ISLANDER Flooring HDPC® Vinyl Plank and Tile Installation Guide & Care Maintenances


Islander waterproof planks is a rigid High Density Plastic Composite (HDPC®) flooring with patent pending technology that uses no adhesive to bond the vinyl layers together and features the patented Unilin® click systems and is installed as a glueless floating floor. The interlocking planks lock together to provide a tight water-resistant seam, can be installed over most floor surfaces, and is suitable for both residential and light commercial interior applications. For technical information or questions, you can email: , or call 866.582.0848 / 503.582.0848.

General Information

  • Purchase enough flooring to cover 105 percent of the area measured, this will allow for waste. 
  • Flooring should be transported and stored in a neatly stacked fashion on a smooth flat surface. 
  • Be sure to inspect the run numbers/production dates on the boxes as different runs may be slightly different, once installed it becomes the installers responsibility. 
  • Maintain a constant temperature between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit before, during, and after installation. 
  • Acclimation is ideal, but not required; flooring should be stored in the areas that it is going to be installed in for a minimal 24 hours to assure equilibrium. 
  • HDPC® Vinyl Planks should only be installed after other trades have finished and the jobsite has been cleaned and cleared of debris that could potentially damage a finished installation. 
  • Inspection flooring for damage, defects, or shading issues before installation; claims for visual defects will not be accepted after cutting and/or installed. 
  • Mix and install planks from several different cartons during installation to ensure a random appearance.
  • Leave 1/4 in gap for expansion around the entire perimeter of the flooring. 
  • T moldings are recommended at all doorways to prevent separation or buckling issues due to adjoining rooms. 
  • Flooring should be protected from direct exposure to UV light by using shades or blinds when necessary. 
  • All flooring will scratch, please be cautious when moving or transporting items across your floor as scratches are not a warranted issue.



Planks can be installed over a variety of subfloor surfaces including concrete on all grade levels, wood and many other existing hard surface floors. The subfloors must be clean, smooth, flat, solid (no movement), and dry. Do not install planks over floors that are sloped for drainage. Any uneven areas greater than 3/16 in in a 10 ft radius should be leveled with a Portland cement based patching compound. Islander HDPC® Plank is impervious to water damage but they do not prevent the transmission of moisture. Care should be taken to keep moisture from collecting on either side of the flooring to prevent the growth of unhealthy mold and mildew. 

Concrete Subfloors: 

Planks can be installed over concrete on all grade levels; a moisture barrier is required, and should consist of at least a 6 mil polyethylene film with the sheets overlapping 6in and taped to prevent moisture migrating to the flooring. Moisture vapor emissions should not exceed 5 lb in a 24 hour period per 1,000 sq. ft when tested with the Anhydrous Calcium Chloride Test in accordance with ASTM F 1869 or 85 percent RH in accordance with ASTM F 2170 Standard Test Method for Determining Relative Humidity in Concrete Slabs using in situ Probes. Any uneven areas greater than 3/16 in in a 10 ft radius should be leveled with a Portland cement based patching compound. Holes and cracks in the cement should be patched, and expansion joints should be filled with a latex patching compound. Newly poured concrete floors must cure for a minimum of 90 days. Please note it is the person installing the floor and/or the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure a smooth substrate and that any moisture or alkalinity issues are resolved prior to installing the floor. Once installed, it becomes the installer’s responsibility. 

NOTE: Excessive moisture may cause the growth of unhealthy mold or mildew and/or cause staining of the flooring which is not covered by our Warranty. 

Wood Subfloors: 

Planks can be installed over a smooth, flat, level wood subfloor, underlayment grade plywood, lauan plywood, and other wood underlayment’s recommended by the manufacturer for use with a floating plank floor. Subfloor should be flat within 3/16 in in a 10 ft radius. Wood subfloors must be suspended at least 18 in above the ground. Adequate cross-ventilation must be provided, and the ground surface of the crawl space should be covered with a suitable moisture barrier. 

NOTE: Avoid subfloors with excessive vertical movement or deflection because subfloor movement may cause the locking mechanism to wear down, or even break. Indications of excessive deflection are subfloor fastener release, squeaking, compromised or sectional contours such as bowing or dipping in floors and uneven flooring material. Nail or screw subfloor panels to secure boards with excessive vertical movement or deflection prior to installation of the flooring material. Our warranties DO NOT cover any problems caused by inadequate substructures or improper installation of substructures. 

Existing Flooring: 

HDPC® Vinyl planks can be installed over a variety of finished floors including single layer resilient sheet flooring/ tile, ceramic, marble, and terrazzo. The surface must be in good condition and show no signs of excessive moisture conditions. Grout joints and heavy embossing in tile or vinyl must be leveled so they are flush with the flooring surface. Additionally, the tile may require several skim coats to achieve a flat surface. Carpet, heavily cushioned vinyl floors or vinyl floors consisting of multiple layers are NOT a suitable subfloor for installation. 

Radiant Heat Subfloors: 

HDPC® Vinyl planks can be installed over in-floor radiant heating systems provided the subfloor surface does not exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit at any point. The initial floor temperature should not exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit in a 24 hour prior, during, and 48 hours after installation. Thereafter the temperature should be gradually increased to the desired setting up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Because heat does affect plastic more than wood, you may need additional room for expansion (larger expansion gap) and contraction (wider base to allow for contraction) Radiant heating systems that are installed directly on top of the subfloor surface are not recommended.

Important Notes:

Before removing any existing resilient flooring or tiles, please consult with a flooring professional to determine if asbestos abatement is necessary to avoid exposure. See current edition of the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) publication “Recommended Work Practices for Removal of Resilient Floor Coverings” for detailed information and instructions on removing all resilient covered structures. The products in this carton DO NOT contain asbestos or crystalline silica. 

Moisture Barrier and Underlayment: 

While it is not necessarily difficult to install a floating floor, you may want to consider having it done by a professional installer. Since there is an attached padding, no additional padding should be used, never install this product over a secondary pad. Over a concrete slab a moisture barrier is recommended but not required and should consist of at least a 6 mil polyethylene film with the sheets overlapping 6 in and taped to prevent moisture migrating to the flooring. 

Pre-installation inspection: 

It is the duty of the person installing the floor to inspect all flooring before installation. If during inspection the installer or buyer feels the floors is the wrong color, improperly manufactured, is off-grade or is the wrong gloss level, he/she should NOT install the flooring. Please immediately contact the retailer from which the flooring was purchased. No claims will the accepted for flooring which is visibly wrong if such flooring is installed. Installed flooring is deemed to be visibly acceptable.

General Tips

  • Do not secure individual planks to the subfloor as it is designed to be a floating floor. 
  • Do not install cabinets on top of HDPC® Vinyl Plank flooring. 
  • It is recommended to separate all rooms using T molding, for separations in larger rooms call for recommendations. 
  • Avoid long periods of direct exposure to sunlight using shades or blinds. 
  • Any areas greater than 40 ft long or 40 ft wide should be separated using a T molding or use a larger expansion space to allow for expansion. 


  1. Remove wall base and undercut door jambs, this can be accomplished by turning a scrap piece of flooring upside down and using a “jamb saw” or equivalent to cut the jambs. 
  2. Level the substrate using a concrete based leveling agent to reduce any floor deviations, a smooth flat floor is the objective. 
  3. Sweep or vacuum the substrate to remove any debris that may transfer through the flooring after time. 
  4. First, determine how you want the flooring to run. Typically for plank products, the flooring runs the length of the room. There may be exceptions since it is all a matter of preference. 
  5. To avoid narrow plank widths or short plank lengths near the walls/doors, it is important to do some pre-planning. Using the width of the room, calculate how many full boards will fit into the area and how much space remains that will need to be covered by partial planks. 
  6. Start with a whole plank in the left hand corner of the room with the tongue side and tongue end toward the wall. Lay the first row of planks along a chalk line and trim to fit to the wall allowing a 1/4 in expansion space. If starting the first row with a whole width plank it will be necessary to trim the tongues next to the wall, then place the cut ends next to the wall. To trim the planks, use a utility knife and a straight edge to score the top surface of the plank, and then bend it downward to separate the pieces, you can also use a VCT (Vinyl Composition Tile) cutter for end cuts only; a table saw or saber saw also works well for both end and length cuts. 
  7. Align and attach the end joints of the planks in the first row by laying the tongue onto the groove and tap down using your tapping block and soft hammer. Make sure the end joints are aligned properly before tapping as the joints may break if not lined up correctly. Use spacers between the long edge and end of the planks next to the wall to maintain the expansion space.    
  8. Start the second row using 1/3rd of a plank allowing 1/4 in expansion space at the start of the row. Place the cut end against the wall. Insert the tongue on the long side of the plank into the groove of the plank in the first row. Hold the plank in a 20 degree to 30 degree angle while applying pressure inward and down until they lock together (diagram 1a) and (diagram 1b). A tapping block may be needed for additional force. Complete the second row by inserting the length joints first at an angle, and overlapping the end joints, then tap the length joint together using light taps to fully engage the joint when flat and tap the end joint down firmly as explained in segment 7. 
  9. Start the third row using a 2/3rd length of a plank with the cut end against the wall. Complete each row thereafter using a random layout with end joints off-set by at least 8 in. Plan the layout to avoid using small planks (less than 6 in) at the walls. The cut piece at the end of the row can often be used to start the next row provided it achieves a random layout. Always place the cut end against the wall and allow for the expansion space. 
  10. To cut the last row, lay your planks on top of the existing row and use a small scrap the width of the plank and score or mark the material to show where to cut, make sure to add the additional 1/4 in for expansion space. Insert normally. 
  11. HDPC® Vinyl planks are unique in that they can also be installed using a pull bar or tapping block and rubber mallet or hammer in difficult areas such as the last row, and when fitting under door trim. Use a pull bar and rubber mallet or hammer to lock the joints together in the last row. Always use a pull bar on the cut edge of the plank, factory edges can be damaged if the pull bar or hammer is used directly against them. 
  12. 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 onto the groove or the groove under the tongue depending on the direction. A tapping block and pull bar (Diagrams 2a & 2b) can also be used to lock the joints together while the planks are in a flat position. Use a series of light taps until the joint is gradually locked together.

Bathrooms: When Islander HDPC® Vinyl planks are installed in a bathroom the flooring should be installed around the toilet leaving a 1/8 in expansion space. Use 100 percent silicone caulking to fill the expansion space at the toilet, tub, shower, and all wet areas to help prevent surface water seepage under the floor. You can install the toilet directly on top of the vinyl planks as long as there are no other cabinets or fixtures installed on top of the flooring, additionally the room would need to be separated from adjoining rooms using a T molding or transition. 

Pipes: In rows where there is a pipe or other vertical object through the subfloor, make sure the object lines up exactly where two boards will meet on the short ends. Take care to measure carefully before cutting so the two boards end at the middle of the object. Use a drill or hole bit that is the diameter of the pipe or object, plus 1/2 in for expansion/contraction. Place the two short sides of the boards together, then drill the hole centered on the joint between the boards as shown. Now you can separate the two boards and install as normal. See Diagrams 6A – 6C.

Transitions, Moldings and Wall Base

All transition pieces should be attached to the subfloor using the track supplied with the molding, or glue down using a high grade contractor adhesive, dependent on the transition purchased. If adhered directly, be sure the transition sits firmly in the adhesive and take care not to get any adhesive on the flooring. Remove any adhesive from the surface immediately with mineral spirits and buff off any residue with a dry soft cloth. It may be necessary to place heavy weights on the transition until the adhesive dries to ensure it will lay flat. Never attach the transitions directly to the flooring. 

Finishing The Job: 

Inspect your work, as it will cost you more if you have to come back to do a repair later. Replace original 

baseboards, or install matching hardwood baseboard. Install matching transitions as needed or recommended by your dealer or installer. It is not recommended or necessary to seal this floor after installation. Protect your floor from scratches by using felt pads on chair legs or furniture feet. Plastic rollers/castors can damage your flooring, if necessary, try to replace with softer rubber wheels/castors. When moving heavy items like refrigerators, use at least two sheets of 1/4 in Masonite or plywood while moving (sliding the appliance from one sheet to the next) to protect the flooring against scratching and gouging. 

Congratulations!  You have just installed a beautiful, and elegant vinyl Floor!

Care and Maintenances

Care and maintenance of your new Luxury Vinyl floor is essential for long term performance and appearance. Because this is a low maintenance floor, it will not require waxing or polishing. Please read the following to ensure that your floor will give you many years of service and maintain its original appearance for as long as possible.


  • Use doormats outside the entry doors to your home to prevent grit, sand, and dirt and other substances such as oil, asphalt, and other contaminates from being tracked indoors and possibly stain or damage the flooring. 
  • Do not use rubber-backed, latex-backed, coco fiber, or abrasive mats on your flooring, as some types of backings can stain or scratch the floor. 
  • Use floor protectors (felt pads recommended) under heavy furniture to spread the weight and help to prevent scratches and dents. Chairs and other moveable furniture with castors should have at least 2 in flat rolling surface. When furniture or chairs have metal caps, be sure to remove and use felt floor protectors. 
  • Never push or drag heavy furniture or appliances across the floor; always use strips of wood or Masonite (hardboard) to serve as a runway underneath the rollers or wheels (including dolly’s) to avoid damage to the floor. 
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight as it can cause any surface to fade or discolor over time. During peak exposure times to direct sunlight, we strongly recommend the use of drapes or blinds on windows and sliding glass doors. 
  • Periodically move rugs or mats in sunlight areas as they may cause discoloration in the vinyl from UV rays. 
  • Keep pets nails trimmed as un-manicured nails can be sharp and may scratch your flooring. 


  • Sweep, dust mop, or vacuum regularly; please be aware that vacuum beater bars can sometimes cause damage to the floor. 
  • When necessary, damp mop the floor with a standard no-wax vinyl floor cleaner; do not use waxes or polishes as they will increase the gloss level, turn yellow, decrease slip resistance, or build up over time. This will turn your low-maintenance floor into a high maintenance floor. 
  • Wellmade does not recommend the use of steam cleaners on our vinyl flooring. 
  • This flooring has excellent resistance to common household stains and will not be affected by most household spills. Help prevent stains by wiping up spills with a clean damp cloth immediately; the longer the stain sits, the more likely it will create a permanent stain. 
  • Difficult spills can be soaked for 5 – 15 minutes in a heavy duty vinyl cleaner or mineral spirits; carefully scrape up excess with a dull knife, remove the rest of the residue with soft nylon pad or soft bristle brush, then rinse and wipe with a clean white cloth. 
  • More stubborn stains such as asphalt, tar, permanent markers, dye, ink, oil based paints, etc.: use painter’s naphtha, isopropyl alcohol, or lighter fluid on a clean cloth, then rinse with water and wipe with a clean white cloth. 
  • Note: Solvents are flammable, please follow instructions on container. 

For additional information please call U.S. customer support (English) at 866.582.0848 (U.S. only); or 503.582.0848.


Scratches can easily be repaired by using scratch repair kits designed for vinyl flooring, or by using a colored marker that will blend the scratch into the rest of the plank. In the unlikely event that a plank is damaged for whatever reason, the simplest method is to disconnect the planks carefully (protecting the tongue and groove edges) until the damaged plank can be removed. Then replace the damaged plank with a new one and re-assemble the disconnected planks. This typically works for planks that are close to the two long perimeters of a room. For damaged planks that are not close to the perimeter, you may have to remove the damaged planks and insert new planks without removing entire rows, this is easily achievable.

  1. Using a utility saw or equivalent, cut out the center of the damaged plank and leave approximately a 1 to 2 in strip attached to the inner portion of the adjacent planks. 
  2. Carefully cut back from the four corners of the plank to the inside edges, this is the space left by the cut out plank. 
  3. Remove the plank edges carefully from the adjacent planks making sure the tongues and grooves of the adjacent planks are not damaged. 
  4. Using a sharp utility knife, remove the tongue strip on the long end of the replacement plank.
  5. Position the replacement plank by engaging the groove of the long side into the tongue of the adjoining plank and pushing down on the other three sides. Use “superglue” or equivalent to hold the replacement plank in place with its adjacent planks. 

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