Advice on installing LVP in basement

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Old 02-24-20, 12:47 AM
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Advice on installing LVP in basement

I was originally going to tile my laundry room in the basement, but there is currently laminate in part of the basement as well that my wife doesn't really like so we are going to put LVP through a good portion of it. We also like the wood plank look as opposed to til so this should be nice. First of all, on the diagram I provided, there is currently carpet in the rec room and bedroom, linoleum in the utility and storage room, and laminate flooring everywhere else (the hallways and bathroom). The LVP will placed in the laundry room and everywhere the laminate currently is, and we will likely extend it into that storage room as well. It may even go into the bedroom down the line, but the rec room will likely stay carpet because it is exactly 12' feet wide so it will be easy to replace that.

I wanted some advice on a couple of things. As far as the type of LVP, I noticed they have different thicknesses, some have a soft backing on them, etc. Any recommendations? I don't want super expensive stuff fro down here. Do we need an underlay? I see some say it is built in, and I can understand an underlay might be nice for cushioning or sound, but this is just a basement that does not get a lot of use so I don't care that much about that. Another question is how level does the floor have to be? This is on slab, and I imagine there might be some small cracks or discrepancies, but right now there is laminate on it that seems fine. If there are small fluctuations, is LVP forgiving? Again, this is just a basement. I figure I need to remove the linoleum so the floor level will be even throughout (plus part of the laundry room floor has a section of it already removed from when we had to break through the slab to fix a pipe a couple of years ago). Most of it peels up pretty easily with just a thin layer of adhesive left. Can that be left or does it have to come up too all the way to the bare concrete? Finally, which direction should this run, or is it a matter of preference? Right now, the laminate runs east to west which made sense at the time because the longest run was from the hall into the bathroom (the east wall of the hall is a door to outside). My wife still likes it this direction. Ideally though, I would like to start laying this in the laundry room because it is a priority to install a new hot water tank in there and I am waiting for the floor. I just want to get that done and may finish the rest of the basement in the near future. Also, any advice on keeping things as squared up as possible? This house is old so I doubt everything is squared up. Which walls should be followed to keep the planks even with? I appreciate you taking the time to read this and offering any advice. I have laid laminate before so I am familiar with the process of laying these.


 
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Old 02-24-20, 12:52 AM
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Do we need an underlay?
how level does the floor have to be?
All these questions can be resolved once you select a material and read the manufacturer's guidelines!
 
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Old 02-24-20, 08:28 AM
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Ok, I will check out the manufacturer's recommendation regarding these but for now I guess I am more interested in the direction these should run and how to start it from that room I mention and how to make sure it is square. Is it best to just make sure it looks even with the wall you see the most, or where it is going to join the carpet? And as for underlayment in general, is the main purpose comfort, acoustics, or moisture control? This stuff is supposed to be waterproof and not promote mold growth, right?
 
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Old 02-24-20, 09:18 AM
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In the basement you can go in any direction you want, typ pick the longest line of sight to set up your starting line but again need to check if the manufacturer has limits on uninterrupted runs.

Once a material is picked the small details are easier to resolve!
 
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Old 02-24-20, 10:34 AM
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Can these be laid in two directions, or do they only snap in place one way? The reason I ask is because the part that would be most visible to line up with walls would mostly be in the middle of the house. If they can be laid in both directions, would it be a bad idea to start at the north end of the utility room and work south, then later on continue it north from where I started?
 
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Old 02-24-20, 10:50 AM
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They snap in only one way, so it would be possible to lay everything in a continuous layout, assuming your instructions allow it (size wise). You generally work left to right... so you would likely start in the upper right corner (bedroom) and finish in the lower left corner (utility)... with the planks running the long direction (up and down) in your drawing.

Having said that it would make your life easier if you used t moldings at every doorway so that the layout in each room could be separate. Some like to avoid t moldings whenever possible because they prefer the smooth seamless look.

To keep things straight and square you would make control lines down the longest run (probably along that central storage-utility wall) and measure everything off that.
 
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Old 02-24-20, 11:08 AM
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It is not going in that bedroom (I said possibly in the future but probably unlikely) so if it goes left to right, can I start in the lower left of the diagram and work north? If I run them long ways (up and down on the diagram), what would work if I started in the SW corner and make sure they line up with that central wall, right? If we decide to run them from west to east, would I need to start in the SE corner of the utility room? Or will this not work by starting in that room? I really would like to get that done first.
 
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Old 02-24-20, 11:25 AM
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Yes, the opposite would also be true. But because of the 3' notch you would start at that notch in the open under stairs room, then back track to the bottom left utility corner and continue left to right.
 
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Old 02-24-20, 11:48 AM
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I am sorry, I don't quite understand that. Nothing is going to go in that open under stairs part. Where are you saying to start it if I start in the utility room, and which direction are we talking about running them?
 
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Old 02-24-20, 04:46 PM
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Bottom left corner of your drawing. The long way, starting on the 17' long wall.
 
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Old 02-24-20, 04:51 PM
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Ok, so I start in the bottom left corner, planks running up and down. I will basically be just doing that utility room for now then probably pick up the rest of it within a couple of months after I do some other remodeling. When I do, will I just need to start in the bathroom and the storage room along the left wall so they come out even in the hallway where I can snap those pieces into place?
 
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Old 02-24-20, 04:57 PM
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From post 6:

To keep things straight and square you would make control lines down the longest run (probably along that central storage-utility wall) and measure everything off that.
The bath and storage rooms are 3' longer than the utility room. All the planks are parallel to the control line. You use the control line to figure out how much to cut off your first piece in the bath and storage room. It's pretty simple math.
 
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Old 02-24-20, 05:15 PM
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Yes, I understand that part. But if they only snap in one direction, when I get to the bathroom, I can just start going both way from the piece that would go down the hall, right? I believe I would have to start some in the bathroom and come out to meet the piece in the hall, then snap that hall piece into where the bathroom ends, and then keep going right from there.
 
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Old 02-24-20, 05:18 PM
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By golly I think you've got it.
 
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Old 02-26-20, 02:46 PM
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The one I was looking at it is either Life Proof or MSI from Home Depot and they both have underlay attached so that seems very convenient. I noticed they sell a moisture barrier which just looks like black plastic sheathing. Is that necessary to lay down under it?
 
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Old 02-26-20, 03:52 PM
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You need to read your specific product installation instructions... It will tell you. But in a basement it's usually a good idea.
 
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Old 02-27-20, 11:55 AM
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Ok, that is pretty inexpensive anyways so I will just lay some of that plastic down. Can you put heavy things on this right away? In this utility room, there is a washer, dryer, refrigerator, freezer, and hot water tank. This particular product says it does not need to acclimate to temperature before you install it, but does it need to be laid down for a bit so it can expand or whatever it does before you put a bunch of weight on it?
 
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Old 02-27-20, 03:09 PM
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No. You will be able to move things away from the wall, lay floor behind, then move things back up onto the floor (assuming you have shims at the wall to maintain the proper gap).

When doing a floor I always go buy a few packs of "sliders" for hardwood floors. It also pays to have a 4x8 sheet of 1/8" tempered hardboard so that you can protect the floor and edge of the floor as you slide or roll big heavy things around on it. Get an appliance cart to move anything big and heavy.
 
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Old 02-29-20, 11:33 PM
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I am going to lay the floor in the utility room tomorrow (running north and south) and stop right at the northeast corner of it for now. I was thinking about how the rest has to be laid and once I continue up that narrow hallway right up from the utility room, I understand how you have to start from the west wall of the bathroom and that storage room to meet the runs in the hall. Even if you measure that exact, if you are off even like 1/4 inch, it isn't going to line up with that run in the hall. I know it is just measuring it, but still that seems like there is no room for error. Is it easier to do than I am visualizing?

The other thing I am starting to think of doing is putting a transition in the northeast corner of the utility room and run the rest of the plants east to west. That is the way the laminate is now and it makes one long run from that big hall into the bathroom. Would that look funny to have it switch direction like that?
 
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Old 03-03-20, 12:27 PM
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I got the whole room done and was playing around with some planks in the other direction, and I don't see why that won't work. I do see where you have to go left to right because the right tile snaps on top of the left one. But if you assembled a whole row, tilted the top up and slid it under the row below it, it seems that the groove will go under the tongue and snap in place. Am I missing something?
 
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