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How to Install LVT Flooring

Hosking Hardwood Flooring Inc.


Below are Typical Installation instructions for LVT Flooring, we recommend that you follow the manufacturer's instructions on the product you purchase. 

Improper Installation may Void manufacturer's Warranties.

LVT flooring MUST be allowed to acclimate to the temperature and humidity of the room. Leave the closed package in a horizontal position for at least 24-48 hours prior to installation. Preferred temperature should be 62-75º F (17-29ºC). If flooring is exposed to temperatures less than 40º F (5ºC) for more than one hour, an additional 4 hours of acclimation is required at the preferred temperature. Spread the cartons out during acclimation trying not to stack the cartons. If stacking is necessary, stack the cartons in a crisscross manner. Never stack the cartons more than 3 high. Prior to installing the flooring check the LVT (luxury vinyl tile) or LVP (Luxury vinyl planks) panels for chips and that the tongue and groove or locking system on the edges of each plank are not broken. Use panels from multiple boxes during installation for a more color balance. Manufacturers may state that their LVT plank flooring is "waterproof" which may be true on the product itself. But its important to caulk around the edges of the room once the LVT has been installed to prevent water penetration which could damage any wood subfloor. 

Tools and Supplies Required 

  • Utility Knife, combination or framing square

  • Pencil

  • Tape Measure

  • Cutting shears may be required for special rounded cuts.

If existing baseboard molding is difficult to remove, Quarter Round molding can be used to cover the 1/2 expansion space needed between flooring and all walls including all fixed objects. Sub floors must be flat, dry and clean. Any old carpet staples or glue residue must be removed prior to installing any flooring to ensure proper installation.

Check for low or high spots within the subfloor, by stretching a string from wall to wall across the subfloor at all different angles to check for any high/low spots. Low spots cannot exceed 1/8” (3mm) per 3’ (.92 meter). Any low spots must be filled using a cement type leveling compound any high spots must be sanded flat. LVT can be installed over most concrete floors and existing floors including wood, vinyl and linoleum. It can also be installed over ceramic / porcelain tiles. However, to avoid the possible outline of the tiles showing through the LVT the grout lines must also be filled with a skim coat of floor leveler.  LVT Cannot be installed over any soft carpet pad or foam underlayment. 

LVT is a waterproof product and can withstand topical water and water penetration for up to 16 hours without damage to the floor. However, water leaking over or around the outer edges of the flooring can damage a wood subfloor. Moisture arising from New or Old concrete can create high levels of Moisture Vapor Emissions, Hydrostatic Pressure, and High levels of alkalinity. This combination is highly corrosive and will damage the floor over time. To avoid this problem, a Calcium Chloride test and PH level test must be performed prior to installation. If the level of Vapor Emissions / Hydrostatic pressure exceeds 8lbs and /or the alkalinity level is 9 or higher, a moisture barrier must be present. New concrete needs to cure for at least 60 days before installation.

LVT Installation 

  • If not removing the baseboard molding to install the LVT under it, remove the tongue (on the edge of the long side) from the first row of planks and place the first row of planks up to within a 1/4 inch from the baseboard molding to allow for the flooring to expand later. This will ensure that the surface of the flooring will be covered by the quarter round molding when installed later. Use a utility knife to score through the tongue several times until it easily snaps off. Note: The first plank may need to be trimmed for a better fit at the end of the installation. Measure the room and divide by the width of the plank. If there is a remainder of less than 2”, the first row will need to be cut down by that amount.

  • Starting in the left hand corner, place the first plank with its trimmed side towards the wall. Use spacers along each wall to maintain an expansion gap of 1/4” (7-8mm) between the wall and the flooring. Attach the ends of the 1st plank and the second plank by lifting the 2nd plank and inserting the tongue on the short side into the groove of the first plank and rotating into place. Line up edges and corners carefully.

  • Continue along the wall until you reach the last full plank, connecting them in manner described in the earlier step. To fit the last plank, turn plank over (face down). Place the plank in the corner so the tongue, on the short end, touches the adjacent wall. Measure using the installed plank (on the bottom on the upside down plank) as a guide. Mark this length. This should leave the required distance from the wall. Using a sharp utility knife and a straight edge, score a line on the top surface of the plank. The plank should split on the score line with little effort. If the plank is not splitting on the score line perfectly, the utility knife blade may need to be replaced or the score line need to be a little deeper. Note: the end piece must be longer than 8”. This may require a cut to start the row, depending on the size of the room(s). Tip Practice scoring on a plank prior to beginning installation.

  • Begin next row with the cut off piece from the previous row to stagger pattern. This piece should be a minimum of 8” (20cm) long and the joint offset from the previous row should be at least 10” (26cm) apart. To attach, tilt the plank you are installing slightly upwards (about 15-25º) and rotate downwards into place. The plank will click into place with light pressure.

  • Install the second plank in the second row by inserting the short end tongue into the previously installed plank groove. Align the plank so that the long side tongue tip is positioned just over the groove lip of the plank in the first row. Working from the end seam, at a low angle, insert the long tongue into the groove of the adjoining plank. Very little force is required to fit the tongue into the groove. You should be able to feel the tongue lock into the groove. Continue locking each piece into place short side first and then long side.

  • To fit the last row, lay a panel on top of the previous row. With the plank against the wall, mark a line down each of the planks. Be sure to keep the loose plank against the wall. Disengage the row and cut the pieces along the marked line. This will become the last row. Continue the installation. Remember to use a different length on the first and last piece. After the row is installed, the cut row will fit into place with the appropriate space being left for expansion.

  • Door Frames and heating vents also require expansion room. Cut the panel to the correct length. Place the cut panel next to its actual position and use a ruler to measure the areas to be cut out and mark them. Cut out the marked points allowing the necessary expansion distance on each side.

  • You can trim the bottom of the door frames up by turning a scrap piece of flooring you're using upside down against the door frame and using a thin blade handsaw, cut away the necessary height so that panels slide easily under the frame.

  • If your not removing the existing baseboard moulding, install quarter round moulding against the bottom of the existing baseboard to cover the expansion gap using finish nails. Nail quarter round directly into the baseboard not into the flooring.


Maintenance, Tips, and Warnings

Dust Mop or Broom can be used for daily maintenance. When necessary, clean with a dampened cloth or mop and a light detergent. NEVER USE: Floor polish or floor cleaning wax, oil soaps, etc. These products can damage and/or leave a film on the flooring making it slippery.


  • Use felt tip protectors - Area Rug use is recommended

  • Keep animal nails trimmed - Beware of spikes heels

  • Never slide furniture across floor w/o pads

  • Keep floors clean.

  • Warning: Never use rubber protective mats.

A Typical Manufacturer's Warranty:

LVT flooring is warranted to be free of defects in material and workmanship. All products MUST be examined thoroughly PRIOR to installation and any questionable planks shall not be installed. It is important that the product be installed correctly and maintained properly. The warranty covers finish, wear, and stain, under normal conditions in a residential installation. In the event of a claim, Seller reserves the right to either repair or replace product. The warranty covers the cost of the product only. All claims must be submitted in writing to place of purchase.

Failure to follow these procedures may result in voiding some or all of the warranty. This limited warranty is not transferable and extends only to the original end user.

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How to install LVT
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Page Reviews

Web Page: How to install LVT
Overall Rating: 5.0 stars - 3 reviews

Date: August 6, 2020
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Several points were brought to mind. Adds to my confidence. Love the top of caulking
Date: April 19, 2019
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
I foundthe directions to be clear and concise. And there were a couple of good hints such as door frames
Date: February 2, 2017
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Page was informed and concise. I question weather every bump and seam in subfloor will show/feel through the Versalock luxury planking ?

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