5 common mistakes when installing luxury vinyl tile-flooring
For those who have seen luxury vinyl tile installed will know just how beautiful it can look. There are literally thousands of styles and patterns that you can choose from. Luxury vinyl tile can mimic almost any type of flooring from ceramic tile to hardwood flooring. It’s made to be extremely durable and can hold it’s luxurious finish for decades with very little maintenance.
However, even the best luxury vinyl tile available will look terrible if it isn’t installed properly. And when there are small mistakes in the luxury vinyl tile flooring it can stick out like a sore thumb. Avoiding these mistakes will ensure you get the best quality finish of the flooring once it’s installed.
1- Improper Alignment of Luxury Vinyl Tiles
This is a very common problem in older homes. As the home settles it may move more than you realize making corners that aren’t exactly 90 degrees. This can make huge problems, especially in larger rooms when the luxury vinyl tiles are aligned with a single wall. While this problem won’t be apparent as you’re laying the tiles down it will be apparent once it’s completed.
Even worse is when the luxury vinyl tile spans several rooms either in an open layout home or by hallways. Consider what it will look like if the hardwood luxury vinyl tile flooring isn’t parallel with the walls in a hallway and you’ll be able to see what I mean. An experienced contractor will be able to determine this type of problem early and recommend fixes before installation.
2-Pattern Mismatch of Luxury Vinyl Tiles
Installing small luxury vinyl tiles can be quite a mundane job and you can get bored pretty quickly. In fact, when it comes to larger rooms, it’s sometimes a bit confusing and makes you dizzy just laying the tiles over and over. A small problem that can turn the entire project into a disaster is a mismatched tile that is placed. If you’re going for an alternating pattern in the tiles and a single one is turned wrong it puts each and every tile laid after that one wrong. It’s very easy to do and you’ll need to pay close attention to not fall into this problem.
3- Uneven Base for Luxury Vinyl Tiles
To get the best look for the luxury vinyl tile flooring you’ll need a great base to place the tiles. Although some minor imperfections can be covered with the luxury vinyl tiles there are things that can completely ruin the project. Having a flooring base that is uneven is one of those problems that you will want to avoid.
This is really common in areas where the flooring transitions from one room to the other. A small difference in floor heights can make the flooring look bad. Making sure the base is good before laying any of the flooring is best to ensure a good finish.
4-Too Much / Little Adhesive
Not knowing how much and where to place adhesive is also a common problem. Too much adhesive can seep through cracks when installing and be very difficult to get off the luxury vinyl tile flooring. Too little over a large area and you can end up with ridges in the flooring. Each type and brand has different recommendations so be sure to read all the manufacturer’s instructions before starting on the flooring project.
5 - Transition Mistakes
Transitions and trim complement the flooring and provide a safe durable way to create expansion/contraction space between areas, and lead to other existing floors in the home. Like icing on a cake, transitions are typically the last materials to complete the floating floor project.
When installed correctly they can last for years, but when installed wrong they can contribute to gapping, buckling, peaking, and squeaking issues. They could even become loose creating a safety concern. Here are some common floating floor transitions and trim install mistakes that can lead to potential repairs down the road.
Fastening the transition to the flooring and subfloor
One common mistake is gluing or nailing transition strips to the floating floor and the subfloor. Floating floors are designed to expand and contract freely, so they should never be secured to any fixed objects. Gluing the trim to the flooring and subfloor can lead to gapping as the other planks contract or buckling if expansion occurs. In vinyl click floors end joint peaking can occur, which eventually can cause end joints to break.
Fastening quarter round into the baseboard and the floating floor
Another mistake is nailing or gluing the quarter round onto the floating floor. This prevents the flooring from being able to move freely, as a floating floor is intended to do. This causes a "pinch point" that can potentially lead to gapping, buckling, or end joint peaking. Quarter round should always be fastened into the baseboards, and baseboards should be fastened to the wall studs, or adhered to the drywall.
Installing the flooring too tight to the transition molding
Floating floors require an expansion gap around all fixed objects. Fixed objects include walls, pipes, trim, and transitions. Floating floors will expand and contract with changes in the interior home climate. Not leaving the proper expansion gap around all fixed objects could lead to buckling, squeaking, or end joint peaking.
Installing flush transitions with a floating floor
Flush transition moldings are commonly used to complement nailed down or glued down wood floors. Floating floors require over-lap transition moldings to be used. Over-lap moldings are designed to transition to other floors, while still providing an expansion gap so the flooring can have the freedom to expand and contact with indoor climate changes. Installing a floating floor to a flush transition molding can potentially lead to buckling, end joint peaking, and squeaks later on. For step installations where the floating floor is glued down to the existing treads, flush stair nosing if available can be used.