What's in a Floor?

4 Tips For Installing Engineered Vinyl Plank Flooring

Engineered vinyl plank flooring (EVP) is a popular choice among contractors and homeowners due to its affordable cost and easy installation. With the material being waterproof and an appearance similar to natural wood, it makes it fit into practically any room of the home. If you're ready to move forward with EVP flooring in your home, here are some helpful tips for installing it.

Prepare The Subfloor

The first step is to make sure that the subfloor is level and clear of any debris on top of it. This is because debris can cause unevenness in the subfloor and cause bumps to show in the flooring material. It not only makes the flooring uncomfortable to walk on, but it will warp the EVP material over time as repeated foot traffic goes through the area. While debris is easy to remove, dips in the subfloor need to be corrected with self-leveling concrete. 

Acclimate The Flooring

It is crucial that you let the flooring material acclimate to your home before the installation. This is because wood can change shape based on the humidity of the space it is in, which will cause the material to slightly shrink or expand. Chances are that the place you purchased the EVP flooring material from is different from your home, so you need to simply unbox the material and let it sit in your home for a few days.

The problems that arise by not letting the flooring acclimate will show up several days after the installation. If the floorboards shrink, you'll notice small gaps between the boards where they were once tight together. If the flooring expands, then the boards may have no place to go and end up buckling, which will cause the floor to become uneven. 

Create A Starting Straight Edge

You'll want to ensure that you install the first row of vinyl plank flooring with a straight edge, with a small gap around the walls that will be covered with molding. The best way to do this is to snap a chalk line across the entire room to give you that straight edge that you need. This will prevent your floorboards from starting at odd angles which will cause your flooring to be uneven at the opposite end of the room.

Offset Each Row Of Flooring Material

You'll want to start each row by slightly offsetting the flooring material so that all the seams do not line up. A good way to do this is to cut a board so that it has a ⅓ and ⅔ length section. Start the first row with an entire floorboard, the second row with the ⅓ piece, and the third row with the ⅔ piece. Then repeat this process across the entire floor to create a uniform look. 

Contact a company like Gene's Floor Covering II to learn more.