We know how tempting it can be to turn your entire flooring project into a DIY adventure. After all, the internet is brimming with tutorials and how-to guides that make it look so easy. However, when it comes to vinyl flooring—whether it’s Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) or Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)—opting for professional flooring installation often turns out to be the wiser choice.
Here are five compelling reasons why you might want to think twice before going the DIY route with your vinyl plank flooring.
1. Subfloor Preparation Is Crucial
One of the most underrated aspects of flooring installations is the preparation of the subfloor. Any subfloor imperfections—like dents, debris, or unevenness—can translate into noticeable flaws in the finished floor. The subfloor type will also influence the type of underlayment, you get concrete subfloor, plywood subfloor, particle boards and joists. Cork underlayment is a very popular choice as it is environmentally friendly and offers great sound absorption. For a concrete subfloor, a foam underlayment is usually used.
While you might think a quick sweep is sufficient, professional installers know that preparing the subfloor often involves leveling, possibly sanding, and certainly a meticulous final cleaning. Failing to adequately prepare the subfloor can lead to costly and time-consuming repairs down the line.
2. Specialized Tools Are Required
You might own a hammer, tape measure, and perhaps even a carpenter’s square, but installing vinyl flooring requires specialized tools like a floor roller, vinyl tile cutter, and possibly a heat gun. Sure, you could rent these tools, but the cost quickly adds up, not to mention the time you’ll spend learning how to use them correctly.
Professional installers not only have access to these tools but also have the expertise to use them effectively and efficiently.
3. Pattern and Seams Matter
Vinyl flooring often comes in patterns that need to be meticulously matched for a seamless and professional look. This is particularly true for vinyl sheet flooring, where a mismatch can be glaringly obvious. Even with LVP or LVT, the arrangement of the various vinyl planks or tiles can make a huge difference in the final appearance of the room.
Pros know how to lay the material in a way that maximizes its aesthetic appeal.
4. Time Commitment
Let’s face it, DIY projects almost always take longer than expected, especially if you’re learning as you go. What might take a professional a day or two could end up consuming your weekends for a month. And that’s time you won’t get back. Between family commitments, work, and the ever-elusive “me time,” can you really afford to turn your new flooring project into a long-term hobby?
5. Warranty Concerns
Many flooring products come with warranties that can be voided if the installation doesn’t meet specific criteria. For example, failure to leave an adequate expansion gap around the room’s entire floor perimeter can negate your warranty.
A professional installer knows how to meet these criteria down to the letter, preserving your warranty and your peace of mind.
What Can Go Wrong: Real-Life DIY Disasters
Ah, the pitfalls of DIY projects. They start with the best of intentions but can quickly go south if you’re not careful. We’ve seen our fair share of DIY flooring disasters, like people who had tried to install vinyl plank flooring, and trust us, it was not a pretty sight. To drive home the point, let’s share a couple of real-life examples existing floor, that highlight the risks of taking the DIY route.
The Case of the Expanding Planks
Meet Sarah, a well-intentioned homeowner who thought installing LVP flooring in her living room would be a breeze. She meticulously followed an online tutorial but overlooked one crucial detail—leaving room for expansion around the edges of one plank. Fast forward to a hot summer day, and her beautiful vinyl flooring planks all began to warp and lift. The entire vinyl plank flooring had to be pulled up and reinstalled, costing her more in the long run than if she had opted for professionals to do the job.
The Mismatched Patterns
Then there’s Tim, who decided to install new floors with sheet vinyl in his kitchen. Armed with enthusiasm and a YouTube guide, Tim thought he had everything under control. However, he didn’t account for the pattern repeat on his sheet vinyl. The result? A floor that looked like a jigsaw puzzle gone horribly wrong. The mismatched patterns were not only an eyesore but also a stark reminder that sometimes it’s best to leave things to the pros.
Last but not least, consider Lisa, who thought using “more glue” would ensure her vinyl wall tiles stayed in place. Unfortunately, the excess adhesive seeped through the seams, causing a sticky mess and smooth surface that attracted dirt like a magnet. Cleanup was a nightmare, and many of the tiles had to be replaced, nullifying any savings she thought she’d achieve by doing it herself.
The Value of Professional Assessment: Setting the Stage for Success
One of the most critical yet often overlooked aspects of a flooring installations is the initial assessment. You might think, “It’s just flooring; how complicated can it be?” Well, you’d be surprised! Before a single plank or tile is laid on new floor, a comprehensive evaluation sets the stage for a successful, long-lasting floor. Here’s why a professional assessment is invaluable:
Identifying Subfloor Issues
A clean, level (mostly concrete) subfloor is the foundation of laying vinyl plank flooring or. During a professional assessment, we check the existing floors for inconsistencies, bumps, or dips that could potentially disrupt the alignment of your new vinyl flooring. Ignoring this step could result in a wavy appearance or even structural issues down the line.
This is crucial, especially if you’re planning to install vinyl flooring in areas prone to moisture, like basements, bathrooms, or kitchens. Excessive moisture can lead to mold growth, adhesive failure, or warping of the flooring material. A professional assessment includes moisture testing to ensure your subfloor is adequately prepared for vinyl plank flooring.
One of the practical benefits of a professional assessment is accurate material estimation. Sure, you could measure the room yourself, but getting the square footage just right can be tricky, especially in rooms with irregular shapes or built-in fixtures. Professionals have the expertise to calculate precisely how much material you’ll need, minimizing waste and saving you money.
Every home is unique, and what works in one space may not be suitable for another. During the assessment, we take the time to understand your lifestyle, preferences, and specific needs. Do you have pets? Is the room exposed to a lot of natural light? These factors influence the type of laminate flooring or vinyl flooring that would be best for your home.
Lastly, many manufacturers require a professional assessment before the flooring goes down to uphold the product warranty. This is a safeguard against potential issues that might arise from improper installation, ensuring you have peace of mind and financial protection should anything go awry.
While the DIY route to install vinyl plank flooring may seem attractive at first glance, the complexities of vinyl flooring often make it a job best left to the pros. We at Soto Flooring are committed to providing top-notch services that guarantee a beautiful, long-lasting result. If you’re looking for vinyl flooring solutions in Oklahoma City we invite you to get in touch with us to discuss your first plank flooring needs. Trust us; you’ll be walking on a masterpiece in no time.