Tips for Installing Your Own LVT
Designed to emulate genuine wood and stone to perfection, luxury vinyl tile is one of the most cost-effective flooring options on the market. In addition to being inherently waterproof and resilient, luxury vinyl flooring also presents the opportunity for homeowners to complete a DIY installation. How easy is it to install an LVT floor? Here’s a quick rundown on what to generally expect!
Depending on the size of the room this project will generally take up to one to three days. One often-forgotten item on the prep list is that the LVT planks should be acclimated (moved into) in the room/area where they’re going a minimum of 24 hours prior to installation.
Most people have the basic tools like a tape measure, straight edge and utility knives for scoring the tile. Many LVT products allow you to complete a floating installation over an existing surface or uneven subfloor, so this method will save you a few steps and tools. You may want to have a rubber hammer on hand to gently tap the planks into position.
Smooth, Dry Surface
The floor doesn’t have to be level, but it does need to be smooth. If the subfloor isn’t smooth, sand down the high spots and fill in the low spots. If the existing floor is tile with grout lines of more than ¼ inch in width, they will need to be leveled with patching compound. If installing your luxury vinyl tile over concrete, check for moisture beforehand. If the floor has any tendency toward moisture levels higher than 5 percent, it’s wise to invest in a 6-mill poly underlayment beneath the LVT.
Every manufacturer of LVT has its own installation instructions. Follow them to the letter. Failure to follow the instructions can actually void the manufacturer’s warranty. Measure carefully, and figure out where you’re going to be on the last row of planks- don’t put yourself in a corner! Don’t forget to leave ¼ inch of space around all walls, cabinets or other obstacles. That ¼ inch is important because it allows for subfloor contraction and expansion. Quarter-inch spacers, available at hardware and home supply stores, hold the planks/tiles in place.
Installing luxury vinyl flooring takes a little time and effort but, in the end, you will have a beautiful floor and save a lot of your home renovation budget. Check with our experts to see if LVT flooring is the right choice for you!