When choosing flooring materials it’s important to choose a material that will worked well with the space. For this artist’s studio, I chose luxury vinyl plank flooring because it won’t be ruined when it gets wet. It was an obvious choice because it will be able to handle spills, splatters, snow, and anything else I throw at it. The planks are made pretty much of PVC, coated in a top layer that looks like wood. I need a flooring that is going to be easy to maintain as well as something that is going to be very easy to install and to put into place myself.
The first step was to lay an underlament down on the sub-floor. The one I chose was a dense foam that rolled out and covered the floor in two rows. This is considered a floating floor which means that it’s not glued or nailed down in any way it just sets on top of it underlamanent. Molding around the bottom of the wall is what holds it down.
Next I figured out which direction the wood grain on the planks should run. Because this building is 8×10, I wanted to visually maximize the square footage. The proper direction to lay the floor would be the direction the sun comes in the windows or running planks through a doorway. While the direction the sun comes in would look nice, I chose to run the boards following the door entrance creating a long line for the eye to follow, making it look much deeper. I figured out which wall would be the starting edge and where the finished cutting edge would be. I used the full (uncut) strips directly in front of the door where I walk into the building, with the partial pieces along the wall under my work bench where no one’s going to see it.
I took planks out of the box and connected the first row end to end which creates a stronger seam. I laid an entire row on the floor and marked where to cut the end plank with a dry erase marker. I took advantage of the doorway when I did this so that I was able to run my boards past the wall and mark it.
I then used a straight edge and a utility knife to gently score the top layer of the vinyl plank. You don’t need a press very hard. Use the utility knife and go over it a few times. Then you turn it over, on the back, and snap back along the line you created. It really is that simple and it really does work that well. I used my jigsaw for a couple of irregular shapes around my doorway, but overall working with the vinyl planks was extremely easy.
Once the first row was in, I worked on the second row. You want a staggered floor, so that the seams don’t line up with another row. This was very easy because you have to cut a length off one plank, and then it in turn becomes the beginning of your next row which naturally makes it staggered. I put the pieces end to end for the row, marked, and cut the end plank to fit. The rows fit snugly into little grooves on the previous row. Be careful to pay attention to which side has which kind of groves because they all need to run the exact same direction. It was easier to have two people putting the long row into place. I laid it by myself too, but it was easier with a little help, just sayin.
Continue to lay each row, until you come to the last edge. Mark where the plank needs to be cut and cut the pieces for your last row to fit. Carefully fit them into the groves as a whole row. As long as that fits snugly into the previous row, you can lay it down and step on it to get it into place.
I was actually very shocked by how easily I installed this floor. It was very inexpensive as far as flooring is concerned, and my underlayment was about a third of the price because this is just an 8 x 10 area.
I hope that this tutorial has helped you understand just how easily you could lay your own luxury vinyl plank flooring yourself. We would love to see the results of your projects. Email us at Ibreatheidiy@gmail.com.