Vinyl / Resilient Flooring Installation
Life would be some much easier if we all had magicians in the family. You know — someone who could levitate the furniture while rolling out our new vinyl flooring and then, with a mere wiggle of the nose, the job would be done! We all know it's not that easy and it can be stressful. But knowledge is power. Here's our list of what you can expect before, during and after installation.
The No-Stress Pro
Sure your ex-girlfriend's brother's uncle can do this for you wholesale, but trust your retailer to recommend a professional to install your new flooring. It's not an easy process. In fact, even the best Do-It-Yourselfers should resist the urge.
Click here to find a professional vinyl flooring installer in your area.
The Shape of Your Substrate
The surface on which the vinyl flooring will be laid is called the substrate. Are you installing over wood, concrete or old vinyl? Each has its own special preparation. Your substrate may require an underlayment. No, not an undergarment — but it is an additional layer. An underlayment will add height to your floor and may affect your appliances and counters.
In order for your warranty to be upheld, many manufacturers require moisture testing if you are installing vinyl over concrete. Make sure your installer can do this for you.
And if you are still thinking about doing this yourself, only a true professional will be able to tell if you can install your new vinyl over your old vinyl. Be sure to ask.
How’s your subfloor?
Your existing subfloor may need to be prepared to receive the vinyl flooring, or a new subfloor may be required. We suggest you discuss this with your retailer and, if subfloor work is necessary, that it be done by qualified professionals. It is important that the subfloor be as clean and level as possible. That helps insure your new vinyl flooring will be beautiful and well supported.
There are three methods used to install vinyl flooring depending on the manufacturer and the style:
- Full Spread means the adhesive is troweled over the entire substrate.
- Perimeter Adhered means the adhesive is only applied to the outside edges of the flooring and at the seams.
- Floating flooring is not bonded to the substrate by any adhesive.
Before the Big Day
Call a friend, hire a team, do whatever you need to do, but make sure you remove furniture and other “stuff” from the room in which your new vinyl flooring will be installed. You probably don’t want installers handling your precious things — and they may charge you extra for the opportunity.
If you have gas appliances, contact the Gas Company about safely disconnecting and reconnecting these pieces. Ask your retailer about disconnecting and reconnecting such items as icemakers, stereo equipment and computers; and the removal of heavy items like pianos.
Also, consult with your retailer to determine if you will be charged to have your toilet moved out and replaced if your are putting new flooring in your bathroom. If they can’t do it, you may need a plumber.
The area of installation must be climate controlled (heated or air conditioned). Indoor humidity should be maintained between 45-65%.
The Old Flooring
Will your new flooring be installed over your existing floor covering, or do you want your existing floors or carpets removed before the new one is put in? Removal of old flooring or carpeting can be time consuming — and someone has to haul it away and dispose of it responsibly. Be sure to discuss the situation with your installer and assume that at least one day will be spent on removal, cleanup and preparation.
Choose a Trim
In most cases, existing baseboards and moldings have to be removed prior to vinyl flooring installation. Do you want to keep what you have or go with something new? Be sure to discuss this with your retailer or installer, who may charge extra for removal and reinstallation. Painted baseboards, woodwork and paint may need retouching after the installation is complete. If necessary, this is your responsibility.
Interior doors often have space at the bottom to accommodate new flooring. If yours do, then you’re good to go. If yours don’t — or they’re cut for something lower than the floor you’re installing, you may need a qualified carpenter to cut or shave the bottom of each affected door. Check with your installer about their door policy.
Vinyl flooring installation results in lots of trash — old carpets or floors, plastic wrapping, remnants, fast food containers. Talk to your retailer or installer about his or her clean up policy — and what is done with remnants. You may want to save some leftover pieces of vinyl for future repairs “just in case.”
Take A Day Off
It’s a good idea to be home on the day your new floor is installed. Inevitably, questions will be asked. Decisions will need to be made. And nobody has an eye for the details of your home like you do. So take a vacation day, call in sick, work from home — just be there.
Watch From A Distance
Razor blades and stringy glue can make your vinyl installation area hazardous to the health of your children and pets. Find a comfortable space in another room or outdoors while the work is taking place.
Conduct A Walk-Thru
Before your installer leaves, walk through the installation area together to ensure that every last detail meets or exceeds your expectations. Ask questions and make sure that you “approve” of both the product and the installation before making your final payment.
After the Install
- For a minimum of 24 hours after your new vinyl floor is installed, don’t walk on the seamed areas.
- To allow the adhesives to setup properly, keep the room at 68° F or greater for at least 2 days.
- Ventilate the area well for 48 to 72 hours.
Madness to the Method
- Full Spread Method: Do not replace your appliances for a minimum of 24-72 hours after installation. Light foot traffic is allowed after 24 hours.
- Perimeter Adhered Method: Do not replace your appliances for a minimum 24-72 hours after installation. Light foot traffic is allowed after 24 hours.
- Floating Method: Appliances can be replaced and foot traffic is fine immediately following installation.
- Don’t rely on furniture or appliance wheels and don’t drag your appliances back in place over your new floor! Lay down a piece of thin plywood and move the appliance over the floor on the wood, or use furniture sliders made specifically for this purpose. It will save you a lot of tears — as in the kind you cry.
- Don’t mop your floor for about five days. The adhesives need time to cure.
- Check the condition of all the casters or rollers on your furniture before setting them on your floor. Replace any worn ones.
- Protect your vinyl floor by covering the legs of furniture with felt protectors.
The hard part is over. It’s time to relax and enjoy your new floor.
Photo: Armstrong - Multi Stone - Carmel Gold