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Installing Luxury Vinyl Tile

This is a great product and when installed correctly can give you years of great looks and durability for pennies on the dollar. When looking to install this product you have to be aware that in 2016 there are generally two different type of this product. Although similar, each one has its own installation technique. In this product category, you will encounter direct glue down vinyl tile and locking vinyl tile. The second type of vinyl tile is very similar to laminate flooring that has been so popular for the last decade. Let us take a quick look at the first type of vinyl tile first.

Direct glue-Down Vinyl tile

Direct glue down vinyl tile is very good looking and durable. However, it is a bit more labor intensive when installing. The last thing you want to have is poorly prepared subflooring that will show through in the final flooring result. In order to prepare your subfloor properly for glue down installation vinyl tile floors, you must consider will be whether you are installing this floor over a wood subfloor or will this be over concrete?

Here’s why:

  1. Concrete subfloors must be flat; dry; free of dust, powder or flaking; and free of any residual curing compounds or adhesives from the previous floor.
  2. Wood subfloors should have a finished thickness of at least 1” and should have, at a minimum, 18” of well ventilated airspace underneath. You do not want to install glue down vinyl tile flooring over plywood that is laid directly on top of a concrete slab.


Once you have your subfloor situation taken care of, next is the decision on lay out. How do you want this product to be in the area you are putting it? Will the planks run the length or width of the area? Place the packages vinyl tile in the area where it will be installed in for 48-72 hours so it can acclimate to the temperature and humidity of that particular area. It is a best practice recommendation to make sure your area is heated or cooled to normal living conditions before, during, and after installation. This will insure your flooring and adhesive are at optimal working temperature and that the adhesive sets properly.

Read the Instructions!

Next, you will need to read and follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. These instructions will tell you what type of adhesive you will need and most importantly, they will also tell you what size of trowel you will need to spread the adhesive across your subfloor. So..you guessed it…read your manufacturer’s installation instructions!

Adhesives and Underlayment

If you are installing a locking together type of luxury vinyl tile you can avoid the requirement for any adhesives. However, you may need to consider a foam underlayment to quite the residual sound that can be generated from walking on this product. How will you know about this requirement? You guessed it, check with your manufacturer’s installation instructions. These instructions will also tell you 99.9% of everything you need to know in order to properly and successfully install your new flooring.