Vinyl flooring is a popular flooring option due to its stain-resistant and waterproof features. However, failing to adhere to the proper pre-installation and post-installation requirements can increase the chances of vinyl floor problems down the line. Such problems include walking on the vinyl surface too soon before the adhesive sets fully or staggering and installing the vinyl planks before acclimating them to room conditions. But how long does it take before walking on vinyl flooring?
For floating vinyl tiles, there’s no-glue-down since they use a locking system to stick to each other. Therefore, you can walk on this type of vinyl flooring immediately after installation. However, for glue-down vinyl sheet flooring, it ranges from 15-48 hours depending on adhesives used. For urethane glues, it can withstand mild traffic after 15 hours and can settle in with furniture after 24 hours. But, for vinyl adhesive, you have to wait up to 48 hours for it to completely cure before walking on it.
In this blog, we discuss how long you should wait before walking on LVP flooring after installation. We also take a look at the importance of acclimating vinyl planks pre-installation- and how to quickly do the same.
How long does it take for vinyl flooring adhesive to dry?
Vinyl sheet flooring is usually glued-down onto the subfloor for a permanent floor covering. Typically, a good quality adhesive will fully dry within 24 hours. Urethane glues like Gorilla 105911, generally cure within 12-20 hours after application. The drying time can be affected by the humidity and temperature levels in the room in which the vinyl tiles are installed.
Generally, glued-down vinyl flooring can withstand mild traffic about 15 hours post-installation, as the adhesive will have cured. About one full day after installation, you can bring in your heavy furniture.
Remember, different vinyl adhesive manufacturers have different curing timelines. Thus, you should check the instructions labelling on the side of the product packaging to find out how long it will take the adhesive to dry.
How soon can you walk on LVP flooring after installation?
How long you should wait before walking on newly-installed vinyl flooring depends on the type of vinyl flooring tiles you want to install. For floating like Lucida vinyl tiles, there’s no need to glue them down to the subfloor, as they use a locking system to stick to each other. Therefore, with no adhesives being used, you can start walking on this type of vinyl flooring immediately after installation.
By contrast, we have glue-down vinyl flooring tiles, which have to be attached to the subfloor using vinyl adhesives. Vinyl adhesive can be applied via the full spread method or the perimeter-adhered method. In a full spread, the Roberts vinyl glue is applied across the whole subfloor before the planks are installed. You should wait at least 48 hours before walking on a vinyl surface installed using this method- to allow enough time for the adhesive to set fully.
In the perimeter-adhered method, the adhesive is applied only at the seams and the edges of the vinyl planks. As such, it takes a relatively shorter time for the glue to cure. We recommend a 24-48 hour wait time before walking on a glue-down vinyl surface installed using this method. Remember, walking on vinyl before the adhesive sets fully can cause adhesion failure and result in bumps in the vinyl tiles.
TIP: Finally, if you live in cooler regions, you may have to wait even longer as the low temperatures mean that vinyl adhesives will take longer to set. As such, we recommend waiting for 3-4 full days post-installation before walking on the vinyl floor. However, if you don’t fancy waiting this long, you can help the adhesive cure faster by using your heater to keep room temperatures above 68-degrees Fahrenheit. Doing so will help you cut down the required wait time by a full 24 hours.
Do you have to let vinyl sheet flooring acclimate?
Yes, it’s important to let vinyl sheets like Antique Pine acclimate to the temperature and humidity conditions of the room in which they are to be installed. If you install vinyl planks in a room directly after purchase without acclimating them first, the planks will swell and shrink beyond expected levels, leading to buckling and unsightly gaps in the floor.
Vinyl floorboards have a porous, high-density core. As such, humid air can penetrate into the core of the planks. Under high humidity conditions, the boards will- therefore- expand. Conversely, in low humidity conditions, the planks will contract. Acclimation allows the vinyl planks to establish size stability in accordance with the environmental conditions of the room in which they are to be installed.
TIP: Leaving the vinyl tiles in the room at least 48 hours pre-installation not only prevents chances of future floor problems but also issues during installation. For instance, for click-lock vinyl tiles, acclimation minimizes rigidity, consequently easing pressure on the locking mechanism during installation.
Meanwhile- for glue-down vinyl flooring, acclimation allows for proper curing of the adhesive, as there’s no swelling and shrinking to disrupt the curing process. Acclimation also allows for a free-flowing floor with no gaps between the vinyl floorboards; thus- you won’t need to install transition strips or gap breaks.
How to make new LVP flooring ready quickly
To ensure your new LVP flooring is quickly properly conditioned to the environment in which it is to be installed, adopt the following acclimation specifications:
- Set your heating systems to ensure you maintain floor temperatures of 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Set your HVAC system (such as DAIKIN Wall-Mounted Ductless Mini-Split ) to ensure you maintain room humidity levels between 35-75%. A common tool that you can use for testing room humidity levels is a barometer.
- You not only want the vinyl to become acclimated to the conditions of the room, but also to those of the subfloor that it will lie on. Thus, if you’re installing on a concrete subfloor, ensure to cure the slab for at least 60 days pre-installation.
How to accilimate LVP Vinyl Flooring
Here’s a short procedure for quickly acclimating newly-purchased vinyl tiles to the conditions of the room they’re to be installed in:
- Ferry the boxes of vinyl tiles to the room in which they are to be installed. Then, cut open the boxes with a pair of scissors and take out the tiles.
- Next, group the tiles in stacks of 15-20 pieces. Allow a space of at least one foot between the sets of tiles to allow for proper air circulation. Remember, you want to subject all the tiles to the room’s humidity and temperature conditions.
- Let the vinyl tile stacks stay in the room for at least 48 hours before installation. During this period, you should set your HVAC system to a temperature of between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here a video on how to acclimate Vinyl plank flooring
Sources and References
National Wood Flooring Association: Techinical guidelines for Acclimination