Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) has emerged as a versatile and popular flooring option for homeowners seeking a perfect blend of affordability, aesthetics, and durability. Before embarking on the installation of Luxury Vinyl Plank, there are crucial considerations to ensure a successful and satisfying outcome. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into what to consider before installing LVP, covering aspects from subfloor assessment to maintenance practices.
Subfloor Assessment: The Foundation for Success
Subfloor Type and Condition: Assessing the type and condition of your subfloor is the first crucial step. LVP can be installed over various subfloors, including plywood, concrete, and existing vinyl or tile. Ensure the subfloor is clean, level, and free of imperfections. Any unevenness or damage must be addressed before installation.
Moisture Levels: While LVP is generally more resilient to moisture than many flooring options, it’s important to assess the moisture levels in the subfloor. Use a moisture meter to ensure the moisture content is within the acceptable range, preventing issues like warping or mold growth.
Subfloor Preparation: Prepare the subfloor by removing any existing flooring materials, adhesive residue, or debris. Fill in gaps and level uneven spots with a suitable leveling compound. Proper subfloor preparation is essential for the stability and longevity of the LVP installation.
Climate Considerations: Adapting to Your Environment
Acclimation Period: While LVP is less prone to temperature and humidity fluctuations than natural wood, allowing the flooring to acclimate to the environment is still important. Leave the LVP in the room for at least 48 hours before installation to allow it to adjust to the temperature and humidity levels.
Relative Humidity (RH): Maintaining a stable relative humidity level in your home is crucial for the long-term performance of LVP. Fluctuations in humidity can affect the dimensions of the planks, potentially leading to issues such as expansion or contraction.
Climate Impact on LVP Selection: Consider your region’s climate when selecting LVP. In areas with high humidity, choosing an LVP with enhanced water-resistant features may be beneficial. In dry climates, selecting an LVP that resists contraction may be preferable.
Choosing the Right Luxury Vinyl Plank: Specifications Matter
Wear Layer Thickness: The wear layer, or the topmost protective surface of LVP, comes in different thicknesses. Thicker wear layers provide increased durability and resistance to scratches and dents. Consider the expected foot traffic in the space when choosing the appropriate wear layer thickness.
Design and Visual Appeal: LVP comes in a wide range of designs, colors, and patterns, mimicking the look of natural materials like wood or stone. Consider your design preferences and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve in your space. Whether it’s a classic wood look, a modern tile appearance, or something in between, there’s an LVP option for every style.
Texture and Embossing: The texture and embossing on the surface of LVP contribute to its realism. High-quality LVP often features realistic embossing that enhances the look and feel of the flooring. Whether you prefer a smooth surface or a textured one that mimics natural wood grain, consider the options available.
Installation Type: LVP typically comes in two installation types—click and lock or glue-down. Click and lock systems are popular for DIY installations, allowing planks to interlock without adhesive. Glue-down installations provide a stable and permanent floor and may be preferred in specific circumstances.
Room-Specific Considerations: Tailoring LVP Installation
High-Traffic Areas: In areas with heavy foot traffic, such as hallways and living rooms, consider LVP with a thicker wear layer for enhanced durability. High-quality LVP can withstand the demands of daily use without showing signs of wear.
Kitchens and Bathrooms: LVP is inherently water-resistant, making it suitable for kitchens and bathrooms. However, in spaces where water exposure is common, choosing an LVP with enhanced waterproof features is advisable. Some LVP products are specifically designed to resist water damage.
Basements: LVP is a popular choice for basements due to its resistance to moisture. Before installation, ensure the basement is well-ventilated and that any moisture issues are addressed. Installing a vapor barrier can add an extra layer of protection.
Installation Methods: DIY or Professional Assistance?
Click and Lock Installation: Click and lock installation systems, where LVP planks seamlessly interlock, are user-friendly and well-suited for DIY enthusiasts. This method is often chosen for its simplicity, allowing for easy and quick installation.
Glue-Down Installation: Gluing LVP directly to the subfloor provides a stable and permanent installation. This method is commonly used in areas where a floating floor may not be suitable, such as stairs or high-moisture environments.
Professional Installation: While DIY installations are popular, enlisting professional assistance ensures that the flooring is expertly placed, addressing potential challenges and guaranteeing a seamless and long-lasting result. Professional installers have the experience to handle specific installation methods and tackle complex spaces.
Budget Considerations: Balancing Quality and Cost
Cost of Materials: LVP comes in a variety of price points, influenced by factors such as the wear layer thickness, design, and brand reputation. Establish a budget that aligns with your preferences and expectations for the space.
Installation Costs: In addition to material costs, consider the costs of installation. While DIY installations can save on labor, professional installations ensure expertise and may be necessary for specific installation methods or challenging spaces.
Long-Term Value: LVP is often chosen for its cost-effectiveness, but it’s essential to consider the long-term value. While upfront costs may be lower than some alternatives, the durability, water resistance, and low maintenance of LVP contribute to its value over time.
Maintenance and Care: Preserving the Beauty of LVP
Regular Cleaning Routine: Establish a routine for cleaning your LVP. Regular sweeping or vacuuming removes dirt and debris, preventing scratches. Damp mop with a recommended vinyl floor cleaner to keep the surface clean without excessive moisture.
Avoiding Excessive Moisture: While LVP is water-resistant, avoid excessive water exposure. Wipe up spills promptly, and use area rugs in high-risk areas like kitchens. Avoid using excessive water during cleaning to prevent potential damage.
Furniture Pads and Area Rugs: Place furniture pads under the legs of furniture to prevent scratches and dents. Area rugs can provide an extra layer of protection in high-traffic zones and add a touch of personal style.
Before installing Cordalera Flooring Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP), a thoughtful consideration of factors ranging from subfloor assessment to climate considerations and maintenance practices is essential. By understanding the unique characteristics of LVP and tailoring the installation process to your specific needs, you can ensure a successful flooring project that not only enhances the aesthetics of your space but also provides long-lasting durability and ease of maintenance. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently navigate the decision. We also advise you to look at both of our collections the Enduro and the Enduro Max. These collections have amazing colors that everyone loves.