How to Install Vinyl Flooring

How to Install Vinyl FlooringWhen you want to update your kitchen or bathroom, install vinyl flooring to achieve a fresh, new look. You will see so many patterns from which to choose as you shop for vinyl that you can surely find the perfect style for your room.


Remove your old flooring and install underlayment in preparation to install vinyl flooring.

What You’ll Need

  • Underlayment
  • Staples
  • Hammer
  • Pry bar
  • Utility knife
  • Stapler
  • Table saw
  • Jigsaw

Measure the floor and purchase a sufficient amount of underlayment to cover the area.

Remove all furniture and appliances from the room. You may need to contact the gas company or a plumber to safely disconnect gas appliances or an icemaker.

When you install vinyl floor in a bathroom, you will have better results if you remove the toilet before installing vinyl floor rather than trimming around it. When you reinstall the toilet, use a new wax ring under it to prevent leaks.

Carefully remove molding around the walls by working with a pry bar and hammer. Work slowly and try not to damage the wall or molding so you can replace it after you finish installing vinyl floor.

Score the old vinyl flooring lengthwise with a utility knife about every 5 feet throughout the room so you can work with small sections at a time. Begin in the middle of the floor and pull up all the old vinyl.

Vacuum the floor well to remove any debris that may cause bumps.

Start with a full sheet of underlayment in the farthest corner of the room, and staple every sheet into place with 1-1/4 inch staples, laying the finished edges together and working your way along the length of the room. Stagger the seams by laying a half sheet at the beginning of the next row and using full sheets for the remainder of the row. If you need to cut pieces to fit, use a jigsaw for notches around pipes and the like, and make straight cuts with a table saw.

Make sure the underlayment is smooth, flat and perfectly clean before you install vinyl flooring over it.


What You’ll Need

  • Vinyl flooring
  • Craft paper
  • Adhesive
  • Masking tape
  • Utility knife
  • Straightedge
  • Tape measure
  • Fine-notched trowel
  • Steel hand roller or covered wood block

Make a drawing of your room, and measure the dimensions accurately. Bring the drawing and measurements to the retailer to help in figuring the amount you will need to purchase for installing vinyl floor. Add several extra inches to each of the dimensions to allow for centering the pattern, cutting and trimming. If you do not purchase enough flooring before you begin to install vinyl floor, you will have to buy additional vinyl and make an extra seam on your floor. Purchase the adhesive recommended for use with the flooring as well.

While installing vinyl floor, maintain a humidity of 45 to 65 percent in the room.

Lay the flooring in the room, and mark the excess area to cut out, leaving plenty of vinyl along every wall to allow for errors. Remove the vinyl and cut out the excess.

Use a roll of craft paper to make a template along the walls by lightly taping it to the floor with little pieces of masking tape every two feet. Put larger strips of double-stick tape on top of the craft paper every two feet and peel off the backing.

Return the flooring to the room and press it down firmly on the template along one wall at a time. Lift the flooring with the template attached to it and carefully cut the vinyl, using the template as a guide. Use a straightedge when cutting, and protect your floor with a piece of scrap wood under the vinyl. To prevent tearing, reinforce corners with two masking tape pieces before cutting them. For inside corners and around pipes, cut tiny half circles until vinyl fits flat on the floor, and for outside corners, use straight relief cuts.

Spread the adhesive on the floor with a trowel and roll the flooring back into place. Apply firm pressure with a hand roller or cloth-covered block of wood to seat the flooring and let it dry four hours.

If you need to refinish or paint the molding, do so before replacing it around the walls.

Do not walk on the seams or replace heavy furniture for at least 24 hours after you install vinyl flooring, and maintain a temperature of at least 68 degrees in the room for two days.

Keep the room well ventilated for two or three days after installing vinyl floor.

Save some of the leftover vinyl to use for future repairs if necessary. Vinyl pieces cut to size make nice drawer and cabinet liners as well.


After you install vinyl floor in your home, you will have an easy-to-care-for, durable floor that will keep its good looks for many years with proper maintenance.

  • Dust or sweep the floor regularly, but never vacuum using a beater bar because it may scratch the floor.
  • Wipe spills up immediately and clean the floor with warm water. Add an ounce of clear ammonia or liquid detergent to a gallon of water for cleaning if necessary and rinse well.
  • Never use paste waxes, solvents, abrasive cleaners, soaps, scrub brushes or scratchers on the floor.
  • If your floor gets cut or gouged, or if a seam opens, immediately cover the area to keep dirt out until you can repair it.
  • Never use rugs with latex or rubber backing on vinyl floors because they may leave permanent stains on the vinyl.
  • Use floor protectors under heavy furniture.
  • Move heavy objects across the floor by placing underlayment sheets or plywood on the floor first.

Have questions? Ask our expert on Google+