Installing LVT patterns

Following the launch of Altro Ensemble, Roger Moore, our European Regional Technical Service Manager tells us about installing LVT patterns.

A design for life

Last month we launched Altro Ensemble, our new range of luxury vinyl tiles. Altro Technical Service was very much involved during the product development stage, fitting test floors and working on some of the first installations. Fitting Altro Ensemble is very straight-forward - I don’t think you would thank me for going through that, so instead I wanted to give you my thoughts on planning and installing patterns.

One of the most exciting things about Altro Ensemble is that the range can be mixed, matched and cut to create a multitude of designs. Whether a classic herring bone design or a bespoke, irregular shape, the effect is fantastic and surprisingly easy to plan and install but there are definitely some pitfalls to avoid.

The right design

If you’re installing a design or pattern, the chances are you’ll either be given a plan drawn up by a designer or architect, or by the end-user and quite possibly someone who doesn’t have a great deal of design or installation experience. The first thing I would say is not to be afraid to question the design if there isn’t enough detail, or you can see potential issues, such as a pattern that runs across the entire floor (more on that in a bit). The clearer you can be on what’s needed at the start, the better. If you’re working directly with the designer, it’s worth giving them pieces of the actual material so they can create a scaled-down model to check the designs and colours work.

Altro Ensemble planks can be used to make a room appear longer or wider, depending on the direction and pattern in which the planks are laid. This is a fantastic use of LVTs and can make a big difference to the way that the room looks. If the chosen lay-out will create this effect, it’s worth checking that is what is intended.

One of the main issues we can face occurs if the walls aren’t dead straight, which you’ll know is very common. Depending on how far the walls are out, having a border may not work, as this could highlight ‘out of plumb’ walls. The type of pattern used can help resolve this, for example, using Altro Ensemble to create a herringbone pattern is a great alternative, masking wall imperfections.

You can see some examples of how the different Altro Ensemble plank sizes can work together on the product page.

Getting the measure of it

Accurate measuring is paramount – it’s obvious that if the measurements aren’t right, it will affect the pattern. Whether not being able to centralise it in the room or complete it, it’s not something that you want to deal with once you’re installing the floor.

We all know that you can’t argue with a wonky wall. If there are any parts of the room that aren’t straight, it’s really important to know at the start of the project.

A dry run

It’s likely that you will be given measurements to work to. If the pattern is complex, or relies on straight edges, I would always recommend laying some of the planks on the floor with no adhesive, and if possible lay out the full pattern. It’s the best way of seeing off potential issues at a point where changes can still be made to the plans. Once the pattern is laid out, check where in the room the features are, where patterns start and finish. Problems with the pattern size, entrances and exits and meeting walls will jump out at you and are easy to put right at this stage.

On site

I’ve been laying Altro Ensemble for a while now and its flexibility makes it extremely easy to cut and fit plus its fleece backing takes really well to the adhesive. It’s always best to allow extra material for any variations, or if the measurements aren’t 100% accurate.

When you get into the installation itself, it’s easy to become totally focussed on what you’re doing, but if the installation calls for a complicated design it’s a really good idea to stand up regularly and take a look around to make sure everything looks right as a whole. You get a completely different perspective from that at floor level. You don’t want to realise too late that you’ve wandered off your line or picked up the wrong colour or piece of a pattern!

Don’t forget that we’re always here if you have any queries about choosing or installing Altro Ensemble. Just use the online chat, or give us a call.

Posted: 09/10/2018 08:00:00 by Heather Mussett | with 0 comments