Glue Down or Click?

Two dogs on Rockingham floor

Glue Down LVT or Click? A fitter’s perspective;

Luxury Vinyl Tiles used to be a floorcovering few could afford. Now with the arrival of many new brands and manufacturers, it has become a huge growth sector within the flooring industry and with the new build sector installing so much in new homes, the term LVT seems to be a term the buying public are embracing across all walks of life.

From low end budget tiles and planks to top spec designer floors the demand for this kind of floorcovering seems to be ceaseless in the south east of England and seemingly across the rest of the UK.

As a flooring installer of 30 years I am often asked to lay the lock or click together LVTs, these are relatively new player in an established game, but I struggle to see their place in an ever expanding market.

LVT flooring has always been about its versatility, combining wood look planks with stones and metallic styles, adding borders, compasses, hand cut motifs all the skilled parts of the job we’ve been trained to do, that set the Luxury vinyl tile market apart from other flooring – these things aren’t, as far as I have seen, possible with a click or lock system.

The preparation for the dry backed floors is often spoken about as being to expensive and puts the end user off the purchase, but it is my experience that the lock system flooring needs as much and sometimes more preparatory work before the installation can commence and the underlay has to be stuck down I just cannot see a benefit in these floors within the professional flooring industry. I haven’t even touched on the fact these lock tiles need an expansion gap to the perimeter of the room, but they do. I’ve also found that in direct sunlight such as an orangery or in front of patio doors, these lock tiles seem to ‘tent’ in the heat that is to say the tiles expand against each other pushing on the joint causing the tiles to lift and look extremely unsightly. With dry backed tiles we have high temperature adhesives to overcome such issues. During the hot summer we have just had in 2018 I looked at, at least 5 jobs fitted by others that had failed in this way.

Then there’s the maintenance, a dry back tile damaged by the end user can easily be lifted and replaced by a decent installer, whilst the lock tiles are replaceable it’s a substantially longer process to do and far more invasive.

Despite my negativity I do see that these lock together tiles have a place in the DIY market, and maybe even for commercial use where flooring can be installed and removed with little fuss to for example a retailer of office environment – but if you want a statement floor, that is unique to you and your home dry backs such as the Paws for Floors range are the way to go, the Floors for Paws can easily be laid with a single plank border or fitted at 45 degrees without the need for an expansion gap or unsightly mastic to the perimeter making them in my opinion an exceptional choice for those with or without pets.

Richard Fordham
Registered installer for Floors For Paws LTD

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