Luxury vinyl tile, click vinyl flooring or LVT all refer to the same flooring product and is a practical option for those homeowners looking to achieve the look of timber or stone flooring, without the maintenance and upkeep that comes with those materials.
With a range of bold colours and patterns, LVT can be used everywhere from hallways and bathrooms to large open plan kitchens and is now the fastest growing floor covering in the world.
Depending on your level of DIY experience, you may prefer to hire a professional to install the floor and if you do, it’s important to choose an installer that you’re comfortable with and believe can do the job correctly, as this is often a project in itself.
If you’re up to installing it yourself, here’s our easy-to-follow guide that will take you through each step to installing luxury vinyl tiles in your home.
How to measure your room
Similar to any DIY job carried out in your home, preparation is key when it comes to laying LVT and getting the correct measurements is the most important part of it all. If you start things off with the wrong dimensions, you may find yourself with too much flooring or too little.
If you’re going to be fitting the floor in a square or rectangular room, you can simply multiply the width by the length, for example, a 6m x 4m room will need 24m2 of vinyl.
Here are some tips to get an accurate measurement:
- For rooms with alcoves or fireplaces, we recommend starting off by drawing a diagram.
- From there, you can break down the room into smaller rectangles, allowing you to add the different sections together to get the total area of the room.
- Always add an extra 5% to allow for waste.
- Take the measurements more than once to ensure they’re accurate, and be sure to consider any door frames or room trims the LVT will need to go under when fitted.
- Tape measure
- Spirit level
- LVT underlay
- Rubber mallet
- 7-10mm spacers
- Saw or stanley knife
Preparation before laying LVT
Before laying any click vinyl flooring, you need to prepare the site for installation. Remove all furniture from the room, any existing floor tiles or coverings, brush and vacuum the subfloor.
When laying the vinyl, you want to check the level of the subfloor to identify any areas of unevenness in the surface. This can come from nails or lumps, or basically anything that will obstruct the floor from being perfectly flat.
Use your spirit level to get down and look for those potential dips in the subfloor and note any areas over 2mm in a 1 metre run, before installing the floor they will need to be leveled out.
Acclimatise the flooring
Acclimatisation is a crucial step to be taken when laying LVT flooring. At least 48 hours prior to laying the floor, leave the floor in the desired room and ensure the heating conditions are normal for the room. This will allow the flooring to react to the living environment before being installed and reduces the chances of movement and other issues post-installation.
If you have underground heating in your home note that LVT flooring can be installed, providing the temperature does not exceed 29 degrees celsius.
Underlay for LVT
When choosing underlay, you want to choose a product specifically designed for luxury vinyl tile flooring, as often other types of underlay cannot provide you with the correct support for the click joints of LVT.
It is also possible to use a self-adhesive vinyl tile underlay which due to the strong construction and anti-slip properties, makes installation easier and stronger. Do not use laminate underlay for LVT flooring as this can cause complications post installation.
For this flooring, underlay is an essential component that will shape how it feels, wears and looks.
How to lay luxury vinyl tiles
Before installation, it’s best to consider the manufacturer’s recommendations as the process can vary from product to product, and below we have noted the general installation process.
After the product has been stored in the room 48 hours before fitting, the subfloor has been cleaned and underlay has been installed, it’s time to install your LVT.
- Click systems allow the LVT panels to be clicked into place easily, to begin the process, start in the corner and work from left to right.
- Put the head ends together in the first row and push the short side down gently with your thumb, going from the inner corner out until you hear a click. You can also use your rubber mallet to secure the joints together.
- To ensure the short side ends are closed, knock gently on the short side click connection using your wrist.
- Repeat this system, and join the rows together once finished. Continue to do this until the area is filled.
- Should you wish to achieve a staggered flooring look, you will need to cut some of the flooring.
For the installation process, 7-10mm spacers need to be maintained throughout to ensure the edges of the floor don’t touch radiators, door frames etc. Threshold bars, beading and skirting boards will hide most of the expansion gaps.
Keeping your LVT flooring clean is a straightforward process, regularly mop and vacuum to prevent any potential scratches and wipe up any spills straight away. Avoid using too much water as this could lead to irreparable damage to your floor, and by carrying out these simple steps you will keep your floor looking like new.
For more information on luxury vinyl flooring, get in touch with Floor Monster now!