How To Install Vinyl Plank Flooring? [A Complete Guide]

How To Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl plank flooring has become a popular choice for homeowners due to its durability, affordability, and ease of installation. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a first-timer, installing vinyl plank flooring can be a rewarding and straightforward project. 

Installing vinyl plank flooring involves gathering tools and materials, preparing the subfloor with optional underlayment, planning the layout, connecting planks using click-and-lock or adhesive methods, and completing the installation for a stunning, lasting floor.

In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of how to install vinyl plank flooring, so you can give your home a fresh, stylish look with minimal effort. Let’s get started!

Before the steps, vinyl plank flooring installation needs a set of tools and materials. These are mentioned below: 

  • Measuring tape
  • Rubber mallet
  • Broom and dustpan (to clean the subfloor)
  • Soft cloth (for wiping off any excess adhesive)
  • Vinyl plank flooring (make sure to calculate the square footage to purchase the right amount)
  • Underlayment (if required by the manufacturer or for added cushioning and noise reduction)
  • Utility knife or vinyl cutter
  • Straight edge or T-square
  • Pry bar (for removing baseboards, if necessary)
  • Spacers
  • Adhesive (if using a glue-down method) or double-sided tape (for floating floors)

Cost: Dollars 400 To 800

How To Install Vinyl Plank Flooring: 7 Step-by-Step Process

Installing vinyl plank flooring is not hard; in fact is a fun project if done with caution and interest. In this guide, I will explain the easiest way of vinyl plank installation. 

Step 1: Prepare the Subfloor

Before installing the vinyl planks, ensure that the subfloor is clean, dry, and level. Remove any existing flooring and use a leveling compound to fill in any uneven areas. If you’re installing over concrete, make sure it’s free of moisture, and consider using a vapor barrier to prevent moisture-related issues.

Step 2: Lay the Underlayment (if applicable)

If your vinyl plank flooring requires an underlayment, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to lay it down. Underlayment can provide extra cushioning, noise reduction, and can also help smooth out minor imperfections in the subfloor.

Step 3: Plan the Layout

Begin planning the layout of your vinyl planks. It’s best to start in a corner and work your way towards the opposite wall. Measure the width of the room and divide it by the width of the planks to determine if any cuts will be necessary for the last row. Avoid ending up with small, narrow planks along the walls, as it may affect the visual appeal of the final result.

Step 4: Install the First Row

With the layout planned, it’s time to install the first row of vinyl planks. Remember to leave a small gap (usually around 1/4 inch) between the planks and the walls to account for expansion. Insert spacers along the walls to maintain this gap.

Step 5: Continue Installing the Planks

Once the first row is securely in place, continue installing the subsequent rows by connecting the planks using the manufacturer’s recommended method. For most vinyl planks, this involves a click-and-lock system or adhesive strips. Use a rubber mallet to ensure a snug fit between the planks.

Step 6: Cut Planks to Fit

As you reach the ends of rows or encounter obstacles like doorways or cabinets, you may need to cut the planks to fit the space. Measure carefully and use a straight edge or T-square to ensure precise cuts.

Step 7: Complete the Installation

Continue laying the vinyl planks row by row until the entire floor is covered. As you progress, periodically check for any debris or adhesive residue on the planks and clean them using a soft cloth.

6 Tips about How to Remove Carpet and Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

Updating your home’s flooring from carpet to vinyl plank is a great way to enhance its appearance and functionality. The process involves not only installing the new vinyl planks but also removing the existing carpet. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this transition smoothly:

1. Prep the Area

Clear the room of furniture and other obstructions. It’s also a good idea to open windows for ventilation, as removing carpet can release dust and particles into the air.

2. Remove the Carpet

Start by cutting a small section of the carpet with the utility knife. Then, using pliers, grip the carpet and pull it up. Continue this process, rolling the carpet as you go. Be cautious of any tacks, staples, or nails holding the carpet in place. Use the pry bar and pliers to remove these.

3. Remove the Carpet Pad

Once the carpet is out, remove the carpet pad or underlayment. You might need to use a utility knife to cut it into manageable sections for disposal.

4. Install the Vinyl Plank Flooring

With the subfloor ready, you can start installing the vinyl plank flooring. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your chosen installation method, whether it’s click-and-lock or adhesive. Remember to leave the recommended expansion gap around the edges.

5. Enjoy Your New Flooring

Once all the vinyl planks are installed, take a moment to appreciate your refreshed space. Vinyl plank flooring offers durability, easy maintenance, and a stylish appearance that can transform any room.

6. Proper Disposal

Dispose of the old carpet and padding responsibly. Check local regulations for disposal guidelines, as some areas have specific rules for carpet disposal.

8 Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring on Concrete:

Installing luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring on concrete can bring elegance and durability to your space, but it’s essential to navigate the process carefully to achieve the best results. Here are some common mistakes to steer clear of when embarking on this project:

1. Skipping Moisture Testing

Concrete can hold moisture, which can damage your LVP flooring over time. Failing to conduct a moisture test on the concrete before installation can lead to problems like warping, buckling, or mold growth. Use a moisture meter to ensure the concrete’s moisture levels are within the acceptable range.

2. Incorrect Acclimation

Luxury vinyl plank flooring needs time to acclimate to the room’s temperature and humidity levels. Failing to let the flooring sit for the recommended period can lead to expansion or contraction after installation, resulting in gaps or buckling.

3. Inadequate Expansion Gaps

Similar to hardwood flooring, LVP needs expansion gaps along the perimeter of the room to accommodate temperature and humidity changes. Neglecting these gaps can cause the flooring to push against the walls, resulting in unsightly bulges.

4. Rushing the Installation

Installing LVP requires attention to detail and careful execution. Rushing through the installation process can lead to uneven planks, misalignment, and an overall poor appearance. Take your time, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and maintain consistency.

5. Using the Wrong Tools

Using improper tools can damage the LVP or result in an uneven installation. Invest in tools like a vinyl cutter, tapping block, and rubber mallet designed for this type of flooring to ensure clean cuts and secure connections.

6. Poor Row Alignment

Starting with an uneven first row can set a domino effect for the rest of the installation. Measure and double-check your first row’s alignment with the walls to ensure subsequent rows are parallel and straight.

7. Ignoring Manufacturer Guidelines

Every LVP product has specific installation guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Ignoring these instructions, such as the recommended adhesive or installation method, can void warranties and lead to installation issues.

8. Neglecting Finishing Details

Finishing touches like installing transition strips between different flooring types or under doorways are essential for a polished look. Skipping these details can make the installation appear incomplete.


How Long Does It Take To Install Vinyl Plank Flooring?

The installation duration varies depending on factors such as room size, layout complexity, and your experience level. Generally, a small room can take a day, while larger areas might require a few days. Proper planning and preparation can help expedite the process.

Can I Install Vinyl Plank Flooring Myself, Even If I’m Not Experienced In Diy Projects?

Yes, vinyl plank flooring is designed for DIY installation and doesn’t need vinyl plank flooring installers. Many manufacturers offer user-friendly systems like click-and-lock or adhesive methods that simplify the process. Following installation guides and taking your time can lead to successful results, even for beginners.

Do I Need Underlayment For Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Underlayment is recommended in certain situations. It can provide added comfort, and noise reduction, and help smooth out minor imperfections in the subfloor. However, some vinyl planks come with built-in underlayment, so check the manufacturer’s recommendations.

What Tools Do I Need For The Installation?

Common tools include a measuring tape, utility knife or vinyl cutter, straight edge or T-square, pry bar, rubber mallet, spacers, broom, and a soft cloth. The tools required may vary based on the installation method and your preferences.

Can I Install Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Existing Tile Or Hardwood Floors?

Yes, you can install vinyl plank flooring over some existing floors. Ensure the existing floor is stable, smooth, and clean. You might need to level the surface and possibly remove any protruding elements that could affect the new flooring’s stability.

What’s The Difference Between Click-And-Lock And Adhesive Methods?

Click-and-lock involves interlocking the planks together, creating a tight connection. Adhesive methods involve gluing the planks directly to the subfloor. Click-and-lock is more common for DIY installations due to its simplicity, while adhesive methods are often used in commercial settings.

How Do I Deal With Irregular Shapes Or Obstacles Like Doorways?

For irregular shapes or obstacles, you’ll need to measure and cut the planks accordingly. Use a straight edge or T-square to ensure precise cuts. When fitting around doorways, consider undercutting the door jambs for a clean look.

Can I Use Vinyl Plank Flooring On Stairs?

Yes, vinyl plank flooring can be used on stairs. However, it might require a different installation method and additional accessories like stair nosing for a finished look and added safety. Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for stair installation.

How Do I Maintain Vinyl Plank Flooring After Installation?

Maintaining vinyl plank flooring is relatively simple. Regularly sweep or vacuum to remove dirt and debris, and clean with a damp mop using a manufacturer-recommended cleaning solution. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or excessive water, as they can damage the flooring over time.


By following these step-by-step instructions, you can learn how to install vinyl plank flooring and transform the look of your home. Remember to take your time during the planning stage and ensure the subfloor is well-prepared before starting the installation process. 

With the right tools, materials, and a little patience, you’ll have a beautiful and durable vinyl plank floor that you can enjoy for years to come. Happy flooring!

Jahidul Alam

Hello dear! This is Jahidul Alam. I am the admin of this Tidy Floor. I have been in the floor cleaning business for the last 20 years. My business is all about ensuring affordable flooring cleaning services for Americans.

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