Newbie needs LVT help

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by Canishel, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. Canishel

    Canishel Member

    I need to replace the flooring in the kitchen and half bath. I’m just now learning about LVT, so any help you can give is much appreciated. The local flooring stores haven’t adequately answered my questions.

    Ideally this will be the last flooring I need to deal with, meaning it needs to last 20 to 25 years.
    Needs to be dog-friendly (multiple dogs, up to 75 pounds each)
    Wheelchair/walker friendly
    Waterproof (dog bowls spill and I’m clumsy)
    Somewhat resistant to dings (cast iron pots manage to drop on the floor)
    Nice, but not necessary, to be able to place anti-fatigue mats (closed cell PVC foam) on LVT

    I’m interested in stone-like rectangles or squares, not planks. Not interested in adding grout.

    LVT would be installed over old sheet vinyl over particleboard over plywood over crawl space (DryZoneTM). The sheet vinyl has multiple holes from staple removal from previous sheet vinyl+1/4 inch plywood coverings. Floor is not even; there are a few places where puddles form.

    Current flooring to be replaced is approximately 7/16 inches thick. The problem here is the door mouldings were cut to accommodate the thickness. There are seven doors with 11 “faces” (two sides for each of two doors). So I need to solve the potential gap at the floor problem. Replacing that much moulding is not feasible.

    Is commercial grade flooring recommended?
    What I’ve learned so far is that glue down is needed rather than floating.

    Should ¼” plywood be installed over the old vinyl flooring?
    One response to a subfloor question, Meaning of term "sub-floor" for luxury vinyl tile, says
    I would like to apply some sort of leveler in the puddle spots and possibly smooth the rough spots, but I need the thickness of the plywood to reduce the moulding gap issue.

    Is a microbevel or contoured edge less susceptible to chipping than a rectified or square edge?

    Any comments on the quality of the following commercial manufacturers: Amtico, Mannington, or Mohawk. I don’t care for patterns from Adore Decoria, Armstrong, Metroflor, or Shaw.

    Would Mannington Adura be sufficient for my needs?

    Thanks in advance for your patience and advice.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
  2. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    First thing is that particle board. It was used as an underlayment for the current vinyl floor, remove it down to the subfloor. Don't know where you are but I haven't ever glued an lvt down and had no problems. To get a floor to last that long, you need to look at ceramic tile or an epoxy floor to take the abuse your talking about. Sure, lvt can take some abuse but for that long?
  3. Canishel

    Canishel Member

    OK, so I need to rethink the duration of the floor. Didn't want to go through removing and reinstalling baseboards multiple times.
    Why is particleboard so bad? It was installed throughout the house and there have been no problems for 40 years. My concern for replacing the particle board is the cost of removing and reinstalling cabinets as well. So maybe the lifetime of the particle board is ending?

    What sort of problems have you had with glued lvt?
    Does that mean that I should be thinking about a floating floor and plan on replacing tiles as they become worn?
    See why I need help?
  4. Tom Potter

    Tom Potter I Support TFP

    Most all lvt/lvp products have a commercial grade.basically a thicker wear layer. But i wouldn't expect a perfect floor in 20 years with everything you said it will be subject to. They ALL will scratch/scuff.... The way alot of these products are marketed is that they wont scratch. I can scratch a piece of steel with a stone. The lvp/lvt is not any different. Buy an extra box or two for repairs if you want to go 20+ years.

    For a glue down install the particle board should definitely come out & replced with plywood, Then the layer of underlayment, followed by prep & install of finished floor. Your underlayment won't fasten into the particle board so best to remove it. A competent installer would be able to complete this task without having to remove your cabinets.

    Another option would be to float the floor. Unless your situation requires a ton of prep (filling in your low spots with a lot of patching compound) you may be ok to go right over it. Get a 10' straight edge and check for flatness. If it's fairly flat (most require no more than 3/16" out of flat in 10' radius) & requires minimal prep, floating the floor is an option.
    If it's way out of whack were back to ripping out that particle board and starting fresh. I wouldn't trust heavy patchwork over the existing particle board/old vinyl.

    Either way if your looking to get a long life from your new floor i think everyone in the flooring business will recommend getting the particle board and old vinyl out & starting fresh. Thats the absolute best way. Anything else and were tossing the dice.
  5. Canishel

    Canishel Member

    Thanks Tom.
    Finding a competent installer to remove the vinyl-particle board is the key issue.
    I'm leaning more and more towards a glue down floor, based on the experience with my (crummy) click flooring that "gives" in some spots. The edges are also worn after 4-5 years, telling me that there's movement.

    Armstrong has a synthetic diamond mixed into the finish. So now the dilemma is comparing commercial Armstrong (250 psi static load) to Mannington (750 psi static load and aluminum oxide) to Amtico ((Armstrong Modified @1000 PSI, whatever that means, and aluminum oxide). Given a motorized wheelchair weighs around 450 lbs distributed over more than one inch, calculations are in order.

    Any comments on LVT edge treatment durability? Microbevel, straight, contoured?
    I have time to make a decision; just want to make the right one for me.

    Please keep any comments coming. I need arguments from all directions.
  6. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    The plastic (LVT/LVP) floors that have some sort of faux rustic or "distressed" image with some texture appear the most realistic to me. The smooth, square edge materials appear the most artificial, especially when sunlight hits them on a low angle.

    As far as durability of the edge or cleaning issues with the microbevels and textured materials none of the major manufacturers you listed above for commercial flooring;


    After installing fairly large commercial projects with all of them none really stands out. The seem to be of the same general quality which seems to be very durable and practical when installed and maintained properly. In other words with a few minor exceptions the failures or complaints I've encounter all go back to poor installation or poor maintenance practices.

    Personally, I don't care for the microbevel. Seems like an obvious place for dirt to collect.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Here’s example of worst case scenario. Hospital Cardiac care room. Probably waxed and burnished. Scratches galore, deciding factor in my home why it likely will not get installed.

    Attached Files:

  8. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Have a heart attack Mike?
  9. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I could have since my hair cutter said the lower crease on my earlobe indicates heart problems and to get it checked. But no, my Moms not doing well. Will post in health section down the road.
  10. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    Pretty sure the darkened seam issue is related to moisture, improper adhesive notch/installation related.
    Sure looks like those scratches come from the metal knobs on the bottom of the chair/table legs. There's definately something wrong with that furniture.
  11. Canishel

    Canishel Member

    Thanks to all for your help. I still need opinions, so please continue to add to this thread.
    Mike, I hope your mom is doing better.
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
  12. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    Incog, that is one of the purposes of the micro collect the dirt from the surface of the material so as to minimize surface scratching.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1

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