10 Beginner Mistakes Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring

Today we're covering 10 beginner
mistakes to avoid when installing vinyl plank flooring I'm Brad from Fix This
Build That and the first thing you need for a vinyl plank install is a good
surface to lay it on and that meant ripping out the old carpet from this
room I'm doing this project at my brother-in-law Jason's house and for
easy removal we cut the carpet down into strips now this way you can roll it up
and hot out in manageable pieces now the carpet is held down by the tack
strips along the wall but the carpet pad is held down by staples as you pull up
the pad they might come out with it but you're gonna need to pull out any
remaining ones with pliers and we cut and rolled up all the carpet and then
tied it and the pad up and hauled it out of the room then we could remove all the
tack strips now these come up pretty easily with a pry bar but they are very
sharp so be careful or wear it gloves and now this brings us to our first
potential mistake alright with all the carpet in the padding out now we need to
make sure that all the fasteners that are holding down the subfloor are down
below the surface so that's something you really want to make sure is not
there because that will transfer through to the flooring you can use a flat edge
like a scraper or a pry bar and run it over all the fastener heads you see now
if it snags on anything then you're gonna need to sink it below the surface
or remove it we had some raised nails which we found and we just hammered
those down flush but we also found a bunch of screws that were sticking up
too and Jason's dog copper decided he wanted to get in on the inspection to the screws we found just spun when I
tried to drive them below the surface and I realized it's because they missed
the joist during install so we just backed them out and removed them and
whoever was installing this subfloor seemed to be struggling to hit the joist
on that day third time's a charm right now the next mistake is probably more a
matter of an opinion leaving the baseboards installed definitely makes
the job easier and it's pretty common but you'll need thick cloth around to
hide the expansion gap as well as the gap between the height of the lower
floor when you're taking out carpet and I think the payoff of removing the
baseboards is worth it for a nice clean look but let me know in the comments
what you think would you rather put in the work to avoid the cord around or
just push the easy button and let it day we used a trim pool tool which works
really well to keep the board's intact and we even gave my niece Natalie a
little sweat equity in her new room the next we needed to check the floor to see
if it was flat enough for the flooring install we used a long bubble level to
span across different areas and look for any dips or humps all right so we check
the level on the floor and what we found is right here we have a nice dip and you
don't want that because that's gonna mean that the floor is gonna translate
and you might have some uneven gaps or worse case some clicking when you step
on it because there's a gap between a hit in the subfloor and when you step on
it it goes down to fix the dip in the floor we use thin set that Jason had
left over from a tile job the floor patch is a better product to use here so
if you're buying a fresh bag go ahead and grab that instead you can feather it
out a lot easier and we laid down the thin set and pulled a strip of wood
across it to level it off though that piece didn't work very well so this
turned out to be a lot bigger as you can see we started here and we realized that
the dip kind of extended all the way out and the problem was is I was using this
small screed which wasn't fully going over the dip so as we went out we saw it
was larger and larger with the floor totally prepped we could start install
and since we were starting at the corner where the door is we needed to set up
our transition now we're using a tea molding transition that snaps into a
metal channel I mark the U channel to fit the doorway and Jason cut it to size
with a hacksaw while I cut the carpet and padding back out of the way there
were some tack strips that went into the hallway so we used the multi-tool to cut
those off and then I could install the u-channel but not before an unannounced
inspection by copper apparently things look good so I set the channel in place
and screwed it down to the subfloor and this leads us to mistake number four not
undercutting the door jambs and trim and with u channel in place I could tell how
far I needed to cut the trim down I used the multi-tool and a piece of scrap
flooring to cut it flush if you don't undercut the trim you'll have to scribe
the flooring around that trim and use caulk to cover any gaps that you might
have this is not gonna look good and it's gonna stick out like a sore thumb
starting in the left corner of the longest wall near the door
is a good rule of thumb but with four foot playing so you don't want to end
the row with less than an eight inch piece and you can avoid this by
adjusting your starting point now here's a quick example using our room the
length of the first row is one hundred and forty one and a half inches in
dividing that by our plank length of forty seven and five eighths of an inch
shows we could fit just under three boards in that row but what if that row
was a hundred and forty five inches well then we'd be left with a tiny piece at
the end and to fix that we could cut the first plank shorter so cutting ten
inches off the first one would extend the last one by the same ten inches so
that's how you can avoid small pieces at the end of any row and we vacuum the
floor to remove any dust and debris and then started laying the first row the
board snap and lock together and with a few strikes of a rubber mallet the joint
is locked third board in the row did need to be cut just like we calculated
earlier and instead of measuring for the cut it's easier to flip the board around
and push the end against the spacer on the wall then you can mark right where
that cut should be just remember to flip the board in for in so that you don't
cut off the wrong side now we're using Jason's miter saw for all the straight
full width cuts he did have to flip the board over though because the capacity
wasn't large enough for these plants but you might be thinking hey I don't have a
fancy miter saw so I can't do this well that is mistake number six the beauty of
vinyl flooring is it can be cut with a wide variety of inexpensive tools in my
first video on installing vinyl plank flooring in my laundry room I showed how
planks can be cut to size by scoring with utility knife and snapping them
along the line under cutting door trim can also be done with a handsaw versus a
multi-tool and that same saw or a handsaw can be used to cut the vinyl as
well so don't let the lack of fancy tools be the reason to hold you back
from this now the first row assembled we slid it up against the wall in one piece
against some quarter-inch shims that we cut from damaged planks but we did have
some unevenness on that wall that we needed to deal with
we added some plastic adjustable shims that come in the flooring install kit
that we were using to deal with that uneven wall only below to this install
kit as well as do the exact flooring that I'm using and all the tools for
this job including the inexpensive options for the second row we cut a
board in half to start off which would leave us a nice stagger
that first row at this point the planks start locking into one another along
both the long edge and the short edge I find it easiest to lay in the long edge
first and securely lock it in place using a mallet and tapping block then
the short edge can be locked in with a mallet and some taps on the end of the
plank will close up any gaps you have and we worked our way onto the third and
fourth row staggering the seams of the first planks by at least eight inches
and you'll notice I wasn't completing full rows at this point because we
wanted to deal with the corner by the door first and make sure there weren't
any issues there and the fifth row needed to be notched to fit around that
corner using a rafter square we measured and marked for the cut and thankfully
that board that we cut had a good sized strip that would go to the wall and we
just cut it with a jigsaw now if there was a thin sliver on that board we may
have had to cut the first row to adjust to make sure we didn't have any issues
on installing the next rows after that we started filling in the rows that we
left open but that led to mistake number seven which I didn't even realize I'd
already made all right just as we got this in I realized I actually messed up
on the layout of this first one so here's what's gonna happen if we put a
full piece down here it would come to right about here and what you want to do
if you're gonna come into a corner like this you really want an entire piece to
go between the corner and the wall because that way it's gonna have a lot
of structure so we're gonna actually take this out and you can see how easy
it is to actually take it out and if you have a problem you can just remove it
and move on and take care of your mistake we
separated the board's row by row until we got to the one with that far corner
we installed a smaller plank at the front of the row and this effectively
pushed the rest of the road down and left us with a nearly full length piece
at the end after cutting that board to length we could lay out from the notch
corner and Jason cut it out with a jigsaw yet as he installs the piece you
can see how that small off cut is now supported by the full length of the
board this is much better than a small floating piece tied in at the end we
laid down a couple more rows using the offcuts at the end of one row to start
the next one this does a great job at getting your stagger right and through
this whole install we did our best to avoid mistake number eight which is
laying similar pattern next to each other instead of working
straight out of the boxes we unpacked the flooring in a space near the bedroom
we stacked it into eight different piles one for each different pattern and as we
install the floor we just kept rotating through the different stacks to try and
keep similar patterns at least one board apart by keeping this in mind will help
you avoid a potential eyesore later we worked our way across the room until
we hit the closet door and this was fairly easy to work around though we
just measured where that bump out happened to be and cut a u notch in a
plank and slid it in place and now we could finally get into a groove and lay
more than two rows before hitting an issue that we had to work around and
while we're doing this let's talk about today's sponsor skill share skill share
is an online learning platform where you can learn from thousands of classes
covering a wide range of creative and entrepreneurial skills a premium
membership gives you access to all these classes which you can use to build your
skillset explore an area that you've been curious about or even learn how to
style that room that you just put new flooring in they have a class called
style your space by Emily Henderson and it gives creative tips and techniques
for interior design she covers how to identify your style sticking to a color
palette and how to mix styles for a guy like me who sticks the blue black and
gray it was interesting to hear her ideas and learn how to branch out to
some different styles maybe I'll reach across that color wheel one day you can
get an annual subscription for less than $10 a month and to see if it's right for
you skill share is offering my viewers a two month free trial just head to the
link in the description to check it out and see what they have to offer to help
you learn thanks Skillshare now as we got to the
far wall we ran into an air vent in the floor and a mistake number nine and this
vent fell right in the middle of the width of our board which was great if it
had have overlapped a long edge we really couldn't have helped that but
what we really want to do here is adjust where it hits along the length of the
board so we cut and installed a plank before the vent so that we'd have at
least eight inches before the vent when we started that new plank we used a
carpenter square in a right angle to transfer the location of the vent where
we needed to cut on the board keeping the cutout away from that short edge
helps keep the integrity of the locking system intact and it also just looks
better my opinion we made the cut out using the
multi-tool again this could also be done by drilling a starter hole and using a
jigsaw or a pull saw after the cut the vent fit right in place and Jason
actually replaced that later with a nice nickel finished cover for the final row
of this bump out we need to cut the planks down to some narrow strips to fit
we did this using the jigsaw again riding up against a t-square that we had
clamped down at the board you could also cut this with a handsaw a circular saw
or best yet a table saw if you have it we laid the pieces in and had to use a
pull bar to pull them tight now this is the same bar you've been seeing us used
at the end of the road to pull those boards tight as well we ran those skinny
strips up to the end of the bump-out and then we transition back to full width
pieces to finish up the room now Jason hammered in those last rows
and it was looking really good and we went back to the doorway and installed
the transition strip into the channel now even though the final plank was a
little bit lower than the carpet in the hallway the transition worked perfectly
and held it tight in that u Channel the biggest question I got from my last
video was why I didn't use any underlayment just like I didn't hear
well that's mistake number 10 this product has the underlayment built onto
the back and it doesn't require an extra barrier it actually voids the warranty
if you do use one so follow your manufacturers recommendations and do
what they say versus listening to people in the
comments now Jason is going to be replacing the baseboards like I
mentioned earlier but here's a look at how nice it's gonna look not using the
cord around and we only had one step left the final inspection everybody came
in to check out the new floor and they loved it especially Natalie in coming
videos I got a playlist queued up for you right there I've done some other
installs you might like you're not subscribed to the channel go ahead and
do that if I earned it and until next time
out there and build something else well that's

You May Also Like