How To Install A Rigid Core Vinyl Floor
You want the look of a wooden floor but need to keep your costs low, especially in the current climate. Perhaps you need a flooring solution that is exceptionally hardwearing to cope with the demands of family life such as muddy boots, paws, and spills.
Rigid-core luxury vinyl flooring is the perfect flooring solution.
We’re going to lay down all the reasons why lifeproof rigid core vinyl is such a brilliant solution and then go through the process of laying it down including preparation, safety, installation, and when it’s wiser to call in the professionals.
Benefits of Rigid Core Vinyl Flooring
Here are 15 excellent reasons why rigid-core luxury vinyl flooring is so popular.
- Very hard-wearing.
- Aesthetically beautiful.
- Excellent for homes or commercial buildings; hotels, gyms, shops, schools or offices.
- Suitable for any room including bathrooms, kitchens, conservatories and high-traffic areas.
- Suitable for use with underfloor heating.
- Extremely water resistant.
- Stain resistant.
- Scratch resistant.
- Resistant to UV discolouration.
- Great sound absorbtion.
- Resistant to warping, expansion and contraction.
- Easy to install.
- Easy to clean.
- Usually no need for adhesive.
- Doesn’t require a perfect subfloor.
Let’s make that 16 reasons shall we…
- It’s affordable flooring, even for those on a limited budget.
Preparing for Installation of Rigid Core Vinyl Flooring
Rigid core vinyl flooring is easy to install and your subfloor does not need to be completely flat.
However, you will need to sand down or fill any larger lumps and bumps. Generally speaking over an area of half a square meter you don’t want any differences bigger than half a centimetre.
This is a general guide, you should always check the manufacturer's recommendations.
Double-check how the additional height of your flooring will affect doors, door jambs and items such as dishwashers and washing machines. You may need to ensure you can raise them or file down the bottom of doors and jambs so your flooring can fit underneath.
Rigid core vinyl flooring does not always need acclimatisation unless it has been stored in extreme heat or cold you should check this with your manufacturer's guidelines.
When acclimatisation is required only around 12 hours is necessary.
This makes it a much faster turnaround from the shop floor to your finished floor.
- Safety goggles.
- Sensible shoes.
- Knee pads/cushion.
Equipment Needed For Installing Vinyl Flooring
As well as your safety equipment having the following equipment on hand before you begin installing the floor will make your life easier.
- Tape measure.
- Straight edge.
- Shims (wooden, metal or plastic wedges)
- Pull bar.
- Pocket knife.
- Mitre saw or jigsaw.
How to Lay Rigid Vinyl Core Flooring
The first step in installing your luxury vinyl flooring is measuring your room. You then need to divide the measurements by the size of your planks.
This will help ensure a minimum of cutting required for your planks and help you to work out how much you should cut from your first plank to avoid needing to cut down any planks to less than half their size. For example, if your measurements show that you will need 23.3 planks then trimming your first plank by a few centimetres will help to ensure that your final plank won’t need to be cut down to less than half.
Cutting Vinyl Flooring Planks.
Often the best way for a straight cut through vinyl flooring planks is to score deeply with a sharp pocket knife and then snap the plank over the edge of a table or other straight edge.
For more complicated cuts, around door jambs, for example, you will be better to use a jigsaw or mitre saw.
You can smooth any rough edges with sandpaper.
This is intended as a general guide. Always be sure to follow your manufacturer’s advice.
Leave an Expansion Gap
Use shims to create a gap around the edge of your flooring of around half a centimetre. This is to allow the natural expansion of the flooring with temperature changes.
Once your floor is fully installed you can cover the expansion gap with trim or moulding that you can attach to your wall or skirting boards.
Your particular brand of flooring will likely have an ideal expansion gap recommendation so be sure to check their installation guides.
Lay Out The Flooring
Lay out the flooring ready for installation. You may want to open several packs at once and mix them up to allow for any uneven patterning from pack to pack.
The following is general advice, be sure to follow your particular type of floorings installation guide.
As a general rule, for the first row begin by clicking them all together end to end. Then slide on the first plank of your second row keeping the angle as low as possible. The following planks can then be attached at their ends first then sliding in as you go along.
Use a pull bar to go around your flooring once it is all joined together to ensure you’ve got a seamless finish.
DIY vs Professionals
If you are experienced and competent at DIY then there’s no reason why you should not be confident to install your vinyl flooring yourself.
However, if you have any doubts or are unsure about anything about the process, or you simply lack the time then calling professional installers is a quick and easy option.
Get in touch with us for advice on a professional installation.
There’s no doubt that vinyl flooring has come a long way. In fact, our lifeproof luxury rigid core vinyl is a world away from the vinyl flooring that swept through UK homes in the 70s and 80s and was commonly called ‘lino’.
The individual planks are not only easy to click together, as we’ve just shown above but they create a look that is unbelievably similar to solid wood or engineered wooden flooring.