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Everything you need to know about LVT flooring

Image of the living room of @oxfordone

Everything you need to know about LVT flooring

LVT flooring, also known as luxury vinyl flooring, is a practical option if you covet the look of timber or stone, but don’t want the associated maintenance issues of natural materials. Read on to find out more about the benefits of LVT, the options available and where to use it in your home.

Three benefits of LVT

One… A healthy indoor environment is important, especially if you suffer from asthma and allergies. Luxury vinyl flooring is generally a good bet because it doesn’t harbour dust mites and mould, and it’s easy to vacuum, sweep and mop.

Two… Luxury vinyl flooring is a popular choice for the kitchen where spills can be wiped up easily. And in the bathroom, its waterproof properties mean that you don’t have the worry of water damage. 

Three… Luxury vinyl flooring is cosy and warm underfoot. But if you want to feel extra snug, LVT is suitable for wet and dry underfloor heating. Design note: a ‘wet’ system pumps warm water through pipes under the floor. Meanwhile, a dry system is a series of electric coils placed under the floor that heat up when the system is turned on.

Types of LVT

There are a few ways to install LVT. Firstly, the traditional glue-down method where the flooring is glued directly to the sub-floor. There’s also a click system whereby the tiles simply click together (no need for adhesive). And finally loose lay, which means tiles feature a friction-grip backing that secures the floor firmly in place. Again, there is no need for adhesive. Unsure which product suits you best? Visit a local retailer for some advice.

Check what lies beneath

The longevity of your LVT flooring will depend on the quality of your subfloor. This should ideally be flat, smooth, rigid, clean and permanently dry. If a subfloor is damp, the moisture will affect the installation and, if it’s uneven, irregularities could mirror through to the surface.

The thinner and more flexible the vinyl flooring (such as gluedown vinyl flooring), the more likely you’ll see imperfections. Other formats of luxury vinyl flooring, like the click system, have a higher tolerance. If in doubt, ask your flooring specialist to take a look at your subfloor.

Calculate the room size

Measuring up for your new luxury vinyl flooring? Calculate the square metres by multiplying the width by the length. To measure an unusually shaped room, divide it into separate sections and add the areas together to get the total square meterage.

Take advantage of manufacturers’ online room size calculators, which will do the calculations for you. And there are various generic calculators too. Remember to allow for wastage in your calculations – allow for 8 to 10 per cent of the total area.

If you don’t feel confident in your measuring skills, take some quick measurements to establish the approximate cost of your new floor. Then, call a flooring expert to carry out an accurate measure before placing an order.

Check what preparation is needed

Using an installer to fit your LVT? Ask them exactly what preparation is needed before your new floor is fitted. Lack of preparation causes delays, so always check ahead of time to ensure your project starts promptly.

Some advice on skirting boards

If your room already has skirting boards, don’t remove them, as your installer will lay your floor to the skirting as tightly as possible. And if you don’t have skirting boards yet, they can be fitted on top of your new floor.

Featured image: Lissi of @oxfordone has chosen a herringbone-style LVT floor as base for her colourful living room.

Want more? Dip back into the archive to see our previous blogs on flooring.