How to DIY Install Resilient Vinyl Flooring in Your Home
By: Danny Lipford
Resilient tongue and groove vinyl flooring can be installed over concrete, wood, or vinyl as long as the floor below it is flat and smooth. It’s a floating floor with locking joints, meaning that it’s not held in place by fasteners or adhesive. Be sure to leave the recommended gap between the floor and walls to allow for expansion and contraction.
To install resilient vinyl flooring:
- How to Begin: Start with the first row parallel with the long wall in the room and 1/4” or so from it.
- Locking Joints: Lock the end joints of each piece together first, followed by the long edge joints.
- Cutting to Length: Use a utility knife to score the top of the flooring, then snap it from the bottom to break.
- Finishing Edges: Apply shoe or quarter round molding around the walls. Nail the molding to the baseboards, but not the flooring, to allow the flooring to move.
- Finishing Doorways: Apply thresholds at doorways without nailing into the flooring to allow it to move.
Watch this video to find out more.
- How to Install Laminate Flooring (video)
- Choosing and Installing Wood Floors (video)
- Installing a Floating Tile Floor (video)
- How to Lay a Tile Floor (article)
The new resilient tongue and groove flooring materials are a great option because they can be installed almost anywhere without the need for a padded underlayment. The flooring can go over almost any surface—concrete, wood, or vinyl—but the subfloor beneath it does need to be smooth.
Because it is a floating floor, you start it close to—but not tight against—one wall and work from there. The gap that remains will later be covered by shoe molding, which holds the flooring down. Like most laminate floors, the tongue and groove joints on this flooring have a locking feature that requires a little bit a of a swivel motion to snap in place.
You line up the short joint first, getting as close as possible on the longer joint, then snap the long joint and the short almost simultaneously. It takes a little bit of practice, but once you have it, the work goes easily.
And because this stuff is essentially thick vinyl, there’s no need for a saw to cut it. You simply score it with a utility knife, and snap it off clean. After each few rows go in place, you’ll want to run over them with a little bit of a weight to ensure they are locked in.
Once the area is covered, you’ll need to add that shoe molding around the edges and thresholds at doorways to hold it all in place.