New to vinyl flooring...

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by Pluribus, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. Pluribus

    Pluribus Member

    First time poster, please be gentle...

    Currently, my kitchen has linoleum floor, the chances are that it is at least 40 years old. The decision had been made, that the new floor is going to be floating vinyl planks.

    While installing this type of vinyl floor does not look too hard, it's going to be done by a local contractor with good reputation. My questions are more about the brand name of the vinyl planks and related issues that may come up.

    The manufacturer is CoreLux, that the contractor gets the planks from Lumber Liquidators:

    CoreLuxe - 5.3mm Natural Maple EVP

    The basic dimensions:
    Thickness: 5.3 mm
    Wear layer: 12 mils
    Warranty: 10 Years

    This is an EVP, not LVP product. Does that matter on the long run? Is CoreLux reputable manufacturer?

    The contractor also plans to lay down 3 mm soft backing/vapor barrier, effectively raising the existing floor level by 8.3 mm, or roughly 5/16" in total. Accounting for the increased floor hight at doorways shouldn't be much of an issue. On the other hand...

    At the current floor level, replacing the dishwasher had been a royal pain. There was barely enough clearance to remove the old one and install the new one. What are the options, not if but when the dishwasher will need to be replaced?

    The vinyl floor will also be installed under the gas stove. Is there a way to know, if the vinyl floor will withstand the self-cleaning oven cycle, or for that matter, making pizza in the oven around 400 degree Fahrenheit?

    Any advise would be appreciated,


    PS: Apologize in advance for the long post and for any incorrect terms used
  2. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    :welcome:CoreLuxe isn't an actual manufacturer, it's just a brand name owned by LL. I don't have much faith in LL products, service or the education of their sales and support staff. Did you research the company before shopping there? Lumber Liquidators lawsuits - Google Search

    If the installer is any good, he/she should have noticed the fit of your appliances and any other important clearances the new flooring will need. It might have come to their mind the option of removing the old flooring before installing new so that a situation like you describe isn't an issue. Was floor prep discussed?

    During my 35 years installing, rarely did I come across a set of kitchen cabinets that didn't have the proper height for the average dishwasher. There are height adjustable feet on dishwashers that can be raised and lowered even after a machine is put in place (it is preferably done before installation). It happens though. If your cabinets were not built to what for many decades has been the standard height, then you could have problems. But if the flooring over many years has been stacked up, one layer on top of the other, on top of another, you might have to remove some or all old layers - and probably should.

    The average kitchen cabinets can have a half-inch or more of finished floor height without compromising the dishwasher. This often results in a layer of underlayment and 2 layers of old floor coverings. A thorough inspection should reveal what you have. In older homes, one concern will be if one of those floor coverings has asbestos in it.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. Pluribus

    Pluribus Member

    Thank you Jim...

    Yes, I did research the LL, but the referenced lawsuit had been resolved in 2015. Since they are still in business, my assumption was, that they cleaned up their act. Am I wrong?

    We have touched basis with the contractor about the dishwasher installation and he stated that it'll be fine. I do know, that the kitchen did not have a dishwasher, when we moved in. I've added it later, when it was my turn to do dishes after dinner...;)

    There are certainly at least two layers of linoleum that I've seen in small section of the current floor. The second layer is so hard, that I could not break the corner of it, despite being about 1/8" thick.

    I've also checked for the clearance for the dishwasher, that currently stands at 34", even, from the floor to the bottom of granite counter top. The counter top is in level, pretty much dead center all around and about 9' long with sink in the middle. Measured the distance between the floor and the bottom of the counter top at both end. At one end, it is 33 3/4" while the other end is 34 1/8". That's 3/8" of level difference in 9', that way above the actual maximum recommended level difference for 8'. I don't have a way to measure the level difference for the 21' long galley kitchen, but a hump around the middle can be observed visually. And yes, a ball rolls to both direction from the top of the hump.

    Would the 3 mm padding under the vinyl make up for this difference>

    Would the vinyl plank floating installation work with that much level difference? Or, will it be ruined after a short time period?
  4. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    Is this a flooring contractor or general contractor? A separate padding isn’t typical but not unheard of either. Generally have to us manufacturer recommended underlay to avoid excessive movement and failure of locking mechanism.
  5. Pluribus

    Pluribus Member

    Thanks Kylenelson...

    This is a flooring contractor, but I am not certain, if the contractor's business name is allowed to be stated.

    Based on your statement, then the 3 mm padding is probably to compensate for the sloping floor?

    More of a question, than statement from me...

  6. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member Senior Member

    No on the hump and pad. You will still have it.
  7. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Of course it is.
  8. Jeff Short

    Jeff Short Veteran Flooring Retailer

    If the flooring is installed without addressing the unevenness, there could definitely be problems.
    From the CoreLux install guide:

    • All substrates must be structurally sound and free from movement or deflection.
    • Important: Subfloors must be flat within 1/8" over 6', and 3/16" over a 10' span.
    • Differences in floor flatness must either be sanded or ground down, or built-up with a suitable floor leveling material.
    • Improper substrate or flatness can result in gaps, squeaks and poor plank fitting during assembly."

    Unless they are going to level the floor to within specifications, I would not go with this type of flooring. If they are going to level the floor, be sure to ask how they plan on doing it... materials, procedures, approxomate cost.
    Also, 3mm padding sounds awful thick for 5.3mm flooring, imo.
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  9. Pluribus

    Pluribus Member

    Thanks Jeff,

    The contractor is VRP Flooring, in the Danbury, CT area and that's all they do, floors.

    The existing floor is pretty much structurally sound, with the exception of the leveling at two spots that I've checked. The rest of the floor looks pretty much level. I did discussed the opening for the dish washer with the contractor and ensured me that there will be no problems with it.

    Maybe leveling of the floor to specification is part of the installation process and for the contractor, this is not a big issue since they do it all the time. Or, maybe it's just a wishful thinking on my part. I'll discuss it with him tomorrow.

    In retrospect, the 3x1 / 3 mm underlayment is probably due to my better half, who wanted to have softer floor. It did seem odd to have that much padding...

    I have the quote, but it does not detail steps, just labor/material basically; cost wise, it's about the same as others. It does have one year workmanship warranty, that make me think, they would not install the floor that squeaks and breaks down.

    PS: thank you all for your help and comments, much appreciated...
  10. Pluribus

    Pluribus Member

    I had a chance to talk to a different contractor today, not VRP Flooring...

    He did look at the level differences and had solution for them, like sanding down the high spot, other preparing the floor, but not removing the linoleum prior to laying down the vinyl. He also looked at the dish washer and asked to have it removed before installation to put vinyl under the dishwasher too. I've installed it and certainly can remove it.

    I showed him the sample that is in this thread earlier, more for the color and pattern. He took one look at it and didn't like it. He said it's too thin, rigid and he prefers a thicker one with some flexibility in it. He said that the snap together edges on the sample are too brittle and also hard to work with. He'll be back in couple of days with samples of the vinyl what he likes to use in similar, light colors.

    I have not signed a contract yet, so, I do have some flexibility whom to hire. Over all, this contractor sounded like he knows what he's talking about. On the other hand, by now, I know the type of questions to ask, I think... There's that...
  11. Pluribus

    Pluribus Member

    After talking to a number of contractors and getting all different recommendations...

    I am looking at Karndean Loose Lay vinyl:

    Karndean LooseLay Vinyl Flooring Collection

    The one targeted is the Ashland (LLP95)

    Did anyone had experience with this type vinyl?

  12. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    It is actually loose lay, not floating connect together. I like it! Not the price probably but it doesn’t have to be thick like locking plank so price could be comparable.

    Karndean has a very good reputation.
  13. Pluribus

    Pluribus Member

    The loose lay is attractive and it's easier to install, than the locking LVP. The Karndean LooseLay planks have a thickness of about 4 mm. I believe that a little over three bucks a square foot is a pretty good price.

    There are couple negative with LooseLay, like this one:

    "The underlay of the planks has telegraphed to the top of the planks over the space of a couple of years."

    I am not certain, if others noticed the same on this board, after couple of years.

    My galley kitchen, long & skinny, is about 120 sq ft. In my house, I've installed ceramic wall tiles, mosaic floor tiles, etc. In another word, I am pretty much my own handyman, have all the tools that might be needed and will do it myself. How hard can it be?
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Pluribus

    Pluribus Member

    Well, doing it myself was not really hard, but wasn't easy either. That's probably due to the fact that I have only done mosaic tiles previously and never dealt with vinyl.

    It took some time to get hang of how to do it right via trial and error and certainly glad I've got and extra box of Karndean LLP95. The most problematic was that the small galley kitchen has five doorways, only one shown in the image :

    galley kitchen.jpg

    Some of the issues with the floor mentioned earlier had been addressed, while others weren't too important. The level difference between the doorway shown in the image for example had not been addressed. It is not even noticeable in the image, nor does it show up to the naked eye.

    Over all, I like the end result, the look and feel of the LLP95. Only time will tell, if I did a good job and/or how the looselay vinyl will holds up.

    Thank to everyone for your advise and insight to vinyl flooring...
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  15. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Very nice! Get that paper off the stove, my wife does that!

    I’d be proud of that Floor. Well done.
  16. Pluribus

    Pluribus Member

    What paper? Once my wife started to cook, it went up in smoke...;)

    Thanks, I am proud of my first vinyl installation...

    One thing about the light colored vinyl floor, every little speck of dust, a drop of water, etc., shows up. I've got to move the dust-buster to the kitchen now, getting tired walking to the other room to get it...

    Thanks again guys/gals, I couldn't have done it without you...
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