LVT Flooring

Preconditioning Luxury Vinyl Tiles

Introduction: Preconditioning. Luxury Vinyl Tiles
Luxury vinyl tiles (LVT flooring) have become a popular flooring choice for both residential and commercial areas. LVTs are durable, easy to maintain, and stylish since they effectively resemble wood and stone. Whether you intend to install your luxury vinyl flooring yourself or hire a professional, the topic of pre-conditioning arises. Pre-conditioning means enabling your tiles to acclimate to the environment before installing them. Some argue that you must do this, while others argue that it is not as vital. Let’s find out in this article!

Benefits of Pre-conditioning Luxury Vinyl Tiles:
• Consistent temperature and humidity in manufacturing facilities. However, as the tiles are transported, kept in warehouses, or even moved throughout your home, they will be exposed to varying temperatures and humidity levels. LVT can expand and contract somewhat due to temperature and moisture differences, so it’s a good idea to give the tiles some time (typically 24-48 hours) to acclimate to the room where they will be installed.
• Prevents Warping and Gapping: If you do not pre-condition your vinyl tiles by leaving them in the room where you intend to install them for 24-48 hours, they may warp and gap. Curling is a typical type of warping in which the tiles strive to expand but find little area to do so, thus they expand upwards, resulting in a curled tile. Gapping is the opposite; it occurs when the tiles shrink and pull apart from one another, leaving gaps between them. Both may be prevented by preparing the tiles before laying them.
• Stronger Clicks and Locks: Click-and-lock is a common type of LVT. This luxury vinyl tile creates a floating floor by using a smart interlocking mechanism that connects tiles without the use of adhesive. However, if the tiles are not adequately conditioned, the click-and-lock system’s connections may be damaged, resulting in a less stable floor over time. On the other hand, correctly acclimatized tiles have the best possibility of forming a solid lock for a long-lasting, secure floor.

Arguments Against Pre-conditioning Luxury Vinyl Tile
• Manufacturers’ Guidelines: Some vinyl producers claim that their flooring products are pre-stabilized, which means they don’t need time to acclimate. Before determining whether or not to pre-condition your luxury vinyl tiles, always double-check the manufacturer’s requirements.
• Time Limits: Waiting 24–28 hours can significantly slow down a job, especially if you are working under a tight deadline. It may be tempting to skip the pre-conditioning procedure and simply lay down your luxury vinyl tiles, but this is not recommended and is done at your own risk of warping and gapping.
• Environmentally Stable Home: If your home is climate-controlled, you may not need to pre-condition your tiles before transferring them between rooms. The only exceptions may be in rooms that are much hotter or colder than the rest of your home, such as a basement or conservatory. Kitchens and bathrooms are another exception, as they are significantly more humid than the rest of your home. However, if you are transporting your tiles from your hallway to your living room to install them and the temperatures and humidity levels are similar, you may not need to pre-condition your tiles before placing them.

Pre-conditioning Tips:
• Order luxury vinyl flooring ahead of time to ensure proper installation. This should allow the tiles plenty of time to acclimate.
• Proper Storage: Store your new, unopened LVT in the room where you wish to lay it for 24-28 hours before installing it. Alternatively, keep them in a room with a similar temperature and humidity level.
• Check the subfloor: Before placing your luxury vinyl, ensure that the subfloor is flat, smooth, and dry.
• Consider using underlay between your subfloor and your vinyl tiles to ensure a soft feel underfoot and a long life for your new flooring.

Conclusion
At Royal Infinity Furniture, we recommend preconditioning your luxury vinyl tiles before installing them. Usually, leaving your new and unopened tiles in the room where you plan to install them for 24-48 hours is sufficient. However, always refer to the manufacturer’s directions for your individual flooring product.

LVT Flooring