Steve Ball outlines his top tips for laying rigid click LVT flooring.
It goes without saying that any professional flooring installer wants to avoid the inconvenience of revisiting a project once the work is complete, especially if it involves time consuming and costly remedial work and a dissatisfied end customer.
Rigid click LVT is generally regarded as a fast and easy to fit floorcovering due to its ability to be laid and locked into place with ease, in fact Malmo Rigid LVT only requires a firm finger touch with no need for hammers or tapping tools. However, despite being easy to fit, there are common problems that we see regularly occurring which installers can easily avoid.
Horses for courses
With rigid LVT, incorrect subfloor preparation is a common error which can lead to damaged flooring and wear and tear quicker than expected. Another mistake that we see time and again is the installation of rigid flooring underneath heavy objects leading to buckled and damaged locking systems. Understanding which LVT flooring products are best suited to which environment should be the starting point for any flooring professional.
Rigid LVT was originally invented as a quick to install floorcovering that was thin enough yet sturdy enough to be installed directly over other hard floorcoverings such as wood or ceramics without having to remove them first, with homeowners often reverting to the original floorcovering as trends changed. Over time rigid LVT has become one of the most popular types of flooring available, assuring a stylish and long-lasting solution when installed correctly.
The good news for installers is that mistakes can be prevented with thorough forward planning, and we always recommend that the full instructions are read prior to installation and followed carefully, as incorrect installation will invalidate the warranty.
Fit and forget
Here are our 10 top tips to ensure a ‘fit and forget’ rigid LVT flooring installation.
- Always allow 48 hours for the LVT product to acclimatise in the room where it is to be installed. Store the packs flat and no more than two packs high.
- Take appropriate time to prepare the subfloor ensuring it is level. Use a good quality levelling compound with a maximum 2mm variation over a 2m x 2m space.
- Remember that expansion gaps of 6mm are required around the perimeter of the room and any fixed items like door jams and radiator pipes. Do not obstruct any expansion gaps with objects or sealant.
- When installed over underfloor heating, expansion gaps should be 10mm and the surface temperature not allowed to exceed 27⁰C. Refer to the full UFH instructions prior to installation.
- Install a door profile in every doorway.
- The maximum area of coverage without an expansion break is 10m x 10m.
- Heavy furniture, such as kitchen cabinetry, American-style fridge freezers, and range ovens cannot be installed over a rigid LVT floor. In these instances, a stickdown LVT would be the correct choice because it’s fully adhered to the subfloor and therefore more stable.
- If the area has lots of glazing, eg, skylights or bi-fold doors, recommend to the customer that they install blinds to minimise temperature variations. For the same stability reasons outlined above, stickdown LVT is the correct option for conservatories.
- Recommend to customers the use of door mats and furniture protection pads to prevent the floor from scratching.
- And finally, if you’re struggling with installation and need advice, call the UK-based Malmo technical team – we are more than happy to assist.
The complete Malmo collection offers a total of 57 designs; 25 Freedom stickdown and 32 rigid, including the award-winning Senses range. The range has up to 25 years domestic wear warranty, with up to 10 years for commercial applications.
The Malmo LVT range is distributed by International Decorative Surfaces and is available ex-stock from all of their branches for 24-48-hour delivery nationwide.