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Advice Centre - Before You Fit

Carpet – small undulations in your floor will normally be taken up by a carpet and underlay. While these undulations may not affect the performance of you carpet they may be visible through your carpet. (This is especially true where the sun will catch a carpet fitted over floorboards). To avoid this effect it may be necessary to install plywood on a wooden floor or screed a concrete floor.

Vinyl – this is much less forgiving than a carpet if fitted on an uneven subfloor. Any sharp ridges or protruding objects such as a nail head can quickly damage your new floor. Also, any guarantee or wear warranty on a vinyl floor is likely to be impacted if it is not fitted onto a smooth subfloor. Unless very smooth it may be advisable to fit plywood on a wooden floor or screed a concrete floor.

LVT – luxury vinyl tiles that are stuck down always need a smooth level surface for fitting. It is not possible to o fit them on a poor floor surface and plywood and screed should always be used. If the tiles are loose lay or click then the floor still needs to be level and it is recommended that they are installed using a suitable underlay.

Wood floors – if they are uneven then plywood may be needed. Where floorboards are present then either 6mm or 9mm plywood is generally recommended. Where you have a chipboard floor it may be possible to use 4mm plywood. Before installing any plywood always check if there are any hatches is the floor you may need access to and if any doors may need adjusted.
Concrete floors – to level out a concrete floor you need to use a screed. This can either be water or latex based screed. The exact screed used will depend on the floor, the product being installed and the length of time for the installation. The top layer should be a minimum of 3mm thick. Where the screed needs to be more than 5mm thick it is recommended that granite ships are added to the screed to give it increased strength.

Damp – all floors must be free from damp before any flooring is installed. For a new build the floors must be given enough time to release any residual moisture. For older properties with a stone of concrete floor a check needs to be made as to the existence of a damp proof membrane.
 When installing any flooring it is always advisable to check for moisture. This is especially true for vinyl or LVT where the relative humidity should be less than 75%. If it is above 75% thin it is necessary to install a damp proof membrane (DPM).
While time pressure may be a factor if you install flooring onto a damp floor is quite possible that the whole floor may need to be replaced in future.

Acclimatization -  for natural flooring such as coir, jute and seagrass  as well as most LVTs the products must be acclimatized in the area they are going to be installed for 24 – 48 hours beforehand. After installation the room temperature should also be kept at a constant while the product settles down.
If a carpet is too cold when it is being installed then it may not become completely flat but may still have a few ripples in it. While it may be fitted it is possible it will need stretched after a few days. Great care should be taken when stretching a cold carpet as it could easily be burst open.
It is common for vinyl not to lay flat if it has not been fully acclimatized. Any ripples should come out within a couple of days although it may need trimmed a little.