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Need some advice re: LVT/Plank and transitions



"Need some advice re: LVT/Plank and transitions," in the Vinyl Flooring Q&A forum, begins: "We had made the decision to replace the existing carpet with LVPlank (Linkwerks Rapid Clic) but have come across another ..."

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Old March 25, 2012, 10:25 AM   #1
coleberd
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Need some advice re: LVT/Plank and transitions


We had made the decision to replace the existing carpet with LVPlank (Linkwerks Rapid Clic) but have come across another problem. The carpet will butt up against travertine in several long runs (10 to 20 ft runs x 3). The travertine is 3/4 in thick. The LVT is ~1/8" thick. That leaves a need for LONG 5/8" transitions. That seems like a lot to me, possibly real toe-stubbers. and the longest run of the transition will be the master bedroom, the other two are in a long entryway.

Any suggestions? I've posted before about the reason for the LVT choice...small dogs that knock over water dishes...so engineered hardwood doesn't seem like a good choice as this can happen when we aren't home to clean up the spills right away. We'd like to make the Linkwerks product work but need ideas about how to manage the transitions. We were told by one flooring person that installing a plywood subfloor would be cost prohibitive.

What could we use to make this product work with the travertine?

Thanks in advance for all ideas.

TFP recommends cooking.com

Last edited by coleberd; March 25, 2012 at 10:26 AM. Reason: should say carpet does butt up against travertine
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Old March 25, 2012, 11:57 AM   #2
kylenelson
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It sounds like you could lay down a layer of plywood to make up the height difference. This is a no-glue/ click together type of LVT, am I correct? If so, you can get a pretty low grade plywood (In my opinion it's still better than particle board) and it will give you the height necessary.

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Old March 25, 2012, 12:25 PM   #3
coleberd
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Yes, it is no glue, so low grade plywood would be okay? That may make it more cost-effective.

Thanks!

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Old March 25, 2012, 12:50 PM   #4
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That click flooring is 5MM which is over 3/16" thick

http://www.bolick-distributors.com/s...duct_specs.pdf

Noticing you had it figured at ~1/8" threw out a red flag for me. Anything an 1/8" thick wouldn't be a click product but either a "Konecto" type floating or direct glue down.

You may want to reconsider your flooring choice given the expense of plywood. There are thicker laminates, engineered flooring and even resilient sheet products, tiles or planks that might be more cost effective given the TOTAL costs of installation. There are even ceramic tiles that have the appearance of wood.

All of the laminates I've laid have some sort of foam underlayment pad. between a thicker laminate and the foam you might be able to just ramp out the transition with cement patch. The thickness of the ramp and how far you'd have to work it out would depend on the manufacturer's tolerance for flatness and your preference/choice of transition strip/threshold/moldings.

there's a lot of variables in that there equation


Last edited by Incognito; March 25, 2012 at 12:59 PM.
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Old March 25, 2012, 03:04 PM   #5
coleberd
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I understand about the number of variables, believe me!

We'd love to do an engineered floor and have looked at several options but the water issue remains.

Does LVT require an underlayment pad? I didn't think so but have been told by someone at Lumber Liquidators that one should be put in place.

Confused.

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Old March 25, 2012, 05:53 PM   #6
Jim McClain
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coleberd said View Post
The travertine is 3/4 in thick. The LVT is ~1/8" thick. That leaves a need for LONG 5/8" transitions.
Do you mean WIDE transitions, or are you referring to the length of the doorway spans?

We were told by one flooring person that installing a plywood subfloor would be cost prohibitive.
Is that maybe because you told him your budget, he doesn't sell plywood and he wants you to spend the whole budget with him? I'm curious because a budget should not be determined until you know exactly what your options are for the types of flooring you would like to use. If it's LVT and given the tile obstacle, that type of floor should include something that would bring it up past the hazard level. Plywood is one, self-leveling cement another, possibly ramping, all depending on the actual product.

coleberd said View Post
We'd love to do an engineered floor and have looked at several options but the water issue remains.
And it may be an issue to consider with certain laminate flooring products. If they get wet, they may swell or get damaged. Some also scratch easier, which is another consideration pet owners should have.

Does LVT require an underlayment pad? I didn't think so but have been told by someone at Lumber Liquidators that one should be put in place.
You didn't mention if sound control was a concern, whether you were on a second floor, or what the reasons for recommending an underlayment the Lumber Liquidator sales person gave you. An underlayment may have some benefit, but we need more information before recommending it. We aren't selling you anything, so we don't have anything to lose except your satisfaction with our advice.

If you go with a floating type Luxury Vinyl Plank, you may want to consider installing a half-inch plywood underlayment first. It will help bring your new floor up to the level of the stone tile. Any small transition from that can be managed with a standard transition trim. If you decide you want an LVT cushion too, then reduce the thickness of the plywood. Do not use a thicker cushion to eliminate the need for plywood because it will make the LVT flex too much and come apart at the seams.

Jim

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Old March 25, 2012, 06:43 PM   #7
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Using a cushion under Linkwerks is a no-no.

Here are the instructions. http://earthwerks.net/media/LinkWerk...llInstruct.pdf

They do not even recommend it over a cusioned vinyl, due to movement. The clic joints are very small and with ANY deflection they will unlock. Trust me on that!!

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Old March 25, 2012, 08:59 PM   #8
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coleberd said View Post
I understand about the number of variables, believe me!

We'd love to do an engineered floor and have looked at several options but the water issue remains.

Does LVT require an underlayment pad? I didn't think so but have been told by someone at Lumber Liquidators that one should be put in place.

Confused.
*****************************

If water or moisture are issues then plywood is a no-no.

So I'd ramp off the travertine with cement based floor patch and work that out across the entire floor to get it within tolerance. I don't see in the link Elmer Fudd provided where they specify their maximum tolerance for flatness. You rarely see anything OVER a 1/4" in 10' being acceptable to the manufacturer. After ramping I'd screed, level, float and skimcoat the slab til it was at least that flat.

You may want to consider or look into self leveling underlayments. Some installers prefer using them over the stick/trowel methods.

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Old March 25, 2012, 09:32 PM   #9
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1/2'' CDX plywood can be relatively cost effective and give you the height neccesary.

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Old March 26, 2012, 09:01 AM   #10
coleberd
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Jim McClain said View Post
Do you mean WIDE transitions, or are you referring to the length of the doorway spans?

Yes, the span of the transition would be 8 - 10' in two cases (dining room to entryway and library to entryway), and in the master bedroom, probably 14'. These aren't doorways, more like passageways.


Is that maybe because you told him your budget, he doesn't sell plywood and he wants you to spend the whole budget with him? I'm curious because a budget should not be determined until you know exactly what your options are for the types of flooring you would like to use. If it's LVT and given the tile obstacle, that type of floor should include something that would bring it up past the hazard level. Plywood is one, self-leveling cement another, possibly ramping, all depending on the actual product.

Actually we haven't discussed a budget with him, but he sure doesn't sell plywood. I have been given the impression that self-leveling cement would work for less of a transition but not for something that is (thanks Brian for pointing this out) between 1/2 and 5/8 in. If this is doable, we will add that to our considerations. We are also considering ramping which might work for the dining area and the library where there is plenty of room to "work out" the transition, the MBR area is more problematic with ramping for two reasons: first, there is a sitting area there that does not butt up against the travertine, and second, the distance over which the ramp could occur is less (more like 10', rather than 16' in the case of the other two rooms).

I've also found a product, Johnsonite's Sub Floor Leveling system, which I think might work. Does anyone have any experience with that? It seems to be some kind of mat with the ramping built in, and apparently the mats can even be stacked. Interesting but I would like to know if they work before making a commitment to them.


And it may be an issue to consider with certain laminate flooring products. If they get wet, they may swell or get damaged. Some also scratch easier, which is another consideration pet owners should have.

Agreed, but unless we solve the transition problem on a cost-effective basis we may have to go with engineered hardwood. Could a coat of urethane be put over the engineered hardwood to prevent the moisture absorption?


You didn't mention if sound control was a concern, whether you were on a second floor, or what the reasons for recommending an underlayment the Lumber Liquidator sales person gave you. An underlayment may have some benefit, but we need more information before recommending it. We aren't selling you anything, so we don't have anything to lose except your satisfaction with our advice.
Sound control is a bit of a concern only because the travertine is so "bright" sound-wise. But that was not the reason for the recommendation from Lumber Liquidators. They just said their product "required" the underlayment. (Profit margins, perhaps?)

If you go with a floating type Luxury Vinyl Plank, you may want to consider installing a half-inch plywood underlayment first. It will help bring your new floor up to the level of the stone tile. Any small transition from that can be managed with a standard transition trim. If you decide you want an LVT cushion too, then reduce the thickness of the plywood. Do not use a thicker cushion to eliminate the need for plywood because it will make the LVT flex too much and come apart at the seams.

Off to investigate plywood today. Would OSB work? Regarding the flex, I understand that too much flex would be an issue. Would that possibly be an issue with the Johnsonite Leveling Subfloor, too?

Thanks so much to everyone for the help and advice. This seemed so simple when we started.


Last edited by Jim McClain; March 26, 2012 at 11:11 AM. Reason: fixed quotes
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Old March 26, 2012, 09:07 AM   #11
coleberd
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Seems to run about $1 / sf around here (Southern California) and since we are looking at 1200 sf, that mounts up pretty quickly! That's off the Home Depot website, btw ($29.97 for 32 sf).

19/32 OSB is $12.97 for 32 sf if it would work.

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Old March 26, 2012, 10:52 AM   #12
Nate Hall
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You could ramp out the larger doorways and put a single piece of ply wood down outside the MBR to "move" the transition to a more "do-able" location. That way you split the difference between the cost prohibitive option and the ramping option.

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Old March 26, 2012, 11:43 AM   #13
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I hesitate to suggest "ramping" because of the skill it would take to do it in this situation. The height difference is considerable and would require the ramp to extend quite a distance. The Johnsonite product is only 12" of extension and that isn't far enough to prevent flexing of the flooring at a high traffic area. "Stackable" doesn't extend the material further out into the room, it means you can transition a thicker distance.

Self-leveling cement would be easier than ramping, but still requires some skill level and might be less cost effective than plywood. In my area (the real Northern California), CDX ply is less than $30.00 per sheet. It will bring the whole floor (not just the passageways) up a half-inch. It will add a measure of sound absorption and strength to the floor. Fill the voids and seams with floor patch and then coat the whole floor with a sealer to prevent moisture damage and you are ready to install the new floor covering.

Jim

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Old March 26, 2012, 12:07 PM   #14
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Sorry but the 'problem child' is butting in again.

If I understand right, this is a basement with the potential for moisture problems. If that is so, plywood is NOT a good 'filler' for the height difference. The LVT will 'lock' in the moisture and break down the plywood possibly causing mold issues.

I think you should glue down a ceramic tile backer board such as hardibacker or something similar to bring the height to what you want. The thinset and backer board will be affected the least by moisture than of any other underlayments.

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Old March 26, 2012, 01:12 PM   #15
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Oops, I must have not read that it was on concrete. If it is indeed concrete then I would go with barry's suggestion

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