After falling in love with our wide plank wood floors upstairs we originally planned to put in the same flooring on the bottom level of our house, but with a concrete foundation putting in wood meant building out a sub-floor. We quickly realized our budget and schedule needed a different solution. I couldn’t find a laminate I loved. So we tried something new and used vinyl instead!
Vinyl planks are the perfect choice for my studio area and our entire downstairs (which includes our guest room) since it can handle just about anything. Moisture isn’t an issue, you can basically hose the floor down and it still looks great. Unlike our gorgeous pine above it doesn’t scratch. The best part is – since there are no clicks or grooves so it can be laid down easily in any pattern imaginable. We chose herringbone, of course. I’m going to call it my dream floor take 2!
DIY Vinyl Plank Flooring
- The first and craziest step to laying the vinyl flooring down is to make sure the entire room area is well prepped. We spent more time prepping the floor then actually laying it. Because the vinyl is so thin there cannot be any bumps, nail heads, or high spots. The base floor must be completely level and clean.
- Then comes the fun part – the glue! I found this awesome tutorial video of how to lay the glue which was really helpful and Matt went to town. Our glue took about 6 hours to go from wet to the right amount of tacky so Matt would lay a bunch of it at night and in the morning put the flooring down.
- We chose a herringbone pattern for the vinyl flooring and found this tutorial (scroll to page 13 for the illustration) that was super helpful on how to lay down herringbone flooring correctly. It taught us to start at the center of the room with a perfect square and then work on laying it outwards. Following this process was great because it helped to save all the cuts for the outside of the flooring (the sides that will be covered with baseboards anyway). Once the glue was down the flooring was super easy to put in place.
- My favorite part was that after laying the floor and using a little lacquer thinner to get up any leftover glue – it was done! There was no curing time, no sanding, finishing etc.
I was super nervous about using this flooring option since it seemed so out of the box (I mean it’s basically like saying I’m going to make my floor out of records!). BuildDirect sends up to 5 free samples so we were able to play with a few different options and hold them in real life before committing to one. Being able to compare the products and review them side by side was really helpful. I’ve been surprised at how much being able to read reviews has changed our decision making process on everything at the house. It’s so much better than staring at random boxes in the store hoping we make the right decision.
Would you ever try vinyl on the floor? There is a huge selection to choose from and it is much more affordable than wood, especially when dealing with a concrete sub-floor and basement moisture situation.
(Photography ©A Subtle Revelry by Erin Holland).