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#1 Vinyl plank installation: replacing carpet with the wood-looking waterproof vinyl plank in Manoa, Honolulu

vinyl plank installation

Our customer ordered a vinyl plank installation in a big beautiful house on Hunnewell Street in Manoa, Honolulu. She has a small business – renting out rooms to students who study at Manoa University. When she bought the house all rooms had carpet. It’s good when only you live there, but it’s definitely not the best option for rentals.

Because the carpet gets dirty and you need to order carpet cleaning services after each tenant. And if the carpet gets a permanent stain, you need to replace the carpet in the whole room. That is why she decided to replace the carpet with floating vinyl plank flooring. She contacted us after one of the tenants just moved out and she had a gap before the next tenant moves in. We scheduled a free flooring estimate. And here is what happened next.

Vinyl plank installation – estimate

After we met customer showed us the area she wanted to remodel. It was a 10 ft by 12 ft square room with a 6 ft by 2 ft closet, behind the folding dors. She decided to go with vinyl planks from Home Depot – LifeProof Essential Oak. It’s a light wood-color click-in vinyl planks that are priced at $3.19 per sq ft and already have underlayment attached to them. Also, we bought matching color vinyl quarter rounds and vinyl end cap trims.

Engineered vinyl planks are a perfect solution for rental units for multiple reasons, here are some of them:

  1. 100% waterproof
  2. Scratch and stain-resistant
  3. Easy to clean and maintain
  4. Long-lasting
  5. Looks luxury
  6. Low cost, compared to hardwood

In my opinion, vinyl wood planks are the optimal solution if you do daily or monthly rentals.

Vinyl plank installation – demolition

After the customer decided what kind of material she wanted us to install, what area should be remodeled, and made a prepayment we started the installation process.

First of all, we went to the Home Depot, picked up lvt plank flooring, quarter rounds, transitions and leveling compound and delivered it to a job site.

At the time when we came back, there was no furniture in the room, the owner moved everything to make vinyl plank installation process easier and faster for us.

We removed the room door and closet door, to have more working space. Next, we started removing the old carpet. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the room before we started, but here is how it looked after we removed carpet.

We’ve cut the carpet, and there was old, stinky and full of stains and insects underlayment cushion.

On the pictures you can event see stains on the pad, and that is was still wet and had some mold on it, even so no one washed the carpet for over a week. The moisture stays trapped under the carpet and absorbed by the underlayment.

Even though the carpet is already rolled, you can still see all the dirt spots and stains on it. We were forces to use masks, because of how much dust it contained.

After we cut an roll the carpet, we started to remove the pad. Most pads are glued to the flooring, so it takes another 30 minutes to remove glue and left overs of pad from the surface using special tool – sharp blade scraper.

The next step was to remove carpet grips – wooden planks with spikes the are nailed under the wall to hold the carpet from moving. Normally we use a hammer and nail puller or a crowbar.

Vinyl plank installation – leveling

After removing nails from the sub-floor there are holes remaining. Or concrete can crack in the process of demolition. Also, most sub-floors are uneven, having some bumps and deeps in it. If we install floating vinyl plank flooring ignoring them, in 2-5 month vinyl will take the shape of the sub-floor and you will clearly each imperfection.

That is why our next step is leveling the sub-floor. We use a self-leveling compound, mix it with water, and then pour it on the floor. Stretching it around the floor with a special mop. The best result is obtained, when the whole floor is leveled. But keep in mind, this will increase the initial quote, due to additional expenses on materials and labor. In my personal opinion, the decision on how much leveling should be done is better to take after the flooring is completely removed. We can say how bad it is leveling until we see the sub-floor. The most uneven sub-floor is always hidden under the carpet.

After the self-leveling compound is mixed with water, poured on the floor, and evenly stretched, it takes 2-4 hours for it to dry and be ready for the next part. After everything dried we need to sand and scrape drops and edges on the leveling compound to make sure it’s completely smooth.

Vinyl plank installation – laying flooring, baseboards, and trims

And finally, the time for the flooring installation has come. If the underlayment is not attached to the flooring, we start from laying it on the floor and seaming with water-proof tape. The whole installation area is must be covered.

The next step is to open boxes with flooring, decide on the layout or installation direction. And start the click-in process. The installation itself takes less time the preparation. After, vinyl wood plank flooring must be secured with the baseboard, because flooring is floating nothing holds it, except for the baseboards. And the final touch is to add trims like reducers, t-molding, and end caps to make the transition from one flooring material to another smooth.

Specifically in this project, we used reducer to hide the transition from vinyl wood planks to sheet vinyl.

As for the baseboards, we used matching color vinyl quarter rounds. If quarter rounds are made from wood – it’s bad, because they can absorb moisture and attract termites.

And the final touch was to put back closet doors and rooms door. Make a final clean up and the job was done.

Vinyl plank installation price

The whole project with materials and labor came out under $2000. Here is a full list of what that included for the materials.

Vinyl plank flooring (pad attached)$3.19 per sq ft
Quarte round$19.99 per 8 ln ft plank
Reducer$29.99 per 8 ln ft plank
Leveling compound $39.00 per 50 lbs bag

Here is what was done labor in the process of vinyl plank installation :

  1. Material purchased and picked up
  2. Material loaded and delivered
  3. Closet and room door removed
  4. Carpet, pad and carpet grips removed
  5. Nails and pad leftovers removed
  6. Sub-floor leveled
  7. Vinyl planks installed
  8. Baseboards installed
  9. Transitions installed
  10. Closet and room door installed
  11. Final clean up
  12. Old carpet loaded and dumped

Vinyl plank installation – final results

Here are combined pictures so you can compare how it was to how it became:

Here is another angel on vinyl plank installation

And on this one you can see closet and room door.

In my personal opinion, it looks much better than it was before. Not to mention that it’s easier to clean and you don’t need to breathe in all this dust bacteria. Ready to replace your old carpet? Schedule a free flooring estimate now!

What do you think about out job? How do you feel about your carpet, do you think it’s good for your health to walk on an old carpet? Let me know in the comments below, I read and reply to all comments.

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