27 September 2022

Is there anywhere you shouldn’t lay LVT?

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is a fantastic flooring choice for any home or business. It’s durable, easy to maintain and available in various colours, styles and finishes.  But while LVT offers many benefits, it’s not perfect, and there are some scenarios where it might not be the most suitable option. In this article, we’re looking at things that can impact LVT.

Is your subfloor in bad condition?

Subflooring is the layer of material your LVT sits on top of – it might be bare concrete, wood planks, or old tiles.

Before installing any LVT product, you need to ensure a clean, level subfloor. If your subfloor is uneven, this can cause problems.

Click and lock planks (floating floors) don’t always click together properly over bumps and dips, which can damage the waterproof seal. The imperfections in your subfloor might also be visible, and you may end up with areas where your floor feels slightly springy underfoot.

Will your floor be subject to excessive wear and tear?

LVT is extremely durable, but it can be susceptible to punctures and dents. A sharp knife being dropped or metal table legs scraping your floor will damage it. And it’s not always easy to replace a single plank or tile, especially if your floor is glued down.

Even if you can replace individual planks, you may have some colour fade on old planks, so your new planks will look odd.

If your floor will be subject to lots of high-heels, furniture being dragged and moved, or heavy objects being in place for extended periods, you might want to opt for an alternative to LVT.

Will it be exposed to UV?

If you’re looking at LVT for a sunroom or conservatory, opt for a high-quality, UV-resistant product. Although UV damage and discolouration aren’t exclusive to LVT, it can be more susceptible, particularly if the product is of low quality.  If you are set on LVT for a room with excessive sunlight, limit exposure by keeping blinds or curtains closed when the room is not in use.

Are you looking for something temporary?

If you’re planning on changing your floor within the next couple of years, glue-down LVT is not the way to go. Not only is it hard to remove, but it’s also non-biodegradable and difficult to recycle.

Non-glue-down (click or floating) LVT is easier to get up, and it is possible to reuse planks or tiles in another location. However, glue-down is the better option if your space is large and open.

Are you installing LVT under cabinets?

If you’re installing heavy cabinets, such as kitchen units, on top of your new flooring, you should avoid click-lock LVT.  Because it isn’t glued down, it needs to be able to expand and contract with temperature changes. Heavy cabinets will restrict it, resulting in planks buckling or the click-lock systems getting damaged.

Glue-down LVT is a better option for kitchens as the subfloor will support it.

Is your LVT going on top of existing tiles?

If you plan to lay LVT over existing floor tiles, be wary of asbestos. A floating floor is suitable for covering and encapsulating asbestos tiles, but glue-down products should be avoided.

If you glue your product to asbestos tiles, you might cause problems when you want to remove the tiles again in the future, as ripping them up could disturb the asbestos.

Are the moisture levels high?

Many LVT products are waterproof, but that doesn’t mean moisture isn’t a problem. Too much moisture in the subfloor can cause your LVT to curl, cup or lift, leaving it looking unsightly. Additionally, high moisture can cause mould or mildew, shortening the lifespan of your floor. Big temperature changes can also cause problems with your LVT by causing it to contract and expand.

If you are laying LVT in a room prone to moisture, such as a bathroom, you’ll need to take extra measures to prevent moisture damage.

Professional floor fitters will check moisture levels and ensure your subfloor is dry enough. If your subfloor leaks moisture, you might want to consider an extra layer of protection or an alternative to LVT.

Get expert advice

If you are unsure whether LVT is the right option for your space, speak to flooring experts like Beyond Flooring.

We’ll help you understand which options are right for your space and which products are most suitable, so you can enjoy your new floor for longer.

Plus, we can prepare your subfloor and professionally install your new flooring. And we offer a two-year warranty on all domestic installations to give you complete peace of mind. If you need a little inspiration, check out our customer gallery, or visit our showroom. Our friendly team are always happy to help you select the perfect flooring for your home.

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