Can You Install Vinyl Plank Flooring Backward? [And How To!]

Vinyl plank flooring has grown incredibly popular recently and is one of the most widely used materials for flooring, including living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens. However, do you ever wonder if you can install vinyl plank flooring backward? We've researched this topic and gathered the top answers to this question.

You can install vinyl plank flooring backward. These are the straightforward steps on how to install vinyl plank flooring backward:

  1. Choose the direction for your planks
  2. Sketch the layout or "dry run" planks
  3. Cut the planks
  4. Remove any subfloor debris
  5. Place the first plank
  6. Lift the angle of the second plank
  7. Attach the tongue-in-groove
  8. Slide the plank
  9. Fasten the edge
  10. Strike the pull bar
  11. Pound the edges

Vinyl plank flooring installation is a reasonably straightforward operation. Even beginners can learn how to lay planks, and the process needn't take much time. We will discuss in what direction you can install vinyl plank flooring, how to install it, and the necessary ways to take care of it. Keep reading to find out all the exciting answers to these questions.

Laminated flooring planks to be installed in a modern room, Can You Install Vinyl Plank Flooring Backward? [And How To!]

What Direction Can You Install Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Due to its installation simplicity, and material strength, vinyl plank flooring is popular among installers. How you arrange the planks is crucial because it can change how a space feels. Vinyl plank flooring orientation is ultimately a matter of personal opinion; but, it also might depend on the layout and dimensions of your room.

One method for choosing which direction to lay the planks is to consider the transition between the areas. It's a good idea to run the planks parallel to the hall because it will facilitate a seamless transition between the two areas. 

Installing laminated flooring in an empty room

We advise running the planks in the same direction if you want to create a more open-space sense. You could also position your vinyl plank flooring perpendicular to the longest wall to make the space appear longer. 

A horizontal installation helps preserve uniformity from your steps to your main floors because planks are laid horizontally on stairs. Also, placing your planks parallel to the longest wall will give the impression that the room is wider. You can always try to arrange them throughout the room and see if they fit nicely before choosing any orientation alternatives. 

In terms of installing your vinyl plank flooring, you could place them forward or backward. Some people even prefer installing it backward. However, others avoid it due to the possibility of waste.

Although it might be a little difficult in some circumstances, it will help to expedite the job and most likely result in a better, more durable installation.

Click here to see these vinyl interlocking flooring planks on Amazon.

How To Install Vinyl Plank Flooring Backward

Laminated flooring installing materials

Sometimes it is difficult to determine where to start when working backward. This is when you need to use your imagination to develop a solid strategy for where to start. Preparation is key to think about. You can minimize or even completely avoid mistakes with good planning and measurement. 

Below are the straightforward steps on how to install your vinyl plank flooring:

1. Choose the Direction For Your Planks

Choosing the planks' direction is the first step in laying vinyl plank flooring. 

2. Sketch the Layout or "Dry Run" Planks

By ensuring that the layout will turn out exactly how you want it to, sketching your layout or laying a "dry run" might help you save time and hassles later. Select the side of the room where you will begin laying the planks.

3. Cut the Planks

Cut the vinyl plank flooring to its desired shape and size to fit correctly in the area you wish to place it. For really clean cuts, use a laminate cutting jig saw.

Click here to see this Ryobi jig saw on Amazon.

4. Remove Any Subfloor Debris

Ensure that your subfloor is spotless, firm, and level. It must be relatively smooth underneath your vinyl plank installation. Eliminate any dirt and debris in the area to smoothly install your vinyl plank flooring. To clean up, use a brush to keep the subfloor dry. 

5. Place the First Plank

You can now begin laying your flooring if your subfloor is smooth. Place your first vinyl flooring plank on the corner of the room. Note: Thicker vinyl planks better conceal the subfloor's flaws.

6. Lift the Angle of the Second Plank

Worker install brand new brown laminated flooring

You must lift the joints at a slight angle to get the joints together when installing a plank. The fundamental distinction is that you must elevate the floor at the leading edge by pressing the tongue into the groove from below. 

Damage is easily preventable. Therefore, you must work carefully and consider each action you take.

7. Attach the Tongue-in-Groove

Attach the tongue into the groove until it snaps into place. Both have been trimmed to a micron's width to produce a tight, interlocking assembly. They are also stiffer and thicker, making them simple to clip in.

You'll quickly learn that walls are rarely straight when putting your vinyl planks. You would always make the necessary length cuts on your vinyl plank to keep everything fit.

8. Slide the Plank

Until they are all firmly in, slide it under to ensure both edges of the plank are fully attached.

9. Fasten the Edge

To securely fasten the edge of the vinyl plank to its side, attach a floor pull bar. Whether you are installing it forward or backward, it can help to ensure a tight and clean setup.

Click here to see this pull bar on Amazon.

You will not damage the leading edge when you strike at an unusual angle because it is sliding on the existing floor.

10. Strike the Pull Bar

To draw the vinyl plank backward, strike the underside of the pull bar with a rubber mallet.

Click here to see this rubber mallet hammer on Amazon.

11. Pound the Edges

Firmly bond the vinyl planks' edges to one another by pounding them. There must be no gaps between the boards because even the smallest hairline gap could lead to issues.

Laying the flooring out continues one row at a time.

How Long Will It Take For Vinyl Plank Flooring To Settle?

Vinyl plank flooring will eventually settle at least after a day. Avoid walking on newly installed vinyl flooring because they must have time to adjust to the floor underneath.

Brown laminated flooring in a living room

Although acclimation times can vary, a typical interval is 48 hours. Making sure that the atmosphere and flooring are complementary is the aim. Your flooring expert can tell you exactly when installation should start.

Is There A Need For Vinyl Planks To Acclimate?

Acclimating the product can stop the material's normal expansion and contraction from becoming a problem after installation. Keep in mind to let the planks adjust to the humidity and temperature of the room so that the vinyl floors will fit neatly.

Vinyl planks should sit on the floor for at least 48 hours to acclimate to your home, where they will be installed. Ensure your vinyl plank flooring acclimation because it has tiny air spaces all over it.

How To Care For Your Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Maintaining vinyl flooring's beauty and condition can help extend its lifespan. Preventing dirt entry is the first and most important measure. Keep doormats in front of exterior doors to keep dirt and dust out of the house because they damage the finish of any floor.

Even while vinyl plank flooring is durable, it still requires routine maintenance. You may give a quick vacuum or sweep with a soft-headed broom.

Click here to see this Dreo cordless vacuum cleaner on Amazon.

You can use white vinegar and warm water to clean your vinyl plank flooring. Vinegar helps remove stains and dirt without leaving a messy residue. Never use abrasive scrubbers because they will diminish the appearance of your vinyl floors.

In Closing

Laminated flooring planks to be installed in a modern room

Vinyl plank flooring provides a durable alternative to hardwood flooring, and you can install it either forward or backward. Always follow the installation instructions and install the planks by their type.

If you don't have much installation experience, don't hesitate to call an expert to help you out. Before you leave, we also have these other posts that you might find interesting:

How To Raise Vinyl Plank Flooring

Should Vinyl Flooring Go Under The Toilet?

Can Vinyl Flooring Be Stained? [Can You Change The Color]