While it can often be the best approach to use a professional floor installer to install your new vinyl flooring, there are also lots of times when you can have a go yourself. If you have laid carpet or flooring before and have a reasonable level of confidence with the job, then here are some tips on how to lay different vinyl floor types to help you plan the project.
Types of vinyl tiles
Luxury vinyl tiles come in three different types, depending on how they are installed so always check which type you have before you start.
With the locking system, the flooring looks like real wood or tiles but has a simple lock system that makes it very DIY friendly. You will need underlay between the tiles and the floor so put this in place first. You can also unlock and move them if needed or replace one or some if there’s an accident.
For glue down vinyl, you use a similar system to a roll of vinyl carpet. It is a little harder and people often use a flooring fitter, but you can create your own designs while fitting this.
Loose lay vinyl has a grip on the back that will adhere to most floors. They do need to be dry and even but then the flooring is relatively easy to install. You can also lift it again at a later date if needed.
Preparing and positioning
To start with, it is good to let the vinyl tiles accumulate which means leaving them in the room in their box for around 48 hours. Keep the temperature normal during this time.
You also want to prepare the floor where the tiles will be laid. It needs to be dry and clean but also as level as possible. You want no more than 3mm deviation across a one-metre area or your flooring might not be straight.
When you are ready to start laying the vinyl flooring, start in the centre of the room. Make yourself a chalk cross where you measure the entre to be and this is where you begin. Add two lines of times from the centre spot to make an L shape but don’t stick them down or anything. This helps you to make sure you are laying the flooring at the right angles to the walls.
Fitting the vinyl flooring
Following the particular method for the type of tie you have, start sticking down the first tiles. If there is adhesive and any squeezes out, just use a clean rag or sponge to remove it. If you need to kneel on tiles already laid, use knee pads or a piece of plywood so you aren’t kneeling directly onto them.
When you reach the walls, you will probably need to cut the tiles to fit the contours of the room. do this by laying a tile on top of the one before then use a third tile to mark the spot where you need to cut. Draw a line and use a sharp knife to cut through. Bend the tile a little until it snaps then fit it into place.