Luxury Vinyl: the installer’s perspective
As a floor installer, we have worked with numerous flooring materials. At times, we install flooring materials that are not our selected choice for a client when their preference is set on a certain product. So, we’re going to get candid with you and explain why we don’t recommend luxury vinyl plank (LVP) or luxury vinyl tile (LVT).
Luxury vinyl’s reputation is higher than its performance.
- First, let’s talk about the variances in being waterproof. For instance, Johnny spills a cup of water on the floor. If you clean that up, you should be fine. But if you turn the dishwasher on before going to bed and it leaks and sits there overnight, then you’re dealing with saturation. Once the water soaks through the seams and reaches the slab, a gas is emitted that ruins the vinyl.
- Second, let’s talk about moisture barriers. When luxury vinyl was first introduced, the claim was that you did not need a moisture barrier between the concrete slab and the luxury vinyl. That claim is not true. A polyethylene barrier was suggested at first, but now it is mandated.
Luxury vinyl behaves like a wood floor.
- Just like a hardwood floor, luxury vinyl does not like direct sunlight.
- The home’s temperature and humidity level need to be considered for the health of your floor. So if you are going out of town, your flooring needs a higher level of comfort than you may imagine. Set your thermostat accordingly.
- If you use an area rug, be careful to follow the same protocols as if it were being used on a wood floor.
- Don’t drag anything on luxury vinyl flooring. You may think you can rearrange your furniture by sliding it, but luxury vinyl will scratch! Even with a high wear layer, scratches happen.
Experienced luxury vinyl installers are a must!
- Floor prep is always an important step in the installation process of any floor, especially with luxury vinyl.
- The concrete slab must be as level as possible. Otherwise, an open space or void under the floor could result in luxury vinyl separating – also known as creeping.
- Beware of installers who talk about the fabulous characteristics of luxury vinyl. They may not know the product as well as they say if they aren’t able to explain the pros and cons to you.
What does Seer Flooring recommend?
“Tread carefully” before you buy luxury vinyl. Talk to a professional installer, not just a salesperson. At Seer Flooring, we prefer to have a conversation with you about your goals for your floor, how long you anticipate the floor to last, how many people are in your home, what types of pets you have, etc. With that information, we can discuss what flooring materials would be best for your situation. Let’s talk about your next flooring project!
Stay tuned for our next blog post in this two-part series on Luxury Vinyl from the installer’s perspective.