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Welcome to our complete guide on installing Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) flooring! Whether you’re renovating your home or updating your floors to a more durable and stylish option, LVT flooring is an excellent choice. Known for its versatility and resilience, LVT can dramatically transform any space. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about LVT, from the basic concepts and benefits to the tools and steps required for installation. By the end, you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge to either tackle DIY installation or make informed decisions when consulting with professionals.

What Is LVT Flooring?

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is a modern flooring option designed to mimic the appearance of natural materials such as wood, stone, and ceramic tile but at a fraction of the cost. Each tile is crafted with technologies that result in stunningly realistic textures and patterns. LVT is not only aesthetically pleasing but also boasts incredible durability and comfort. It’s constructed from multiple layers, including a robust wear layer that resists scratches, dents, and stains, making it ideal for high-traffic areas and commercial environments. Additionally, LVT flooring is waterproof and easy to maintain, which makes it perfect for kitchens and bathrooms where moisture might be a concern.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Tools And Materials

Before you start the installation of LVT flooring, gathering the right tools and materials is crucial for a smooth process. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Measuring Tape: To measure the floor area accurately.
  • Utility Knife (often called a Stanley Knife): For cutting the vinyl tiles to size.
  • Straightedge or T-square: To ensure precise cuts.
  • Adhesive: Specific to LVT flooring if not using a click-lock installation method.
  • Spacers: To maintain an even expansion gap around the room edges.
  • Level: To check the evenness of the subfloor.
  • Rubber Mallet: To gently tap tiles into place without causing damage.

Optionally, you might also consider acquiring knee pads for comfort during installation.

Start Right – Prepare Your Subfloor

Before laying down your new LVT flooring, it’s essential to start with a solid foundation. Preparing your subfloor is a crucial step that can significantly impact the appearance and longevity of your flooring. Begin by ensuring that the subfloor is clean, dry, and smooth. Remove any debris, dust, or existing flooring and adhesives that could interfere with the installation. If you’re working with a concrete subfloor, check for any signs of moisture and apply a moisture barrier if necessary.

Any dips or bumps can be problematic, so use a levelling compound to create a flat surface if required. This step helps prevent uneven wear and tear on your LVT and ensures a comfortable, stable walking surface. Once your subfloor is prepared, you’re set to move forward with precise measurements and planning, laying the groundwork for a flawless installation.

Measurement And Planning

Accurate measurements and careful planning are the backbone of a successful LVT installation. Start by measuring the length and width of your room to calculate the total square footage. Always add 10% to your total square footage when purchasing your materials to account for cutting waste and any potential mistakes.

Once you have your materials, plan the layout of your LVT. Decide the direction in which you want the tiles to lay, as this can influence the room’s perceived size and shape. A common strategy is to have the tiles parallel to the longest wall or following the room’s natural light source.

Cutting LVT To Fit Your Space

Cutting LVT tiles to fit your space correctly is vital for a professional-looking finish. Use your measurements to determine how you need to cut the tiles to fit around corners, edges, and obstacles such as cabinets or pillars. A utility knife will generally suffice for cutting LVT, but ensure you have a straight edge or T-square to guide your cuts for precision.

Score the surface of the tile with the utility knife, then bend the tile gently to snap it along the line. For more intricate cuts, such as curves or corners, you might consider using a jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade. Remember, patience and accuracy are key—take your time to measure twice and cut once to ensure the best fit.

LVT Flooring

Laying and Sealing Seams

Laying your LVT flooring correctly is essential for achieving a seamless and professional look. Begin by laying the first row of tiles along your wall and pressing them firmly in place. If your LVT uses an adhesive backing, remove the backing and place the tile down; for click-lock systems, fit the pieces together snugly. Continue this process, ensuring each tile aligns correctly with the next and is tight against its neighbour.

Sealing the seams between tiles is crucial, especially in areas prone to moisture, like bathrooms and kitchens. Use a seam sealer designed for LVT flooring to bond the edges of the tiles together, creating a continuous, waterproof surface. This step not only enhances the durability and water resistance of your floor but also helps maintain its aesthetic appeal by preventing dirt and debris from accumulating in the seams.

Finishing Touches

Once all your LVT tiles are laid and the seams sealed, it’s time to add the finishing touches that frame the room and protect the durability of your installation. Install baseboards or quarter-round moulding along the edges of the room. This not only covers the expansion gaps around the edge but also secures the edges of the flooring, adding a polished look. Additionally, if your floor meets other types of flooring or doorways, install transition strips to ensure a smooth transition and prevent the edges of the LVT from curling or wearing quickly.

Lastly, inspect your work and replace any protective coverings on furniture legs before placing them back on the floor. This prevents scratching and ensures your new floor remains pristine.

Get Started With Your Own LVT Laying Today!

Congratulations on completing your LVT flooring installation! With proper preparation, precise measurement and cutting, careful laying, and diligent sealing, your new floors should look stunning and last for many years. LVT flooring not only improves the beauty and functionality of your space but also offers a durable and cost-effective solution for modern living.

Our team at value floors provide a range of LVT options for any space, and we can even facilitate the fitting for you if this all seems like too much more. Give us a call for more info!