Before you even look at colors or materials, the first decision you have to make regarding your Luxury Vinyl Plank is what type of installation is going to be best for your project. You can choose between a glue down installation or a floating installation.
What are some things to consider when choosing your flooring installation type?
- Subfloor – basically, what you will be laying your new LVP flooring over.
- Room size
- Foot Traffic
- Who is installing your floor
- How is easy is it to replace a piece of the flooring
In part 1 of this 2 part series, we will look at why you would choose a floating floor.
A floating vinyl floor is an installation method where the planks are installed either via the click lock system or a loose lay system.
So let’s take a look at when a floating floor is best for you.
Subfloor – All types of LVP can be installed over a variety of GOOD condition subfloors, howevever, if your subfloor is prone to high moisture (such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens) you are better off using a floating floor because a vapor barrier can be used. A floating floor can also be used over tile, uneven subfloor or residual glue left from a previous flooring demo. So floating floors are great for use over old adhesives, directly over other flooring products (like tile) and troubling underlayment (uneven concrete, etc.).
Room Size – In general a very large room will have less joint stability with a click lock installation. However, to install some loose lay flooring, the planks around the perimeter of the room may be glued down while the rest of the planks loosely stay in place once they have been laid. Because of the glued perimeter, the flooring is more stable in larger rooms. Smaller rooms such as residential rooms are perfect for the floating floor installation.
Foot Traffic - With the advances in the quality of floating flooring, the loose lay or click-lock flooring is fine in most high foot traffic areas. Again, this could depend on room size. A small store such as a boutique, for example, will be great with a floating floor but a large recreation center that expects a lot of foot traffic may prefer to use a glue down. If you are looking for a “temporary” floor, such as a pop-up shop or trade show booth, the floating loose lay or click lock floor is your best option. And of course, floating floors are an excellent choice for your home as well. The floating floors usually have a higher wear layer and some form of backing or underlayment, giving it a little more "cushion" which makes it a little more comfortable on the feet than glue down.
Who is Installing Your Floor – Are you a DIY’er? A floating floor is probably the best bet for you. Click lock vinyls and loose lay vinyls require very few tools and no adhesive (unless you are gluing the perimeter planks in a loose lay application). Floating floors are also very easy to take up and relay should you make a mistake (yes, we have ALL been there!).
Ease of Replacing a Plank – If you have a high traffic area that seems to need pieces of flooring replaced or just want to redesign the pattern, a loose lay floating floor is best. With loose lay, you can take out one piece without disturbing the surrounding planks. However, with click lock, replacing a piece is a little trickier as you will need to remove all the planks in the path of the section needing replacement.
Budget – In general a floating floor is a little more costly than glue down. This is usually due to the increased thickness of the wear layer and the backing (attached underlayment). But of course, although the flooring may cost a little more, you may be saving money in the long run by doing it yourself. Be sure to look at the whole picture, not just the cost of the flooring.
In part 2 of this 2 part series, we will look at why you would choose a glue down. Stay tuned!
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