January 4, 2024

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A Complete Guide to Laying Vinyl Flooring

Nothing beats vinyl flooring for a quick-fix home décor makeover. Laying vinyl flooring transforms kitchens, living rooms, entrance halls, home offices and even bathrooms. Anywhere in fact where there is heavy foot traffic and where good looks and practical performance matters.

And one of the best things about laying vinyl flooring is that you can do it yourself. Even the least savvy DIY amateur can achieve professional results that will stand the test of time. Nowadays manufacturers offer fool-proof systems that put all the aesthetic innovations and improvements of recent years within reach.

Through this article, we will provide you with both ideas and a step-by-step guide to laying vinyl flooring in different areas of your home. We guarantee that you’ll be both surprised and inspired to reimagine your flooring throughout the home.

Wood effect living flooring by Porcelanosa
Vinyl flooring Linkfloor Kingdom Persia

Linkfloor Kingdom Persia



Why Vinyl Flooring

One of the more interesting and versatile advances in home décor is vinyl flooring which nowadays has little in common with the basic vinyl roll product of generations gone by. Benefiting from advances in material technology and design aesthetics, luxury vinyl click flooring for instance looks a million dollars and is easy-peasy to install. The sheer number of tactile finishes and convincing imitations of natural materials like timber, stone and organic textiles is jaw-dropping.


New Generation Vinyl Flooring & Laying Systems

The new generation vinyl floor is available in planks and tiles, some of which are suitable for wall cladding. Luxury Vinyl Flooring or LVT presents numerous advantages over more traditional flooring options both from a practical and aesthetic point of view. Vinyl flooring is hard-wearing, resistant to moisture, easy to install as well as easy to maintain. Find out more about LVT flooring pros and cons by clicking here.

There are four main ways of laying vinyl flooring:

1. Click & Lock Vinyl Flooring

The system features a tongue-and-groove clip mechanism, planks or tiles connect with one another without the need for adhesive. The lock system allows us to install vinyl flooring without any special tools and is just as easy to remove. The flooring stays in place thanks to the pressure exerted between boards. However, the system is not waterproof and individual planks cannot be removed independently.

2. Drop Lock Vinyl Flooring

Similar to the Click & Lock system, where the individual planks or tiles connect together lengthwise and butt together at the ends. No need for adhesive making it just as easy to install and remove.

3. Glue-down Vinyl Flooring

This approach is better suited to rolls of textured vinyl or butt-jointed planks. The vinyl is adhered directly to the sub-floor providing a more soundproof and durable flooring. Recommended for areas with high foot traffic where wear and tear is a consideration.

4. Loose Lay Vinyl Flooring

The planks or tiles are not attached directly to the subfloor. Instead, they are placed over a foam underlay or membrane. Also known as the floating system because the vinyl sits on the foam and is more comfortable underfoot. Loose-lay can be subject to temperature and humidity differentials. In addition, we recommend adding soundproofing for Luxury Vinyl in more intensively used areas of the home, such as living rooms.


Textil vinyl flooring in a reading corner by Porcelanosa

Linkfloor Roll Contract Cotton 200×1000 (Available in-store)

Vinyl Flooring Installation

Like any DIY job in the home, success depends upon the correct preparatory work. The following installation guide is therefore divided between preparation and laying vinyl flooring. We include a short checklist of the tools and equipment you’ll need to have on hand before commencing the project.

Preparation before laying vinyl flooring

Whether it is a wood effect vinyl floor or a textile-look vinyl, the principles of laying vinyl flooring are the same. Preparation is the most important step, part of which is ensuring that the vinyl has been stored in the space where it is to be laid for a minimum of 24 hours.

  • Firstly, measure the area to be covered and allow an extra 10% to cover accidents or any future replacement repairs.
  • Remove as much furniture as possible including fridges and ovens from kitchens etc. as well as skirting boards and trims along the bottom edges of walls.
  • Vinyl can cover any surface like cement or ceramic tiles as long as it’s rigid, flat and smooth. But not carpet. Make sure to remove any staples and underlay completely.
  • If any columns or boxed-out areas affect the perimeter walls, make a paper template to help cut the vinyl more accurately.
  • Depending on the individual floor, a plywood underlay might be required to smooth out any uneven surfaces. Use a suitable grade of plywood for vinyl, ask your provider for advice.
  • Leave the cut plywood underlay in situ overnight or preferably for 24 hours to acclimatise.
  • Install the underlay with a staple gun, not screws or nails. Be generous with the fixings and make sure there are no bumps.
  • Finally, use a sander to smooth down any bumps and fill any gaps between the underlay with a levelling compound.


Wood effect vinyl flooring in a dining room by Porcelanosa

Laying Vinyl Flooring

  • Decide on the direction you want the vinyl planks to run. That might be parallel to existing planks in an adjoining room or the direction that matches the axis of the room.
  • If using a glue-down vinyl apply the proprietary flooring adhesive with a notched trowel. For tiles and planks work from one corner of the room and allow a few minutes for the adhesive to become tacky before laying the planks in place. Keep a damp cloth on hand to wipe off excess adhesive.
  • For the loose-lay approach, tape the first strip of foam underlay in place and then overlap each subsequent strip over the previous one.
  • Use 1 cm thick spacers around the entire perimeter of the space to create an even gap between the tiles and the wall.
  • Leave a minimum 30 cm overlap between alternative rows of vinyl tiles or planks.
  • Use a nylon block and hammer a gentle tapping motion to ensure a snug fit between the planks or tiles.
  • Wait for several hours or preferably overnight before replacing previously removed skirting boards and trim. For bathrooms caulk the joint between the skirting boards and the vinyl flooring for extra protection.
  • Finally, after the installation is complete mop the entire floor with an Intensive Cleaner Active.

Note: Vinyl Flooring and Substrate

Vinyl flooring can be laid directly on wood or concrete, providing that the surface is thoroughly dry. It is even possible to lay certain types of vinyl flooring directly over ceramic tiles, the WPC type for example. However, any unevenness or gaps must be filled to achieve a flat and even surface. Soundproof layers can be added if required.

Required Tools for Laying Vinyl Flooring

You will not require specialist tools for laying vinyl flooring. Mostly all you’ll need are items you will have around the house anyway. Before starting, have the following tools at the ready;

  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • cutter
  • adhesive tape
  • spirit level
  • saw
  • spacers
  • nylon block
  • hammer

To cut the tiles or planks as required we recommend a mechanical saw or hand saw will do. There’s no need to invest in a mechanical saw if you are only planning the odd DIY job around the house. The final results are indistinguishable.


Wood effect vinyl flooring in the bathroom by Porcelanosa

Linkfloor Realm Persia 9.8X58.8

Laying Vinyl Flooring in the Bathroom

Vinyl flooring is particularly suitable for humid environments, as it is easy to clean and resistant to impact. In terms of how to lay vinyl flooring around a toilet, create a paper or cardboard template of the toilet base and, after laying the complete tiles around it, use the template to cut the remaining tiles to size. This method works for laying vinyl around the WHB pedestal and any other bathroom artefacts.

Wood effect vinyl flooring in a kitchen by Porcelanosa
Vinyl flooring Realm Iberia by Porcelanosa

Linkfloor Realm Iberia




Laying Vinyl Flooring in the Kitchen  

Another great advantage of vinyl flooring is its resistance to heavy foot traffic, which makes it an excellent choice for kitchens. Especially around the triangulated work area which is subject to most wear and tear in the kitchen.

To begin the installation, remove the skirting trim and lay the planks up to the metal support legs of the kitchen cabinets and appliances. Start laying the tiles or planks from the wall furthest from the entrance door in the same direction as the main light source.

The modern vinyl floor can be easily cleaned with standard cleaning products. In addition, it’s warmer underfoot than ceramic or natural stone tiles.

For a better visual understanding, we recommend you watch our comprehensive step-by-step vinyl flooring installation guide video. Follow each step to achieve a professional result and a floor that will reward you with years of use. Should any queries arise, feel free to drop by your nearest Porcelanosa showroom. Our professional staff is readily available to assist you; simply schedule an appointment for personalised consultation.


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