How to Install LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles)
Luxury vinyl tiles (LVT), are a popular choice for the modern home. Designed with affordability, practicality and luxury in mind, these floors are available in hundreds of different designs.
One of the best benefits of LVT flooring is that it is the easiest type of flooring to install. Here, you’ll find a detailed guide on how to fit your new LVT floor.
1. Understand the Installation Methods
It is worth noting that there are different installation methods available with LVT flooring. They include click, loose lay and the glue down method.
Click system installation tends to be the most common option available, particularly for domestic LVT flooring. Each plank or tile is fitted with a click system, enabling them to simply click together with the next plank or tile.
The loose lay method is undoubtedly the easiest. However, it’s also the least common option. The underside of the boards features a grip backing which sticks to practically any subfloor. These types of floors don’t even require underlay, meaning they can be installed very quickly with minimum fuss.
The glue down method is also popular and it provides the most secure fit. However, it is also the messiest and most time-consuming method of installation. For this reason, it’s often best to enlist the help of a professional if you can afford to.
The LVT floor you’ve chosen will have its own specific guidelines you should follow. We always recommend following manufacturer guidelines to ensure the best and safest fit.
2. What Tools Will You Need?
To install an LVT floor, you’re going to need these essentials:
- A tape measure
- LVT underlay
- Rubber mallet
- Ruler and pencil
- Spirit level
- Stanley knife or saw
These tools will help you to fit the floor with professional looking results. Even if you’re using click system LVT, you’ll want to use a rubber mallet to gently knock the LVT tiles or planks into position.
3. Measure The Room
No matter what type of flooring you’re investing in, you’ll always need to start by measuring the room. This helps you to identify how much flooring you’ll need.
Measure the longest and widest walls, the multiply the length by the width. This will show you how many square metres the room measures. You’ll then want to make sure you purchase an extra 10% of the flooring on top of the square metre calculation. This will allow for waste when installing the floor.
4. Acclimatise Your LVT
Although LVT flooring isn’t made from real wood, many homeowners are surprised to learn that it still needs to be acclimatised before installation. Like other types of flooring, they should be acclimatised for a minimum of 48 hours in the room where they’ll be fitted.
This process ensures the floor won’t expand or change significantly once it’s been installed. This could potentially damage the floor or form unsightly gaps. Make sure you acclimatise the floor in its original, unopened packaging.
5. Prepare the Subfloor
Start by preparing the subfloor ready for installation. Take time to check that the subfloor is even and clean. Remove anything which could prevent the LVT from being laid flat onto the floor such as nails or dry lumps of glue.
It’s also a good idea to check moisture levels of the subfloor and use an underlay with a moisture proof membrane if needed.
6. Installing LVT underlay
Prior to installing your LVT floor, you’ll want to install specialised LVT underlay. This isn’t a strict requirement and some floors may not need an extra underlay. Always check with manufacturer guidelines to see if your floor does require an underlay.
If it does, you’ll want to roll out the LVT underlay away from the direction the floor will be fitted at a right angle. If it comes with a moisture barrier, make sure that is facing downwards during installation.
7. Installing the Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT)
Installing LVT flooring couldn’t be easier. Known as the simplest and fastest type of flooring to install, you should find it a fairly straightforward process. Here’s a brief step-by-step guide to installing the most common angle click method…
7.1 Step 1: Place the spacers around the edge of the room, leaving approximately a 7mm to 10mm gap. Remember to leave gaps around things such as radiator pipes and door frames too.
7.2 Step 2: Start the first row with half a plank, ensuring the female part of the click system is facing away from the wall. Then, insert the male part of the end joint of the second plank at a 45-degree angle, into the female part of the first plank. Gently push it flat until you hear it click. Continue this method to install the rest of the planks in the first row.
7.3 Step 3: Use a full plank to start the second row installation. Click the ends of the planks in the second row together, the same as you did with the planks in the first row. Make sure the male end is facing towards the planks in the first row.
7.4 Step 4: Once you have connected the ends of the second row together, gently position the entire second row at an angle to the first row. Then, lower the planks down to click both rows together.
7.5 Step 5: Continue following steps 3 and 4 until the remaining rows have all been fitted.
The method will vary for fold down or top down click systems. Always refer to manufacturer advice prior to installing.