Vinyl flooring is long-lasting, budget-friendly, and easy to install. It comes in a variety of patterns and colors to fit virtually any decor style. In fact, vinyl flooring works great, even on uneven surfaces.
You can install a vinyl plank over a slightly uneven floor. However, for vinyl flooring installation, you need to ensure that your subfloor is clean and level. This may involve the use of a sanding or self-leveling compound. But for highly uneven surfaces, you can install laminate flooring.
While laminate is flexible, it may disclose the imperfections in the floor. If you want to know how to install a vinyl plank over an uneven floor, read on.
Can You Install a Vinyl Plank Over an Uneven Floor?
If your floor is a little bit uneven, you can use a vinyl plank for complete coverage. Vinyl planks are tough and sturdy that will make your floor look more even than it really is. However, if your floor is highly uneven, you should use laminate tiles or sheets.
Should You Install a Vinyl Plank Over an Uneven Floor?
Vinyl flooring comes in tiles and sheets and works great on uneven floors. What’s more, you can easily install a vinyl plank over the uneven surface. However, you need to make sure that the subfloor is smooth prior to installation.
Besides vinyl, other flooring options for uneven floors are linoleum, carpet, and hardwood floors.
A carpet is an ideal material for uneven flooring. It can be buckled, folded, bent, and rolled any way you want. The carpet will conform to the shape of your ground. In fact, plush carpets can create a more even look by concealing the irregularities in your floor.
Linoleum is identical to vinyl, but it is hard to cut. It is available in tiles as well as sheets and works great on uneven surfaces. While linoleum is vulnerable to water damage if installed incorrectly, vinyl is resistant to water.
How to Install a Vinyl Plank Over an Uneven Floor
Vinyl plank flooring, also called luxury vinyl, is one of the easiest floors to install. In this section, you will learn how to install a vinyl plank over your uneven floor. Here are the tools and equipment required to install vinyl flooring:
- Tapping block
- Rubber mallet
- Utility knife
- Measuring tape
Sand or Level Any Deformities
If you are installing vinyl planks over a concrete subfloor, you first need to level or sand any deformities. It means you have to sand down high spots in the concrete or fill in low spots with a self-leveling compound. Also, you should check for subfloor deformities with a level or straight pipe.
Self-leveling compounds are cement-based products that are easy to use and prepare. You can purchase these compounds online or in any store.
You should pour the floor leveler onto the concrete subfloor and use a trowel to smooth it out. Dry the levelers for one day before installing vinyl planks over it.
Remove All Baseboards
Before you start installing the vinyl flooring, you should remove door case moldings, base shoe moldings, and all baseboards and set them aside.
Removing door case molding produces a cleaner installation. If you have protrusions that you cannot remove, you can cut the planks to fit around these protrusions.
Clean the Debris and Dust
Debris and dust can stop vinyl plank flooring from properly clicking together. They can also cause bonding problems when using adhesives.
Hence, clean your subfloor as much as possible before installing vinyl plank flooring. Sweep or vacuum any dust particles and mop if required.
If you are installing vinyl planks, determine your flooring’s direction, and then determine the width of your room and divide by the vinyl plank width. This will tell you how many vinyl planks you can fit across your room.
You should never cut down the last row of vinyl plank flooring past half its initial width. However, you can cut the first row of vinyl planks a little bit smaller to allow the last row of vinyl planks to be a little bit wider.
Install Tongue and Groove Vinyl Flooring
Here is how to install vinyl planks that use a tongue and groove locking mechanism. Tongue and groove installation does not need adhesives and produces a floating floor.
Plan Your Pattern
Vinyl flooring can be installed in several patterns. Choose the pattern you want to use for your vinyl flooring and cut the flooring pieces to create the pattern requirements.
In addition to this, you should mix up the vinyl planks from different boxes evenly to create a uniform look.
Cut the Vinyl Planks
You can cut vinyl planks in many ways, depending on the plank thickness and tools. Here are some of the tools you can use to cut the planks:
- Circular saw: A circular saw is a perfect tool for cutting vinyl planks. Use a fine circular saw blade and work slowly to avoid melting vinyl plank.
- Tile cutter: Apart from a circular saw, you can also use a tile cutter to cut planks. Measure and mark the place where you will make the cut. Now pull the lever on the tile cutter to make the cut. You can rent or purchase this tool from a hardware store.
- T-square: Score a straight line using a T-square. Then, use a utility knife to score the plank on the surface side. Now bend the vinyl plank along the scoreline to break it in half.
Install Vinyl Plank Flooring
- Place the first vinyl plank in the corner of your room, starting from the left. Use carpenter shims or spacers to make a 3/8” expansion gap between the walls and the vinyl flooring.
- You need to make sure that the groove of one vinyl plank fits into the tongue of the other vinyl plank securely.
- Interlock the groove and tongue connectors of the vinyl planks and align the seams to finish the first row of planks.
- Carry on laying the vinyl flooring. Tap the vinyl planks and lock them in place using the rubber mallet and tapping block.
- If there is room between your wall and the final plank on a row that cannot fit one whole plank, you should measure the length of this space. Then, you should mark and cut the next vinyl plank appropriately so that it would adjust in the remaining space of the row. You can cut planks with a hand saw, circular saw, or table saw.
- Start your next row with the leftover cut ends. It is important to note that the cut ends should be 6 inches (15.24 cm) long.
- Make sure that the vinyl plank interlocks correctly by placing it into the previous row at an angle.
- Go on moving down the room, making sure that the seams are fit tight, and vinyl planks are interlocked.
- Remember to put spacers every few feet around the vinyl floor’s edges. When the installation of vinyl flooring is finished, you should remove these spacers.
Reinstall the Baseboards
The last thing that you need to do is reinstall the baseboards. When finished installing the vinyl plank, you can reinstall the baseboards. Install your finishing molds with the help of a brad nailer. You can also reinstall any appliances and doors.
Vinyl flooring is affordable, durable, and waterproof. On top of that, it is easy to install. You can easily lay the vinyl flooring on slightly uneven surfaces. However, you have to examine the floor’s condition on which you want to lay the plank.
Also, prior to installation, you need to ensure that your subfloor is in good condition. It should be clean, smooth, and free of dust. However, laminate flooring works perfectly well on highly uneven floors.