Page 16 - Fall 2021 FCICA Flooring Contractor
P. 16



                                                            environments starts off very similarly to a tile project with the
                                                            proper placement of a waterproofing membrane over the entire
                                                            surface. The surface can virtually be anything ranging from cement
                                                            boards to waterproof boards to drywall. The critical success
                                                            factor is 100% compliance in the installation of the waterproofing
                                                            membrane. This is no different than what you would expect for tile
                                                            installations, so it is very important to make sure this step is done
                                                            according to all written instructions found on technical data sheets
                                                            and installation guides. There are a variety of types of waterproofing
                                                            membranes available from multipart cement based to fabric
                                                            membranes to roll-on coatings, all will work for LVT installations.
                                                              The next step is one that is specific for resilient material being
                                                            installed and that is to make sure the surface is very smooth and
                                                            flat. If tile were being installed, you can deal with substrate defects
                                                            with the mortar bed being used. For resilient flooring materials, you
                                                            need to make sure the surface is smooth and flat otherwise those
                                                            defects will telegraph through to the final finish. For this, you will
                                                            need a special smoothing compound, one that will bond tenaciously
        of dust when it comes to installing LVT in wet environments (or   to non-porous substrates, dries quickly and be waterproof when
        any environment for that matter). Another benefit of this type of   dry.
        installation comes when you are doing retrofit installations.      Now it’s time to install the LVT, not on the floor, but on a vertical
          Traditionally, if you were to put new tile over existing tile this   surface. For this, you will need again another special product
        process adds significant weight and thickness over the existing   considering you are installing a non-porous material over a non-
        material. Depending on the tile and installation method this can   porous substrate and something that will need to be waterproof
        add as much as 3/8-1/2” of additional thickness to the walls. Using   as well. In this application, we find that modified silane-based
        LVT, the maximum thickness build is typically less than 1/8”.    adhesives work best. They are designed to work over non-porous
        Another great advantage of LVT in any application or environment   substrates and have been formulated to provide the necessary
        is the ability to combine multiple visuals and have them all at the   thixotropy to keep large planks from slipping down the wall during
        same thickness.                                     installation. The other advantage they have is that once they are
          Think about it. If you want to combine wood and stone, you   cured, they form a highly moisture resistant rubber type bond
        are going to have to make sure that they all come out at the same   perfect for this type of application.
        level when you install them. For example, combining ¾” solid    Depending on the desired visual required you may choose to
        prefinished wood flooring with a ½” thick piece of marble means   use tile spacers when placing the LVT to leave an area for grouting
        that the marble will have to be lifted up ¼” to be level with the   or you can simply butt each piece of LVT together tightly. Grouting
        wood. With LVT that wood visual matches up perfectly with the
        stone visual without having to deal with thickness variations since
        they all start at 2mm or 5 mm thicknesses.
          The last benefit to discuss is what LVT is made of and why it is
        perfectly suitable for wet environments. In general, most LVT is
        PVC based. There are also many non-PVC types of LVT available,
        but the general conclusion is that they are made of plastic based
        materials and as such are extremely water resistant. Comparing the
        composition of LVT to other flooring choices such as wood and tile
        the differences are very obvious.
           Wood, for example, is definitely not waterproof and is extremely
        sensitive to moisture in any form. Putting wood materials in a wet
        environment would hardly be considered for many reasons. Tile
        and stone are more common materials that would be used in wet                                          Photos courtesy of MAPEI
        environments, but not all stone is suitable for this application and
        can absorb moisture and be stained.
          So how does it work? The installation of LVT in wet

   16    The Flooring Contractor Magazine     Fall 2021
   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21