Installing an adhesive floating vinyl floor is easier than laying sheet vinyl (Linoleum) and creates a beautiful strong floor.
The product demonstrated is TrafficMaster’s “Allure” sold by Home Depot.
See the slide show for step-by-step instructions in a real world application.
Floor preparation is critical. Remove all bumps, nail heads, protrusions, staples, dirt, debris, etc. Make sure it is sound and smooth. Clean and vacuum using a canister or shop vac. The brush attachment works well. Stop and remove the brush often to vacuum out debris caught in the bristles.
Vacuum the corners
Clean the entire floor, even if you are only planning to work on a portion in this session. Otherwise dirt will be transferred into your work area. Use the crevice tool to get the corners and edges.
One family member was set to install floor, but another got anxious and dumped out a box to look at the planks and play around with them. They did not clean the floor first. The vinyl and adhesive was quickly covered with dirt and cat hair. To compound their error, they removed all the slip sheets (which separate each piece) and left the planks in a random pile. The installer arrived to find a dirty mess of 16 planks stuck together.
Store the product in the space for at least 24 hours prior to installation, but do not remove the tile. This allows the vinyl to adjust to the room temperature and humidity.
The wall is never straight!
Exterior walls and interior partitions are never perfectly straight. Start with a straight line. Do not simply align with any wall.
Determine how the tile will end up on the opposite side of the room. These pieces are 6″ wide. Measure and be sure that the last row will be wide enough. A 1″ final strip is unacceptable.
Cut down the entire first row if necessary so that both the first and last rows will be a half width or wider.
Snap a chalk line
Drive a temporary nail at the edge of the first row. Snap a straight line and follow it closely with the installation. If the first row is set properly, the rest of the tiles will align.
Keep checking the base floor
Be on constant vigil for irregularities. Just before the first plank was installed, another staple was found. Remove all such conditions as they may eventually telegraph their presence through the tile.
Cut off the first adhesive tabs
The first piece in the corner must have its downward facing adhesive tabs cut off. These will have no support, so they must be removed.
Use a cork-backed steel rule and a sharp utility knife. Change blades often. There is no need to struggle with a dull edge.
Snap off the tab
After scoring the plank, carefully bend at the cut line. It should snap freely. It is somewhat similar to cutting glass. Work carefully and methodically and you will soon be quickly making accurate cuts.
Remove the tab
Break the tab off. There should be no need for additional scoring, which comes with the risk of missing the initial line and resulting in ragged edges.
The first piece as seen from the bottom
Notice that there is about 1/8th inch of adhesive plank left on both sides. This is because it is easier to cut through the single layer of adhesive plank than the double layer main body.
Apply double stick tape
Since the planks are not tight to the wall, hold the first row in place with double stick tape. This is about the only location that should need tape. This is a “floating floor” that is not adhered to the base. It should be free to expand and contract with temperature fluctuations.
Install the first piece
Finally! You can install the first piece. The job will go faster now. Notice that the upward facing adhesive tabs are away from the corner.
Finish the first row
Cut the upper tab only off the remaining planks for the first row. Put down the double stick tape and place each plank tightly against the preceding one and along the chalk line. It is critical that there are no gaps or angles in the joints.
This is a wood look floor. All the planks are the same size. Cut the starter rows at one third and two thirds to create a pleasing and realistic look. Make square cuts, scoring and snapping the planks as before. Save all the pieces as they may be useful at the end of a run.
Here the pieces are laid out to show the typical pattern used. Repeat the full, two thirds, one third rhythm across the entire floor. Variations can be made if desired or necessary.
On the other end
If possible, use pieces cut from the short starters to finish the rows. Here the tiles are butted up to a wooden door threshold and held with double stick tape. This arrangement may work, but a fastener strip over the edge is recommended.
A good portion completed!
A section is now completed. That did not take too long, and the rest will go even faster. If you do stop for a while, cover the exposed adhesive strips with the slip sheets. Walk the floor. Step on every seam. You should find a strong, solid floor expected to last 25 years.