenness in the subfloor.
- Acclimate the flooring: Before installation, allow the vinyl plank flooring to acclimate in the room for at least 48 hours. This helps prevent expansion or contraction issues later on.
- Measure and plan: Measure the dimensions of the room and calculate the square footage needed for the flooring. Plan the layout, considering the direction, starting point, and any special features.
- Install underlayment: If necessary, install an underlayment to provide additional cushioning and sound insulation. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific type of underlayment you’re using.
- Begin installation: Start in a corner of the room and lay the first row of vinyl planks, ensuring they are snugly pressed together. Use spacers along the walls to maintain a small expansion gap.
- Continue installation: Work row by row, connecting the planks using the tongue-and-groove system. Use a tapping block and mallet to ensure tight connections. Trim the last plank of each row as needed.
- Install transition pieces: Once the main floor is installed, add transition pieces where necessary, such as thresholds, reducers, or stair nosings. These pieces provide a smooth transition between different flooring surfaces.
- Finishing touches: Install baseboards or quarter-round molding to cover the expansion gap along the walls. Clean the flooring thoroughly, removing any adhesive residue or debris.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you know more about laying plank flooring, let’s take a look at other areas of recommended maintenance. One of those is installing vinyl plank flooring over tile. You can do this and it will be easier than removing all the tiles. Just keep in mind the tile joints and the height of the floor.
Another is a Juliet balcony. While you are installing flooring, you may be thinking about adding a Juliet balcony outside. This may be a month of projects for you! This type of balcony is decorative, has a balustrade and railing, and is different than other types of balconies.
Lastly, you will want to know if vinyl flooring expands. This is different than the vinyl plank flooring. Vinyl flooring can expand due to moisture, temperature, and foot traffic. This is something to keep in mind if you have this flooring in other parts of your home.
When to Call a Professional
While vinyl plank flooring is generally DIY-friendly, there are certain situations where it’s best to call a professional:
- If the subfloor requires extensive repairs or leveling
- If the room has complex features, such as curved walls or intricate transitions
- If you’re unsure about your ability to handle the installation process safely and correctly
Laying vinyl plank flooring can be a rewarding project that adds beauty and functionality to your home. By considering factors such as room shape, direction of light, and room features, you can make informed decisions about the layout and installation process. Following the step-by-step instructions provided in this guide will help you achieve a successful vinyl flooring installation. Remember, when in doubt, it’s always wise to consult a professional for expert assistance. While installing your vinyl plank flooring, it is a great time to have a home inspection. Reach out Fox Mountain Property Inspections for a full home inspection in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia states.