Luxury vinyl plank tile, also known as LVT, is a popular flooring option that combines the beauty of hardwood with the durability and easy maintenance of vinyl. It offers a luxurious look while being budget-friendly and suitable for high-moisture areas like bathrooms and kitchens. If you want to install luxury vinyl plank tile in your home, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process.
1. Prepare the Subfloor: Before installing luxury vinyl plank tile, it’s important to prepare the subfloor properly. Ensure that the subfloor is clean, dry, and smooth. Remove any dust, dirt, or debris, and repair any existing damage. If necessary, level the subfloor using a self-leveling compound to create a flat surface. It’s crucial to have a solid base for the vinyl planks to adhere to and prevent any future issues.
2. Acclimate the Planks: Luxury vinyl plank tile needs to acclimate to the room’s humidity and temperature for at least 48 hours before installation. Place the planks in the room where they will be installed and keep them at a consistent temperature. This process allows the planks to expand or contract, ensuring a better fit and preventing any buckling or warping after installation.
3. Measure and Plan: Before starting the installation, measure the room and calculate the square footage needed. It’s recommended to buy an extra 5-10% of material to account for any wastage or mistakes during the installation process. Plan the layout by deciding which direction you want the planks to run. It’s usually best to install them parallel to the longest wall in the room for a more aesthetically pleasing look. Consider which areas will require full planks and where you may need to cut them to fit. This planning phase will save time and ensure a professional finish.
4. Begin Installation: Start by laying the first plank in the corner of the room, with the tongue side facing the wall. Use spacers to create a small gap between the plank and the wall, allowing for expansion. Connect the next plank by angling it and snapping it into place, ensuring a tight fit. Continue this process, joining each plank along the long side until you reach the end of the row. Cut the last plank to fit using a utility knife or a vinyl cutter. For the subsequent rows, offset the seams by at least 6 inches to create a staggered appearance. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for connecting the planks correctly.
5. Finishing Touches: Once all the luxury vinyl plank tiles are installed, remove the spacers and fill the expansion gaps with a silicone-based caulk that matches the color of the flooring. Use a rubber mallet to ensure all the planks are snugly fit and there are no visible gaps between them. Finally, install any transition pieces, such as thresholds or molding, to provide a seamless transition between the vinyl plank flooring and other flooring types in adjacent rooms.
In conclusion, installing luxury vinyl plank tile is a fantastic way to upgrade the aesthetics and durability of your floors. By following these steps for preparation, acclimation, measurement, and installation, you can achieve a professional and long-lasting result. Remember to always consult the manufacturer’s instructions and take safety precautions while handling tools or working on the subfloor. With the right tools, materials, and attention to detail, you can accomplish a beautiful flooring transformation with luxury vinyl plank tile.