Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Review and how to install luxury vinyl planking.
When shopping for our basement flooring, I looked at many different options of vinyl planks and ordered a few different vinyl flooring samples. Ultimately, I decided to go with Armstrong Rigid Core LVP and I’m so happy with my choice.
Today, I’m sharing about the luxury vinyl plank installation (we did it ourselves!), more about the durable floor option that we chose, color and more.
Waterproof Flooring For the Basement
As I started shopping for flooring for our basement, I knew I wanted to pick a product that would be waterproof. If you have a basement then you know that water can sometimes be an issue. We took steps to help insure that we didn’t run into problems in our basement but it’s always better to play it safe.
Must-Have’s For Basement Flooring
- Waterproof Flooring
- Durable Flooring
- Wood Look Flooring (to match upstairs)
If we wanted the cheapest way to do the basement flooring, it probably would have been to stain or paint the concrete floor that was already there. My mom did a stain treatment in her basement at her previous house and it looked pretty nice. I wanted a wood-look flooring in my space to keep up my house style flow.
Since we had a concrete basement floor, we had almost any option we wanted for the floors. I pretty quickly keyed in on luxury vinyl planks as the right material for our basement floors.
What are luxury vinyl planks?
LVP is a waterproof (or water resistant) vinyl flooring that comes in planks that resembles wood floors.
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After getting vinyl flooring samples, I really loved the Armstrong Vantage Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl by Armstrong. It had the underlayment attached and it was a click-lock installation, which were both things that we were looking at.
The sample I ordered also resembled our white oak flooring that we have upstairs. It felt like a cohesive, durable flooring choice for the basement.
I looked at a few rigid core flooring reviews and felt pretty confident that the Armstrong Vantage was the right product. But, like I mentioned, we did order quite a few samples of LVP. Some of the samples looked more like plastic and others, just didn’t at all resemble wood. I think there’s a pretty big difference in quality (and price) for LVP, so do your research. =)
We went ahead and placed a big order for the LVP in the Summerfield Oak Sandcastle color. It had a nice variation of wood tones.
Once we got the flooring, we followed the manufacturer’s suggestion for temperature and then started to figure out how to install the the vinyl planks. The click lock vinyl plank install took a few tries (or an hour or so!) to get in the groove and understand how it worked.
I recorded quite a few videos of the process for installing the Rigid Core luxury vinyl, so thought I’d share the how-to with you to help you get past any of the tricky parts we ran in to.
How to Install LVP
- Prep the floors by removing carpet, tack strips, baseboard and glue.
- To remove glue: a multi tool with a soft scraper works great.
- After sweeping the floors, draw a chalk line across the main sight line of the space.
- To keep everything square, you can draw another chalk line in the opposite direction.
- Pull LVP out of multiple boxes to make sure you are duplicating board variations.
- Lay out a few rows to find a pattern that works.
- Using a rubber mallet and a wood block, tile the LVP into the groove and tap it in.
- Double-check your work to make sure you aren’t repeating the same tone/variation of board next to each other.
- Use a miter saw to cut your boards when needed.
- For tricky cuts (see video for more), use a square and jig saw. You might have to work backwards with tricky cuts to install them first so they don’t break. Again, see video for more information.
- Use a pull bar to install planks on the wall side.
- Mop and admire your work!
I hope it was helpful to see the process of the luxury vinyl plank installation. We got faster at the install as we went along but this was a big job. Definitely doable, but a big job, nonetheless.
We’ve now had the rigid core luxury vinyl flooring installed for about four months now and it’s been great! It looks great in person and when people come over, we get complimented on it. There’s not a visible pattern or flow to the floor, which was something that I was really particular about. We are definitely pleased we decided to go with the rigid core luxury vinyl.
Play catch-up on the basement renovation with these posts:
- Egress Windows
- Basement Drywall Cost and Installation
- Tips for Painting Drywall
- How to Soundproof a Basement
Up next for the basement, is finishing the stairwell and secret door (here’s some inspiration for a similar shiplap door). Luke’s been working hard on it and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, finally!