5 min read

What is vinyl flooring and how to lay it?

Posted in: Ideas and Advice
6 October 2022

Vinyl flooring types and how to install them. Our complete guide.

Versatile, easy to fit and a cost-effective alternative to timber floors, vinyl flooring is a popular choice for homes. This durable material has been used for years and is undergoing a bit of a revival. Its waterproof qualities make it an excellent choice for high humidity areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. The fact that it's quick and easy to install makes it a top DIY choice too. But what is vinyl flooring? And are you better choosing sheet vinyl flooring or the more modern LVT alternative? Here’s our quick guide to everything you need to know about vinyl flooring.

What is vinyl flooring?

You may be more familiar with vinyl records, but add an ingredient called plasticizer to the mix, and you suddenly have an incredibly adaptive and flexible material that can also be used for flooring. It's compressed into a multi-layer 'sandwich' with a thick core. That core gives it the strength and support to stand up to everyday use and makes it comfortable to walk on. We take a look at the different types of vinyl flooring below.

Sheet vinyl flooring

Sheet flooring comes in rolls and is cut to size. The advantage of sheet flooring is that you get a seamless finish. If you're using vinyl flooring in a kitchen or bathroom where there may be spills, it's easy to prevent water from leaking and damaging floorboards underneath the vinyl.

LVT flooring?

You don’t have to buy your vinyl flooring by the metre. There is also the option of LVT flooring, which stands for Luxury Vinyl Tiles. More rigid than sheet flooring, they create a more natural effect that looks like wood flooring. Because it's vinyl, you can choose from a much more comprehensive array of colours and styles, making it ideal for almost any room, hallway or indoor floor.

Vinyl plank flooring

Vinyl plank flooring is a thicker flooring type that is made in long planks with a modified tongue-and-groove fixing system, that easily slots together.

How to install vinyl flooring

1. Measure carefully!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque mattis consequat nisi, quis molestie ex vehicula ac. Nunc ac metus interdum, laoreet nibh nec, laoreet diam. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus imperdiet eu leo quis imperdiet. Donec feugiat vel ipsum sit amet consequat. Curabitur eget placerat leo. Donec enim mauris, maximus sit amet neque eu, sollicitudin lacinia nibh. Cras dapibus, lacus sit amet ullamcorper molestie, diam velit sagittis nisi, in viverra augue purus at nisl. Fusce venenatis bibendum nulla, sit amet feugiat arcu eleifend malesuada. Vestibulum aliquam urna mauris, et faucibus ligula congue at. Mauris porttitor aliquam suscipit. Cras sit amet urna elementum, consequat massa ac, pellentesque dolor. Maecenas et urna suscipit, pharetra metus id, pellentesque enim. Nulla a nisi a urna iaculis fermentum.

2. Gather the tools for the job

Make sure you have all the equipment you'll need, including vinyl adhesive, a sharp Stanley knife, bolster chisel and knee pads.

3. Prepare the sub-floor

Clear the room of any furniture. If you have underfloor heating, make sure it’s safe to lay vinyl over the top. Give your sub-floor a thorough clean and allow it to dry completely.

4. Lay it out

Lay out your vinyl flooring sheet and allow it to ‘relax’ for 24 hours to bring it to the correct temperature and prevent curling or creasing.

5. Carefully position your vinyl sheet

Using the bolster chisel to press the sheet into the edges. Cut and trim, then peel back and apply the vinyl adhesive to the edges. If you're using lightweight, non-cushioned vinyl, the whole floor may need to be glued.

Vinyl sheet flooring can be tricky to handle. Smaller spaces are more straightforward to lay than large areas, so if you're fitting a small bathroom or WC, you may be able to tackle it yourself. Make sure that the area is well ventilated, as the adhesive fumes can be potent.

How to lay vinyl plank flooring and LVT


LVT and vinyl plank flooring are much easier to install and a relatively straightforward DIY project. As the boards or tiles lock and click together, you can install a floor quickly and get great-looking results in a couple of hours.

1. Plan your layout carefully

To ensure that you buy enough planks or tiles for the job.

2. Prepare your sub-floor

LVT and vinyl planks can usually be laid straight onto an existing floor. Make sure it's smooth, clean, flat and - most importantly - dry.

3. Check the first row

Position the first row of planks or tiles and check that they create a visually pleasing pattern. With click and lock LVT, you can easily place the next board or tile. Make sure joints are staggered and not in line with the previous joint.

4. Cut and trim

Complete your LVT floor and replace any skirting that you may have removed beforehand.

Can you paint vinyl flooring?

Vinyl sheets and LVT tiles typically come with your chosen design or pattern, so they won't need painting.

Is vinyl flooring easy to clean?


They're easy to clean: simply use warm soapy water, wringing out the mop first to prevent puddles.

Is vinyl flooring easy to remove?

LVT is very easy to remove as it hasn't been glued into place. Vinyl sheets can be a little trickier, especially if you've used adhesive across the whole floor and may need to be removed professionally.

What thickness plywood do I need for vinyl flooring?

Cover the floor area with either a 4mm or 6mm plywood - the thickness selected should be determined by the quality of the surface being covered. Ply should be of suitable quality and the wood should be fixed using screws, twisted shank or ring shank nails, serrated or divergent staples.

Do you want more information on vinyl flooring?

At Arnold Laver we don’t just do timber. We’re here to help you with advice on all kinds of flooring. Browse our blogs on flooring to find out more, or call us and chat with one of our friendly team for professional advice.

Previous article:
Next article:
Related posts

Branches Nationwide

Branches nationwide, local serivce, collection or delivery options - Arnold Laver delivers

Same Day Click and Collect

Arnold Laver makes it easy to get your essential project materials - just a few clicks away

National Timber Group Logo

Part of the UK's largest independent timber group, Arnold Laver offers high-quality timber at scale