Must Know How To Make Vinyl Flooring Looks Good
Your Guide To Vinyl Flooring
Luxury Vinyl Plank and Underlayment
This product is one of the fastest-growing products in flooring. Luxury vinyl plank is engineered to look fantastic while being both affordable and an easy product to install. If you’re wondering about luxury vinyl plank underlayment, that’s one of the appeals – it usually doesn’t need underlayment. In fact, as a softer flooring, adding an underlayment could mean too much cushion, resulting in dents and more wear and tear sooner. Opt for a dense underlayment if you go for one.
A selling point of luxury vinyl plank is that it is designed to be a thin installation, so it can easily go in over existing floors without raising your floor height. Because of its thinness, it’s critical that existing floors be level and smooth since any raised portions will cause uneven wear on the vinyl surface, ruining the effect. This means that installing it over tile is not recommended.
Luxury vinyl plank generally doesn’t get affixed to the subfloor in any way. Since it’s a floating floor system, it’s also not recommended to install it over other floating floor products.
The disadvantages of vinyl floors
Yes, vinyl floors are remarkably inexpensive and look like they’re made of real wood, but choosing them can actually cost a homeowner much more in the long run.
Some disadvantages of vinyl flooring include:
- Cannot be repaired
- Can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Shorter lifespan than wood floors
- No impact, or negative impact, on home resale value
- Difficult to remove, especially if adhesive is used during installation
- Not eco-friendly; difficult to recycle
Faced with this long list of disadvantages, any homeowner who’s thinking about the big picture would most likely turn down vinyl flooring.
HOW TO JOIN VINYL SHEET
If you’re working in a large room, you might have to join two or more sheets to cover the whole floor. Try use sheets from the same roll, as different ones can vary slightly in colour and try not to create a join in the doorway, because this area gets the most wear.
If you’re joining patterned sheets, you’ll need to slide the second sheet along until the pattern matches the first sheet. If you’re finding this difficult, try overlapping the sheets until the pattern matches, and then make a cut through both sheets using a straightedge and a knife.
Without moving the sheets, fold back the edges and use double-sided tape or adhesive to secure them to the floor. Press down firmly with both hands to glue the join.
Resistance to Water
One of the drawbacks of hardwood is that it can’t get wet or it will be completely ruined. Vinyl plank flooring and laminate both offer the look of hardwood, but how do they compare when exposed to water?
Vinyl plank has grown in popularity because it is resistant to water. This means it can be installed in bathrooms, kitchens, or other areas where there’s moisture without the worry of warping or buckling. It is completely waterproof and will not succumb to damage, provided you have installed it correctly.
On the other hand, you should not expose laminate to water. Standing water or high moisture levels in a room can lead to buckling, gapping, separating, and warping.
While not a common complaint, some laminate owners have experienced mold and mildew, which was almost always because of exposure to moisture. This is not a concern with vinyl plank unless you installed it in a home that had this problem prior to installation.
Because vinyl is virtually waterproof, it is the clear winner in comparison to laminate in terms of water resistance.
Vinyl Installation Dos
As with any major project, there are certain things that are advised to do and others that should be avoided. Knowing these before you start your project will help you have the best results.
Vinyl flooring is a resilient type of floor. It’s one of the reasons why it’s so popular in both homes and commercial spaces. Still, there are things that can happen to cause damage to the material and diminish the quality of the installation. The key is to keep these in mind throughout your project so you don’t make any costly mistakes unintentionally.
Here are the do’s of any vinyl flooring installation.
Vinyl Installation Dos
- Do lay a piece of scrap vinyl before installation to check for moisture in the subfloor. Lay one piece of scrap vinyl and securely seal all of the edges with duct tape. Let it sit for three days. If the tape comes up easily, you’ll know your floor has too much moisture for a vinyl flooring install. This is highly important for concrete subfloors.
- Do acclimate your floor and room. Keep the room at a normal temperature for at least 48 hours before installation is set to begin and let the vinyl acclimate in this temperature.
- Do use a vapor barrier if installing over concrete. Use a vapor barrier over concrete when installing a click and lock vinyl. Adhesives should have a water-resistant barrier in them as well for glue-down vinyls.
- Do leave an expansion gap for click-lock vinyl. Click-Lock vinyls need an expansion gap to expand and contract as a floating floor. Use shims or spacers along the perimeter walls.
- Do check your subfloor with a level. Lumps and dips are hard to see with the naked eye. Check for any subtle lumps or dips that you can solve before installation for better results.
- Do read your manufacturer’s instructions. Every manufacturer has their own recommendations about what to use to seal in the flooring and how to keep it clean. Read these before using any chemicals or treatments.
- Do use non-staining doormats. Not using a doormat could cause you to drag in dust, dirt and debris to your work site. This is also a good tip for after your flooring is installed so you don’t drag potentially harmful debris into your home and onto your vinyl. Mats should be labeled “non-staining”. Rubber, cocoa-backed or latex backed mats may discolor vinyl flooring.
- Do clean up spills immediately. Although vinyl floors are moisture proof, standing water can cause mold and mildew to grow.