How to Install Self Stick Vinyl Planks

Manufacturers make vinyl planks to resemble wood floors. Vinyl planks are less expensive than wood and easier to install. They come in long, narrow strips or planks. Planks are available in a variety of wood tones, ranging from light to dark.

Vinyl floor planks look like real wood.

Homeowners can show their creative side by mixing and matching colors to create borders and patterns. Vinyl flooring stands up well to foot traffic and is easy to maintain.

  1. Allow vinyl flooring to acclimate to the room for at least 48 hours prior to installation.

  2. Check the manufacturer's installation instructions to determine whether your substrate is compatible with the vinyl plank flooring. If it is not, install underlayment-grade plywood over your floor to create a good base for the vinyl plank flooring.

  3. Inspect the substrate for popped or loose nails or screws. Tap loose nails in with a hammer and sink screws with a screwdriver. Walk over the substrate and listen for squeaks while feeling for movement. Drive in additional nails or screws through the substrate and into the floor joists to minimize squeaks and limit movement.

  4. Remove shoe moldings and base moldings from the perimeter of the room.

  5. Vacuum and wash the floor with a grease-fighting detergent to remove all dust, debris or dirt. Use a citrus-based solvent to remove old adhesives.

  6. Fill in gaps, seams, nail heads and other depressions with filler based on the manufacturer's specifications. Allow the filler to dry thoroughly prior to flooring installation. Drying times vary based on the type of filler.

  7. Measure each wall and mark the center point. Snap a chalk line from center point to center point on walls opposite each other. The point at which the lines intersect is the center of the room.

  8. Peel the protective paper off the back of your first plank and lay it on the floor beginning in the center of the room. Use the chalk line as your guide to ensure that the plank is laying straight. Peel the paper from the second plank and lay it tightly abutted to the end of the first plank. Continue to lay planks end-to-end until one row covers from wall to wall.

  9. Peel the protective paper from the back of a plank and lay it next to the first row. Stagger the seams at least 6 inches so the seams do not line up. Continue to lay planks end-to-end next to the previous row until vinyl planks cover the entire floor. Make cuts as necessary with a utility knife.

  10. Roll a 100-pound floor roller over the vinyl planks to press the planks firmly to the floor and remove air bubbles.

  11. Tip

    Hide gaps along the edge of the wall with molding. Change the blade in the utility knife after six or seven cuts to avoid tearing the vinyl plank with a dull blade.