LVT plank flooring, also known as luxury vinyl plank flooring, is a popular choice for homeowners who want the look and feel of hardwood without the high maintenance and cost. This innovative flooring solution is not only durable and resistant to moisture, but it also offers a wide range of styles and designs to suit any home decor. If you’re considering installing LVT plank flooring in your home, this guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to properly install and maintain it to ensure its longevity and beauty.
1. Prepare the subfloor: Before installing LVT plank flooring, it’s essential to prepare the subfloor properly. Remove any existing flooring and ensure that the subfloor is clean, dry, and level. Fill in any cracks or irregularities in the subfloor with a self-leveling compound and let it dry for the recommended time.
2. Acclimate the flooring: Most manufacturers recommend acclimating the LVT plank flooring to the room’s temperature and humidity for at least 48 hours before installation. Store the flooring in the room where it will be installed and keep the temperature and humidity levels similar to those of the room during the installation process.
3. Install underlayment: While not necessary for all LVT plank flooring, installing an underlayment can help reduce noise, add cushioning, and provide additional insulation. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the underlayment, ensuring it covers the entire subfloor without overlapping.
4. Lay the first row: Start by creating a straight guideline using a chalk line on the subfloor. This guideline will serve as a reference for laying the first row of LVT plank flooring. Begin the first row against a wall, leaving a 1/4-inch expansion gap between the flooring and the wall. Lay the planks end-to-end, ensuring they are properly aligned and interlocked.
5. Continue installation: Once the first row is in place, continue installing the remaining rows, interlocking the planks and using a tapping block and rubber mallet to ensure a tight fit. Stagger the seams between the planks by at least 6 inches to create a more natural look. Cut the last plank of each row to fit using a utility knife or a saw, making sure to leave the same 1/4-inch expansion gap at the end of each row.
6. Trim and finish: After completing the installation, remove any spacers used to maintain the expansion gap. Install baseboards or quarter-round molding to cover the gap and create a finished look. Be careful not to secure the molding directly to the LVT plank flooring to allow for expansion and contraction.
1. Regular cleaning: To keep your LVT plank flooring looking its best, sweep or vacuum it regularly to remove dirt and debris that can scratch its surface. Use a damp mop or a vinyl floor cleaner specifically designed for LVT plank flooring to remove any spills or stains. Avoid using abrasive cleaners, wax, or oil-based products, as they can damage the floor’s finish.
2. Preventative measures: Place doormats at entryways to reduce the amount of dirt and moisture being tracked onto your LVT plank flooring. Use furniture pads underneath the legs of heavy furniture to prevent scratches. Avoid dragging sharp or heavy objects across the floor, as they can cause permanent damage.
3. Address spills and stains promptly: While LVT plank flooring is resistant to moisture, it’s still important to clean up any spills or stains immediately to prevent potential damage. Wipe up spills using a clean cloth or paper towel and clean the area with a mild detergent if necessary. For stubborn stains, consult the manufacturer’s recommendations or seek professional assistance.
By following these installation and maintenance guidelines, you can enjoy the beauty and durability of LVT plank flooring for years to come. Remember to always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific recommendations and requirements for your particular flooring brand and model.