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Small Cabin Forum / Cabin Construction / Vinyl Plank Flooring Install
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Cowracer
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# Posted: 15 Apr 2020 12:30 - Edited by: Cowracer
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Not exactly cabin related, but this might be of use to some of you.

With all the virus stuff going on, I find myself trapped at home on the weekends without a whole lot to do. The wife has been wanting to replace the carpet in the house with some hardwood floors for a while now, and I figured now is the time. For the record, I prefer carpet over wood floors, but I lost that argument.

Our house was built in 1988 and it was 12 years old when we moved in. The carpet was already needing replaced, but with 2 young sons, we felt it was better to put it off. I figured as old and nasty as the carpet was, I could just cut it loose from the walls and it would stand up and walk out on its own. Nothing was further from the truth. The carpet came up easily enough, but the guy who put the pad down musta been paid by the staple.

Also, the amount of dust/dirt under the carpet and pad was shocking. With all this virus going on, face-masks are impossible to find. I made one out of a bandana, but it could only do so much. I hate to think how much of that crap I breathed in, but there was no way around it. The plywood floors were in very good shape, with just a few kool-aid stains that got all the way thru the carpet, so other than pulling staples and tack-strip, and a good sweeping and mopping, very little prep was required.

When I built our cabin, we went with cheap, thin laminate floors. Like 79 cents a square foot, but it looks very nice.



We were going to do the same thing, but one friend told us about vinyl planks and how we will hate life if we don't do waterproof floors. The more we looked into it the more we liked it, despite the higher initial cost.

We selected Lifeproof Vinyl plank flooring from the big orange box store. It was a tick under $3 a square foot. It came in what they call multi-width, having 3 plank widths. A full size one, a 2/3's width one, and a 1/3 width one. Each box held 3 of each for a total of 9 'equivalent' planks. There was a couple sample patterns provided, but the jist is you always use a 1/3 and 2/3 together and alternate with full width.

The floors I am replacing are arraigned as a big 'T', with the hall in center, the living room on the left and the dining room on the right. Normally you start in a corner and work your way over and across to the opposite side. That's the way the planks are built to snap together. You don't start in the center. Unfortunately, that's exactly what I had to do. For a couple of mundane reasons, I needed to start in the hall. That meant the living room would be installed 'backwards'

The flooring laid down easy as can be. It has a built in rubber pad, so no underlayment is required. It cuts to lenth very easy with just a razor knife. Score it a few times, snap it over your knee and that's it. Had the hallway done pretty much in one afternoon.





The planks snapped together on the long edges, with just a tap of a hammer and block to fully seat them. The short edges locked together with a few hammer blows without much of a seam. You can only tell the edges becasue the wood pattern changes.

Doing the living room (again, 'backwards') was not as difficult as I thought it would be. It required a bit more of a tap to seat the long edges, but not a huge deal. We had to move the furniture around to allow us to work, and that was probably the hardest part. In trimming around things such as heat ducts, I used my oscillating cutter and that worked very well. I found that if you don't even need a tape measure. Provided you think a little, you can mark planks to length just by holding in the place they need to go. Same with cut-outs. In the whole floor, I only mis-cut 1 board, and that was in the angle of the bay window. I actually cut it too long, so I didn't even have to scrap that piece. I am rather proud of that fact.





The dining room was a walk in the park by that point. We had worked out a system where she would feed me planks and I would hammer them in. We still had to work around the furniture and #1 helper (our mini-aussie), but we finished up by 6PM on Sunday.



.

I calculated the square footage at 419 total sqft. As each box covers 19.53 sqft, I figured I'd need just under 22 boxes. Add 10% for waste, and I decided to buy 24 boxes. That worked out very well, as we wound up using 1 of each width piece out of the last box.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with how it turned out. I know I am not built for flooring work, and every joint and muscle from my neck down is hurting me right now, but for just under $1500, the house got a whole new look. Next up, baseboards!

Tim

SE Ohio
Member
# Posted: 15 Apr 2020 15:06
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Nice... My 14 year old son was able to install flooring in ou cabin loft. He was so inspired, he came home and did same for his brother’s room! Like you, next step is baseboards, picking up tomorrow (wearing mask and gloves!)

SE Ohio

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 15 Apr 2020 20:15
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Carpet does hold so much dirt and dust. There's no special vacuum or anyway around it. I find any type of hard floor easier to keep clean and more hygienic.

Eddy G
Member
# Posted: 16 Apr 2020 04:57
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Our cabin floors where covered in grimy old indoor/outdoor carpeting...It was gross.
Not to mention the floor wasn’t insulated or sealed at all so the gaps, knot holes, cracks etc leaked air moisture and allowed bugs in,
We ripped them all out (disgusting) and found the sub floor was mostly double yeah 3/4 rough sawn boards running across the floor Joists and a second set running across those making it pretty stiff and solid.

The oldest section on the cabin had a solid spruce wood floor on top of that so we sanded and refinished it. It’s 70 yrs old and beautiful.
We used 4’x4’ x 1/2” rubber tile I got from a skating rink for the kitchen
Vinyl plank in the bathroom / laundry room and down stairs bedroom that’s held up really well
I painted the wood floor on the indoor porch
And upstairs where finishing 2 bedrooms where we’re just going to sand down the subfloor board planks down a give them a rustic look or wash type paint..

Carpets have no place in an environment like ours...Bottom line is there unhealthy

justinbowser
Member
# Posted: 16 Apr 2020 08:42
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We put glue-down vinyl planks in our cabin and it looked fantastic until the first winter. After the cabin "cold-soaked" for a couple of months the planks shrunk in length and never recovered. Maybe I need to think about a snap together floating solution.

Cowracer
Member
# Posted: 16 Apr 2020 09:18
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Quoting: justinbowser
Maybe I need to think about a snap together floating solution.


I have my present cabin up for sale and will be building a new one after it sells. I will sure as hell use this flooring in the new one.

Tim

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 16 Apr 2020 18:27
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Glue down vinyl plank? Usually that stuff is floating. Since most of these places arnt heated full time any wood can expand and shrink a ton with heat/cold and the humidity.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 16 Apr 2020 18:30
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Glue down vinyl plank? Usually that stuff is floating. Since most of these places arnt heated full time any wood can expand and shrink a ton with heat/cold and the humidity.

justinbowser
Member
# Posted: 17 Apr 2020 19:17
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My flooring is glue-down, not snap together. Nice and thick but apparently not stable.

AK Seabee
Member
# Posted: 18 Apr 2020 00:12 - Edited by: AK Seabee
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Justin, did you glue the planks to the subfloor? I used the vinyl planks as well. The ones I used have adhesive joining the planks while the floor floats over the subfloor.

The flooring went in simple enough but one winter of 50 below caused seperation in the two doorways. A friend had the same flooring in a cabin he kept heated through the winter. .no issues. To much temperature differential in my cabin I guess.

justinbowser
Member
# Posted: 18 Apr 2020 09:34
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Yeah, glued down with some high-dollar glue recommended by the place we bought the planks from.

xtolekbananx
Member
# Posted: 18 Apr 2020 10:04
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After debating between carpet, wood and vinyl, I went with vinyl plank for my cabin. I picked it up in Floor and Decor for $1.39 sq foot, 4mm with pre-attached pad. I did use additional underlayment and sealed all gaps in subfloor with silicone. Subfloor was 3/4 inch treated plywood and I had some minor draft. Just finished yesterday. Floor is floating click waterproof vinyl planks. We'll see how it holds up.

xtolekbananx
Member
# Posted: 18 Apr 2020 10:37
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Some pictures
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20200409_180842.jpg
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20200417_201015.jpg


Brettny
Member
# Posted: 18 Apr 2020 11:17
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We redid our back porch last fall. I got the cheapest click lock vinyl flooring I could find. It was $1.10sqft. We used no underlayment. The porch isn't heated nor is the floor insulated (at the moment) and I see no movement, separation or anything else. This is a floating floor.

I think all the foam that is suposto go under the flooring make is squishy and feel real cheap even if its $5sqft vinyl.

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