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You’ve finally made the decision to install luxury vinyl flooring (LVF) in your home, and installation is on the horizon. You’re likely very excited to start enjoying your home with your stunning new floor and can’t wait to move all of the furniture back in right away. Before you do, however, you need to know if you’re able to.
In some situations, flooring cannot be used immediately after installation. So, exactly how soon can you put furniture on vinyl plank flooring? In this article, we’ll address all of your concerns and give you an accurate answer on how long it’ll take.
Before we begin, let’s learn a little about the vinyl plank flooring installation process.
If you are a DIY'er, a major benefit of vinyl plank flooring is its relatively easy installation. Unlike hardwood flooring, which involves labor-intensive nailing to the subfloor or other planks, luxury vinyl flooring requires little to no tools. For many DIY'ers, this is even a project that they’re willing to take on themselves, although it’s always recommended to entrust the process to a professional flooring installer.
Luxury vinyl tiles and planks are installed in two ways. How long you have to wait to move furniture back into the room is entirely dependent on which installation type is used. These two types are:
How exactly do these work? Let’s take a look.
The first method is where the vinyl tiles or planks are glued down directly to the subfloor. With this method and for a perfect installation, the subfloor needs to be incredibly even, smooth, and free of any debris. If it’s not level, any imperfections will be visible through your vinyl flooring and it will peel up over time, resulting in some unsightly bumps throughout your home.
If the subfloor isn’t even and smooth, it can be leveled with an underlayment placed between the subfloor and the vinyl floor. The underlayment provides a smooth surface for the vinyl to adhere to and it adds some other benefits, such as noise reduction and a softer feel to the flooring.
Luxury vinyl plank flooring is a good choice for installation over concrete subfloors. Take note of the grade level before applying luxury vinyl over concrete. Before installation, you should also perform a moisture test on suspended, on-grade, and below-grade concrete subfloors. To ensure the best results, lay down a moisture vapor barrier over the concrete subfloor before installation.
If the wood subfloor is porous, a double-layer plywood construction is required when you glue down vinyl plank flooring. Afterward, prep the subfloor by spreading a primer that fills the pores and makes the floor ready to accept adhesive.
You can glue down luxury vinyl plank flooring over some existing flooring and eliminate hours of work peeling up the floor. Luxury vinyl plank flooring is so versatile that you can apply it directly over existing floor substrates, including terrazzo, fiber cement, vinyl sheeting, and radiant heat flooring. However, don't install it over the cork, carpet, laminate, vinyl with a cushioned backing, or any other floating floor system.
Glue-down flooring can be installed in two different ways:
Click-lock is the most durable kind of luxury vinyl flooring, and it’s also the most expensive. These planks are installed via interlocking joints that connect the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle. Also known as a “floating floor”, click-lock requires no adhesive whatsoever. It simply rests on top of the subfloor and is held in place by each of the surrounding pieces.
As mentioned, the time you must wait before moving furniture back after the installation will entirely depend on which type of luxury vinyl flooring style was used. Because of this, your flooring purchase may depend on how quickly you’d like to get your home back to normal. It can be frustrating not being able to use a portion of your home for an extended period of time.
If you’re installing glue-down flooring, you will need to wait a certain amount of time before furniture can be moved back in. This is primarily because the adhesive that is used needs to set. If the curing process is disrupted it can easily affect the quality of the project and the planks can shift before installation completes. It’s always best to be patient.
Most manufacturers recommend between 48 and 72 hours for glue-down flooring. During this time, it’s suggested that you don’t even walk on the flooring, so your best bet is to completely close off that portion of the home for daily use. You may also want to open some windows and ventilate the room, as vinyl flooring and the glue may release VOCs which may be unpleasant to smell.
If you’d like to go back to using your home as quickly as possible, click-lock vinyl is what you’re after. Since no adhesive is used, there’s no curing process, meaning you don’t have to wait for the glue to set. With this flooring type, you can actually move furniture back in immediately. However, when you are ready to move furniture in, there are some special considerations to make to avoid potential damage.
A significant drawback of vinyl plank flooring, when compared to true hardwood, is that the surface is softer and it is more susceptible to dents from heavy items. If your floor is overloaded by heavy appliances or heavy furniture, you risk damaging the planks. It’s important to know the specific weight rating of your flooring so that you can avoid damage.
According to Home Inspection Insider, most manufacturers rate their vinyl to be able to withstand 500 pounds. Keep in mind that this is for a single vinyl plank. While 500 pounds may seem like a lot, heavy appliances like refrigerators or heavy furniture pieces like pianos can easily exceed this.
Luxury vinyl flooring is somewhat soft when compared to hardwood, but it still comes with exceptional durability. However, you do need to be mindful of the damage that heavy furniture can create. Luxury vinyl can easily dent when too much pressure is put on it. If the pressure is put onto a joint of click-lock flooring, it can cause the flooring to buckle in some areas.
There are plenty of little tricks you can use to prevent furniture-related damage. The last thing you would want is for your fresh installation to be ruined, so be sure to follow these tips to preserve your LVF.
Furniture legs are responsible for most of the damage that your floors will suffer . This is because all of the weight from the furniture is concentrated onto four small contact points. When this concentrated weight is pressed directly against the floor, indentations can occur.
The best way of preventing this is by adding furniture pads to all four legs. These pads glue onto the underside of the legs and disperse the weight. In addition to preventing dents, these pads also help prevent scratches and scuffs. It’s important to choose a furniture pad that’s made of felt or cotton rather than rubber.
Rubber and vinyl do not mix well, and rubber padding may cause staining on the vinyl floors.
If you move your furniture often, it’s also worthwhile to add furniture glides. These function much like pads, but their design allows for smooth sliding. Glides feature a nail that’s pounded into the furniture’s leg, so it’s also much sturdier and they stay in place better. With furniture pads you always have to check them to make sure that they haven’t come off, opening up your flooring to damage. Glides don’t have this problem.
Area rugs are also a great method to avoid vinyl floor damage from heavy furniture. Instead of worrying about furniture pads, you can simply place a nice rug underneath the piece. Rugs are also quite stylish and look well underneath a variety of furniture pieces including tables, couches, and pianos.
It’s also worth putting rugs in areas with high foot traffic. This functions as a floor protector and prevents excess dirt and debris from shoes from getting pushed into the flooring. This will extend the life of your flooring and ensure it remains dent, scratch and scuff free.
When moving furniture around the room, it’s important to avoid sliding, even if it's equipped with furniture gliders. With the help of friends or family, it’s recommended to completely lift furniture off the floor before rearranging. This will prevent any scratching and gouging from occurring.
Preventative maintenance is the key to retaining luxury vinyl flooring’s durability, which will help to avoid furniture-related damage. By keeping up on a regular cleaning cycle and removing dirt from the flooring as often as possible, you’ll extend the flooring’s lifespan. When dirt is left to sit on the flooring it can get pushed into the planks. Eventually, this will degrade the material, causing weakness, and allowing damages to occur more easily.
If you’re installing luxury vinyl flooring into your living space, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding installation and use. If you’ve chosen glue-down flooring, you’ll need to allow a few days for the adhesive to set before you move furniture in. Click-lock flooring on the other hand allows you to move furniture back immediately.
Above all else, however, taking the necessary precautions to avoid damage and cleaning regularly will ensure your flooring installation will last decades. If you’re ready to purchase beautiful luxury vinyl flooring for your home, check out Allman's Carpet & Flooring’s complete collection for inspiration.
Get in touch with the flooring professionals at Allman's Carpet & Flooring
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