Beginner: How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring
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Installing floating vinyl flooring over concrete is an easy way to update a basement or any space in your home. Today I am sharing how to install floating vinyl flooring over concrete in our basement that is DIY friendly and even a beginner can do!
Floating vinyl plank flooring is very popular right now not only for its ease of installation but the durability and simplicity of keeping it clean. Vinyl plank flooring is cost effective and comes in several style options making this flooring option a popular choice for many homeowners.
Today I am sharing our amazing partnership with Select Surfaces who provide stylish and durable flooring options. I also might add, very affordable too!
Why Vinyl Plank Flooring
Adding vinyl plank flooring over concrete floors is easy and a great way to refresh a basement. Not only are the vinyl planks we used waterproof, they are gorgeous!
Vinyl plank flooring is a great flooring solution for kitchens, baths and basements or any high traffic area.
One of the biggest things to consider when finishing your basement floor is whether or not the vinyl floor can be installed over concrete or cement.
For those of you wondering, the light blue/gray wall color is called Lullaby by Sherwin Williams. By far, the prettiest blue/gray wall color I have used in a while.
Vinyl Flooring Installation Click Method
Our vinyl plank flooring installation was easy and installs directly on top of the cement. The flooring clicks together like tongue and groove. The vinyl click lock flooring system is easy peasy!
Vinyl plank flooring has several features and benefits including:
- Attached Foam Backer
- Click Installation
- 100% waterproof
- Resistant to stains
- FloorScore Certified
- 30 Year residential Warrant, 10 Year Commercial Warranty
FAQs about vinyl flooring
How to install vinyl plank flooring on concrete
Step 1: how to start the first row vinyl plank flooring
First we started by snapping a chalk line to get a straight line. Just pick a starting point and go from there. We decided to start at the stairway wall.
You will notice that we did not have baseboard installed yet so if you have baseboard, be sure to remove before installing your vinyl flooring.
Step 2: Layout the Vinyl Flooring
Once you determine which direction you want you flooring installed, start clicking the floor pieces together starting on one end of the room and working your way around the space.
We used a hammer and a scrap piece of wood to tap the flooring together. The scrap piece of wood will protect the edges of the flooring from the hammer.
How To Cut Vinyl Flooring
Cutting the planks is as easy as cutting a line with a utility knife.
Cutting vinyl plank flooring will require a sharp cutting tool or a chop saw. We used a utility knife and it was so simple!
Once you have cut the vinyl plank with a utility knife, simple fold over and snap off.
Vinyl Plank Flooring Color Options
If a light warm toned brown isn’t your thing? They have a variety of colors and textures here. You can also see their Morning Fog color (gray flooring) that we installed in our split house basement (see flooring here). Yes! We did another full basement renovation and installed this same flooring over concrete at that house as well.
I almost went with the Harbor Gray color in an effort to create a coastal theme but opted for the warm toned brown instead.
The directions are very self explanatory. We used a piece of the flooring as our spacer against the wall. You will need a small gap between the wall and your floor to allow for expansion.
We picked Harvest Oak color and ordered directly from Sam’s Club and there was minimal shipping cost. The best part, the floor was delivered in 5 days! You also have the option to pick up in the store as well.
Here you can see Jim below playing air guitar with the shop vac. I think it was almost 8pm when I snapped this picture and he was on 13 hours of being in my basement and modeling for my social channels! -ha.
Needless to say, he was a little done with me at this point ;).
Do I need underlayment for vinyl plank flooring on concrete?
We did not use an underlayment under our vinyl plank flooring. The back of the rigid core flooring has a rubber like backing that does provide a cushion. Depending on your flooring type you may or may not need underlayment. We did not use underlayment.
We finished about 1000 square feet in our basement so the time to lay the floor took a full day plus another 1/2 day but the overall process was so simple. If you are laying a floor in a smaller space, these vinyl planks would take no time to install.
Again, the directions that come with the vinyl flooring are so easy to follow. Basically, the Rigid Core vinyl plank floor floats on top of the concrete.
Besides choosing a floor for the basement that could easily be installed over cement, it was important that is was durable, easy to clean and looked like wood.
Which Direction To Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring?
We had a similar style vinyl plank flooring in our old house and we absolutely loved it so we decided to go with the same style, texture and feel this time around as well.
You can install vinyl plank flooring in either direction but we opted to run the plank flooring horizontal to mimic the same direction of the ceiling planks.
I changed my mind a few times on this but in the end, we decided to keep the flooring and ceiling planks going in the same direction.
How to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring
How do I clean the vinyl flooring planks?
The plank flooring hides dirt well and also mops up easily. I can’t say enough about how amazing this floor is.
Hot water, a mop and Mr. Clean! As you know, we have lots of kids in and out of our house, dogs and lots of foot traffic.
I told Jim the vinyl flooring was a good place for him to learn how to mop! 😜 He didn’t think that was very funny.
Want to see this floor completely installed? Click over to our basement makeover to view the entire floor complete. The before and after is pretty dramatic if I do say so myself!
Cost to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring?
This vinyl floor cost under $2.50 a square foot and can easily be purchased on the Sam’s Club website. I placed my order and it was delivered a week later!
Don’t miss these two other flooring installs featuring the same flooring in different colors below.
See vinyl floor install at the Split Level Flip House
See vinyl floor install in our pool house
How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring
- chalk line
- stanley knife
- Vinyl Plank Flooring
Instructions: Step by Step
- Snap a chalk line to get a straight line
- Determine your layout and which direction the flooring will run
- Remove any baseboard
- Cut the planks with a utility knife
- Start installing the flooring at one end of the room by clicking together and tapping each board together with a hammer. Be sure to use a scrap piece of wood along the edge of wall as a spacer to allow for expansion
- Using a hammer and a scrap piece of flooring, tap each piece into each other using the scrap piece of wood in between the hammer and flooring. Do not tap the flooring directly with the hammer as you will break the edges.
- Once finished, re-install baseboard
Pssst…. did you know we have an Amazon Storefront now (read that post here)? You can shop all of our home decor & so much more! It doesn’t cost you any more or less money to shop from our Amazon Store 🙂 Any commissions we make, are paid by the brand and they help pay for monthly fees to keep the blog up and running 😀.
You can find all of the products that Select Surfaces on their website or at Sam’s Club.
Installing DIY Vinyl Rigid Core Flooring Over Cement is such an easy project and it instantly changed the look of our basement once installed. One thing to note, this may seem like common sense but I am going to share the tip anyway, if you are installing in a basement and have a lot of humidity, definitely consider a dehumidifier. As with any flooring surface in a basement, humidity can cause issues.
About The Author
What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.
It looks really nice! Congratulations.
THIS FLOOR LOOKS GREAT AND I’M SURE IT DID CHANGE THE ENTIRE LOOK OF THE BASEMENT. LOVE WHAT YOU CHOSE!
Thank you! I am loving it too 🙂
I love what you did, it looks great! I do have a question regarding laying over cement, did you have to use cement leveler to smooth the floor? Or was your floor already level?
Thank you, we did not. Our floor was level
Did this project not require any trim or molding pieces for doorways or anything? I’m interested in purchasing some of this vinyl plank flooring but it looks like Select Surfaces doesn’t manufacture molding kits for their vinyl plank flooring, only for their laminate flooring.
We added our own base molding.
I was 68 when I laid vinyl flooring in the living room, dining room and hall. At 69, I did a bedroom which in now my office, and I did it all by myself!! Now at 70 I am starting on my bedrooms and have plans to do my basement. If I can do this, then anyone can and the care of this flooring is great. Have 4 dogs and it looks as nice as it did when I first put it down. Thanks!!!!
That is great !! It’s definitely a diy friendly floor and I love how easy it is to maintain.