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Luxury vinyl floors are a durable, affordable, and attractive alternative to ceramic tile, natural stone, and hardwood. They are easy to maintain and available in a wide variety of styles, colors, and sizes. The installation is far easier than ceramic or stone, making luxury vinyl flooring a product with many advantages. This product can mimic realistic wood, tile, and stone looks. Some even have the option of grouting for even more realism.
Luxury vinyl flooring sets itself apart from other vinyl products by its ability to closely mimic the look of natural materials, such as wood or stone. It accomplished this by a surface layer that has very realistic photo-created images, combined with textures that resemble that of the real materials.
Luxury vinyl takes on one of two forms. Either it simulates stone, or it simulates wood. Another thing that distinguishes luxury vinyl is the shape of the individual pieces by coming in plank and tile shapes. Luxury tile is either 100% vinyl or a vinyl/limestone mixture. Any wood-look luxury vinyl will be made of all vinyl. Stone-look luxury vinyl will contain limestone.There is no difference in the number of layers between traditional vinyl and luxury vinyl products, only the thickness of these layers. Both have four layers. Starting with the backing layer, or the bottom layer, this is the layer that gives the product structure and stability. The backing layer comprises 90% of the product’s thickness. Next, the design layer provides the photo-realistic print of the stone or the wood. Then a clear film is added. This layer protects against harder damage, such as rips and tears. The topmost aluminum oxide-based layer prevents light scratching and shoe scuffs.
Luxury vinyl flooring comes in a variety of styles, shapes, and colors. It comes in two forms, either planks or tiles. Luxury vinyl provides a broad range of natural designs, from realistic wood grains to elegant stones and rustic slates. Decorative borders and geometric designs can be added that either include or exclude grout as an option. An advantage to luxury vinyl flooring is the ability to install modular patterns. Different tiles and planks can be combined.
The floor covering, adhesive, and room temperature must be kept within a temperature range of 65-100 degrees for at least 48 hours before installation and 48 hours after installation. In certain cases where the epoxy adhesive is used, the temperature should not exceed 85 degrees. The flooring material should be allowed to acclimate to the temperature of the area in which it will be installed for at least 48 hours in advance.
Start with a clean job site, a prepared subfloor, and remove any items that may damage the flooring during installation. Substrates must be dry, clean, smooth, and free from paint, varnish, wax, oils, solvents, and adhesive from former flooring. A properly prepared subfloor is important because the wrong type can telegraph through the new floor. This will not only be unattractive, but it will cause uneven wearing. Underlayment panels are intended to provide a smooth working surface but are not designed to correct or properly cover structural deficiencies.
Some types of nails, such as common steel nails, cement coated, or some resin or rosin coated nails may cause a discoloration of the vinyl floor covering. Use only non-staining fasteners with underlayment panels.
Precise measurements must be taken during the layout. Your installers will lay out the tiles with all directional arrows pointing in the same direction. With a plank layout, it is also important to balance the layout of the plank format. Proper planning and layout will prevent narrow plank widths at wall juncture. Your installer will accurately measure the room to determine the center line, adjust this established line to accommodate a balanced layout and then transpose this line to a comfortable width away from the starting wall. An adhesive will be applied in this area and the planks will begin to be installed. The manufacturer’s recommended adhesive should always be used in order to maintain the manufacturer’s warranty.
When determining the proper layout for mixing tile and planks for custom installations, it is important to consider overall pattern and concept before getting started. The pattern should be carefully calculated and laid out for a successful installation.
When the installation is complete most floors must be rolled with a minimum 100-pound three-section roller immediately after installation. The installer will roll the flooring in both directions to firmly seat the tile into the adhesive.
After installation, furniture and foot traffic should not be on the floor for at least 24 hours. This allows for the adhesive to dry completely. The floors should also not be washed for 48 hours after installation. The adhesive residue on the floors can be removed with mineral spirits. Floor covering subjected to excessive heat and light exposure is subject to thermal degradation. Use appropriate precautions to minimize the potential effects on the floor covering. Oil and petroleum-based products can result in surface staining.
Luxury vinyl flooring should not be installed over existing resilient floors. When using radiant heat flooring, the substrate should not exceed 85 degrees. If not installed correctly, the floors can look unsightly and they will not wear properly. These floors can scratch, and indentations can be made. It is recommended that these floors not be exposed to too much sunlight. Drapes and window coverings are recommended during peak sunlight hours.
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