Best Do it Yourself LVP Flooring: Installation and Maintenance Techniques | FlooringStores
Pergo Outlast Reviews Cleaning Laminate Flooring
Blog Home

Best Do it Yourself LVP Flooring: Installation and Maintenance Techniques

Looking to install luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring in your home? Look no further! This comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire process, from selecting the right LVP flooring for your space to proper installation techniques and maintenance. Learn about top-rated LVP flooring brands, choosing the appropriate thickness and style for your needs, and tips for a seamless installation.

Top-rated LVP Flooring Brands

When it comes to luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring, not all brands are created equal. Here, we will discuss three top-rated LVP brands, LifeProof, Shaw, and COREtec. We’ll go through their unique features, benefits, and drawbacks to help you make an informed choice.

LifeProof Vinyl Plank Flooring

LifeProof is a popular brand for LVP flooring, known for its durability, style, and range of options. Their vinyl planks are designed to be waterproof, making them an excellent choice for moisture-prone areas, like basements and bathrooms. Additionally, LifeProof offers a wide variety of textures, colors, and patterns, allowing you to customize the appearance of each room in your home.

Their planks are made with an innovative ISOCORE technology, which creates a rigid, strong core that doesn’t suffer from expansion and contraction issues. This key feature makes LifeProof’s vinyl planks resistant to dents, scratches, and wear. As an extra bonus, LifeProof vinyl flooring is easy to install and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. However, keep in mind that their higher price point may be a drawback for some homeowners.

Shaw Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

Shaw’s luxury vinyl plank flooring offers a blend of style and practicality, making it a popular choice for many homeowners. Each plank is designed with a realistic wood appearance, featuring a scratch-resistant and water-resistant top layer. The planks also use a Fold-N-Tap locking system, making installation simple and eliminating the need for adhesive.

One of Shaw’s standout features is its use of Armorbead technology, which adds an extra layer of protection against scuffs and scratches. Furthermore, Shaw flooring is available in a wide range of styles, including traditional, rustic, and modern, accommodating various home aesthetics. Despite its high quality, Shaw’s LVP flooring may be pricier than some other options on the market.

COREtec Vinyl Plank Flooring

COREtec is an industry leader in vinyl plank flooring, offering innovative designs and a plethora of options. Their flooring solutions are designed with a 100% waterproof core, providing unmatched protection against moisture-related issues. Additionally, COREtec’s vinyl planks feature a patented cork underlayment, which helps to absorb noise and improve insulation within rooms.

COREtec products are available in various textures, patterns, and colors, providing homeowners with numerous customization options. In terms of installation, their planks use a floating click-lock system, simplifying the process without requiring specialized tools or adhesive. However, it’s crucial to note that COREtec’s LVP flooring tends to be on the higher end of the price spectrum.

Choosing the Right LVP Flooring for Your Home

After exploring some of the top LVP brands, it’s essential to consider specific factors when selecting the right flooring for your home. We’ll discuss several considerations, such as the appropriate thickness, balancing style and functionality, and the room and location of your flooring project. We will also look at the top 2023 flooring trends.

Selecting the Appropriate Thickness

One crucial aspect of LVP flooring to consider is the thickness of the planks. Thicker planks tend to be more durable and comfortable underfoot. On average, LVP thickness ranges from 2mm to 8mm, with thicker options generally falling in the 4-6mm range. For heavy foot traffic areas, like hallways or living rooms, a minimum of 4mm thickness is recommended. For areas with less foot traffic, a thinner plank may suffice.

Beyond plank thickness, also consider the thickness of the wear layer, which directly affects the plank’s durability. This top layer protects the flooring from scratches, stains, and dents. Make sure to choose a wear layer thickness of at least 12 mil for residential use, or 20-28 mil for commercial applications or high-traffic areas.

Balancing Style and Functionality

LVP flooring is known for its ability to mimic natural materials like hardwood and stone, but it’s essential to balance style preferences with practical considerations. Think about the desired look of the flooring and its compatibility with your home’s overall design, taking into account factors such as texture, color, and pattern. Additionally, consider any unique features that may benefit your space, such as added cushioning, waterproof properties, or sound absorption.

While design is an important aspect, don’t forget to account for your flooring’s long-term use and the expected wear and tear. For instance, if you have pets or children, opt for a scratch-resistant option or one with a thicker wear layer.

Considering the Room and Location

The specific room and location of your LVP flooring installation are important factors to keep in mind. Each area of your home will have unique requirements and challenges related to moisture, temperature, and foot traffic. Determine whether the LVP brand and product you’re considering are suitable for the room you have in mind.

For instance, in moisture-prone areas like bathrooms, basements, or laundry rooms, opt for a waterproof LVP with a more robust wear layer. Pay attention to environmental considerations in direct sunlight areas to ensure your flooring won’t fade or warp over time.

Installation Tips for DIY LVP Flooring

Installing luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring can be an exciting and cost-effective way to revitalize a room or an entire home. With the right approach and proper preparation, DIY enthusiasts can turn this project into a successful and rewarding experience. In this article, we’ll cover some essential installation tips and techniques to help make installing your LVP flooring a breeze.

Proper Subfloor Preparation

Before you begin installing your LVP flooring, it’s crucial to ensure your subfloor is clean, level, and structurally sound. The subfloor serves as the foundation for your flooring, so taking the time to prepare it can make a world of difference in the final result.

Start by checking the subfloor for any irregularities or damage. Patch holes, cracks, and low spots with a floor leveling compound, and sand high spots down to create an even surface. Next, thoroughly clean the subfloor to remove dirt, dust, and debris – this will ensure proper adhesion of your LVP flooring. It’s also essential to let your flooring acclimate to the room’s temperature and humidity for at least 48 hours before installation.

For concrete subfloors, make sure they are properly cured and dry. Using a moisture meter or testing kit can help determine if there’s any excessive moisture that needs addressing before installation. On wood subfloors, check for any damaged or loose boards, and repair or replace them as needed.

Accurate Measuring and Cutting Techniques

The key to a professional-looking LVP flooring installation is precise measuring and cutting. Using the right tools and techniques can significantly improve your chances of success.

Start by measuring your room to determine the number of planks you’ll need for the installation. Be sure to account for any irregularities in the room’s shape and add 10% to 15% extra material for cutting waste. Next, carefully plan the layout of your planks, ensuring that they’re staggered properly to give the flooring a natural appearance.

Use a tape measure and a straight edge to accurately measure and mark your cuts on the planks. Invest in a high-quality vinyl tile cutter or sharp utility knife to make your cuts smooth and clean. When cutting around irregular shapes, like door frames or vents, use a contour gauge to replicate the shape onto the LVP plank for a more precise fit.

Ensuring a Secure and Seamless Fit

Proper installation methods are crucial for your LVP flooring to look and perform its best. To ensure your planks fit comfortably, and remain secure follow these techniques:

Ensure there’s a small expansion gap (around 1/4 inch) between the planks and walls. This gap allows the flooring to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity, preventing buckling or warping. Use spacers around the room’s perimeter to maintain this gap consistently.

Connect the planks using a click-lock or glue-down installation method, depending on your flooring type. Click-lock planks easily snap together, requiring no adhesives, whereas glue-down planks need adhesive applied to the subfloor before laying the plank. Ensure all seams are tight and avoid any gaps between the planks.

Use a tapping block and a pull bar to help secure the planks’ edges and locking mechanisms. These tools prevent damage to the planks while ensuring a tight, seamless fit.

Oh and did we mention, you want to make sure your vinyl plank lays in the same direction?

Maintaining and Caring for Your LVP Flooring

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

To keep your LVP flooring looking fresh and clean, establish a regular maintenance routine. A mixture of equal parts water and vinegar is a gentle yet effective solution for cleaning your LVP floors. Damp mop your floor with this solution, avoiding excessive water, as it may seep into the seams and cause damage. Make sure to sweep or vacuum your floors regularly to remove dirt and debris that can be abrasive and cause scratches.

Invest in doormats to limit the amount of dirt, grit, and moisture tracked onto your LVP flooring. Placing mats at all entrance points can go a long way in protecting the longevity of your floors.

Preventing Scratches and Damage

LVP flooring is durable and scratch-resistant, but it’s not immune to damage. These tips can help keep your floors looking great for years to come:

Furniture can cause scratches or dents on your LVP flooring, so use felt furniture pads on the legs of tables, chairs, and other heavy items. Regularly check these pads for wear and tear, and replace them as needed.

Keep your pets’ nails trimmed to prevent scratching on the floors. Additionally, place area rugs in high traffic zones and beneath heavy furniture to reduce the likelihood of damage.

Avoid dragging heavy items across the floors – instead, lift and carry them or use furniture sliders to minimize the risk of scratches and gouges.

Addressing Potential Issues

Despite our best efforts, sometimes issues with LVP flooring can arise. Whether it’s buckling, gapping, or adhesive failure, it’s essential to address these concerns promptly and adequately to ensure the longevity of your floors. Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific issues related to your flooring, as they may offer recommended solutions or treatments for specific problems. It’s crucial to stay proactive with issues, as neglecting them may lead to more severe damage over time.

You now have an arsenal of tips and techniques to ensure a successful and seamless DIY LVP flooring installation. With proper care and maintenance, your LVP floors will continue to look amazing and serve you well for years to come.

Key Factors in Choosing the Right Materials

Selecting the materials needed for your LVP flooring project is essential for achieving the desired results. Be sure to consider the following factors when choosing the perfect materials:

  • Thickness: Aim for LVP products with a thickness of at least 6mm to provide the durability required for long-lasting floors. Thicker options tend to provide better insulation and noise reduction.
  • Wear layer: The wear layer is the top-most layer of the vinyl plank which protects it from scratches, scuffs, and other types of damage. Look for wear layers at least 20 mils thick for maximum protection.
  • Surface finish: LVP products can have different surface finishes, such as matte, gloss, or embossed. Choose a finish that matches your interior design preferences.
  • Comfort underfoot: Some LVP products include a cushioned backing to improve underfoot comfort. This feature can be particularly important in high-traffic or standing areas.

By understanding the top LVP flooring brands, choosing the right materials, following quality installation techniques, and practicing proper maintenance methods, your DIY LVP flooring project will produce long-lasting, durable, and visually appealing results. Enjoy the beauty and durability of your new LVP floors, knowing that you’ve made informed decisions throughout the entire process.

FAQs for Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring

Can I install vinyl plank flooring over a radiant heat system?

Yes, vinyl plank flooring can be installed over a radiant heat system, but it is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions for installation. The radiant heat system should be turned off during the installation process and then gradually turned back on after the flooring is in place. It is also important to ensure that the subfloor is even and stable to prevent any damage to the flooring over time. It is recommended to consult a professional installer to ensure proper installation and compatibility with the radiant heat system.

Can I install vinyl plank flooring in a bathroom or other high-moisture area?

Yes, vinyl plank flooring can be installed in a bathroom or other high-moisture area. However, it is important to choose a vinyl plank flooring that is specifically designed for these areas, such as waterproof or water-resistant vinyl planks. It is also recommended to use a moisture barrier underlayment and proper adhesives to ensure proper installation and to prevent moisture damage. Regular cleaning and maintenance should also be done to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Can I install vinyl plank flooring on stairs?

Yes, vinyl plank flooring can be installed on stairs. It is important to use stair nose pieces to cover the end of each step for a finished look and added safety. Additionally, it is recommended to use a strong adhesive to secure the vinyl planks to the stairs. It is best to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for specific installation guidelines.

About The Author

Courtney Daily

Courtney is a freelance writer who wears many other hats: kindergarten teacher by day, Broadway diva in the shower. She is a transplant Hoosier who originated in New England. When she isn't writing in her spare time, you will find her reading history books, arguing with her latest knitting project, or being beaten by her kids at most games.

Show Comments (0)


Liberty Home Flooring: Is It Worth It?

Flooring plays a critical role in how you experience your home. It is the foundation of your living space, enduring the pitter-patter of tiny feet, the hurried steps of daily life, and the paws of your beloved pets. It’s not just about aesthetics, it’s about quality, durability, and the peace of mind that comes with […]

What’s the Best Chair Mat for LVP Flooring?

If you have luxury vinyl plank flooring, you may be wondering what type of chair mat will protect your floor from scratches and damage caused by rolling office chairs. LVP flooring is a smart and durable investment, so you want to ensure it’s protected in the long term. Let’s explore the best chair mats for […]

Guide to Popular LVP Flooring Color Options

If you are searching for a durable and visually appealing flooring option, consider LVP flooring. Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its affordability, low maintenance, and variety of style options. One of the best features of LVP is the wide range of color options available. In this guide, […]

1 on 1 advice