LifeProof is the noteworthy in-house brand belonging to Home Depot and is widely known for providing fair-priced and decent quality floorings. Not only the build quality is unquestionably excellent but also the durability is admirably promising too and the most exceptional flooring product one can find at LifeProof is the Vinyl Flooring.
And today, we’ll be going through the easy yet effective DIY method of Lifeproof Vinyl Flooring installation, a totally helpful and hugely favorable guide for all DIY loving homeowners.
Let’s begin our discussion with a little formal introduction with the LifeProof Vinyl Flooring.
What Is Life Proof Vinyl Flooring?
LifeProof, actually, is an exclusive in-house Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) brand by Home Depot that is well-known for its robustness and therefore has a distinction amongst all of the floorings across the market. In addition to that, LifeProof Vinyl Flooring comes with a great residential warranty, thus an incredible choice to consider if you’re looking forward to a flooring upgrade.
Certified low VOCs, convenient installation and maintenance, lightweight structure, style versatility and no underlayment-usage specification are some of the most prominent worthwhile aspects of LifeProof Vinyl Flooring.
Ahead is the simple and time-saving, yet efficient DIY installation method for this classy choice of flooring.
Tools And Supplies Needed To Install Life Proof Flooring
- LifeProof Vinyl Plank Flooring (of course!)
- Measuring Tape
- Pry Bar
- Wedge Spaces (¼ inch)
- Handsaw (fine-toothed one)
- Utility Knife
- Carpenter’s Square
- Brad Nailer
- Straight Edge Tool
- Knee Pads (optional/ for safety)
Lifeproof Flooring Installation Steps
1. Flooring Requirement Calculation
Getting to know about your exact flooring need is the first and foremost step of How to Cut and Install LifeProof Vinyl Flooring. Besides, you need to ensure getting up to 10% extra flooring than the total square footage of your intended area beforehand, according to the majorly recommended thumb rule.
This will not just prevent any of the possible material insufficiency but will also be particularly helpful for you if you’re going with a particular colored choice.
P.S. The additional planks can always be used later for maintenance and fixation purposes.
2. Floor Layout Planning
For sure, one of the reasons for you planning on a flooring upgrade is the desire for an aesthetic uplifting of a particular space, so you need to take a specific care of the appearance while you install your flooring.
Excessively short planks, especially at a row starting as well as really narrow rows proceeding towards the end of a plank run are some of the factors that you crucially need to avoid while installing your flooring, as long as you want a seamless and attractive-looking floor finish.
If you want to make things go beyond than normal and of course more fun, creating a 3d model of your intended area is something you should totally give a try to. This will help you in figuring out the right approach about the arrangement pattern of your flooring. Apart from that, referring to the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer is always a fool-proof idea.
3. Trim Moldings Removal
Base shoe moldings, baseboards and doorcase moldings are all included within the Trim and that certainly calls for a removal during a new flooring installation, specifically (and mostly) if there is a direct contact of it with your flooring.
Removing the trim prevents its interference with the flooring installation and the same goes for the occasional requirement for unhooking the doors, all the way from their hinges. Besides, it’s really easy to remove the trims, since all that requires to be done is to hook the pry bar between the wall and the molding, followed by prying it off and pulling the brads out with the help of pliers.
(If you don’t know much about trim molding, it’s a molding profile that is made to attach to the wall with the help of thin nails resembling brads)
Last but not least is the fact that you don’t need to invest on a new trim, post the flooring installation, if the former one appears fine, once you’ve got it removed, i.e. you can easily reinstall the old one.
4. Floor Preparation
One of the major advantages of LifeProof Vinyl Flooring is its structural versatility and huge suitability with literally any kind of subfloor, as long as it is leveled in the perfect way. As for the rest of the fixing of the subfloor, you can try out sanding the scratched points and polishing the lumps, if any, so as to ensure getting the smoothest surface to work with.
Talking about Concrete subfloors, they are going to require a Concrete Patcher for the filling of any apparent depressions, holes or cracks. As for the subfloors, all you need to do is make use of a floor-leveling product in order to fix (even out) any of the dents, in advance to proceed with the flooring installation.
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5. Test Installation
This, by all means, is an equally essential step to see if your intended style of LifeProof Vinyl Flooring appears presentable or not, and for this, you’ll need to decide the spot for your initial flooring row, followed by placing a few boards along the wall length.
P.S. If you install equal-length cut planks on opposite side walls, your Vinyl Flooring is meant to turn out looking adorable.
This style requires beginning with a full board at the middle point of the row and working all the way to the sides. The resultant plank cutting and placement will be of the same length on both the ends.
Important: Always leave a gap of up to ¼ inch between the board/plank ends and the wall, so as to allow the expansion to take place. You can make use of wedge spacers for this purpose.
5. Vinyl Boards Cutting
Start to work on cutting the vinyl planks/boards by placing a carpenter’s square on the board face and lightly scratching it with the help of a utility knife, once you’ve got a definitive idea of the placement and fitting of your planks within one row. At this point, you can simply start running the knife forward and backward across the face of the plank for cutting it. As an alternative to the utility knife, you can go for using a fine-tooth handsaw for cutting.
Face down the finished side of your plank and the other one towards you, followed by holding both its ends and folding it back, causing the plank to snap off. And for an otherwise scenario (if the plank does not snap off), you’ll need to accomplish the cut with help of either the handsaw or the utility knife, i.e. running it through the bend.
6. Planks Installation
Like other Vinyl Floorings, the lifeproof one also features a tongue and groove system, enabling a secure and firm interlocking in an edge-to-edge and end-to-end format. Work by laying your desired plank for starting the very first row, followed by holding the other plank next to it and pushing it into the receiving groove of the first one. Push it down firmly so that there is a similar flat placement level achieved for both.
Work your way with the rest of the boards in the same way, by attaching them in an edge-to-edge pattern, i.e. pushing one row into the groove of the proceeding one.
7. Trimming And Installation Of The Final Boards
It’s usually the planks in the first row that require a lengthwise cutting for adequately fitting the remaining space. Your cut should be narrow enough to leave a ¼ inch gap between the boards and the wall. And at the same time, the cut should be wide enough to cover the present gap.
A straightedge and utility knife will be your aid when it comes to cutting in a clean and seamless way. Besides, for obtaining your intended width, you’ll need to run the knife multiple times along the face of the plank. At this point, you can go for installing and aligning your boards in correspondence with the previous one.
8. Trim Reattachment
By the time you’re done with your LifeProof Vinyl Flooring Installation, you’ll need to reinstall the trim moldings, as well, that you took off earlier. The simplest way to do this is to make use of the brad nailer, followed by setting the trim in the place and driving a couple of brad nails across the trim, thus eventually attaching it to the wall.
Hoping for this method to be really helpful to you, essentially leaving you with a perfectly installed LifeProof Vinyl Flooring without any considerable trouble.
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Common Mistakes Installing Life Proof Vinyl Plank Flooring
Now while you might be able to really ace the flooring installation, there are certain aspects that have a higher possibility of being misconducted. Ahead is the compilation of the major ones that you need to consider, in order to not go wrong with anything at any point.
1. Working With Uneven Subfloors
Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring over an uneven/ non-leveled or damaged/ problematic subfloor is one of the worst things that you wouldn’t definitely want to indulge in. That’s because the consequences can be more adverse than you can possibly estimate, as gaping amongst the boards can easily give rise to squeaking or clicking of the boards underfoot.
2. Defective Planks Usage
As you can guess by the name, there’s this dire requirement for you to thoroughly examine the Vinyl planks, before you even think about installing them. And this does involve looking for any of the blisters or bumps, in addition to checking the overall plank profile. That’s because even if these defects might not seem a big deal initially, they can actually cost you a lot in the long term, in terms of fixation.
3. Insufficient Acclimation
An acclimation time of at least 24 hours is crucial for the Vinyl planks to sync properly with the surrounding extent of temperature and humidity. Besides, the best way to do this is to simply leave the planks within the very room where you plan on the installation, essentially for up to 2 days. The otherwise consequences are the most likely to include buckling of the planks, post the installation.
4. Insufficient Expansion Gaps
In case you don’t leave any of them, you’re most likely to end up with buckled flooring, which has no remedy but to replace the planks. Expansion and contraction is a definitive phenomenon of floor planks and therefore, you need to allocate adequate space for this while installing the flooring.
5. Mismatching Patterns
In order to not end up with wrongly laid boards, is to stack the boards in piles, while creating different patterns. This somewhat of a prep work has to be done beforehand of the installation, as you’re only unpacking some of them to lay them according to the pattern you’ve thought of. Moreover, you’ll need to keep going to different piles so as to know that you’re working in the right direction.
FAQs | Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Way To Cut Lifeproof Flooring?
The best way to cut Lifeproof flooring is using a straight edge for trimming the plank and using a utility knife for scoring it. Then, you can proceed by cutting on the opposite side of the plank, before snapping it along the score line. For ensuring maximum effectiveness while making cuts, it’s highly advised that you make use of either a miter saw, a jigsaw or the circular one.
Can I Use A Table Saw To Cut Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Using a table saw is indeed a very efficient approach when it comes to cutting vinyl plank flooring. Besides, it proves particularly useful when you need to perform a rip cut (cutting along the plank length). This makes table saw the most helpful tool when the laying manner of your Vinyl Planks gets to meet the wall on the longer edge.
Can You Cut Lifeproof Flooring With A Miter Saw?
A miter saw actually works great when it comes to cutting Lifeproof VinylFlooring, as it helps in the easy slicing of the floors Besides, using a miter saw will ensure you perfectly straight edges and therefore a flawlessly clean overall finish, something you aren’t much likely to achieve with other saws. Another benefit of Miter saw is the fact that it’s really easy to use and all you need to do is to be accurate with your cut marks.
Can Lifeproof Flooring Be Installed On Uneven Floors?
Vinyl Flooring is an excellent option for uneven surfaces, as long as it is totally clean and well-leveled. This is one of the major advantages of having Lifeproof Vinyl Flooring that it can be installed anywhere and everywhere, even if you haven’t got a really even subfloor to work with. Moreover, if there are any minor flaws present on the subfloors, you can totally fix the situation by using a self-leveling compound or even by sanding them.
Where Does The Transition Go In A Doorway?
The most appropriate spot for the placement of transition is the center of the door opening, i.e. essentially the space where the opening is the smallest. This way, the transition strip does not affect the door’s working (closing) despite the way in which the door gets to swing. That’s something you’ll need to be particularly careful about, if you’re a DIY floor installer.
Which Way Do You Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring In Multiple Rooms?
The first and foremost approach in this regard is to follow the shape of your house as a proceeding criteria since there is no particular or standard right direction in this regard. However, one mainstream standard at this point is that the floor laying direction should go parallel to the longer walls. Considering this standard of direction, you can easily lay Vinyl Plank Flooring within multiple rooms, however, this might not be applicable to long hallways.