Today, we’re covering 10 beginner mistakes to avoid when installing vinyl plank flooring, I’m Brad from Fix This Build That, and the first thing you need for a vinyl plank install is a good surface to lay it on, and that meant ripping out the old carpet from this Room I’m doing this project at my brother-in-law, Jason’s house, and for easy removal. We cut the carpet down into strips now this way you can roll it up and hot out in manageable pieces. Now the carpet is held down by the tack strips along the wall, but the carpet pad is held down by staples as you pull up the pad. They might come out with it, but you’re gon na need to pull out any remaining ones with pliers and we cut and rolled up all the carpet and then tied it and the pad up and hauled it out of the room. Then we could remove all the tack strips now.
These come up pretty easily with a pry bar, but they are very sharp, so be careful or wear it gloves, and now this brings us to our first potential mistake: alright, with all the carpet in the padding out now, we need to make sure that all the Fasteners that are holding down the subfloor are down below the surface. So that’s something you really want to make sure is not there, because that will transfer through to the flooring. You can use a flat edge like a scraper or a pry bar and run it over. All the fastener heads you see now, if it snags on anything, then you’re gon na need to sink it below the surface or remove it. We had some raised nails which we found and we just hammered those down flush, but we also found a bunch of screws that were sticking up too and Jason’s dog copper decided he wanted to get in on the inspection to the screws we found just spun when I tried to drive them below the surface and I realized it’s because they missed the joist during install, so we just backed them out and removed them and whoever was installing.
This subfloor seemed to be struggling to hit the joist on that day. Third time’s a charm right now. The next mistake is probably more a matter of an opinion leaving the baseboards installed definitely makes the job easier and it’s pretty common, but you’ll need thick cloth around to hide the expansion gap, as well as the gap between the height of the lower floor when you’re Taking out carpet – and I think the payoff of removing the baseboards is worth it for a nice clean look. But let me know in the comments what you think would you rather put in the work to avoid the cord around or just push the easy button, and let it day we used a trim pool tool which works really well to keep the board’s intact. And we even gave my niece Natalie a little sweat equity in her new room.
The next we needed to check the floor to see if it was flat enough for the flooring install. We used a long bubble level to span across different areas and look for any dips or humps all right. So we check the level on the floor and what we found is right here. We have a nice dip and you don’t want that, because that’s gon na mean that the floor is gon na translate and you might have some uneven gaps or worse case some clicking when you step on it, because there’s a gap between a hit in the subfloor And when you step on it, it goes down to fix the dip in the floor. We use thin set that Jason had left over from a tile job.
The floor patch is a better product to use here. So, if you’re buying a fresh bag go ahead and grab that instead, you can feather it out a lot easier and we laid down the thin set and pulled a strip of wood across it to level it off, though, that piece didn’t work very well. So this turned out to be a lot bigger. As you can see, we started here and we realized that the dip kind of extended all the way out and the problem was is. I was using this small screed which wasn’t fully going over the dip.
So, as we went out, we saw it was larger and larger. With the floor totally prepped, we could start install and since we were starting at the corner, where the door is we needed to set up our transition now we’re using a tea molding transition that snaps into a metal channel. I mark the: U channel to fit the doorway and Jason cut it to size with a hacksaw. While I cut the carpet and padding back out of the way there were some tack strips that went into the hallway, so we used the multi-tool to cut those off and then I could install the u-channel, but not before an unannounced inspection by copper. Apparently, things look good, so I set the channel in place and screwed it down to the subfloor, and this leads us to mistake: number four, not undercutting the door jambs and trim, and with u channel in place, I could tell how far I needed to cut the Trim down, I used the multi-tool and a piece of scrap flooring to cut it flush.
If you don’t undercut the trim, you’ll have to scribe the flooring around that trim and use caulk to cover any gaps that you might have. This is not gon na look good and it’s gon na stick out like a sore thumb, starting in the left corner of the longest wall near the door is a good rule of thumb, but with four foot playing. So you don’t want to end the row with less than an eight inch piece, and you can avoid this by adjusting your starting point now. Here’S a quick example using our room. The length of the first row is one hundred and forty one and a half inches in dividing that by our plank length of forty seven and five eighths of an inch shows.
We could fit just under three boards in that row. But what if that row was a hundred and forty five inches? Well then, we’d be left with a tiny piece at the end and to fix that we could cut the first plank shorter, so cutting ten inches off the first one would extend the last one by the same ten inches. So that’s how you can avoid small pieces at the end of any row and we vacuum the floor to remove any dust and debris and then started laying the first row, the board, snap and lock together and with a few strikes of a rubber mallet. The joint is locked third board in the row did need to be cut just like we calculated earlier and instead of measuring for the cut it’s easier to flip the board around and push the end against the spacer on the wall, then you can mark right where That cut should be just remember to flip the board in for in so that you don’t cut off the wrong side.
Now we’re using Jason’s miter saw for all the straight full width cuts. He did have to flip the board over though, because the capacity wasn’t large enough for these plants, but you might be thinking hey, I don’t have a fancy miter saw, so I can’t do this. Well, that is mistake. Number six, the beauty of vinyl flooring is, it can be cut with a wide variety of inexpensive tools. In my first video on installing vinyl plank flooring in my laundry room, I showed how planks can be cut to size by scoring with utility knife and snapping them along.
The line under cutting door trim can also be done with a handsaw versus a multi-tool and that same saw or a handsaw can be used to cut the vinyl as well. So don’t let the lack of fancy tools be the reason to hold you back from this. Now the first row assembled, we slid it up against the wall in one piece against some quarter-inch shims that we cut from damaged planks, but we did have some unevenness on that wall that we needed to deal with. We added some plastic adjustable shims that come in the flooring, install kit that we were using to deal with that uneven wall only below to this install kit, as well as do the exact flooring that I’m using and all the tools for this job, including the inexpensive Options for the second row, we cut a board in half to start off which would leave us. A nice stagger that first row at this point the planks start locking into one another along both the long edge and the short edge.
I find it easiest to lay in the long edge first and securely, lock it in place using a mallet and tapping block, then the short edge can be locked in with a mallet, and some taps on the end of the plank will close up any gaps. You have, and we worked our way onto the third and fourth row – staggering: the seams of the first planks by at least eight inches and you’ll notice. I wasn’t completing full rows at this point because we wanted to deal with the corner by the door first and make sure there weren’t any issues there and the fifth row needed to be notched to fit around that corner using a rafter square. We measured and marked for the cut and thankfully that board that we cut had a good sized strip that would go to the wall and we just cut it with a jigsaw. Now, if there was a thin sliver on that board, we may have had to cut the first row to adjust to make sure we didn’t have any issues on installing the next rows.
After that, we started filling in the rows that we left open, but that led to mistake number seven, which I didn’t even realize. I’D already made all right, just as we got this in, I realized I actually messed up on the layout of this first one. So here’s what’s gon na happen if we put a full piece down here, it would come to right about here and what you want to do. If you’re gon na come into a corner like this, you really want an entire piece to go between the corner and the wall, because that way, it’s gon na have a lot of structure, so we’re gon na actually take this out and you can see how easy It is to actually take it out and if you have a problem, you can just remove it and move on and take care of your mistake. We separated the board’s row by row until we got to the one with that far corner.
We installed a smaller plank at the front of the row and this effectively pushed the rest of the road down and left us with a nearly full length piece. At the end, after cutting that board to length, we could lay out from the notch corner and Jason cut it out with a jigsaw. Yet, as he installs the piece you can see how that small off cut is now supported by the full length of the board. This is much better than a small floating piece tied in. At the end, we laid down a couple more rows using the offcuts at the end of one row to start the next one.
This does a great job at getting your stagger right and, through this whole install. We did our best to avoid mistake, number eight, which is laying similar pattern next to each other. Instead of working straight out of the boxes, we unpacked the flooring in a space near the bedroom, we stacked it into eight different piles one for each different pattern and as we install the floor, we just kept rotating through the different stacks to try and keep similar Patterns at least one board, apart by keeping this in mind, will help you avoid a potential eyesore later we worked our way across the room until we hit the closet door, and this was fairly easy to work around, though we just measured where that bump out happened To be and cut a u notch in a plank and slid it in place, and now we could finally get into a groove and lay more than two rows before hitting an issue that we had to work around. And while we’re doing this, let’s talk about today’s sponsor skill share skill share is an online learning platform where you can learn from thousands of classes covering a wide range of creative and entrepreneurial skills. A premium membership gives you access to all these classes, which you can use to build.
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A month and to see if it’s right for you skill share is offering my viewers, a two month free trial, just head to the link in the description to check it out and see what they have to offer to help. You learn thanks Skillshare. Now, as we got to the far wall, we ran into an air vent in the floor and a mistake. Number nine and this vent fell right in the middle of the width of our board, which was great if it had have overlapped a long edge. We really couldn’t have helped that, but what we really want to do here is adjust where it hits along the length of the board, so we cut and installed a plank before the vent, so that we’d have at least eight inches before the vent.
When we started that new plank, we used a carpenter square in a right angle to transfer the location of the vent where we needed to cut on the board. Keeping the cutout away from that short edge helps keep the integrity of the locking system intact, and it also just looks better my opinion. We made the cut out using the multi-tool again. This could also be done by drilling a starter hole and using a jigsaw or a pull saw after the cut the vent fit right in place and Jason actually replaced that later, with a nice nickel finished cover for the final row of this bump out. We need to cut the planks down to some narrow strips to fit.
We did this using the jigsaw again riding up against a t-square that we had clamped down at the board. You could also cut this with a handsaw, a circular saw or best. Yet a table saw if you have it, we laid the pieces in and had to use a pull bar to pull them tight. Now this is the same bar. You’Ve been seeing us used at the end of the road to pull those boards tight as well.
We ran those skinny strips up to the end of the bump-out and then we transition back to full width pieces to finish up the room now Jason hammered in those last rows and it was looking really good and we went back to the doorway and installed the Transition strip into the channel now, even though the final plank was a little bit lower than the carpet in the hallway. The transition worked perfectly and held it tight in that, u Channel the biggest question I got from my last video was why I didn’t use any underlayment. Just like I didn’t hear. Well, that’s mistake. Number 10.
This product has the underlayment built onto the back, and it doesn’t require an extra barrier. It actually voids the warranty if you do use one so follow your manufacturers recommendations and do what they say versus listening to people. In the comments now, Jason is going to be replacing the baseboards like I mentioned earlier, but here’s a look at how nice it’s gon na look not using the cord around and we only had one step left. The final inspection everybody came in to check out the new floor and they loved it, especially Natalie in coming videos. I got a playlist queued up for you right there.
I’Ve done some other installs. You might like you’re not subscribed to the channel, go ahead and do that if I earned it and until next time out there and build something else. Well, that’s