How to Install LVT: A Step-by-Step Guide

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is a popular flooring option due to its durability, affordability, and wide range of design choices. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a novice looking to tackle your first flooring project, installing LVT is a relatively straightforward process. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to ensure a successful installation of your LVT floor.

Step 1: Preparing the Subfloor

Before you begin the LVT installation, it’s crucial to prepare the subfloor properly. Start by inspecting the existing subfloor for any moisture issues or structural concerns. Ensure that the subfloor is clean, flat, dry, and free from any debris, such as loose nails or adhesive remnants. Repair any damaged areas and patch any holes or cracks before proceeding further.

Step 2: Acclimating the LVT

Once your subfloor is ready, it’s time to acclimate the LVT. Unpack the flooring materials and let them sit at room temperature for at least 48 hours in the environment where they will be installed. This allows the LVT to adjust to the moisture and temperature of the room, preventing any expansion or contraction after installation.

Step 3: Planning the Layout

Before you start laying the LVT, plan the layout of your floor to ensure a balanced and visually appealing result. Start by determining the center of the room and find its most visible wall. Use a chalk line or a straight edge to mark a parallel line to the wall, ensuring it is square to the room. Lay out a row of LVT planks or tiles along this line, leaving a 1/4 inch expansion gap between each piece and the wall. Adjust the starting point as necessary to avoid ending up with narrow cut pieces against the walls.

Step 4: Installing the LVT

Begin the installation by applying a manufacturer-recommended adhesive to the subfloor using a notched trowel. Allow the adhesive to set according to the instructions provided. Starting at your layout’s reference line, place the first LVT plank or tile onto the adhesive, pushing it firmly into place. Continue adding the remaining pieces row by row, ensuring each seam is tight and aligned correctly. Use a tapping block and rubber mallet to secure the planks or tiles together, ensuring a snug fit.

Step 5: Trimming and Finishing

Once you reach the opposite wall, you will likely need to trim the last row of LVT planks or tiles to fit. Measure the required width of the last row and cut the pieces accordingly, leaving the same 1/4 inch expansion gap as before. Ensure to leave enough space to accommodate any necessary transitions or molding. Finally, for a finished look, install baseboards or quarter round molding around the perimeter of the room to cover the expansion gap and provide a clean transition between the LVT and the walls.

By following these steps, you can confidently install your LVT flooring, creating a beautiful and long-lasting outcome for your space. Remember to always refer to the manufacturer’s specific installation instructions as they may vary slightly. With a little patience and attention to detail, you’ll have a visually appealing and functional LVT floor that you can enjoy for many years to come.