Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring has become a popular choice for homeowners seeking a cost-effective and visually appealing alternative to traditional hardwood floors. While the installation process might appear relatively straightforward, there are common mistakes that can lead to unsightly results and decreased longevity of your LVP flooring. Let’s explore the three most significant errors to avoid during your LVP installation journey.
1. Underestimating the Importance of Subfloor Preparation
Proper subfloor preparation is the foundation of a successful LVP installation. Overlooking this step can lead to an uneven surface, irritating noises when walking on the floor, and even premature damage to your new investment.
Mistake: Ignoring Subfloor Moisture and Levelness
Neglecting to test the moisture levels of your subfloor can lead to serious issues down the line, including warping, swelling, and mold growth. Additionally, an unlevel subfloor can result in an unstable LVP installation, causing planks to separate or create an uneven appearance.
Solution: Thoroughly Test Moisture Levels and Ensure Level Subfloor
Invest in a reliable moisture testing kit to determine if your subfloor meets the acceptable moisture content. If unevenness is detected, address it using a suitable leveling compound. These precautions will guarantee a sturdy and flawless foundation for your LVP installation.
2. Rushing the Acclimation Process
Allowing your LVP flooring time to acclimate to the environment is a crucial step to prevent issues related to temperature and humidity changes. Skipping this step can result in gaps, buckling, or other unsightly flaws.
Mistake: Neglecting Acclimation Time
Failing to give your LVP flooring the necessary acclimation time can lead to problems as it expands or contracts after installation. This can result in uneven surfaces and gaps between planks.
Solution: Prioritize Proper Acclimation
Before installation, let your LVP flooring acclimate to the room’s conditions. Store the planks in the space for the recommended time outlined by the manufacturer. This process allows the flooring to adjust to the temperature and humidity, ensuring a stable and aesthetically pleasing installation.
3. Incorrect Expansion Gap Calculations
Just like any floating floor, LVP requires adequate room for expansion and contraction due to environmental changes. Overlooking the need for proper expansion gaps can lead to visible flaws and compromised durability.
Mistake: Skimping on Expansion Gap Size
Assuming that a small expansion gap will suffice is a common oversight. In reality, insufficient spacing can result in planks pressing against walls or fixtures, causing them to warp or buckle over time.
Solution: Consult Guidelines and Implement Spacers
Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine the correct expansion gap size for your specific LVP product. Remember to account for gaps near doorways, transitions, and immovable objects. Employ spacers during installation to maintain the necessary gaps, allowing your LVP flooring the flexibility it needs.
When installing Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring, avoiding these three significant mistakes is essential for achieving a visually appealing and enduring result. Prioritize proper subfloor preparation, ensure adequate acclimation, and meticulously calculate expansion gaps according to manufacturer recommendations. By following these steps, your LVP installation will yield professional-looking, long-lasting floors that enhance the beauty and value of your space.