LVP from National Floors Direct

Techniques for Installing an LVP Floor Like the Pros

With so many state-of-the-art features it's no surprise that luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring is the latest trend in home upgrades. LVP flooring is the ultimate way to transform any room in your house. 

Not only is it extremely durable and waterproof, it also looks exactly like a real wooden floor. The biggest difference is that it is much easier to install, clean, and maintain.

Installing your LVP floor like a pro is simple - if you have the proper tools and know what the best techniques are.

This article will take you through each step of the process and show you the best tips and tricks to ensure that your flooring installation goes smoothly.

Step 1: Get the Right Tools

Before you do anything else make sure you have the right tools for the job. You will need a pencil, chalk-line, tape measure, utility knife, miter saw, and circular saw to cut the planks to size. For the installation you will need a carpenter's square, rubber mallet, tapping block, pull bar, and 1/4'' spacers. 

If you are planning to remove your old floor covering you may need a belt sander to smooth down the subfloor. One of the benefits of LVP flooring is that you can lay it directly over the original floor. In this case, all you need is a pry bar, putty knife, and hammer to remove the baseboards.

Make sure you have a good set of knee pads, as you will definitely be spending a lot of time on your knees! Don't skip on these as they'll make the process much more comfortable and enjoyable. It's also advisable to use safety glasses and ear protection.

Step 2: Choose Which Direction to Lay Your Planks

Deciding the best way to lay out your planks will take some time and planning. For rooms next to a hallway you can create a smooth flow by laying the planks parallel to the hall. If the adjacent room is also covered with planks then laying your new floor in the same direction will connect the two rooms.

Should you be replacing your entire floor the best way is to lay your planks along the length of the house. By running your planks along the longest wall you can make your space feel bigger than it actually is.

Another aesthetically pleasing tip is to lay your planks towards your largest window. If your room has a clear focal point, like a fireplace, it may look better to lay your planks towards that feature.

You can experiment by temporarily laying down a few planks to find out what works best in your house. If you are looking for something different then try a herringbone layout, this can often work beautifully in smaller rooms.

Step 3: Prep Your Floor

Taking the time to thoroughly prep your floor will make the installation of your planks much easier. It will also make your floor look seamless and professional.

Remove your baseboards by gently inserting the pry bar and loosening the nails that hold it in place. For door jams you need to cut a gap the same thickness as your planks so that you can slide them under.

If you are laying your planks on an uneven subfloor make sure you sand down any bumps and fill in any cracks with a leveling compound. This step may take some time but the end result is worth it! Once your floor is level be sure to remove any debris and hoover up the dust. 

Before you install your planks it's important to leave them to acclimatize for 48 hours. This allows them to expand or contract depending on the temperature and humidity of each room. Doing this prior to installation is vital to ensure your planks stay tightly fitted together.

Step 4: Install Your Planks

The best place to start laying your planks is along the longest exterior wall as this will give you the most accurate straight line to begin with. If you suspect that any of your walls are not completely straight you can measure the distance between the walls at both ends of the room.

If the measurements are different you will need to cut your first plank at a slight angle to make sure your flooring is square. At this stage you should also calculate how much to trim off the final row of planks. You don't want to end up with a very narrow plank. Try and cut the first and last row of planks to the same width for a symmetrical finish.

Once you have cut and positioned your first row of planks you can connect the next plank by fitting the tongue of the second plank into the groove of the first one. Use your rubber mallet and tapping block to fit the planks together without the slightest gap. Even a tiny gap can result in your floor not being square.

To cut the end pieces you can score and snap them if they are thin enough. For thicker planks use your circular saw for a smoother cut. Remember to stagger all your joins by at least 6''.

Make sure you use 1/4'' spacers to leave some breathing room between the walls and your floor. Once all your planks are in position you can remove these spacers and carefully replace your baseboards.

Pro Tips and Tricks

When you calculate how much LVP you need to order add an additional 10% for straight-lay and 15% for herringbone. This will give you the extra pieces you need for cutting waste and mistakes.

For concrete subfloors always use an underlayment below your LVP. This gives your floor more cushioning and will also help absorb sound.

If you are laying LVP over an existing tile floor fill in the grout joins with self-leveling compound to make sure they don't ever become visible through the LVP.

Are You Looking for Expert LVP Floor Installation? Contact National Floors Direct

With over 75 years of experience we know everything there is to know about LVP Flooring and how to install them professionally. We work with the largest suppliers of LVPs in the world and offer unbeatable prices.

Browse through our range of LVP to find the perfect texture and color to suit your home. If you're struggling to decide which one to choose we'll bring you samples to see how they look with your furniture and lighting.

Contact us at 1-888-400-FLOOR (3566) to request your free in-home estimate with one of our professional flooring experts.