LVT Flooring Installation Best Practices

Professional Tips -
Installing Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring

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When it comes to flooring installations, labor costs can swallow up a lot of your budget, which is one main reason that luxury vinyl tile flooring – a reasonable DIY project – is gaining in popularity with homeowners. In fact, you could get started today and be done in the same day – and with professional, polished results. If that sounds attractive to you, read on for key tips for a pro LVT flooring installation.

Floor Preparation

One of the reasons luxury vinyl tiles are so popular is because they can be installed in nearly any indoor space, regardless of what's already on the floors. You can lay LVT on top of almost any hard surface, as long as it is smooth, clean, dry, and flat. Before you begin, sweep or vacuum the sub-floor and ensure that it does not have any loose areas or screws sticking up, as these will make it difficult to lock in or glue down your new floor tile and achieve a smooth surface.

Rigid core LVT requires 0 acclimation time, which means you can install as soon as you unload the product from your car.

Different Kinds of LVT Flooring

One key distinction between different types of LVT is whether it is the click-lock or glue down variety. Both types of LVT are available from MSI for commercial or residential installation. For example, one popular type of flexible wood-look glue down luxury vinyl tile flooring is MSI's DryBack Line. Rigid Core is an example of an easy-install click-lock LVT that is 100% waterproof, making it an attractive option as well.

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If you have opted for a glue-down LVT, be sure to collect all the right materials in order to correctly prepare the subfloor prior to installation. MSI provides all the needed vinyl flooring installation accessories, including Concrete and Floor Primer, which creates an optimal surface for the adhesive to bond with. In addition, Multi Use LVT Adhesive is a low odor, water resistant tile adhesive that provides a strong bond, or the Universal Pressure Sensitive LVT Adhesive, which will give your tile a strong bond with no calculated VOCs, as well as offering mildew and mold resistance. Another option is the Adhesive Cutback Sealer, which is an ultra-strong acrylic polymer that creates a clean, mold and mildew resistant surface. Carefully follow all manufacturer instructions.

How to Measure and Cut Your LVT

First, you will need to decide which direction to lay your tile. Typically, professional installers lay the tile parallel with the longest wall. You can accurately measure the length of a wall by measuring a few inches out from the wall and marking using a laser to aid you. Be sure to measure twice, just to verify.

Once you've measured and re-measured, plan to leave a 1/4 inch gap between the wall and any tiles. This allows for the inevitable expansion and contracting, but it also leaves you wiggle room in case you need to replace a damaged tile later.

When installing your LVT, keep your installation square by building several rows at a time. In addition, make your tile cuts from the left side to the right, as this side will be hidden under the trim. You can score and snap tiles to size, but for a quicker, cleaner cut, a laminate floor cutter is best and can be inexpensively rented from most local hardware stores.

Locking in Click-Lock Tiles

Luxury vinyl tile of the click-lock variety is extremely easy to install, and can be accomplished by lightly tapping using a small piece of plank. This will ensure that any two pieces are tightly connected. A seam or hand roller may be used at the end joints to accomplish this same tight seal.

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The popularity of LVT flooring lies partly in its affordability and durability, since it can withstand the demands of busy family life. Plus, luxury vinyl tile is available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and on-trend looks, which means you can achieve natural wood or stone looks or more. And because this easy care flooring is a great DIY project, you'll be walking on your new floors in no time at all. For your next project, check out these quick home redecorating ideas and get inspired.