The post-pandemic environment has presented floor covering installers with a golden opportunity for business growth installing luxury vinyl tile and plank in the residential marketplace. Taking these four steps help ensure both successful installations of LVT flooring and satisfied home owners.
- Make an educated purchase of LVT. The vast majority of LVT manufacturers are reputable and produce high-quality products. However, some questionable, low-cost, low-quality merchandise has found its way into the marketplace. These products contain a high percentage of recycled content, which can undermine the integrity of the flooring. The best LVT contains little to no recycled content.
- Understand the installation instructions prior to beginning the work. This is critical because there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to installing LVT. There are important differences in the various LVT products on the market and how they are properly installed. As a result, installers should completely understand the installation instructions for the specific LVT product they are installing prior to beginning the installation. Any questions regarding proper installation should be directed to the LVT manufacturer or researched on the company’s website.
- Carefully assess the substrate for problems prior to the LVT installation, particularly when LVT is being installed in existing homes. The substrate must be flat, smooth and stable for the best results. Any flooring that is not adhered to the slab or creates an uneven subfloor should be removed. There are an array of excellent patches and self-leveling, feather-finish and underlayment products on the market to address substrate issues. In today’s fast-track construction world, two ultra-fast drying underlayment products are increasingly used in the residential market: Ardex Feather Finish and Mapei Planipatch.
While it is typically not necessary to prep them, substrates in new homes should still be assessed before LVT is installed. There have been cases, for example, when wood to be used as a substrate has been subjected to heavy rains, undermining its efficacy. Also, the seams in new home substrates may need to be sanded to ensure that the substrate is smooth.Examine the tile for variances in shade or color, particularly with larger installations. When luxury vinyl tiles are produced in different runs, there can be slight variations in the color or shade of the tile. In order to avoid sharp contrasts in color or shade, it is important to mix the tiles from random boxes in such a way that the color or shade variations will blend together in order to produce a visually attractive look.