Unilin Click Lock Vinyl Installation

A vinyl flooring with a click lock installation will be installed very similarly to a laminate floor. The best part about vinyl tiles is, they can easily be cut with just a utility knife — no saw required!


Acclimate the vinyl by just opening the boxes (not removing the planks) and allowing them to sit in a constant temperature between 65° and 85°F for 48 hours or more before, during and after installation. Do not store the flooring on concrete while acclimating.

Next, remove the base moldings and undercut doorways to the thickness of the flooring. Remove furniture. Install any cabinets that need to be installed in kitchen or bathrooms—they cannot go on top of this floor.

Next prepare the subfloor. The subfloor is the supporting structure of the flooring and it is very important that it is properly prepared. Vinyl can installed over concrete, OSB or plywood and tile. All substrates must be dry, clean, smooth, level and free from dust, wax, glues, oils and chemicals. Floors must be level and flat. Tile floor grout lines should be patched with a latex fortified, cementitious patching compound to create an even surface,

Prior to installation of floor, sweep and/or vacuum substrate to remove all dust and debris.


  • Utility Knife
  • Tape Measure
  • T-Square
  • 1/4” Spacers
  • Chalk line
  • Hammer and Tapping Block
  • Safety glasses

Getting Started

1. Determine which direction the planks will be installed. To make the room appear larger or if installing in very small rooms or hallways, it is preferable to lay the planks parallel to the longest room dimension.
2. Do not install cabinets on top of planks.
3. Carefully measure the room to determine squareness and to determine the width of the last row of planks. If the width of the last row of planks is less than 2” (50mm), excluding the tongue, the width of first row of planks will have to be cut accordingly.
4. A minimum 1/4” expansion space is required around the perimeter of the room and all vertical objects (ie. pipes and fixtures).
5. Inspect all planks for visible defects and damage before and during installation. Do not install damaged planks. Contact your distributor to file a damage claim.


1. Begin installation parallel to the long dimension of the room, preferably parallel with the light sources (windows and doors) (see figure 1). Snap a chalk line at the starting point to maintain alignment. Use planks mixed in from four or five boxes to achieve random pattern.
2. Install planks from the left side of the starting wall and work to the right side. If starting with a full width plank, the tongue must be removed (figure 3). To trim planks, use a Utility knife and a straight edge. Score the top surface of the plank, flex it downward to separate pieces. The tongue side of the plank always faces the starting wall. Place 5/16” (8.2mm) spacers between the short and long side of the planks and the wall. Always position one spacer between the wall and where the planks join.
3. The end joints of the planks in the first row are assembled by inserting the tongue side into the groove side of the previous plank at a low 20-30°angle. Gradually lower the plank down flat, applying pressure inward and downward, until the end joint closes, insuring that the planks are perfectly aligned. Install remaining full planks in the first row.
4. The last plank in the first row may need to be cut. Measure the distance between the wall and the surface of the last full plank. Subtract 5/16” (8.2mm) from this measurement to allow for the spacer. If this measurement is less than 8”(20.3cm) in length, trim first plank and last plank, each no less than 8”. Planks are cut using a sharp utility knife and straight edge or carpenter’s  square. Score the surface of the plank with a utility knife, and then snap the plank at the score line.
5. The remaining piece cut off from the last plank in the first row may serve as the first plank in the second row provided it is at least 8” (20.3cm) long. Always stagger end joints from row to row a minimum of 8” (20.3cm).
6. Install the long side of the first plank of the second row. Remember to place a 1/4” space between the wall and the short side of the plank. Insert the tongue side into the groove side of the previous row at a low angle and lower flat to the substrate.
7.  Install the second plank of the second row. Position the long side of the plank with the tongue side overlapping the groove of the planks in the previous row approximately 1/8”. Then, angle the end joint into the previous plank. Angle the plank down and gently push in until the plank locks into the previous row. Continue installing remaining planks in second row. It is important to make sure that the first two rows are straight and square or this will adversely affect the entire installation.
8. Continue working from left to right, row by row. Be sure to maintain a 1/4”” space around all walls and vertical objects and maintain a random appearance by cycling patterns of boards. Offset end joints a minimum of 8” (20.3cm).
9. When fitting around door trim it will be necessary to slide the plank under the trim. This can be accomplished easily by starting the row on the side of the room with the door trim and then sliding the plank into place once it is attached. The row can be completed by inserting the tongue in to the groove or the groove into the tongue depending on the direction.


  1. After all planks have been installed, remove spacers from perimeter of room.
  2. Install transition moldings. Do not fasten any moldings through the flooring.
  3. Pre-drill and install quarter round or baseboard molding. Molding must be sufficient size to cover the 1/4” space. Do not fasten moldings through the flooring. Fasten into the wall.
  4. If not covering exposed edges with trim, fill the gap with a high quality silicone caulking.
  5. Use plywood to cover the top of the flooring when moving heavy furniture or appliances into position.
  6. Use proper floor protectors under the legs of furniture.
  7. Post installation temperature must be maintained between 65° and 85°F. Relative humidity must be maintained between 40% and 70%.

Special Considerations


When the LVT planks are installed in a bathroom, the flooring can be laid under the toilet only if the floor is separated from adjacent rooms with a doorway threshold. Otherwise the flooring should be installed around the toilet leaving a 1/8” expansion space. Use a high quality silicone caulking to fill the expansion space at the tub, shower and all wet areas to prevent surface water seepage under the floor.

Vinyl Flooring planks can be fully adhered over steps using a high quality pressure sensitive luxury vinyl tile adhesive such as Franklin® 687. Follow the instructions on the adhesive for trowel size and drying time. Always use a flush stair nose molding to finish each step at the nose.

Have questions? Need a little bit of extra help? We’re here for you. Start a chat with one of our flooring experts in the box on this page and get a fast answer to your vinyl flooring installation questions.

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