8 Common Mistakes When Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring

When you install vinyl plank flooring, try to avoid some common mistakes that can spoil the look and strength of your floor. Mistakes like not preparing the subfloor properly or forgetting to stagger the seams can cause problems later.

Did you know that missing something like the underlayment can affect how your floor feels and sounds? Let’s look at these common mistakes more closely to make sure your floor installation goes well and lasts a long time.

Key Takeaways

  • Make sure the floor underneath is smooth before putting down vinyl planks.
  • Take off the trim around the bottom of the walls before starting to make things easier and look nicer.
  • Always put a special layer under the vinyl planks to help keep the floor steady, quiet, and dry.
  • Think about how to place the planks before starting. Make sure they are staggered and go in the best direction for the light in the room.
  • Buy some extra flooring in case you make a mistake or need more than you thought.

Ignoring Subfloor Imperfections

Before you put in your new vinyl plank flooring, it’s important to fix any problems in the subfloor. Small bumps or dips can mess up the look of your floor. Think of it like getting a canvas ready for painting—the smoother, the better.

You don’t want your nice new floor to look bad because of little bumps or dips, right? Take time to smooth out rough spots and remove any old nails or screws that are sticking out. Making a smooth base will help your floor look nice and neat.

Doing this prep work now will help you avoid trouble later. You’ll be glad you did it!

Not Removing Baseboards

When preparing to install your vinyl plank flooring, you might think about leaving the baseboards in place. However, taking them off can actually make your job easier. Here’s why:

  • Easier to install: If you remove the baseboards, you can lay the flooring right up to the walls. This makes it easier to cut and fit the planks.
  • Looks better: Once you put the baseboards back after the flooring is in, they’ll cover any small gaps or rough edges.
  • Easier measurements: You don’t have to work around the baseboards, which makes measuring simpler.
  • Avoid damage: You won’t risk scratching or damaging the baseboards with your tools if they’re not in the way.
  • Room for expansion: Floors can expand a bit, and when you put the baseboards back, they can hide these expansion gaps.

Skipping the Underlayment

Skipping the underlayment might seem like a good way to save time and money when installing vinyl plank flooring, but it’s actually very important. Underlayment helps make sure your floor is smooth and looks great.

It also helps quiet down noises, which is great if you don’t want to hear every step from upstairs. Plus, it keeps moisture away, which is good for damp places.

Not Planning the Layout

To waste less and make your vinyl plank floor look good, it’s important to plan how you’ll lay it out. Here are some easy tips to help you:

  • Check Your Measurements: Make sure to measure your room twice before you cut any planks.
  • Use Templates: Make a sample layout using cardboard or paper.
  • Think About the Light: Lay the planks in the same direction as the main light source to make the floor look nicer.
  • Mix the Planks: Use planks from different boxes to make sure the colors look even.
  • Finish Strong: Try to have the last row by the wall be at least half a plank wide to avoid skinny pieces.

Forgetting to Order Extra

When you plan your vinyl plank flooring, it’s a good idea to order a little bit more than you think you need. Even if you’re sure about your measurements, you might face unexpected issues. Maybe you counted wrong, a piece gets damaged, or you need to make a special cut. By having extra flooring, you can avoid problems.

Usually, buying an extra 5-10% is enough. This extra step makes sure you don’t get stuck during your project. Think of it as a safety net for your DIY project. It’s always better to have more than you need, just in case. So, remember to check your cart again before you buy!

Not Staggering Seams

Not Staggering the Seams

Not mixing up the seams in each row can make your vinyl plank flooring look better and last longer. If you don’t mix them up, your floor mightn’t be as stable and could shift or come apart later.

Mix it up: Change the places of the seams so they don’t line up and make your floor look boring.

Stronger floor: A mixed seam pattern helps keep the planks together.

Nice look: Staggered seams make the floor look more natural and attractive.

Check carefully: Make sure to offset the seams by at least 6 inches from each other.

Stay interesting: Keep the seams from lining up in each row to keep the floor looking good and interesting.

Skipping Installation Guide

It’s very important to read the installation guide that comes with your vinyl plank flooring. Each type of flooring is a little different, and the guide tells you exactly what to do. It shows you how to cut and place the planks correctly. Don’t skip reading it!

The guide helps you use each plank well and avoid mistakes that could mess up your project. So, before you begin, take time to look over the guide. It will really help make your installation easier and your results better.

Overlooking Vents and Corners

After you’ve followed the installation guide, make sure to pay attention to vents and corners when planning your layout. If you ignore these areas, your finish mightn’t look good and you could have problems with your flooring later.

Here are some simple tips to help you:

  • Measure carefully: Always double-check your measurements around vents and corners.
  • Take your time: Make sure that vents are clear and corners fit tightly.
  • Use the right tools: A jigsaw or a fine-tooth saw will help you cut accurately.
  • Keep areas clean: Make sure there’s no dust or debris in the corners or near the vents.
  • Think ahead: Plan for these difficult areas early to avoid trouble later.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Vinyl Plank Flooring Be Installed Over Ceramic Tiles?

Yes, you can put vinyl plank flooring over ceramic tiles. First, check that the tiles are flat and firm. If there are any cracks or bumps, fix them first to prevent problems later.

Think of it as getting ready for an important event; starting smooth helps everything go well. Don’t skip preparing the floor—it’s important for a good result!

How Does Humidity Affect Vinyl Plank Flooring Installation?

Humidity can affect your vinyl plank flooring installation. If the humidity is too high, the planks can swell up and bend. If it’s too low, they might shrink and create spaces.

It’s important to control the room’s humidity when installing your floor. Try to keep the room’s air stable to prevent problems. Keeping the humidity balanced is key for a good installation.

What Is the Best Tool for Cutting Vinyl Planks?

Need to cut vinyl planks? Use a utility knife. It’s easy and works well. Just mark the plank, then snap it. This makes a clean cut without rough edges.

Remember to measure carefully before cutting.

Is It Necessary to Acclimate Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Yes, it’s important to let vinyl plank flooring get used to your room before you install it. This means letting the planks adjust to the room’s temperature and moisture level. Doing this helps avoid bending and other issues later.

Just keep the unopened boxes in the room where you’ll put the flooring for at least 48 hours. This easy step is important to prevent problems later.

Can I Use a Steam Mop on Vinyl Plank Floors?

Did you know that about 30% of homeowners choose vinyl floors because they last long and are easy to take care of?

But, it’s not a good idea to use a steam mop on vinyl plank floors. The very hot steam can make the vinyl bend or come off.

It’s better to use a regular mop that’s a bit wet and a mild cleaner to keep your floors looking nice.

This way, your floors will stay beautiful for a longer time!


To wrap up, make sure your vinyl plank flooring looks great! Remember the story about Jack who didn’t use underlayment? Now, his floors are very noisy.

So, prepare your subfloors, remove the baseboards, and always use underlayment.

Plan how to lay out the planks, buy some extra, and keep the joins between planks uneven.

Also, be careful around air vents and corners. Follow these tips, and you’ll get a smooth, professional look quickly!

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