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Common Mistakes When Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring

Common Mistakes When Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring


  • Ensure a smooth, even subfloor to prevent vinyl plank buckling or damage.
  • Acclimate vinyl planks to room conditions for 48 hours to avoid buckling or warping.
  • Leave 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch gaps around room perimeters to prevent planks from buckling.
  • Stagger seams by at least six inches to enhance visual appeal and structural integrity.
  • Use a vinyl plank cutter, tapping block, and non-marring hammer for precise cuts and seamless installation.
Vinyl plank flooring or (LVP) has become an increasingly popular choice for homeowners due to its durability, water resistance, and ability to mimic the look of real hardwood at a fraction of the cost. However, installing vinyl plank flooring can be a challenging task, especially for beginners. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common mistakes made during vinyl plank flooring installation and provide tips on how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Ignoring Imperfections in the Subfloor

As highlighted by The WC Supply, one of the most common mistakes is ignoring imperfections in the subfloor. You may hope that a new layer of flooring will cover up any imperfections, but this is a recipe for disaster. Uneven surfaces, protruding nails, or cracks in the subfloor can cause the vinyl planks to buckle, separate, or become damaged over time.

To avoid this mistake, thoroughly inspect and prepare the subfloor before installation. Use a level to identify any high or low spots, and use a floor patch or self-leveling compound to create a smooth, even surface. Additionally, ensure that all nails or screws are properly countersunk below the surface to prevent them from transferring through the

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Mistake #2: Improper Acclimation

Vinyl plank flooring, like any other flooring material, needs to acclimate to the temperature and humidity levels of the room where it will be installed. Failing to do so can lead to issues such as buckling, gaps, or warping once the flooring is installed.

To avoid this mistake, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for acclimation. Typically, you’ll need to leave the vinyl planks in the room where they will be installed for at least 48 hours before installation, allowing them to adjust to the ambient condition

Mistake #3: Skipping Expansion Gaps

Another common mistake is failing to leave adequate expansion gaps around the perimeter of the room. Vinyl plank flooring expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity, and without proper expansion gaps, the planks can buckle or become damaged.
As a general rule, leave a 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch expansion gap around the perimeter of the room, as well as around any fixed objects, such as pipes or columns. Use spacers to maintain a consistent gap during installation, and ensure that the baseboards or trim are installed after the flooring to cover the expansion gaps.

Mistake #4: Improper Layout and Staggering

Proper layout and staggering of the vinyl planks are essential for achieving a visually appealing and structurally sound installation. Failing to stagger the planks correctly can result in an unsightly pattern or weaken the overall stability of the flooring. As recommended by Fix This Build That, avoid creating H-joints, where four corners of the planks meet in one spot, as this can weaken the overall structure of the floor. Additionally, stagger the seams by at least six inches from the previous row, creating a random pattern that enhances visual appeal while improving structural integrity.

Mistake #5: Using the Wrong Tools

While vinyl plank flooring installation may seem straightforward, using the wrong tools can make the process more difficult and potentially damage the planks. Investing in the right tools can save you time, effort, and frustration in the long run. As suggested by Fix This Build That ,consider investing in a vinyl plank cutter, a tapping block, and a non-marring hammer. These tools are designed specifically for vinyl plank flooring installation and can help you achieve clean, precise cuts and a seamless installation.

Avoid Costly Mistakes – Trust the Experts at Shop Save & Floor

Installing vinyl plank flooring can be a rewarding DIY project, but it’s essential to avoid common mistakes that can compromise the integrity and appearance of your new floors. At Shop Save & Floor, we understand the challenges and intricacies of vinyl plank flooring installation, and our team of experienced professionals is here to guide you every step of the way.

From precise measurements and subfloor preparation to expert guidance on material selection and installation techniques, we offer a comprehensive suite of services to ensure a seamless and stress-free experience. Trust the experts at Shop Save & Floor to deliver quality workmanship, exceptional customer service, and a beautiful, long-lasting vinyl plank floor that will transform your Phoenix home. Contact us today at (480) 818-3719 to schedule your free in-home consultation and experience the Shop Save & Floor difference.

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