How to Lay DIY Vinyl Flooring – Playroom Makeover Update

Inside: A full description and explanation of how to lay vinyl composite flooring in a below-grade basement. We used Taiga flooring in Anaheim; how to cut vinyl composite and how to get it to level and click together properly. 
How to Lay DIY Vinyl Flooring

Can you hear it? The excitement in my voice/typing about this latest playroom makeover update?! The biggest part of the room is nearly complete.

And I’ve already had so many questions over on Instagram I figured I might as well write down my thoughts, experiences with how to lay a vinyl composite floor.

We’ve done a few flooring projects now and this one is by far my favourite.

We lay barn board flooring over concrete in the other half of the basement (update: we ended up pulling it up four years later), and we also just finished laying peel and stick tile in our main floor powder room.

This post contains affiliate links. See our disclosure policy here.

Laying Vinyl Composite Flooring
What we learned laying vinyl composite flooring – it is easy to do if you follow the instructions exactly!

How to DIY vinyl flooring


If you’re still wondering where to buy supplies for your DIY vinyl flooring project, make sure to have a look at my selection of vinyl flooring here. The prices are incredible and the quality outstanding! – Check prices here

Tools for a vinyl floor DIY

  • Installation Kit for Vinyl
  • Wide Floor Surface Scraper and Stripper
  • Multi-Floor Cutter for Vinyl Floors
  • Multi-Purpose Carpet and Sheet Vinyl Adhesive

When Does a Vinyl Floor Make Sense in a Basement?

When Does a Vinyl Floor Make Sense in a Basement?
Playroom vinyl flooring

First of all, yes – we went with a vinyl floor in the basement. In case you’re just tuning in, we had the jankiest of wood floors down here that hundo-p had to come up.

We spent a weekend demolishing the old floor and then another couple of weekends laying subflooring.

Since that has all come together, I’ve stuck pretty true to my original design plan, although a few things have changed.

For one, we think we are going to go with a taller wall unit for storage instead of smaller bins. But I digress.

One needs a floor before all else in this situation, so let’s talk about that. 

How to Pick your Vinyl Composite Flooring

How to Pick your Vinyl Composite Flooring
composite floor deck

We settled on a vinyl composite floor sold at Kent Building Supplies.

(Kent did supply us with the flooring for this project. I will be filming some fun DIY videos in partnership with them later this month for their website, so be sure to watch for those soon).

Initially, we thought we were going to be limited to laminate in the basement, but this Taiga ESSENTIEL product is more durable and is specifically designed for the sub or below-grade floors. 

I was a little worried about vinyl flooring to be honest because traditionally it hasn’t been very stylish. But I couldn’t be happier with the choice I made for this vinyl composite flooring project.

But honest to blog, I was blown away by the choices!

We settled on the Anaheim in the Essentials line because I love how it reads grey in some areas and whitewashed in others, I think it will hide dirt well too! LOL 

Pro Tip: These vinyl planks were just ideal and I never thought that installing vinyl could be so easy!

how to lay vinyl flooring
Passion Flooring

How to Install Vinyl Composite Flooring

How to Install Vinyl Composite Flooring

For the installation – I’m not gonna sugar coat this. We thought it was going to be easier than it was.

I was like ‘oh ya NBD, 2 hours and whambo bambo, we’ll have a floor and then a dance-off.” Dan didn’t believe me.

Dan was correct. It definitely was a learning curve to figure out how to get the planks to click and connect just right.

In fact, we laid about five rows and then realized we hadn’t been clicking them firmly enough and took them out and redid them. 

Not to say it’s not easy. It’s totally easy to do. You just have to do it 100% properly to get it to look awesome.

One thing we did do correctly was measure to see if we had to rip our first row – and, of course, because our house is ALWAYS the exception – we laid out the boards and there was a measly 2 inches of space before the door.

With that small amount left at the end of a room, it’s recommended that you rip your first boards in half so that you don’t end up with a tiny 2 inch strip against any one wall.

To do that, we used a jig and a circular saw.

*Note* that created a TON of particulate dust. Like more than I think it would’ve created from wood. 

How to cut vinyl composite flooring (the hard way and the easy way)

How to cut vinyl composite flooring

We also experimented with cutting the boards using a mitre saw.

It worked (obviously), but wasn’t worth the walk to the other room and the mess, so we followed the manufacturer’s instructions and just scored and snapped the end pieces to fit against the walls.

(Damn our janky basement walls that aren’t straight in any sense whatsoever. Not ONE measurement was the same as any other!) 

How to cut vinyl composite flooring

All in all, both Dan and I agree we’d recommend this flooring product. We give it a solid 7.5/10 when it comes to ease of install and a 9/10 for looks.

I can’t comment on the durability yet. But as soon as I get LB and Buddy down here for a shindig, I’ll report back. 

How to install vinyl flooring planks

How to install vinyl flooring planks

Installing vinyl flooring planks can be a great DIY activity to save money. You can be satisfied with your flooring because you have done it yourself. If you have the tools for vinyl plank flooring, you are ready to start.

Vinyl asks for low maintenance, and it is easy to clean.

You can also install waterproof vinyl flooring.

Here is how you can install the flooring in your house.

  1. Choose the type of vinyl flooring: Before starting DIY vinyl plank flooring, decide what type of flooring is suitable for your renovation. Based on the method to install, the categories are GripStrip, glue down, and click-lock. Know all these types and decide on one before you start installing any planks.
  2. Get the tools: The tools you need to include- flooring of choice, inch tape, sharp knife, marker, rubber mallet, chalk, tapping block, spacers, t-square, tile cutter, jigsaw, brad nailer, level.
  3. Leveling: Bring the ground to a consistent level. You need to stand down the high spots and fill in the low spots.
  4. Undercut Doorjambs: Trim the jambs and casing to slide the flooring below.
  5. Do not forget to leave an expansion gap along the walls.
  6. Measure how many planks will fit your room and measure the size of the last two plank rows in the room.
  7. Set the planks from the corner of the room from left to right.
  8. Interlock the planks until the last installation is complete.

How to update vinyl flooring

It is understood that you cannot live with a similar floor for your whole life. You need to change, and you need to update your flooring.

If you have vinyl flooring in your house, here is how you can upgrade it.

Vinyl floor makeover is just like any other floor in your house, to be specific, go through the guide below.

  • Replace your old vinyl tiles with peel-and-stick vinyl tiles. Before you ignore this idea, check out the room examples with these tiles.
  • These kinds of tiles especially go well with playroom flooring. You can get these tiles online at minimal rates. You can change the floor style within budget, beautifully and easily.
  • You can also cover them in plywood. It is a cheaper method to add a beautiful touch to your home.
  • If you are doing the flooring for a playroom, you can try making the plywood look like planks. You can also stain them accordingly.
  • One other vinyl flooring DIY is to cover the floor in prettier vinyl sheet flooring. If your vinyl flooring has become old and looks damaged, you can cover it with a vinyl sheet that looks completely real. It is a cheap method to make your home floor look like vinyl flooring.
  • If nothing works, you can update the floor with paint. Yes, paint the floor in the original color of the vinyl planks and make sure to make it look even.
  • You can take help with sand to fill in the holes and paint!

Other posts about Vinyl Plank Flooring

Other posts about Vinyl Plank Flooring

I definitely did a lot of online research before we bought and installed this floor and to be honest, most of what I found in the blog world was related to cleaning a vinyl plank floor.

That’s why I decided to write this article on how to make your own DIY Vinyl Floor Mat, in case you’re looking for detailed instructions on vinyl flooring for a playroom with mats.

I guess some people are afraid to clean it with water because of moisture issues. So here are some other posts I found useful.

Confessions of an Overworked Mom has vinyl sheet flooring and explains how she cleans it.

Love Create Celebrate installed a different kind of vinyl flooring that we did.

And if you end up with a vinyl floor that you can’t replace and want to makeover, check out Designer Trapped’s tutorial for how to paint over it and have it last.

After your Make your own DIY Floor Cleaner project, you might want to clean things up. My post about make your own DIY floor cleaner comes just perfect!

Short FAQ about DIY Vinyl Flooring

Can you DIY vinyl flooring?

Absolutely! Of all DIY floor covering, vinyl lf^^flooring is the easiest one to do. It’s very easy to lay since it’s so simple to cut, and there is no bonding to the subfloor needed.

How do I install vinyl plank flooring?

1. Remove Baseboards
2. Prepare the subfloor
3. Plan the floor
4. Mark the center of the room
5. Measure width and walls
Score rows of planks

Is Vinyl Flooring durable?

Yes, vinyl flooring is very durable. It can last up to 10-20 years if placed and maintained well. Furthermore, there is usually a layer on vinyl flooring that protects the surface from stains and scratches.

Here are some other posts you’ll love

Still want more? Check out my How to Build Page!

You’ll Love These

You’ll Love These


Popular on DIYPassion Right Now!