How to Install a Glue-Down Vinyl Plank Floor

Written by tanya lee
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How to Install a Glue-Down Vinyl Plank Floor
A heavy-duty utilty knife is the best tool for cutting vinyl plank flooring. (folding utility knife image by Christopher Dodge from

Glue-down vinyl plank floors give the appearance of hardwood floors without the worry. It is generally available in planks 3 inches to 9 inches wide and 36 inches long. It is easily to installed by a do-it-yourselfer, extremely durable, and resistant to water damage, as well as being available in many wood grains, finishes and a range of colour choices. The most difficult part of installing this type of flooring is making sure the subfloor is of the correct type and thoroughly prepared.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Cleaners and floor patch materials as necessary
  • Level
  • Vinyl plank flooring
  • Adhesive
  • Mixing paddle
  • 1/16-inch square notched trowel
  • 45.4kg, 3-section roller
  • Kraft paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  • Straight edge

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  1. 1

    Prepare the subfloor by removing old flooring and adhesives. Vinyl plank flooring can be laid over approved plywood, hardboard or particleboard underlayments, cured concrete, terrazzo, ceramic tile, quarry tile, resilient flooring and self-levelling compound. The subfloor must be cleaned of dust, dirt, paint, wax and grease in order for the new vinyl plank flooring to adhere properly. Repair defects such as cracks, holes or minor depressions and use a level check to make sure the subfloor is level. Any defects in the subfloor will interfere with the bonding of the new floor and will "telegraph" through the vinyl planks.

  2. 2

    Move the flooring and adhesive to the room where you will install the vinyl planks and allow them to acclimate for 24 to 48 hours. The flooring must be installed at temperatures between 18.3 degrees Celsius and 29.4 degrees Celsius. The relative humidity must be lower than 65 per cent.

  3. 3

    Remove all the furniture from the room. Carefully remove the baseboards using a pry bar. Set them aside to reinstall later.

  4. 4

    Measure to find the centre of the room and strike a chalk line. Using a carpenter's square, strike another chalk line at a 90-degree angle to the first chalk line to divide the room into four sections.

  5. 5

    Mix the adhesive following the manufacturer's instructions. Apply the adhesive to a 5-foot-by- 5-foot section of the floor along one of the chalk lines. Lay the first pieces of vinyl plank on the adhesive along one on of the chalk lines. Butt each piece of plank tightly against the adjoining planks. Do not worry about filling in at the ends of the row at this point. Lay down the next row of planks, staggering the joints. When you have covered the area where you have laid down adhesive, clean up any excess adhesive and roll the flooring the with a 100-pound 3-section roller.

  6. 6

    Continue laying and rolling the vinyl floor planks until you reach the wall. Trim the final planks to fit with a utility knife and straightedge, and install them. Go back and fill in the ends of the rows with planks cut to fit. Lay the plank flooring on the other side of the room.

  7. 7

    Make kraft paper templates to fit around irregularities in the room. Cut the vinyl plank flooring to accommodate the irregularity using a utility knife. If you are installing the flooring in a bathroom, remove the toilet first and reinstall it after the flooring is in.

  8. 8

    Forbid people from walking on the newly-installed flooring for at least 24 hours. Wait 48 hours before moving the furniture back into the room. Reinstall the baseboards.

Tips and warnings

  • Remove any adhesive that squeezes out between the vinyl planks immediately, using soap and water. White spirit on a clean cloth will remove dried adhesive, but it is much easier to remove before it dries.
  • Do not remove existing flooring or adhesives that contain asbestos. Asbestos dust is associated with certain cancers and should only be removed by professionals.

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