I previously wrote about floating vinyl plank flooring as a potential way landlords could reduce their long-term flooring expenses but I didn’t think I’d need to take my own advice so soon.
Over the weekend, I installed Home Depot’s Allure vinyl plank directly over the linoleum in my rental’s bath and kitchen. It costs $1.79 per square foot and the installation was a no-brainer. This is an awesome DIY project for a frugal landlord.
In preparation for the install, I watch a couple of instructional videos and read (okay, well skimmed) the instructions. You can do that too, but let me share some tips that I didn’t come across.
Non-Obvious Tips for Installing Floating Vinyl Plank Flooring
1. Wear a pair of gloves. You’ll use a utility knife to cut some planks, especially if you chose a staggered pattern. In the process, you’ll need to score the planks before snapping them or cut the adhesive backing to make a smoother transition. If you get careless, like I did, you’re going to walk away with some cuts. Use an ounce of prevention and save your fingers!
2. Always work off the manufactured edge. When I scored and cut the planks, the edges looked pretty good. But even if I worked hard to perfect my edges, they still caused a larger than desired gap. So, the walk away lesson is to always find a way to use the manufacturer’s edges. You’ll be even happier with the final look.
3. Use a small linoleum roller. I grumbled about paying $20 for this tool but it sure came in handy when it was time to roll out a bump and ensure a good bond. So don’t skimp on the roller.
4. Start in the least noticeable area. Your technique will improve with practice so give yourself a practice area. Next time I’ll start in the area where the refrigerator will sit and refresh my techniques.
I hope these tips are helpful. Personally I done paying for professional linoleum installations; I’m please with the work I can do myself. I’m going with floating vinyl every chance I get.
Let me know about your experience. What’s your #1 tip?
OK – It’s two years later
I’m noticing some shrink cracks and other people are reporting shrinkage as well.
So I consulted with Brad 2000, who is very active on the Mr. Landlord Forum. Brad recommend that I cut a spare piece about 8-inches long and splice it in. I’ll document the before and after results.
Also, I ran into a former Home Depot installer who gave me the power tip to open the box while the planks are acclimating. That will allow them to shrink under normal pressure.