Gerflor vinyl flooring is so easy to install on a concrete slab, is quiet underfoot and has a nice texture. I had my husband change the blade on my Stanley knife (that thing scares me a little) and then after laying the first couple of rows and seeing how easy it was, I sent him off to do something else.
Over a year ago, we embarked on an extension at the back of our house which consisted of adding a living room and kitchen.
I wanted the look of wooden floor and initially thought floating floorboards would be the way to go but was advised against them by a very helpful sales assistant in a flooring shop because the kitchen is a wet area. “But lots of people do” I hear you say. Well… we also have a swimming pool in the backyard and the kids walk pools of water through the house when they get out of the shower and the pool so I started to consider the alternative- vinyl.
I wasn’t a big fan of the vinyl that comes in one big sheet on a roll so I looked at vinyl tiles. The vinyl products currently on the market are not the tacky stuff we remember them to be.
Prices (supply without installation) online and in stores ranging from $20/mt sq to over $50mt sq. Most were either 2mm thick or 5mm thick. Warranty also varied between 10 years and 25 years.
After much deliberation I settled on 2mm thick Gerflor Senso self adhesive vinyl planks, in pecan colour, purchased from Bunnings for $25/mt sq with a 10 year warranty.
I figured in 10 years time I would be wanting to update the floor coverings anyway (think about how trends have changed over past decades). It also meant that I could afford to lay it in our new living room and continue it through the dining room and down the hall to the front door, getting rid of the carpet through our main traffic areas.
My Gerflor vinyl planks were laid over a concrete slab, required no underlay and were basically a peel and stick method.
You will need:
- sharp Stanley knife
- ruler or a triangular ruler (a triangular ruler will make life easier when cutting the tiles to fit around door frames).
- bondcrete (I used approx. 1L mixed with 3L of water for every 10m sq)
- a paint roller to paint the bondcrete to the slab
This was the process:
- First I pulled up the carpet and those spikey things that hold the carpet down around the edges (Im sure they have a name) using a crowbar and hammer.
- Since these spikey strips were nailed into the concrete slab, when the nails were pulled out small chunks of concrete also came away from the slab. I filled these with some cement that our builders had left behind. You want the ground under the vinyl sheets to be as smooth as possible.
- I painted the concrete slab with Bondcrete using a paint roller (mix 1 part Bondcrete to 3 parts water in a bucket) and left this to dry for 24 hours. The tiles will not stick directly to concrete. The Bondcrete creates a slightly sticky surface for the tiles to adhere to. Be generous and really slap it on. It will become sticky as it dries (paid 4L for $45 at Bunnings).
- Starting in the middle of the room I laid the vinyl sheets following the instructions from the Video: how to lay Gerflor self adhesive planks. If you start your planks against a wall and that wall is not completely straight it may ruin your line through the rest of the house. I finished the first room and then just continued the planks through to the rest of the house.
- Where the vinyl planks met the carpet, I glued down a metal carpet edging strip with liquid nails.
You will find the hardest part is trimming the planks down to fit around the door frames.
Replace the blade on your Stanley knife regularly. A sharp cutting knife makes a difference.
Do not try and butt two cut edges together. Although it may look perfectly straight, the manufactured edge makes a more seamless join.
It took me a whole day to lay planks over an area of 36 sq metres and the effort was well worth it. I love the result!
**If you would like to see more about how to lay these vinyl planks click here – I’v gone back and done another room and taken step by step photos for you to see.