Here we detail the process when laying your new LVT flooring. We describe the installation process of glue-down, click and looselay LVT.Written by: Yarl Christie
Published on: July 27, 2023
How to Install LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles)
Luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) are a popular choice for the modern home. Designed with affordability, practicality and luxury in mind, these floors are available in hundreds of different designs and come with a great range of features.
One of the benefits of LVT flooring is that it is fairly simple to install. Here, we have created a guide on the different joining methods and how to fit your new LVT floor.
Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) Joining Methods
You have two installation options when looking for your new luxury vinyl tile floor. The easiest is the click system method, which the majority of luxury vinyl tiles include in their design. Or you can choose the looselay method and glue-down method.
Here, you’ll discover more about each method to determine which is right for you. As well as learning about the different joining methods, we also recommend looking at how to install LVT designer strips. This will help you to produce a flawless, aesthetically pleasing finish.
Click LVT Installation Method
With its easy click system, the tiles can be effortlessly interlocked without the need for adhesives, making the installation process simple and efficient. Click installation LVT are available in a variety of attractive designs and durable materials, making it a suitable choice for both residential and commercial spaces. Its practicality and ease of installation make it a popular option for DIY projects as well as professional installations.
Additionally, Click Installation LVT is designed to withstand the wear and tear of daily use, ensuring a long-lasting and visually appealing flooring solution for any environment. Comparing glue down LVT with click fit LVT, click installation tend to be softer underfoot and benefit from a thickness similar to laminate.
LVT Glue-down Installation Method
Glue down LVT is another popular option to consider when you are searching for a new vinyl floor. This involves gluing each tile down to the subfloor. While this is still fairly easy to do, you will need to pay attention to the dimensions of the floor to make sure they are correctly aligned. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to the tiles' effects, ensuring they match up correctly when laying the floor.
The main benefit of this method is that the floor will be fully stable and extra-durable. It will withstand a high level of daily wear and tear and when the floor eventually wears down, another one can be fitted right over the top of it. However, you should find the floor doesn’t wear down for many years.
Looselay LVT Installation Method
Looselay LVT, also known as Loose Lay LVT, is a type of luxury vinyl tile flooring that offers a hassle-free installation process. Unlike traditional LVT that requires adhesive, Looselay LVT does not need glue or click systems. Instead, it relies on its weight and grip to stay securely in place on the subfloor.
This unique installation method makes it easy to install and also allows for quick removal or repositioning if needed. Looselay LVT comes in a variety of designs and styles, providing versatility and visual appeal for various spaces.
Its practicality and ease of installation make it a popular choice for DIY projects and areas that require a temporary flooring solution.
How to Install LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles)
Once you have chosen your joining method, it is time to install your new floor. While it is important to follow the specific instructions that come with the floor, there are some general installation guidelines you can follow.
Understand the Installation Methods
It is worth noting that there are different installation methods available with LVT flooring. They include click, loose lay and the glue-down method.
Click system installation tends to be the most common option available, particularly for domestic LVT flooring. Each plank or tile is fitted with a click system, enabling them to simply click together with the next plank or tile.
The loose lay method is undoubtedly the easiest. However, it’s also the least common option. The underside of the boards features a grip backing which sticks to practically any subfloor. These types of floors don’t even require underlay, meaning they can be installed very quickly with minimum fuss.
The glue-down method is also popular, and it provides the most secure fit. However, it is also the messiest and most time-consuming method of installation. For this reason, it’s often best to enlist the help of a professional if you can afford to.
The LVT floor you have chosen will have its own specific guidelines you should follow. We always recommend following manufacturer guidelines to ensure the best and safest fit.
What Tools Are Needed To Install LVT?
To install an LVT floor, you’re going to need these essentials:
- A tape measure
- LVT underlay
- Rubber mallet
- Ruler and pencil
- Spirit level
- Stanley knife or saw
These tools will help you to fit the floor with professional-looking results. Even if you’re using click system LVT, you’ll want to use a rubber mallet to gently knock the LVT tiles or planks into position.
Measure the Room
No matter what type of flooring you’re investing in, you’ll always need to start by measuring the room. This helps you to identify how much flooring you’ll need.
Measure the longest and widest walls, the multiply the length by the width. This will show you how many square metres the room measures. You’ll then want to make sure you purchase an extra 10% of the flooring on top of the square metre calculation. This will allow for waste when installing the floor.
Acclimatise Your LVT
Although LVT flooring isn’t made from real wood, many homeowners are surprised to learn that it still needs to be acclimatised before installation. Like other types of flooring, they should be acclimatised for a minimum of 48 hours in the room where they’ll be fitted.
This process ensures the floor won’t expand or change significantly once it’s been installed. This could potentially damage the floor or form unsightly gaps. Make sure you acclimatise the floor in its original, unopened packaging.
Prepare the Subfloor
Start by preparing the subfloor ready for installation. Take time to check that the subfloor is even and clean. Remove anything which could prevent the LVT from being laid flat onto the floor such as nails or dry lumps of glue.
It’s also a good idea to check moisture levels of the subfloor and use an underlay with a moisture proof membrane if needed.
Installing LVT Underlay
Prior to installing your LVT floor, you’ll want to install specialised LVT underlay. This isn’t a strict requirement, and some floors may not need an extra underlay. Always check with manufacturer guidelines to see if your floor does require an underlay.
If it does, you will want to roll out the LVT underlay away from the direction the floor will be fitted at a right angle. If it comes with a moisture barrier, make sure that is facing downwards during installation. Find out whether you need underlay with your LVT flooring here.
Installing the Tiles
Click LVT Installation
- Start from one corner of the room. Lay the first plank with the tongue side facing the wall.
- Click the next plank into the first, angling and pressing down until it locks in place.
- Continue adding planks row by row, staggering the joints for a natural look.
- Use spacers along the walls to maintain an expansion gap of approximately 1/4 inch.
- Cut planks as needed to fit at the end of rows.
Gluedown LVT Installation
- Apply the adhesive to the subfloor following the manufacturer's guidelines.
- Begin installation from one corner of the room.
- Press each plank firmly into the adhesive, ensuring a secure bond.
- Use a rolling pin or floor roller to ensure proper adhesion.
- Cut planks to fit around obstacles and at the end of rows.
Looselay LVT Installation
- Lay the first row of Looselay planks along one wall, leaving an expansion gap around the perimeter.
- Lay subsequent rows, connecting the planks together.
- Use a heat gun to activate the backing, ensuring a secure bond to the subfloor.
- Cut planks as needed to fit around obstacles and at the end of rows.
Design Strips/Grout Strip Installation
- For Click LVT and Looselay LVT, design strips are usually not required as the planks connect seamlessly. However, you can use grout strips for aesthetic purposes, if desired.
- For Gluedown LVT, design strips or grout strips can be installed between the tiles to mimic the appearance of grout lines in natural tile installations.
By following these comprehensive installation guides, you can successfully install Click LVT, Gluedown LVT, and Looselay LVT with professional-level results.
Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions for specific product guidelines and consult a professional installer if needed.