Vinyl FlooringThere is nothing more annoying than a split, tear, hole or bulge in vinyl flooring as it seems unrepairable and the first thought would probably be for most people that the whole thing needs replacing. If you plan to use certain flooring materials in an area where water intrusion may pose an issue, a waterproof subfloor will be needed. Bathroom floors and laundry rooms should have a cement board subfloor applied prior to laying any preferred flooring options. A properly prepared subfloor will ensure long lasting beauty and overall durability of any flooring options you may choose.

Hard stone or ceramic tile, vinyl sheeting and laminate or wood planking require smooth and completely even subfloor surfaces prior to their you choose to apply any of these options over an existing plywood subfloor, ensure that it is clean by vacuuming. If your existing plywood subfloor has cracks and crevices, or if there are nail heads visibly protruding from the surface, these must be removed prior to laying your flooring options. If countersinking nail heads, be sure you use a wood putty to fill in any depressed areas.

Even if your subfloor seems level, it’s still a good idea to be safe and apply a good coat of leveling compound Leveling compound offers you a strong and smooth surface for any flooring selections on the market. Used to ensure a level application throughout the flooring area, leveling compound should be applied to the lowest area of the room first, allowed to set and then can be applied again as needed. If you choose vinyl sheeting, ceramic or stone tiles, or hardwood or laminate flooring, these pose special needs which can be overcome by following the above suggestions.

However, cracks and crevices should be filled in, in order to prevent moisture from entering, while nail heads and other protrusions must be removed prior to your carpet installation in order to avoid tears and damage later on. Seal cracks and crevices using a latex-based compound and ensure that your concrete is fully dry prior to applying any flooring options Clean it thoroughly, making sure to remove any residue or stains and check that it is even using as long a level as possible over the broadest areas of the room.

Consumer Reports just tested a variety of vinyl flooring to see which ones were the best and safest. Besides checking the composition of the flooring itself, the lab also tested to see whether phthalates could be wiped off the vinyl flooring onto your hands or get into the air. Although the phthalate levels were very low, Consumer Reports recommends wet-mopping vinyl floors often if you have young children in the house and wash their hands after they’ve crawled on the floor. I even have the same vinyl flooring pattern, but in a dark (ugh) brick red color.

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