A Step-By-Step Beginner’s Guide to Installing Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

Look no further! Our beginner-friendly guide will navigate you through the process of installing luxury vinyl plank flooring. This versatile and durable flooring material is an excellent choice for both homeowners and businesses, offering a plethora of benefits.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the importance of selecting a suitable luxury vinyl plank flooring option for your home.

We’ll also delve into the best methods for cutting your luxury planks and provide a comprehensive step-by-step installation guide.

So, whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a novice stepping into the world of home improvement, let’s embark on this flooring journey together.

Importance of Choosing the Right Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

4 Important Luxury Vinyl Plank Selection Factors

Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring is a top-tier choice for many, thanks to its array of benefits. This type of flooring is renowned for its durability, making it perfect for high-traffic areas in homes and businesses.

Its resistance to water and scratches also contributes to its longevity, ensuring the floor maintains its aesthetic appeal over time.

Additionally, luxury vinyl plank flooring offers a versatility of design that is hard to beat. It can mimic a variety of natural materials, including hardwood and stone, providing an elegant look without the high costs and maintenance associated with these materials.

This versatility makes it an excellent choice for those looking to elevate the aesthetics of their space without breaking the bank.

What’s more, luxury vinyl plank flooring is easy to install. The process, which involves interlocking the planks, doesn’t require any special tools or professional skills, making it an appealing option for those keen on undertaking home improvement projects themselves.

With the right tools and supplies, along with methodical planning, luxury vinyl plank flooring can be installed in a matter of hours.

When selecting the best vinyl plank flooring for your home, there are a few key aspects to consider.

4 LVP Selection Factors
4 LVP Selection Factors


If you’re installing in a high-traffic area, such as the living room, durability needs to be a top priority.

Luxury vinyl plank flooring is known for its robustness and ability to withstand heavy foot traffic, making it an ideal choice for such spaces.


Appearance is also crucial, as the aesthetic of your flooring can significantly impact the overall look and feel of the room it’s being installed in.

Vinyl plank flooring is available in a myriad of designs and colors, from authentic wood-look planks to more modern and sleek options. It’s important to choose a style that complements the existing decor and furniture.


Comfort is another factor that shouldn’t be overlooked. Given that the living room is a space where people often relax and spend time, the flooring should offer a comfortable underfoot feel. Luxury vinyl plank flooring offers a softer, more comfortable feel compared to traditional hard surface floors such as hardwood or tiles.


Lastly, consider the maintenance and cleaning requirements. If the room it’s going in is a common gathering place, spills and stains are inevitable. Therefore, selecting a vinyl plank option that is easy to clean and maintain, such as those with a protective wear layer, can save you time and effort in the long run.

What's the Best Direction to Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring?

When it comes to the installation of vinyl plank flooring, one of the key considerations is the direction in which the planks should be laid. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, certain factors can help determine the most visually pleasing and structurally sound direction for your specific space.

These include the natural and electrical light sources, the shape of the room, any special features, and most importantly, your personal preference.

The layout of the room plays a significant role. Generally, it’s recommended to lay the planks parallel to the longest and most prominent wall in the room for an aesthetically balanced look. This method can help create the illusion of a larger and longer space.

Lighting also matters. If you have a source of natural light, like a window, aligning the planks in the same direction as the light falls can enhance the look of the flooring by highlighting its texture and finish, as well as creating a spacious atmosphere in the room.

Finally, if you’re installing vinyl plank flooring in multiple connecting rooms, or if the room is connected to a hallway, it’s usually best to maintain the same direction throughout. This creates a seamless flow and continuity, making the overall space appear cohesive and well-coordinated.

If you are flooring an entire house, it is recommended to run the planks lengthwise from the front door toward the back wall for a seamless and cohesive look.

How Much Flooring Should I Get?

To determine how much flooring you will need, you’ll want to measure your floor space. Knowing the exact dimensions of your area will help you determine how many vinyl planks you’ll need and how you’ll need to cut them.

\Remember to account for a small gap around the edge of the room to allow for the natural expansion and contraction of the flooring.

The direction in which the flooring will run also plays a role in accurately calculating the amount of extra materials needed for cutting waste.

For a straight-lay installation, it is recommended to have approximately 10% extra flooring, while herringbone or other intricate patterns may require around 15% extra material.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

After you’ve selected your vinyl plank flooring, and determined the layout you will be using, it’s time to begin the installation process. Installing luxury vinyl plank flooring is a process that, while some may find it simple, requires precision, patience and the right tools.

Step #1: Gather Your Tools

You’ll need a miter saw or a flooring cutter, a mallet, a tapping block, spacers, wedges, a pencil or a sharpie, and measuring tape. Wearing gloves and safety glasses is necessary for safety and protection.


Purchasing some soft knee pads to wear during the process will provide additional comfort. This is recommended especially if you are flooring several rooms in the home.

Step #2: Prep the Area

The first step in this process is to prepare your floor area. It’s important to ensure that your floor is clean, dry, and level. Any unevenness or debris could interfere with the installation, causing the planks to not fit properly or become damaged.

Additionally, if you are laying floating flooring, you’ll want to lay down underlayment by running it in the same direction that your finished flooring will lay.

Step #3: Lay the First Row

Before you begin, determine which side of the room is best to start from. Ensure that your last row of planks won’t be too narrow. You don’t want a final row that’s much smaller than the rest of the planks.


A wider last row will look more aesthetically pleasing and stay in place better than a narrower plank.

You will start from one corner of the room and work your way across. As you begin laying the flooring you’ll quickly find that walls are rarely ever straight.

Be sure to square the first piece of flooring with the wall by measuring the distance between the parallel walls that will run alongside your planks. Take the measurements on both ends, if the number is different, subtract the larger number from the smaller one and then divide. This offset amount determines the angle that you will need to cut the first row.

Step #4: Cut and Lay the Rest of the Planks

Once you’ve laid your first piece, continue the process. Each plank should be firmly pressed down to ensure a secure fit. If you’re installing a floating floor you will connect each plank by snapping them into place with the tongue and groove system.

Use your mallet and tapping block to ensure that the planks are completely together and flush.

Be sure to stagger the planks for a more natural look. If you’ve selected a plank that has some darker pieces and some lighter pieces, you’ll want to make sure you rotate them as you lay them down for overall cohesiveness.

Continue to lay the flooring a row at a time. As you reach door jambs and other room features, mark your planks and use your miter saw or flooring cutter to cut them to fit, being careful to avoid any damage or irregularities with your cuts.


When cutting, take your time and cut small amounts at a time. You can always make more cuts but you can't undo a cut that took too much off.

There are 3 types of cuts you’ll be making:

  • Crosscuts – Cuts across the plank.
  • Rip cuts – Cuts down the length of the plank
  • Notch cuts – Cuts to remove small pieces for fitting around door jambs, pipes, etc.

Step #5: Finishing Touches

After all the planks have been laid down, you’ll want to check to be sure all the boards are properly locked into place. Use your rubber mallet to tap pieces into place that aren’t quite locked. Remove any spacers that were taped to the wall and install baseboard or quarter-round molding to cover the expansion gap. This not only provides a finished look but also helps to secure the flooring in place.


Use a brad nailer to install the trim work—but if you're laying floating flooring be sure the nails are going into the baseboards and not the flooring. Floating floors are intended to have subtle movement and if you nail your trim to the floor it can cause warping or other issues later on.

Choose Floor It 41 for Your Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

Floor It 41 offers a wide range of high-quality flooring options that meet various aesthetic and functional needs. Whether you prefer the look of rustic wood or sleek modern finishes, you’ll find a vinyl plank option that suits your style.

Floor It 41 understands that selecting and installing flooring can be an overwhelming task, especially for beginners. That’s why our team is always ready to guide you through the process, from choosing the perfect vinyl plank flooring to providing tips on the best way to install it. We also offer full installation services if you decide DIY installation is not for you.

Make Your Dream Home A Reality, One Plank at A Time

There you have it – a comprehensive beginner’s guide to installing luxury vinyl plank flooring.

As you embark on this exciting home improvement journey, remember that the key to a successful installation is careful planning, precision in cutting the planks, and choosing the right flooring that suits your taste and lifestyle.

Floor It 41 stands ready to assist you with a wide array of premium (yet affordable) vinyl plank options, tailored to your needs and budget. Our team of experts can offer further guidance on the best way to cut and install your chosen flooring, ensuring a flawless finish.

Why choose between style and practicality when you can have both? Start your flooring project with Floor It 41 today and experience the transformative power of luxury vinyl plank flooring.

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