Updated on March 7, 2023

How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

Installing vinyl plank flooring? Learn how to install this sustainable alternative over concrete, tiles, or existing vinyl flooring in our step-by-step guide. If you’re looking for ease-of-use, durability, and water-resistance, vinyl plank flooring has simplicity and style in spades.

Difficulty level : 
Duration : 
1 day
Before You Start
Before you start the installation, you need to calculate the total surface area of the room plus an extra 10 % for cuts and spares.

Vinyl planks do not require acclimation if stored properly (i.e., horizontally in a dry place, away from daylight).
Man drawing a line on a door frame

Ready the Room

  • 1.1Remove the doors and baseboards.
  • 1.2Cut the door casing to size:
    • Set a piece of underlayment and a plank flat on the floor next to the door casing. Draw a line where the casing must be trimmed so that the floor can fit underneath.
    • Cut along the marked line.
    • Slide the plank underneath to see if it fits.
  • 1.3Remove dust and debris using a workshop vacuum.
Man cutting floor underlaymentMan taping floor underlayment

Install the Underlayment

  • 2.1Vinyl floorings sometimes have an underlayment already integrated. In such cases, you can skip this step. If, however, you are installing these planks on concrete, using additional underlayment is recommended as it can act as a moisture barrier.
  • 2.2Start at the installation wall and roll out the underlayment.
  • 2.3Make sure the underlayment is free of folds and creases.
  • 2.4Using a utility knife, cut the underlayment to fit the length of the room.
  • 2.5Roll out and cut the next piece.
  • 2.6Lay the pieces so that they meet, but do not overlap the joint.
  • 2.7Smooth out any folds and creases again, then tape the joint with sheathing tape to create a continuous vapour barrier.
  • 2.8Repeat the above steps until the floor is fully covered with underlayment.

Plan the Layout

  • 3.1As you plan the layout, decide how the planks will be positioned and their direction.
  • 3.2After measuring the room, divide it by the dimensions of the vinyl planks. This will help determine how many rows will be required to cover the space.
  • 3.3Make sure the width of your last row meets or exceeds the manufacturer’s minimum recommendations to ensure that the planks stay securely in place following installation.
  • 3.4If there’s a chance the last row won’t be wide enough, then cut the planks for the first row in half along the length.
  • 3.5Ensure that the room is square and adjust the first row of planks, if necessary.
  • 3.6It is important to leave a gap between the wall and the planks because vinyl planks expand slightly. The recommended expansion gap and the minimum widths for first and last rows can vary from one manufacturer to the next. For best results, check the box to confirm manufacturer recommendations.

Pro Tip

Lay your planks along the length of the room’s longest dimension to help the space feel bigger. As you go through the installation, make sure you also follow the manufacturer’s specific recommendations and any additional instructions.


The next 2 steps should be done simultaneously because you’ll need to cut the end planks of each row before moving on to the next row.
Row of vinyl planks

Install the Vinyl Planks

  • 4.1Vinyl flooring usually uses a tongue and groove system to join the planks. Identify which side is which before you begin.
  • 4.2Use painter’s tape to add a row of wedges along the wall. This will create the starting line and help maintain the expansion gap.
  • 4.3The tongue sides of the first planks should face the wall, starting from the corner.
  • 4.4Make sure to click the ends together as you add the next plank.
  • 4.5Repeat this process until the end of the first row.
  • 4.6You can square the joints as needed by tapping the long edge with a rubber mallet.
  • 4.7Use planks from different boxes to blend the colours and patterns.
Man cutting the end of a vinyl plankMan cutting the end of a vinyl plankMan using a laminate cutterMan using a jigsaw

Cut the End Pieces

  • 5.1The plank at the end of each row will need to be cut to size.
  • 5.2First, measure the remaining space.
  • 5.3Mark the measurement (plus the recommended expansion gap) on a plank.
  • 5.4Cut the plank according to one of these 4 methods:
    • Table saw: Best for straight end cuts.
    • Utility knife: Following the line closely, use an angle square and utility knife and score the surface of your plank. Then, bend it backward along the line to snap it.
    • Laminate cutter: This is cheaper than a table saw and will allow you to make linear end cuts.
    • Jigsaw: The best option for more complex, angled cuts.

Start the Next Row

  • 6.1Back at the opposite wall, start a new row with what remains of the plank that was just cut. As before, add wedges between the wall and plank.
  • 6.2For a more realistic effect, vary the lengths of your planks instead of lining them up evenly at the start of each row. This creates a staggered look by varying where your planks join.
  • 6.3Keep on installing planks according to this method until the final row.
Man cutting a vinyl plank horizontallyMan cutting a vinyl plank horizontallyMan installing a vinyl floor plank

Install the Final Row

  • 7.1Measure the remaining space between the last row and the wall.
  • 7.2Transfer the measurement (plus the recommended expansion gap) to a plank.
  • 7.3Use clamps the secure the plank to a workbench.
  • 7.4Cut the mark with a utility knife and use a metal rule to keep it straight.
  • 7.5To snap the plank, press the cut against the workbench.
  • 7.6Use a pull bar to work the last pieces of flooring gently into place while protecting the floor surface with a clean, non-abrasive rag. Be careful not to force the tongue at too acute an angle.
  • 7.7At this point, mouldings and doors can be installed.

Pro Tip

Give your new floor an elegant finishing touch by covering the seam between the walls and floor with a baseboard trim.


These DIY projects are provided for informational purposes only. The information contained in Réno-Dépôt’s DIYs is intended to provide general guidelines to simplify jobs around the house. Because tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes, and local regulations are continually changing, Réno-Dépôt (a division of RONA Inc.) assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained herein and disclaims any liability for the omissions, errors, or outcome of any project. Réno-Dépôt (a division of RONA Inc.) makes no representation on the feasibility of any project and the viewer bears all risks coming with the realization of the projects. It is the responsibility of the viewer to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, codes, and regulations for a project. The viewer must always take proper safety precautions and exercise caution when taking on any project. If there is any doubt in regard to any element of a project, please consult a licensed professional. 

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