Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring has become a popular choice for homeowners looking to achieve the elegance of hardwood without the high maintenance. Its durability, affordability, and wide range of styles make it a fantastic option for DIY enthusiasts. However, like any home improvement project, installing LVP requires attention to detail. To ensure your project goes smoothly, we've compiled a list of essential do's and don'ts for your DIY luxury vinyl plank flooring endeavor.
Measure and Plan Thoroughly: Before purchasing LVP, measure the room accurately. Add about 10% extra to account for any mistakes or future repairs. This is called "waste". Plan the layout of the planks, considering the direction of the light and the room's dimensions.
Prepare the Subfloor: The subfloor must be clean, dry, and level. Remove any debris, adhesive residues, or imperfections that could affect the installation. Use a leveling compound if necessary.
Choose Quality Flooring: Invest in high-quality luxury vinyl planks. Quality planks are more durable and better resistant to wear and tear, ensuring a longer-lasting and visually appealing floor.
Acclimate the Planks: Allow the planks to acclimate to the room's temperature and humidity for at least 48 hours before installation. This prevents warping after installation.
Use the Right Tools: Invest in tools such as a utility knife, carpenter's square, tapping block, and rubber mallet. These tools will make the installation process smoother and more precise.
Start with a Straight Line: Begin installing planks from a straight and squared reference point, typically a wall. This ensures the planks are laid down evenly and create a neat visual effect.
Maintain Expansion Gaps: Leave a small gap around the edges of the room to accommodate for expansion due to temperature and humidity changes. Conceal these gaps with baseboards or quarter-round moldings.
Follow Manufacturer's Instructions: Read and follow the manufacturer's installation instructions carefully. Different LVP products might have specific requirements for installation, adhesive, or underlayment.
Don't Rush the Process: Installing LVP requires patience. Rushing through the process can lead to misaligned planks, gaps, or uneven surfaces.
Don't Neglect Subfloor Preparation: Failing to properly prepare the subfloor can lead to uneven flooring, creaking, or damage to the planks over time.
Avoid Skimping on Underlayment: While some LVP products can be installed directly on the subfloor, using an appropriate underlayment can provide extra cushioning, sound insulation, and moisture resistance.
Don't Forget to Mix Planks: When opening boxes of LVP, mix planks from different boxes to ensure variations in color and pattern are evenly distributed across the floor.
Avoid Not Tapping Planks Securely: Use a tapping block and rubber mallet to ensure each plank is securely locked with the previous one. This prevents gaps and ensures a snug fit.
Don't Install Planks Too Close to Walls: Leave the expansion gap mentioned earlier. Installing planks too close to the walls can lead to buckling as the planks expand with changes in temperature and humidity.
Avoid Using Harsh Cleaning Agents: While LVP is easy to clean, avoid using abrasive or harsh chemicals that might damage the floor's finish.
Don't Skip a Final Inspection: After installation, take the time to inspect the entire floor for any misaligned planks, gaps, or defects. Address any issues before moving furniture back in.
By following these do's and don'ts, your DIY luxury vinyl plank flooring project will not only look stunning but also stand the test of time. Remember, patience and attention to detail are key to achieving professional-looking results that you can be proud of for years to come.
If you feel like taking on the project of installing luxury vinyl plank, SimpleFLOORS can provide you with with product and can give you advice if you have any questions. If you don't think installing flooring is for you, no problem! SimpleFLOORS offers full service installation.
Flooring Made Simple.