Beginner Mistakes Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring

What is the greatest invention in history? Let’s go with non-medical here. Don’t read ahead, stop for a minute and think. What changed the course of human kind more than any other invention in history???

The Wheel? That was a great one and saved a lot of tired backs.

A compass? Navigation on ships was dangerous and the world became a smaller place with effective ship navigation.

The light blub? The telephone? Sliced bread? (haha!)

To me, the biggest inventory that made an impact on the world was the printing press. This was so significant as knowledge previously had been learned, mastered, and then forgotten. Over and over again. Knowledge would take generations to build up, decades of learning, and then, lost. Knowledge was also very geographic, knowledge was handed down father to a son, mother to daughter. Religious leader to the next religious leader, etc. But this method was slow, and often the knowledge was forgotten or had no one to pass it on too. Sadly, so much of human history has been forgotten and never passed on. Hand written books existed, but these were for the very, very elite few, and books were often lost due to fire. Massive portions of human history have been lost forever because they were either never written down, or were lost / damaged / burned. The printing press allowed for mass production. Knowledge was remembered and easily traveled around regions, around the world. The printing press made for the greatest inventory in human kind, as it was knowledge. Nothing is more valuable.


For this current generation, we say the Internet is the greatest invention. The internet, of course, is essentially the printing press on steroids. So, now to the purpose of this blog post… I believe YouTube videos for help around home renovations are outstanding. I really think this is one of the areas that have dramatically changed our lives from when we were kids. I remember first moving out on my own and having to install a light fixture, fix a leaky faucet, figure out how to install a pre-hug door or yes, install flooring . Hours and hours of frustration and not wanting to have to call my Dad to tell me how to do it. Haha, he always ended up coming over! He is a mechanic, incredible with his hands, and had a lifetime of do it yourself knowledge. I had little of his skills or knowledge. But in the early 90’s, pre-internet, I relied on his first hand knowledge. Fast forward to today, and in 10 minutes on YouTube, the world’s How-To knowledge is at your finger tips in easy to follow videos. YouTube How-to videos, and incredibly, FREE How to videos, are abundant and incredibly helpful. If you don’t leverage them for every project you are about to under take, then you are missing out.


Today I want to share with you an excellent video. I did not produce this one. I wish I did, they have about 3 million views in a short period of time. My best video had just over 1 million views ( https://www.wordofmouthfloors.com/post/how-not-to-install-a-wood-floor-throwback-video )


Here are the notes from the video so you can quickly see what the 10 common mistakes when installing a vinyl floor are (and a few comments of my own):


10 Beginner Mistakes Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring

1 - all fasteners (staples that held in carpet)) are out (subfloor fasteners sticking up is mistake number 1). Not removing all staples or nail heads will mean that item will transfer through into the flooring. You do not want to see any deficiency from below your flooring to show through on to the surface of your newly installed flooring

2 – Leaving baseboards installed. Many people do this because it is easier. But it can be a challenge for the new installation and the finished look isn’t as good. Don’t be lazy, remove the baseboard of you can and re-install after the flooring has been laid. Use proper tools to remove the baseboard and not damage them, so they can be reused.

3 - Subfloor is not level. You can see my previous blog post on having a level subfloor and how to use flooring leveler: https://www.wordofmouthfloors.com/post/how-to-install-flooring-leveling-and-preparing-the-subfloor

4- Not undercutting door Jams & Trim – this needs to be done, either at the start or during the installation.

5 – Ending rows with small boards (never start or end with a board that is 8” or shorter). It is less structurally sound and it doesn’t look good.



6 – Thinking You Need Fancy Tools – vinyl flooring is very easy to work with… so you don’t need to invest or rent expensive equipment.

7 – Not Planning for Bump outs (see what he did at 7:47 of the video)

8 – Laying similar Planks Next to Each other (this means that you look at the visual looks of the planks… the visual looks repeat on some planks so don’t put two pieces that look the same side by side

9 – Putting Holes on the end of a Plank – dealing with air vents are a part of the process, see 10:38 portion of the video to see how he deals with the air vent cut.

10 – Not Following Manufacturer recommendations – he installed a pad attached vinyl floor in this video. You do not need to install underlayment and for some flooring manufacturer warranties, this would void the warranty. Follow the installation instructions and don’t void the warranty


Here is the video called 10 Beginner Mistakes Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring produced by Fix This Build That :



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