When it comes to decorating or doing a room makeover, I, like many of you…want to jump right in and get things done pronto! With years of experience though, I have learned that this is not always the best route.
Instead… taking your time can reap better rewards. When you allow yourself time to think and live in the space you can see how you really use it, see how the light changes, and have time to find just the right furnishings. It allows you to see what it really needs and can save you costly decorating mistakes. In my new house I am keeping this in mind, but..
…there are a few areas when I decorate that I know I need to do right away. They are walls and flooring, especially when it comes to wall-to-wall carpeting. I can live with old and outdated fixturing in the house as long as they are functional, but I have a hard time living with wall colors I don’t like and old wall-to-wall carpeting that is stained.
When it came time to set up my studioffice in the lake house, (Still can’t believe we made this happen :-) I knew I needed flooring that would be easy to clean and maintain. As you know, I paint a lot, spill, and make a lot of creative messes.
Before we moved, I went to the Floor & Decor near our previous house in PA. They sell tile, stone, wood, and laminate all at discount prices. I came across this NuCore waterproof luxury vinyl plank flooring that has a cork backing. If you are not familiar with this type of flooring, it is flooring that is made to look like textured wood and that goes together in a snap…literally…each plank snaps into the next. This type flooring is also known as a floating floor. The cork backing makes the ease of installation even easier since you do not have to put a liner down on the floor first.
I bought the amount of flooring that I knew was needed to do the studioffice in the lake house. It went into the last PODS we packed.
NuCore Waterproof Flooring comes in many colors, but I chose Gunstock Oak since I like medium dark floors with white walls for my home’s interior. I also like that it has a casual look and texture like real wood. It is hypoallergenic, waterproof, and the cork backing is sound resistant. The best part though.. it is a DIY’ers dream since installing it is very easy.
Before we put all the furniture in the room we ripped up the carpet the second night after we moved in. I say we, I mean Ed. I had Shingles and was in misery. Ed took on the project all by himself. He called me when he got to certain points so I could take photos of the steps for this post.
TIP: Putting in the floor was easy once we knew what we were doing. Practice on a few planks first to get the idea on how they snap together. Then take them apart and start the project.
How to Install Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
This brand of flooring does not have to acclimate to the temperature of the room first. Once you bring the boxes into your house, you can start installing it right away. I have listed below what we needed to do before installing the floor. Like most projects…it is all about the “prep work”. Once you have these addressed, you can install the floor in a day…it is that easy.
Figuring out the plank width cut lengths for the first and last row of flooring:
*I just cross my fingers and hope for the best when it comes to projects that involve math, but I had Ed do all the calculations needed so I knew it would be right.
When installing a floating floor, there needs to be about a 1/2″ – 1″ of space left all around the room between the flooring and the wall so that the flooring can expand.
You also have to be sure that if you start with a full width in the first row that you don’t end up having to cut the last row of planks too thinly or they won’t lay correctly. The first row of planks may each need to be cut along the entire plank width before installing. Ed did these calculations so the last row would still be wide enough to snap in while leaving an inch for expansion.
How to actually cut the planks that needed cutting?
The other part of the project that we had to think about before starting was how to cut the vinyl planks. The directions on the box stated to cut with a utility knife. Ed tried this and it was nearly impossible, even with brand new blades. He ended up using a circular saw.
How to cut and fit the planks around doorways where there were not straight edges?
This was tricky around the doors, but a Dremel rotary tool with a cutting blade on it helped to fit the planks around doorways. We used quarter-round molding to hide the inch gap that was left between the flooring and the walls.
What direction to lay the planks?
We read the directions on the box and learned that to lessen the visibility of the snap together long joints between the planks, we needed to lay them so that the snap together joints were laying in the same direction as the sun or light source that comes into the room. The short end sides will run parallel with the light source which in my case is the sliding glass doors.
- NuCore Waterproof Flooring in Gunstock Oak
- Tape Measure
- Utility knife
- Circular saw
- Quarter-round molding
- Finishing nails, nail punch and hammer
- Knee pads
- Clean the floor well to make sure all dust, dirt, and previous fasteners (such as nails and carpet tack strips) are gone before installing the floor.
2. Lay down the first few rows and make sure they are straight. Double check and straighten if needed. Once you know the planks are running straight, proceed with laying and snapping the planks together. This will go very quickly since there is no glue or nails needed.
Note: When cutting the planks, vary where you put the cut piece from the last row into the next row so the plank lengths are random all over the floor. You don’t want to see repeating seams/joints in the same places.
I attached it with finishing nails.
Now that the flooring is installed, my next project is to prime and paint all the existing brown trim in the room white. I will show you this soon in an “AFTER” post but for now.
If you would like to learn more about NuCore or luxury vinyl plank flooring, check out this video that provides additional details.
Want to see the completed AFTER of this room? You can see it in this post:
We loved everything about this Nu-Core vinyl plank flooring flooring that we also used it in two bathrooms, a hallway and laundry room. You can see the images in each of these posts:
This post is sponsored by Floor & Decor. They provided me with a gift card to purchase flooring of my choice to complete this project. Thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that make In My Own Style possible. All content and opinions are my own.