Installing Vinyl Flooring: Tools, Materials And Instructions

Basic instructions for installing vinyl flooring from start to finish, including tools and materials.

Materials needed:

1. Lauan plywood panels- 4X4 or 4X8 sheets, for underlayment if needed.

2. Non-shrinking wood filler

3. 6d ring-shank nails

4. Concrete sealer

5. Concrete patching cement

6. Latex underlayment adhesive

7. Mild detergent for clean-ups

8. New vinyl flooring

9. Seam sealer

10. Flooring adhesive

11. Notched trowel

12. Finishing nails for re-applying molding

Tools needed:

1. Circular saw with plywood blade

2. Safety goggles

3. Crosscut handsaw

4. Cold chisel

5. Scraper

6. Heat gun

7. Concrete Trowel

8. Tape Measure

9. Pry bar

10. Utility Knife

11. Broad Knife or wide putty knife

12. Triangular scraper

13. Locking-grip pliers

14. Work gloves

15. Pumice stone

16. Ball-peen hammer

17. Chalk line

18. Hammer

19. Metal straightedge

20. Framing square

21. Flooring roller

Modern vinyl flooring is easy to install and resistant to wear. But any easy vinyl project can be destined to failure from the start if the flooring underneath is uneven or buckled. First before starting any vinyl flooring project, determine if you want to leave the old flooring or if you need to install underlayment. If you plan on installing the new vinyl over a bare concrete floor, the floor will have to be prepared first. Use the ball-peen hammer and cold chisel to remove any rough spots. Make sure all holes and cracks are filled with concrete patching cement. If the existing vinyl is already attached to the concrete floor, remove the vinyl and cover it with the new vinyl. To do this you will need to make sure any holes or cracks are filled, sanded and smooth using concrete patch. When the floor is clean, apply a coat of concrete sealer.

If removing the old vinyl and you don't plan on using new underlayment, hammer down any loose nails in the existing underlayment and add a few if you feel this is necessary. Make sure any holes or cracks in the old underlayment are patched with the wood filler. Sand the dry wood filler so that it is smooth. Plan to do the floor when there is minimal traffic in your house.

First, wear your safety goggles. If there is any baseboard wood molding trim, you will need to remove it. Using the broad knife or putty knife and the pry bar, insert the pry bar into the top of the molding trim and place the putty knife behind the trim to support it from breaking. Gently pry the trim off the wall. When all is removed, remove the nails from the trim with locking grip pliers and place the trim out of the way.

You cannot install new vinyl flooring directly over a hardwood floor, or over resilient flooring that is embossed or cushioned. To remove old vinyl or vinyl tiles, use a heat gun to heat the vinyl for easier removal. Scrape up the entire old adhesive and apply wood filler than sand to a smooth finish. If applying new underlayment, position the new sheets of lauan perpendicular to the old sheets that are on the floor, using the circular saw to cut any pieces that you need to. This will give the flooring added strength and keep the nails from coming up in the same area. Using the latex underlayment adhesive, apply it to the back of the lauan sheets. Start against the longest wall until all are placed. Now nail the sheets with the 6d ring-shank nails. You can also use screws if desired.

Measure the area where you will be applying new vinyl. Vinyl flooring comes in 6ft and 12 ft. lengths. Large floors will need 2 pieces with a seam. Cut the vinyl to fit 3 inches longer around all edges to insure a good fit. Unroll the vinyl in another room in the house. Measure it and cut it to the measurements plus the 3 inches. Lay the flooring down in the area to be covered, fold back half of the vinyl, and apply a 12 inch wide band of flooring adhesive with the Notched trowel. Do not use adhesive close to the seams. Replace the half you just applied adhesive to and press down. Do the same with the other half. Using a utility knife, trim around the edges of the wall, and make sure not to cut the vinyl too short. Peel back the seams and place adhesive on the seam and using the flooring roller, press the vinyl down. Apply seam sealer according to manufacturer's directions.

Now that all the vinyl has been glued down, use the flooring roller on the whole floor. Re-apply the trim molding around the bottom of the walls with finishing nails.

© High Speed Ventures 2011