• Home
  • Installing Luxury Vinyl Tiles

nstalling Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT): A Comprehensive Guide

The elegance, versatility, and resilience of Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) make it an enticing choice for homeowners and businesses. But the longevity and aesthetics of your LVT flooring hinge on the precision of its installation. This comprehensive guide walks you through the process of LVT installation, ensuring your flooring not only looks impeccable but also stands the test of time.

1. Introduction: The Importance of Proper Installation

LVT, though known for its durability, can only achieve its full potential when installed correctly. Proper installation ensures the floor's longevity, preserves its aesthetic appeal, and guarantees its resilience against wear and tear.

2. Pre-Installation Considerations

Before delving into the installation process, certain factors require consideration:

  • Subfloor Preparation: LVT demands a clean, smooth, and level subfloor. Any imperfections can telegraph through the LVT, impacting its appearance and lifespan.

  • Acclimatization: LVT planks or tiles should acclimate to the room's temperature for at least 48 hours before installation. This prevents future expansion and contraction issues.

  • Tools & Materials: Gather all necessary tools like utility knives, spacers, a tapping block, and a soft mallet. Also, ensure you have enough tiles, accounting for cuts and potential mistakes.

3. Choosing the Right Installation Method

There are primary methods to install LVT:

  • Glue-Down: This involves adhering the LVT directly to the subfloor using a special adhesive. It's a permanent method, ensuring stability.

  • Floating: LVT planks are interlocked without being adhered to the subfloor. It's quicker and ideal for spaces where you anticipate frequent flooring changes.

  • Loose Lay: These LVT variants have a high friction backing, allowing them to be laid without adhesive or locking.

4. Step-by-Step Installation Guide

For the purpose of this guide, we'll focus on the floating method, which is popular due to its ease and versatility.

  • Subfloor Preparation: Remove any existing flooring. Clean the subfloor, ensuring it's free from debris, dust, or adhesive residues. If uneven, consider using a self-leveling compound.

  • Layout Planning: Before starting, determine the layout direction. It’s recommended to run the planks parallel to the room's main light source.

  • Underlayment: Lay the underlayment, which acts as a moisture barrier and provides cushioning. Ensure seams don't overlap.

  • Installation: Start in a corner, placing spacers to maintain an expansion gap (usually 1/4 inch) between the wall and the first plank. Interlock the short end of the next plank with the first. Continue this process, maintaining the manufacturer's recommended stagger pattern.

  • Cutting: To cut LVT, mark the desired size and score it using a utility knife, then snap.

  • Final Row: The last row might require cutting lengthwise to fit. Ensure it's not too narrow, as very slim pieces might not provide stable flooring.

  • Finishing Touches: Once all planks are laid, remove the spacers. Install transition strips where the LVT meets other flooring types and add baseboards or quarter-round moldings to hide the expansion gap.

5. Post-Installation Tips

  • Wait Before Walking: Allow some hours before walking on the floor if adhesive is used.

  • Cleaning: Vacuum or sweep to remove installation residues. Clean using a damp mop and a pH-neutral cleaner.

  • Protect: Use felt pads under furniture legs to prevent scratching.

6. Potential Challenges and Solutions

  • Peaking: Occurs when planks push against each other. Solution: Ensure proper expansion gaps.

  • Gapping: Small gaps between planks. Solution: Ensure planks are tightly locked during installation.

  • Subfloor Imperfections: Visible through LVT. Solution: Thoroughly prep and level the subfloor.

7. Benefits of Professional Installation

While DIY installation is feasible, professionals bring expertise, ensuring the longevity and aesthetics of your LVT flooring.

8. Maintenance: Ensuring Longevity

Regular cleaning, immediate spill removal, and using protective pads can keep your LVT looking pristine for years.


Installing LVT is a meticulous process where precision is paramount. Whether you opt for a DIY approach or seek professional assistance, understanding the process ensures your flooring remains a testament to style and endurance for years to come.

Disclaimer: This guide provides general advice. Always consult the LVT manufacturer's guidelines and consider professional installation for guaranteed results.