This step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know and exactly how to install vinyl plank flooring on concrete. Tackling some home renovations and looking to install your own flooring? Read on to learn how you can do it, quick and easy!
It was such a pleasure to work with Golden Select to put vinyl planks in the basement. I was so eager to learn how to put flooring on a concrete basemetn floor, and suprised installation was so easy. Wilson helped with one room and I did the other completely by myself… with no prior experience, so I’m confident you could too!
The style I chose to work with was Charcoal Oak vinyl plank flooring from Golden Select. It is ideal for basements, the planks have an attached 1mm underlay which means it can be applied directly to a concrete floor. Plus, it is fully-water resistant, which is music to my ears!
How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring on Concrete:
First things first – you’re going to need the right tools to tackle installing your flooring.
- CrossCut Power Saw
- Chalk Line/String
- Tape Measure
- Tapping Block
- Rubber Mallet
- Pull bar
- Painters Tape (the only safe option! Masking tape or duct tape can damage your new flooring.)
Before we get to the installation, let’s talk about prepping your concrete surface:
Your concrete floor must be completely cured (minimum of 60 days) and totally dry. The floor must also be clean, dry and smooth. Any chips, depressions, or holes should be filled with a latex underlayment and smooth/even with the surrounding surface.
A well-prepped subfloor is key to easy installation and a long-lasting floor!
Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring on Concrete:
Step One: Figuring out what direction you want to floor to run. This is a matter of preference, and often people opt to run the flooring the length of the room – makes for fewer cuts and faster installation, but it’s really up to you.
Step Two: A little pre-planning! You know what they say, measure twice, cut once. This DEFINITELY applies to flooring. A little math on the front end can save you heartache and a second trip to the store. It’s also to pre-plan so that you can avoid pieces that are too short (less than 10 inches)near important points like high traffic areas or doors.
You also need to account for 3/8″ gap around the perimeter of the room. This allows the vinyl plank flooring to contract and expand over time with your house.
Step 3: If you’re not planning on adding finishing trim around the room, it will be necessary to cut off the unsupported tongs along the edge of your plank to create a clean, solid edge. This clean edge faces the wall, the grooved edges face out so that the next row of planks can click into place. The planks should be installed from left to right.
Step 4: Install the first row – click together the short ends of the planks, pressing down firmly and lightly tapping the joint area with a rubber mallet. Repeat until you’ve completed the row.
Step 5: Begin the second row with a cut piece (over 10 inches in length) that allows for at least 8 to 10 inches between the joints of the previous row.
Insert the first plank of the second row by angling at 30 degrees and fitting the tongue and groove together. Carefully push the plank down until the tongue and groove lock together on the side and ends. I have to be honest, the second row is the most trying, but don’t throw in the towel!
Press down firmly on the end joint, preferably tapping with the rubber mallet to fully engage the short ends.
Step 6: Repeat until you’ve reached the last row on the opposite side of the room. Honestly, within a row or 2 you’ll have figured out your rhythm and it becomes a fairly easy process.
Step 7: For the final row, cut the last plank to the right width and length. If necessary complete the tight fit against the wall by tapping the plank into place with a pull bar. The pull bar (above) is a LIFE saver, so you definitely want to have one handy for the last row.
Once that last row is installed, you’re going to want to let the flooring rest and settle before installing baseboards or placing furniture in the room.
**This product is designed to be a floating floor. That makes installation pretty much a breeze but requires that all the door jams be undercut in advance. Also, any cabinets you’re thinking about installing can not be placed on top of the flooring. And any wall mouldings and transition strips should be installed over any exposed edges, but NOT fastened through the planks.
I am so pleased with this Golden Select vinyl plank flooring and how easy it was to inslall flooring right over the concrete. The Basement Master Bedroom feels so cozy and not like you’re in a basement at all! I can’t wait to show you how the bunk room comes together!
Disclosure: Thank you to Golden Select for providing flooring for this project. As always my honest thougts and opinions of this product are 100% my own.
Have you installed vinyl plank flooring on concrete before? Let me know in a comment below!