I recently bought my very first home. One of the first project that I tackled was replacing the flooring in the kitchen. Originally there was a very unique low pile carpet that was green, red and yellow checks. While I’m sure it was a fashionable carpet in its day, it made the kitchen look dated and mismatched. I originally wanted to put hardwood floors in the kitchen but soon learned that it would my over $4,000. That was out of my budget. I then ran across the Tivoli Vinyl Planks. They looked like laminate flooring, however, they didn’t require an underlayment, they were self-adhesive and they only cost about $1.69 per square foot, which was about half the price of a similar style of laminate flooring. This I thought would save me both time and money.
Step 1: Figure Out How Many Cartons of Planks You Will Need
Tivoli planks come in 15 spare foot cartons. To figure how many cartons you need to buy you will need to measure the dimensions of your room. Then multiply the length by the width. This will give you the square footage of your room. Next take this figure and multiply it by 1.1. This will give you a little lea way for matching and staggering your planks. Finally divide the last figure by 15. Then round this figure up to the next hole number. This is how many cartons you will need to buy to complete your project.
Step 2: Remove the Old Flooring
Removing the old flooring is an important step. You need to not only remove the carpet and pad, or tiles, but you also need to remove staples, nails and old adhesives. You will need a very smooth surface to lay your planks down on. Tools that make this job easier include: a claw foot hammer, a crow bar, needle nose pliers, staple remover and a flat head screwdriver.
Step 3: Prep the Floor
Because these planks are pliable and not stiff like laminate flooring is, you need to make sure that your sub-floor is free of debris, dirt, nails and staples. Anything left on your floor is going to impact the look of your finished floor. After removing staples and nails, you will want to sweep the area clean. If there are adhesive residues left on the sub-floor sand it down so that it is smooth and flat. If there are nails that you can’t remove pound them flush with the sub-floor. At this point you will also want to remove the baseboards and threshold barriers.
Step 4: Lay Down Your Planks
Now that the room is prepped you are ready to begin. I began in one corner of my kitchen and worked my way from left to right. To lay a plank down all you have to do is peel of the backing, set it down where you want it and apply pressure. The plank has its own adhesive so it will bond to the sub-floor without any extra glue. The second row will need to be staggered by a half plank. The easiest way to do this is to flip the plank over and measure to where the half way mark should be. Use a T-Square and a straight edged razor to score the plank. Then bend the plank and it will snap along the score line. Then peel the backing of one of the half planks and place it at the head of the second row. Complete that row. The third row will start with a full plank. Continue to rotate between full plank and half plank row starters.
Step 5: Mistakes and Gaps
After you have finished laying down your planks you will probably noticed that there are so gaps and spaces between your planks. Spaces can occur if you cut a plank unevenly, or if your floor is not even or level. If you have spaces don’t worry. Simply buy a small jar of wood putty in a shade that is close to the color of your Tivoli planks. Then work the putty into the space and level them off. The putty will actually add to the beauty of your floors by making them look more authentic.
Step 6: Complete Your Project
The final step is to replace the threshold barriers and baseboards. This will complete the room and create a great looking kitchen, family room or bedroom. When everything is in place sweep the floor clean and wipe up extra wood putty with a damp cloth.