Avoiding Installation Problems with Vinyl Flooring

Collaborative post by another author. When people buy luxury vinyl flooring, such as Invictus flooring, and forgo the expense and expertise of a professional installer, they believe things are pretty straightforward when putting it all in place. In truth, it is a simple installation product, but that does not mean things cannot go wrong.

Close up of vinyl flooring, used with permission of Floorbay
How to avoid problems when installing vinyl flooring

When you set out a plan, you figure out the layout and obstacles that require cutting around as well as levelling your subfloor before starting to put anything in place. That is even before you discover the beginner's mistakes that tend to happen.

Prep Problems

Preparation problems typically come in the form of your subfloor preparation. When you remove your old flooring, you have to be certain there are no nails or other fasteners protruding. Anything sticking up will go through your flooring if you do not remove them or ensure they are below the surface of the subfloor. 

You can achieve this by running a scraper’s flat edge over the floor. If it snags on anything then it requires sinking or removing. This can relate to nails or screws that protrude above the subfloor also. 

When you skip levelling, you will find gaps between boards when you step on them. If you have bumps or dips in the floor, you can lay out a thin-set or floor patch spread via a trowel. Follow this by levelling it off with a strip of wood across the material until the dip is filled.

Installation Faults 

If you don’t know anything about installing Invictus, you’ll need to start from a corner of the room, but you’ll also have to ensure you don’t end up with tiny pieces of boards at the end of a row.

With a little upfront planning, you can easily avoid this common mistake - and most flooring providers will have instructions on how to deal with this. Sometimes it is typically as simple as adjusting your starting plank. Be sure to take a moment to vacuum any debris and dust before starting on your installation, and makes sure you have a rubber mallet to tap on the flooring to lock the joint.

One of the most common installation mistakes is not planning for corners. You can be left with too little or too much plank when you reach it. Vinyl flooring such as, oak herringbone flooring, is easy to adjust or cut to fit - which is good if you have specifically measured your floor.

Make sure you don’t make the mistake of laying similar patterns next to each other. Luxury vinyl flooring tiles are laid in different patterns – it will look less natural if identical patterns are lined up together. 

Image of a home with herringwood flooring used with permission from Floorbay

The Big Mistakes

There are two main mistakes that self-installation homeowners make. The first one is not allowing the floor to settle for upwards of 48 hours without heavy foot traffic. The second is ignoring the manufacturer's recommendations. That can be in which form of adhesive to use (if required), not using underlayment if your planks have one, and using rubber-based wax products on your floor. Invictus is a great-looking and durable product when installed correctly, lasting upwards of 30 years with the proper care. Therefore, it is highly recommended you avoid all potential pitfalls of self-installation. 

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