LVTs are designed to be both affordable and low-maintenance, making them a popular choice for both residential and commercial spaces. Furthermore, LVTs are available in a wide variety of colours and textures so you can choose a style that perfectly fits your decor.
Luxury vinyl tiles (LVTs) are a type of flooring that mimic the look of natural materials like hardwood, stone and ceramic tile. LVTs are made from multiple layers of vinyl that are fused together to create a durable, water resistant surface.
Can you DIY install LVTs?
LVTs are designed to be easy to install. So, if you’re looking to do a DIY flooring project, they can be a great choice.
Most LVTs come with a ‘click and lock’ installation system that allows the planks or tiles to snap together without glue. However, it is always important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and to make sure that your subfloor is clean, level and free of any debris before you begin installation.
If you’re not comfortable with DIY projects, you can always hire a professional to install your LVTs for you.
How to Install LVTs
As mentioned, it is always important to consult the manufacturer’s instructions before installing LVTs, as not all products are the same. We have created a simple list, however, so you can get an idea of the installation process.
- Prepare the subfloor: Firstly, you need to make sure the subfloor is clean, level and free of debris. You may also need to use a self-levelling compound to even out any low spots on the floor.
- Measure and cut the planks: You’ll want to measure your room before ordering your floor to work out exactly how much flooring you’ll need. When you have your floor ready for installation, you will need to use your room measurements to work out the exact number of tiles you’ll need and how many you will need to cut to fit the edges. You should use a vinyl tile cutter to cut the planks or tiles to the appropriate size, as many tiles have a stone backing which cannot be cut through with a saw.
- Begin installation: Start in one corner of the room and lay the planks or tiles in a staggered pattern. Use spaces to maintain a consistent gap between the planks and the wall.
- Click and lock the planks: Once you’ve laid a few rows of planks, use the ‘click and lock’ system to snap the planks together. You should use gentle pressure to ensure a tight fit.
- Cut around obstacles: If there are obstacles that you can’t lay your flooring around, like doorways or pipes, use your tile cutter to cut the pieces into shape to fit around them.
- Finish the installation: Once all of the planks are laid, remove the spacers and install baseboards or quarter round to cover the expansion gap.
How to choose the right tiles?
Firstly, it’s essential to assess your needs and lifestyle. Consider the amount of foot traffic in the room where you plan to install the LVT. High-traffic areas like entryways and living rooms require more durable and wear-resistant tiles. If you have pets or children, you may want to opt for LVT that is scratch-resistant and can withstand spills and accidents.
Next, determine the suitable location for LVT. Luxury vinyl tiles can be installed in any room of your home, including kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. However, it’s important to choose LVT specifically designed for wet areas if you plan to install them in bathrooms or kitchens. These tiles have enhanced waterproof or water-resistant properties, ensuring their longevity and performance in areas prone to moisture.
When exploring different styles and designs, consider the overall aesthetic of your home and the specific room where the LVT will be installed. Luxury vinyl tiles come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and textures, allowing you to achieve the desired look. Whether you prefer a natural wood look, stone-inspired designs, or contemporary patterns, there is an LVT option to match your style.
Quality and durability are crucial factors to consider when choosing luxury vinyl tiles. Look for tiles with a thick wear layer, as it determines the tile’s ability to withstand daily wear and tear. Additionally, check if the LVT has been tested for durability and can handle heavy furniture without leaving indentations. Reading product specifications and customer reviews can provide valuable insights into the quality and longevity of the tiles you are considering.
Understanding the different types of LVT is important in making an informed decision. There are three primary installation methods for luxury vinyl tiles: click-lock, glue-down, and loose lay. Click-lock tiles are easy to install and can be floated over the subfloor. Glue-down tiles provide a more permanent installation and are suitable for areas with high moisture or heavy traffic. Loose lay tiles require no adhesive and can be easily replaced if needed. Consider the pros and cons of each installation method based on your preferences and the specific requirements of your project.
In addition to installation methods, evaluate the thickness and wear layer of the LVT. Thicker tiles generally offer better durability and stability. The wear layer is a protective coating that resists scratches, stains, and fading. Opt for LVT with a thicker wear layer for areas that are prone to heavy use or direct sunlight exposure.
Consider the environmental impact of the LVT you choose. Look for LVT products that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and have received certifications such as FloorScore or GREENGUARD. These certifications ensure that the tiles meet rigorous standards for indoor air quality and environmental sustainability.
Budget is another important factor to consider. Luxury vinyl tiles come in a wide range of price points, so determine your budget beforehand and explore options within that range. Remember to factor in the cost of installation if you plan to hire a professional.
To hammer the point home (we love a DIY reference) , it is really important to follow your manufacturer’s guide when installing your new floor. Although our guide may help you with the overall view of the project, there are variations between manufacturers of LVTs that may mean there are specific steps or instructions you need to follow to get the perfect finish.