So we've been working on our Master Bath re-do for the last few weeks and we are down to the final push. After much hemming and hawing we finally decided to go with the ultra cool, 100% water proof, Trafficmaster's Allure Ultra vinyl plank flooring. We chose Sawcut Colorado... which I LOVE! I was hoping to get this bathroom done before my parents trip to the midwest here to see our new home. Of course... the nice UPS guy brings 5 hefty boxes of our new flooring a mere 24 hours before my parents are to arrive. I was a bit intimidated to start the work on my own. I figured if I waited for the Hubs to get home, at least if I didn't do it right it wouldn't be all my fault!
The best thing to do is to look online for instructions and videos on how to install this flooring. You've heard it's the easiest flooring to install, right? Have you also heard that it arrives without instructions? For real.
My favorite tip came from the nice people at Find N Choose- #12 From a women’s point of view, if you are helping with the project, have the supper prepared ahead of time. This way when the job is finished you will only have to heat up the supper and not have to deal with a complete supper; everyone can relax. Another option is to have the meal brought in, or go out for supper.
It's nice to know that we still live in the 1950's.
So... here's some important information to know before you start. Here are the tools that you will think will work:
|Heavy duty Ginsu scissors, every exacto knife and box cutter in the tool box|
And here are the tools that you will actually need:
|A 2 foot carpenter's square, Tinner's Snips, a heavy duty screwdriver or crowbar, tape measure, pliers, hammer, marking pen|
Some things to keep in mind as you begin installation:
- when disconnecting your toilet do so from the wall not the actual toilet (otherwise you might end up breaking the interior components of the toilet like we did).
- always measure your planks, don't assume that because the box says that the planks are 7.5" x 4' that they actually are.
- you will need extremely heavy duty snippers to cut through the planks. Most information online suggests that you score the back of the plank several times and then bend to snap it. This doesn't work very well, it is much faster and effective to use the snips.
- You can leave about a 1/8" space between the baseboard and the end of the plank, the quarter round will cover it.
- If you need to make a cut that will not be covered by quarter round, for example, next to bathtub, use your box cutter or exacto knife. It won't be as easy as the snips, but it will be a cleaner cut.
- You will need to purchase a new wax donut ring for the re-installation of your toilet. It is always recommended that you should replace this when you move your toilet. You are also increasing the height of your floor you could potentially end up with a gap and leaking from your toilet.
- Paint your trim before you install your new flooring. That way you don't have to worry about the mess. But be prepared to do plenty of touch up after the floor is installed. There will be nicks and scrapes from re-attaching the quarter round and installing the flooring.
Here are some step-by-step instructions to help you install your own Allure Flooring:
- Remove the quarter round from the edge of the floor. Do this by gently prying away from the baseboard with a small crow bar.
- If you are working in a bathroom, like we are, remove the toilet. Shut off the water at the valve behind the toilet. Flush the toilet and use a plunger to remove as much water as possible from the bowl. Using your pliers unscrew the water supply hose from the wall. Remove the covers from the bolts near the floor of the toilet. Using your pliers again unscrew the nuts from the bolts on either side of the toilet. Lift the toilet and move it out of your work area. Be sure to set it on an old drop cloth because there is wax on the bottom of the toilet.
- Be sure your floor is clean and free of any debris.
- Keep in mind that you will stagger the seams in each row.
- Start against one wall and lay your first piece out in the corner. Attach your second piece with the side tongue and groove area. It's pretty self explanatory how these first couple of pieces attach. Move across the floor until you come to area to cut. Measure very carefully.
- If the cut is tricky you can use the paper inserts that comes with the flooring.
|Lay the paper on the floor and trace the area that you need to cut around.|
|Carefully cut along your guide.|
|If all goes well, and maybe with a little adjustment, you should end up with this!|
7. As you lay each piece in you'll want to make sure that the short end of the piece is slid into it's neighboring groove. Then push back at a slight angle until the long end of the plank joins. Due to the flexible nature of this product it is easy to manipulate and bend the plank. Fit the side of the plank closest to the wall in last.
|As you come to the carpet edges simply pry the strip up with a small crowbar or large screwdriver.|
8. Once the flooring is complete you can replace your toilet, nail the quarter round back in place, and caulk around bathtub areas.
|Caulk around bathtubs and areas without quarter round. |
This will keep your floor water tight.
|This last row by the shower was bit tough to get a close cut on and still be|
able to have room to install it. We used Caulk Strip to give us a
good seal and cover up the messy edges.
Although this installation can be done by one person we found that in several instances it is very helpful to have two people working together. This was our first floor installation so I'm sure that an experienced person could have done this quicker. Most websites suggest that this only takes a couple of hours but we found that having a two year old attempting to help and managing our three older children seemed to slow us down a bit. All in all we decided that with the right tools (and maybe a babysitter for the weekend) we are confident we can tackle the big project of laying Allure in our 800 sq ft Kitchen/Dining area.
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