Skip to content

LVT Installation Over Existing Flooring

LVT Installation Over Existing Flooring

Deciding to upgrade your home with a luxury vinyl tile (LVT) installation over existing flooring is a smart move for homeowners seeking both aesthetic appeal and durability. This method not only saves time but also reduces the hassle associated with floor renovation projects. 

However, understanding the correct procedure, potential challenges, and best practices is important to ensure a successful outcome. Luxury vinyl tile flooring from 50Floor is just one of the many choices of vinyl flooring you can choose from. 

Assessing Existing Flooring

Moisture and Levelness

  • Before installing LVT over existing flooring, it’s crucial to check two things: moisture issues and levelness. Use a moisture meter to test the floor. High moisture levels can cause damage to new flooring. Ensure the surface is even. Uneven floors need leveling compounds.
  • Moisture can lead to mold under your new LVT. An uneven surface makes installation difficult and affects the look of your finished floor.

Suitable Flooring Types

Not all existing floors are suitable for LVT overlay. Ideal types include:

  • Hardwood
  • Laminate
  • Vinyl

Ceramic tile and concrete are also good if they’re smooth and level. Carpet, however, should be removed due to its soft texture, which can affect LVT adherence.

Each type requires different prep work before installation starts. For instance, hardwood may need sanding, while laminate might only require cleaning.

Preparing the Subfloor

Clean Thoroughly

  • Before laying luxury vinyl tiles (LVT), it’s crucial to start with a clean subfloor. Dirt and moisture trapped beneath can cause problems later. First, sweep or vacuum to remove all debris. Then, use a damp mop to ensure the floor is free of dust.
  • Moisture is the enemy of flooring installations. Ensure the subfloor is completely dry before proceeding. This might mean waiting longer than you’d like, but patience pays off in the longevity and quality of your new floor.

Level Surface

  • Uneven floors need attention before LVT installation begins. High spots on wood flooring can be sanded down. For low spots or general unevenness across larger areas like concrete slabs, self-leveling compounds are ideal.
  • Apply these compounds following manufacturer instructions closely for best results. Once cured, they create a smooth surface that’s perfect for vinyl planks or tiles.

Remove Debris

  • Ensuring no debris remains on the subfloor is essential for a successful installation.
  • Small particles under your new flooring can lead to lumps.
  • Larger items could even puncture or damage your LVT over time.

Inspect the area carefully after cleaning and leveling procedures are complete. Pay extra attention if you’re working over tile floors; grout lines must be filled to avoid indentations in your new floor covering.

Flooring Removal Consideration

Necessity Check

  • Before installing luxury vinyl planks (LVT), deciding whether to remove old flooring is crucial. Assess the current floor’s height and condition first. If it’s uneven or too high, removal might be necessary. This ensures a smooth installation process.
  • Old floors in good shape might not need removal. Instead, LVT can go over them directly. This saves time and money. However, make sure the old surface is clean and flat for best results.

Professional Removal

  • Some old floors contain asbestos—a health risk if disturbed. If your flooring dates back decades, consider this seriously.
  • Hiring professionals for asbestos removal is the safest. They have the right tools and knowledge to do it safely. The cost may seem high, but pays off in safety and peace of mind.

You may like: Boosting Yields: Innovative Methods for Ag Productivity

Disposal Costs

Removing flooring means dealing with disposal too.

Calculate disposal costs early on. You’ll likely need a dumpster or special waste services depending on your area’s regulations.

Here are some factors affecting disposal costs:

  • The size of the area being renovated
  • Type of material removed
  • Local waste management fees
  • Planning helps avoid unexpected expenses during your project.

Flooring Compatibility

Underfloor Heating

  • Before installing LVT over existing flooring, it’s crucial to verify compatibility with underfloor heating systems. Not all flooring types conduct heat efficiently or safely when combined with such heating solutions.
  • Underfloor heating requires materials that can withstand and distribute heat without damage. Some floors might warp or discolor. Always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines before proceeding.

Manufacturer Recommendations

  • Manufacturers often provide specific recommendations for substrates suitable for LVT installation. It is essential to check these guidelines to ensure the existing flooring is compatible.
  • For example, laminate flooring may need a special compound to level it before installing LVT. This ensures a smooth surface and avoids future issues like cracking or uneven wear.

Structural Support

Lastly, assessing the existing floor structure’s ability to support LVT weight and traffic is vital. High-traffic areas require durable foundations to prevent shifting and wear over time.

Trim and Molding Installation

Selecting Trim

  • Choosing the right trim and molding is crucial. It should complement your LVT’s design. There are various options, like shoe molding and baseboards. These not only enhance the look but also cover gaps.
  • Select pieces that match or contrast well with your LVT floors for a cohesive appearance. Consider the room’s overall style when making your choice.

Accurate Measurements

  • Measure twice, and cut once. This old saying holds here as well. Accurate measurements ensure a clean finish around edges and corners.
  • Use a tape measure to get precise lengths for each piece of trim or molding needed. Remember to account for any irregularities in wall shape or floor level.

Installation Tips

  • Install trim and molding after laying down your LVT flooring. This allows the floor space to expand and contract without causing issues.
  • Start by cutting your selected trim according to your measurements.
  • Secure them at seams where the floor meets the walls.
  • For best results, use nails or adhesive designed for this purpose.

This approach ensures a polished new look while protecting against moisture ingress along the edges.

Flooring Removal and Disposal

  • Researching local regulations is crucial. Many areas have strict rules about disposing of old flooring materials. This includes how and where to dispose of debris.
  • Homeowners should check with their city or county waste management services. They might find specific guidelines for the disposal of construction materials. Ignoring these rules can lead to fines.

Recycling Options

  • Exploring recycling options is a sustainable choice. Some materials from the existing floor can be recycled instead of thrown away.
  • Many communities offer recycling programs for construction debris, including flooring. Homeowners should contact local recycling centers to see what materials they accept.
  • This approach not only helps the environment but may also reduce disposal costs.

Disposal Timing

  • Planning for disposal timing is essential to avoid delays in your project. Waiting until the last minute to arrange for debris removal can halt progress.
  • It’s best to schedule waste pickup or drop-off before starting the installation process.
  • Having a plan ensures that spills and other messes are promptly addressed, keeping your workspace clean and safe.

If you are considering renovating your flooring or even your entire home, contacting a flooring contractor is best. They can offer the best advice, and they can handle the process well.