The popularity of luxury vinyl tile and luxury vinyl plank (LVT/LVP) flooring continues to increase, therefore, it’s vital to note how critical floor preparation is for LVT/LVP installation. LVP and LVT are luxury vinyl floors that offer a simple path to refresh and upgrade a surface with a durable, aesthetically pleasing finish. They are just that – however expect them to look and function as well as the subfloor that lay below.
When considering LVT/LVP installations it is necessary to apply the standards and guidance found in ASTM F710. LVP/LVT flooring installations (flooring and adhesive) over concrete must assess and address moisture vapor emissions from concrete.
Given this critical issue addressed, we move to the topic of achieving suitable aesthetics, avoiding trip hazards and premature wear of the LVP/LVT installation. This requires ensuring the substrate is sound, flat and smooth.
Subfloor defects typically telegraph, or reveal themselves in an undesirable fashion in the surface of the LVT/LVP where flaws may be accentuated, rather than hidden by the installation.
A subfloor that lacks a smooth flat surface will reflect deficiencies, such as uneven joints between planks and tiles; floors with obvious slopes, bumps, ridges and/or rolls, etc. These deficiencies can quickly turn what was anticipated to be a beautiful floor into a disappointing eyesore.
Appropriate surface preparation is essential to avoid these undesirable outcomes..
Uneven joints between tiles create trip and cleaning hazards, as well as premature wear of the exposed edge.
Suitable surface preparation may be realized by application of a smoothing/patch product in the hands of a professional. However, there is a better, and more certain path to a substrate that is super flat and smooth. Today’s self-leveling underlayments like Skimflow NP or Platform’s L3 are ideal for the job. Featuring the ability to be placed over compromised substrates, adhesives residue, concrete, gypsum or wood, these products flow and lay down smooth.
Contractors and first users alike comment on the installation that “looks like sheet of ice!” Substrates so smooth and flat ensure the effort and expense of a new floor is something enjoyed every day; aesthetically beautiful, functionally sound.
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