Vinyl Installation Basics

Vinyl Installation Basics

Things to consider in preparation of your installation

You should purchase at least five percent extra vinyl planks than your area’s square footage to account for any border tiles you might form, any damages, mis-cuts, or miscalculations. We actually recommend 10%.

Like wood and laminate, vinyl must acclimate to the room. It is wise to open your boxes of flooring and keep them in the room where they will go down for at least 24 hours prior to starting the installation. Your instructions will give specifics there.

The Three Installations:

Glue Down

This method may be used with all types of vinyl flooring. It will require adhesive specially made for the type of materials used to make your flooring. Most of the time, you will want to use adhesive made by the manufacturer of the flooring itself. If Armstrong made the floor, Armstrong probably has the appropriate glue. Use the right glue.


Only tiles and planks can be installed this way, using a peel and stick system.

Floating Floor

So long as they are designed for it, vinyl floors can be installed as floating floors, in which they are not glued down, but just laid in place, with either a locking mechanism or the structure and general friction keeping the floor stable. There may be a form of tape used along the edges of the install, and these floors are often made with an extra fiberglass backing to give stiffness and avoid bubbling.

With all three methods of installation, you can lay your floor over any type of subfloor, whether wood or concrete, tile or old vinyl, as long as the floor is appropriately flat. The exception is going directly over a concrete slab in a basement prone to moisture

Can you do it yourself?

We obviously can’t give you a hard yes or no, but we can offer our perspective.

Sheet Vinyl

We strongly advise you to hire professionals for sheet vinyl. CAN it be done by the average homeowner? Well, taking the question technically, … sure. Should it be? We think not.

Glue Down Installs

Honestly? we’re 50-50 here. Take a look at our video. It’s about 8 minutes long. If you watch that, and think you can do this, then you may just be right! Usually the adhesives made today are deliberately concocted out of safe chemicals. If you read the instructions and warnings, you should have a very good sense of how safe you will be, and whether this is a job for you. But if you look at our video and see instead a situation fraught with frustration and danger, then you should probably hire someone. It’s really not that complex of a process, but it can be involving, and it uses skills that may not come naturally to those of us who do not do carpentry or construction. Basically this one is your call, and if you choose thoughtfully, you will probably be right.

Self-Adhesive “peel-and-stick”

Most likely you can do this. It’s designed for the do-it-yourself installer; but look at the instructions first. If the process seems complex, with the staggering of the planks, or ordering of the tiles, or if you are worried about mis-sticking a piece here or there, then go ahead and bring in help. You will be happier with your floor being perfect than you would be embarrassed by having to ask for help.

Floating Floors

Unless you just don’t want to be involved in the installation at all, it is very much worth the savings to read the instructions, watch our videos – or any of the other myriad of installation videos available on the web – get properly prepared and make a day project out of it. Many of our customers who install these themselves write us back with a real sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Save the cash and buy yourself that coffee table, tv or the comfy mattress you’ve been wanting. But, if construction of all types is really just not your thing, then you should have no problem finding someone to do this for you.


Related Blog Posts, Tips and Video:

Tips and Video: Before, During and After Installing Vinyl Plank Floors

Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring as a Floating Floor

Introducing (and Installing) Loose Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring

Installing Glue Down Vinyl Flooring

Installing with a Cat’s Favorite Peeing Corner in Mind

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David has written and made videos about flooring products and installation since 2011 at Floors To Your Home (.com), where he is also the PPC Manager, a Researcher, a Website & Marketing Strategy Team member, Videographer, Social Strategist, Photographer and all around Resource Jito. In my spare time I shoot and edit video, put together a podcast, explore film history, and mix music (as in ‘play with Beatles multi-tracks’). Connect with  W. David Lichty


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