Vinyl Installation Dos and Don’ts
As with any major project, there are certain things that are advised to do and others that should be avoided. Knowing these before you start your project will help you have the best results.
Vinyl flooring is a resilient type of floor. It’s one of the reasons why it’s so popular in both homes and commercial spaces. Still, there are things that can happen to cause damage to the material and diminish the quality of the installation. The key is to keep these in mind throughout your project so you don’t make any costly mistakes unintentionally.
Here are the do’s and don’ts of any vinyl flooring installation.
Vinyl Installation Dos
- Do lay a piece of scrap vinyl before installation to check for moisture in the subfloor. Lay one piece of scrap vinyl and securely seal all of the edges with duct tape. Let it sit for three days. If the tape comes up easily, you’ll know your floor has too much moisture for a vinyl flooring install. This is highly important for concrete subfloors.
- Do acclimate your floor and room. Keep the room at a normal temperature for at least 48 hours before installation is set to begin and let the vinyl acclimate in this temperature.
- Do use a vapor barrier if installing over concrete. Use a vapor barrier over concrete when installing a click and lock vinyl. Adhesives should have a water-resistant barrier in them as well for glue-down vinyls.
- Do leave an expansion gap for click-lock vinyl. Click-Lock vinyls need an expansion gap to expand and contract as a floating floor. Use shims or spacers along the perimeter walls.
- Do check your subfloor with a level. Lumps and dips are hard to see with the naked eye. Check for any subtle lumps or dips that you can solve before installation for better results.
- Do read your manufacturer’s instructions. Every manufacturer has their own recommendations about what to use to seal in the flooring and how to keep it clean. Read these before using any chemicals or treatments.
- Do use non-staining doormats. Not using a doormat could cause you to drag in dust, dirt and debris to your work site. This is also a good tip for after your flooring is installed so you don’t drag potentially harmful debris into your home and onto your vinyl. Mats should be labeled “non-staining”. Rubber, cocoa-backed or latex backed mats may discolor vinyl flooring.
- Do clean up spills immediately. Although vinyl floors are moisture proof, standing water can cause mold and mildew to grow.
Vinyl Installation Don’ts
- Don’t forget floor height differences. If you’re ripping out an old flooring, such as tile or hardwood, you will probably have a gap between your door jam and the floor. This is because most floors are a little taller than vinyl. Ask a flooring expert about transitions to go from room to room.
- Don’t hammer planks. Some installers hammer in planks to get them as close as possible to the surrounding vinyl. This can harm the vinyl. Instead, use a pull bar and hammer that instead. This will accomplish the same task without harming the floor.
- Don’t walk on your vinyl flooring after installation for at least 48 hours. Click lock vinyls can be walked on immediately, however, glue down planks should be given time to securely set.
- Don’t use a beater bar when you vacuum vinyl. This can cause scratching and other damage to your floors. The same is true of any abrasive cleaner.
- Don’t slide heavy furniture over your vinyl. Instead, use furniture coasters to move furniture easily and without damage.
- Don’t use adhesive not approved for LVT/vinyl tile installation. Check manufacturer instructions for selecting the right kind of adhesive.
Knowing what to do and what not to do during a vinyl flooring installation is critical. With these tips, you’re sure to have a quality installation and floors that’ll last for years to come!