DIY Loose Lay Vinyl

DIY Guide to Loose Lay Vinyl

    What you will need:

  • Chalk Line:

    This handy tool is used to create accurate straight lines. It can be found in most stores selling home-improvement items for less than $20. Cheap and useful, it consists of a reel of string and removable chalk.

  • Utility Knife:

    Any razor-sharp knife intended for cutting thick materials with ease. Most knives of this kind can be purchased for $10 or less.

  • Double Sided Tape:

    Depending on the manufacturer you may require glue or tape. Most loose-lay tiles simply use a sturdy double-sided tape capable of an industrial strength bond.

  • Tape Measure

    Any tape-measure able to quickly check the measurement of large spaces. This may be used in conjunction with a carpenter's square (a large, L shaped ruler) for high linear accuracy.


  • Step 1:

    The first step in the journey to your new floor is to take up the old one. Any dust or debris left behind should be swept clean, to give your loose-lay vinyl a fresh start.

  • Step 2:

    Select and measure along the first wall and place marks (in pencil or chalk) 1/8” from the wall at either end.

  • Step 3:

    With a friend or loved one, pull the chalk line from one point to the other. While holding the string taught, snap the line by pulling up the line quickly and releasing it. The result should be a straight line of chalk that runs the length of the wall, 1/8” from the wall. This line will serve as the baseline for your tape, and later, your first rows of tile. If interested, you may check the line for evenness using a carpenter’s square.

  • Step 4:

    Place double-sided tape along the chalk line created in Step 3. Be sure to lay the tape evenly to avoid bubbling or defects in placement.

  • Step 5:

    If you will be using planks or rectangular tiles, make any decisions needed regarding the direction of the tiles. This step is not required for square tiles, unless you plan to use different colors to create a specific pattern.

  • Step 6:

    Start laying down your tile! Starting from the starting wall and moving outward, lay down your tile tightly against its neighbors. Continue until your room is finished!

Underlayment: Use It or Lose It?

If you are new to vinyl, you are probably wondering: what is underlayment? Underlayment, as the name suggests, is a layer of material placed between your new floor and the subfloor (the concrete or existing structure on which the floor will reside). This additional coverage often helps to create an even footing for a floor and acts as a moisture barrier. Moisture often presents a problem when working with new concrete. Another benefit of this bonus layer is noise reduction. Vinyl placed in upper-level rooms can use the assistance of underlayment' s noise-reducing properties by keeping anyone living or working below them happy and noise-free.

DIY Pro-Tips for the Newbie

Experience comes with time, and time is at a premium. Here are a few tips to help you along the way to your finished floors:

Using planks or rectangles? Find your beginning.

Before you start, think about the visual you wish to create. How do you want the lines to flow? Place the planks parallel to the longest wall for to celebrate an elongated look that invites entrance to your room-or don' t. It is your space! Vertical, diagonal, or horizontal-look carries its own message and appeal. But, you won' t achieve it without a plan.

To hug the edges, cut close and caulk!

Moving around the corners and edging of the room will require a lot of patience. Remember to measure twice, and cut once. Each cut should fit snuggly around the intended area. Fill any gaps with an appropriately colored caulk.

What they don' t see won' t hurt them - don' t put too much time into closets!

Perfection is a wonderful, lofty goal for any DIY project. But perfection takes effort and time. Practice in the closet and apply your best craftsmanship to the spaces people will actually see!

Random sample 5 boxes for fresh looks.

Thanks to digital printing techniques, wood-look vinyl planks are more varied than they have ever been. Still, for the most authentic wood visuals, it is best to pull planks from several boxes as you lay out your flooring. This will allow for the most natural-looking variation between planks.

Charlene' s Tips for Better Flooring through Beverages:

Installing floors takes patience. Tension is bound to follow any new project. Husbands and wives juggling daily duties and DIY may encounter a little extra friction while attempting to complete a home improvement project-even an easy one. What better to relieve the anxiety than a subtle cocktail to smooth your own edges as you trim those corners? I personally endorse the aptly named

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