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Community and Q&A

Laying Vinyl Plank Flooring

thegiz | Posted in General Questions on

Hi hope all is well. Looking to lay down lvp on concrete slab. Before we get into heated debate 2 flooring companies recommended vinyl floor after inspecting floor. Both said they would need to level floor yet they didn’t test is or lay down a single measurement. A few years back someone came in and said they could use vinyl because it’s forgiving, they thought they could manipulate the planks without leveling anything because they didn’t think it was that off. The floor looks flat on inspection, walking over the floor I don’t feel any dips or humps. I laid a 6 foot level all over the floor and a lot of spots hit level. Anything off is very slight, it seems to have a gradual slope in some spots. Maybe I’m just confused somehow not using level correctly. There isn’t a tool that makes this easier? Laying down the floor is easy but not sure if I want to tackle leveling the floor down myself. Seems like a difficult task for me, but it’s nearly 2000 for either company in labor to install floor. How forgiving is lvp, does it depend on the thickness? Does underlayment help with slight deviations? Can I hire a mason just to level the floor, it’s 360 square, not sure what I should expect to pay for that in labor.

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  1. Expert Member
    NICK KEENAN | | #1

    My experience is guys who spend all day laying flooring can walk a floor and tell if it's not flat without measuring.

    LVP can tolerate small imperfections. The failure mode will be when tiles bend so much they start pulling apart at the cracks. LVP doesn't hide the imperfections, they will be noticeable long before you get to the point where the floor fails.

  2. Mark_Nagel | | #2

    If you want to verify properly just take a look at what the manufacturer states as being the requirement for the given flooring that you're considering and check for yourself. If you cannot convince yourself that there is ZERO doubt about your floor being good enough then either do the work yourself, or if you find someone who will do it w/o any leveling work be sure their work is warrantied (to your satisfaction). Once the flooring is down is too late to make things right.

    I'm not a professional. I have, however, had to do a bit of leveling in order to lay down some flooring (laminate planks- 10 years ago and there has been zero issues with my work), and I can state that it's one of the last things I'd ever want to do again (using leveling compound). I'd think that professionals' feelings about leveling isn't any different, that they will only do it if it's necessary.

  3. Trevor_Lambert | | #3

    Level and flat are two completely different things. You can have a ramp that is perfectly flat, but obviously not level. Likewise you can have a floor that is level but not flat. Flatness is what you're concerned with for LVP. Flatness isn't very easy to measure, as it will vary across the floor. Gentle slopes will be tolerated well by LVP, as long at they are not overly compound. More localized droops and peaks, not so much.

  4. walta100 | | #4

    I agree with Trevor flat is what you need for the tile to fit nicely together.

    Put a 2 foot level on the floor ignore the bubble and try to slide a quarter under the level. If the quarter will not fit no matter where the level is on the floor I say you are good to go. If you find a spot where a stack of 4 quarter fits under the level. I say the floor will need some work. If yours fall in between the answer depends on your tolerance for imperfection the tile you choose and the installer’s skill.


  5. Expert Member
    Deleted | | #5


  6. thegiz | | #6

    Thanks for the advice. It certainly is flat enough when tested as you guys suggested. I have a high tolerance for imperfection, it is a basement after all. Thanks again for the advice as always, I will flatten any small areas I find with a trowel, use the labor costs somewhere else.

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