Vinyl Plank Flooring Not Laying Flat [Comprehensive Guide]

This is the complete guide on your query “vinyl plank flooring not laying flat” where we have provided effective and easy ways to do it properly.

The affordability factors are one of the main reasons behind the popularity of vinyl plank flooring. However, there is a major disadvantage to installing vinyl plank floors.

Often the uneven vinyl plank floor surfaces can be a serious headache for you. Often vinyl plank floors lay improperly if they are wrongly installed, which exposes them to moisture and heat.

Eventually, it causes damage to the vinyl floor, affecting the harmony of the floor. The worst part is the uneven corners of the vinyl planks may cause unexpected accidents while walking.

That way, you can hurt your toenails or your bare feet. Technically, that’s when you need to fix the uneven heights of the vinyl plank slabs by adjoining it with the plank placed next to it.

You can choose a DIY fix to adjust the height of the damaged vinyl plank block. You can read more about the query “vinyl plank flooring not laying flat” in this detailed article.

Keep Reading: Get Rid Of Ugly Scratches Fron Vinyl Floors

Why Vinyl Plank Flooring Not Laying Flat?

According to floor renovation specialists, popular reasons for which vinyl floors may not lay flat can be wrongly installed or exposed to moisture and heat, or else buckling, peaking, or curling at the edge may be the reason.

The most troublesome part is often such planks affect the beauty of the flooring design. If you are planning to resale the property, it may depreciate the price of your asset too. If the LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank) is not laying flat, then the following reasons will be held responsible behind it.

Moisture Damage Is A Common Scenario

Excessive moisture accumulation is one of the popular reasons for the vinyl planks to incur damage. The wet subfloor may not allow the vinyl planks to sit and adjoin upon its surface.

Sometimes, the poor quality of the glue is also responsible for weakening the bond between the subfloor and the plank. That often results in buckling the vinyl planks.

Keep Reading: Soak Water Under Vinyl Floors

Excessive Prone To Heat And sunlight

Vinyl planks have the tendency to warm up due to excessive exposure to heat and sunlight. If the vinyl planks are exposed to those areas of the room where maximum sunlight light reaches, it can be a reason for the planks to buckle. Such permanent buckling instances are common if there is no expansion gap around the room perimeter.

Damaged Or Uneven Subfloor

At times, the uneven subfloor is a significant reason for the vinyl planks not to lay flat. Often, uneven subflooring construction affects the adhesive used for placing the vinyl blocks.

The gaps created between the plank and the subfloor incur moisture. The moisture effect denies the adhesive to sitting rigidly on the surface of the adjoining the lips of the adjacent planks placed on it.

The gaps created on the edge of the planks tend to increase, and after a certain point of time, the planks finally come out. That is another reason for which often uneven floors cannot adjoin the vinyl planks placed on them.

Faulty Installation

Improper installation is one of the main reasons behind the vinyl planks buckling. Installation flaws like placing the planks without leaving a gap so that the planks may expand after sitting rigidly on the glue damage the plank edges.

Often it gets loose, and naturally, the planks refuse to lay flat. Similar instances have also been noted in LVP flooring installation defects. That is why often the edges curl up.

Sometimes, the aggressive hammering of the planks and tapping block also creates damage. It can be a significant reason to lift the seams of some planks.

Keep Reading: Guide To Use Vinyl Flooring Outdoors

Frequent Dragging Of Heavy Items

The loose lay vinyl floors may not be able to take the pressure of shifting and moving heavy furniture. Excessive dragging and shifting of the furniture too frequently may affect the glued impact of the planks adjoined to the subfloor.

Once the stickiness of the adhesive is gone, it is difficult for the planks to remain adjoined with the subfloor. Now that you are aware of the problems causing damage to your existing vinyl planks- it is important for you to have a solution too.

If you are planning to hire a flooring specialist, then you need not worry about the solutions, as they are experts in finding the best remedy to flatten the uneven corners and edges of the vinyl planks.

On the contrary, if you are planning for a DIY fix, then you should be aware of the fix that will help you to restore the damaged portions of your vinyl floor.

DIY Fix For Vinyl Plank Flooring Not Laying Flat

If you have already planned to repair your faulty flooring, then it is important to inspect the damage first. Take some time out from your busy schedule and determine which one is suitable for restoring the damage.

However, if the damage is severe, you might have to replace the whole flooring. If the damage is not that serious, a little bit of guidance on a DIY fix will help you to get rid of the damage eventually. Let’s explore some of those vinyl flooring restoration remedies.

Keep Reading: Properly Stagger Vinyl Plank Flooring

Know What You Are Dealing With First Before Re-Gluing The Plank

If you are dealing with glued-down flooring, it is always recommended to peel back the affected area gently. Once the affected area is peeled, you can expect the torn-out area to get exposed.

Inspect it carefully and markdown those areas where the glue effect is no more. This time, be careful to select the glue quality; it is always recommended to use premium glue that strengthens the bond between the surface of the subfloor and the plank edges.

If needed, take a measurement tool to measure a rough sketch before placing the planks finally on the block. Once the plank is placed, use a heavy-weight material like a piece of stone or an iron material to put sufficient pressure on the exposed surface of the plank.

It will help the plank to get dual pressure from both sides so that it can perfectly sit on the subfloor surface without allowing a single air to pass in the gaps.

Also, remember to keep the required gaps this time in between the edges. The expansion of the gaps will eventually allow the plank to get a good grip on the subfloor surface and sit rigidly on it.

Pin-Pointing The DIY Re-Fix To Make It Easier For You

Before re-fixing the uneven glued-down vinyl plank floors, it is important to make a strategy first. The strategy must include all of these work plans that have been shared below.

  • Use a hairdryer for heating the damaged section of the floor. It is also advisable to raise the seam so that the lifted plastic vinyl plank can be lifted. A heat gun is also a good alternative choice to ensure that the surface where the DIY fix is planned is workable without melting down the section.
  • The affected plank should be removed first. Then you should apply LVT/LVP glue to the underside. A flexible knife will be considered a great tool for the purpose.
  • Apply the vinyl adhesive and press the newly bought floorboard into the position right with a heavy weight material.
  • Use an old cloth that is no longer used for wiping off the excessive glue. Run a roller if possible on the restored section to make the surface even flatter and equal. It will help you to get rid of uneven heights or edged popping-ups from any corner of the newly installed plank.
  • Also it is recommended to avoid foot-traffic as much as possible for at least 24 hours. This will give sufficient time for the glue to set back. It is advisable to place a weight on the plank to flatten the floor.

It will enable you to run a DIY fix for restoring the damaged vinyl flooring pattern.

Keep Reading: Complete Pros And Cons Of Vinyl Flooring

Evenly Level The Concrete Floor With Proper Precautions

Sometimes, rough concrete floors fail to grasp the adhesive. Well, now that you know that is the uneven surface of the concrete floor you are dealing with, you should spread sand on the concrete floor to ensure that it is smooth enough for running a DIY vinyl plank restoration.

Apply the sands on those uneven heights on the surface and use sands to fill in the low spots. Once that is done, review the whole uneven subfloor to find any such uneven heights that you have probably missed out on.

If you have missed out on any, use the same technique to make the surface even. You may also apply a bit of cement to make the base of the subfloor smooth so that the planks can literally sit rigidly upon it after applying the adhesive.

Apply the adhesive and then put a fresh plank on it if the previous one has been heavily damaged already. It will always help you to flat down your vinyl floor.

Get Rid Of Baseboards

It is advisable to get rid of the doorcase moldings while DIY fixing the vinyl plank floor. Removing the baseboard and other case moldings is an excellent way to ensure clean and easy re-installation of the vinyl plank floors.

Clean Up The Debris

If you are running a DIY fix on the same place where the existing plank has been damaged already without cleaning, the same trouble will keep on bothering you.

That is why it is important to clean the area before running a DIY re-fix of the vinyl plank flooring. You can use either a vacuum cleaner or a mop for cleaning the subfloor surface.

Get the entire floor rid of the debris and dirt. Then only it is wise to execute a DIY fix for attaching the sub-floor.

Keep Reading: Explanation On Toxicity Of Vinyl Flooring

Be Cautious While Cutting The Vinyl Planks This Time

Once the torn and worn plank is removed, take some time to inspect the existing pattern of your floor. It is always recommended to cut out the vinyl plank depending upon the sub-floor thickness.

To avoid making a mistake this time, it is recommended to measure the area where the planks are to be restored. It will help you to find the correct measurement for installing the planks.

After applying adhesive to those planks, it is pretty obvious for the vinyl plank to sit rigidly on the surface of the sub-floor. You can also choose tools like a circular saw, T-square, or a tile cutter for cutting the vinyl.

However, you should be careful and read the manuals provided with these tools for safety purposes since you are planning a DIY vinyl plank restoration.

Finally, when all of these things are done, you can install vinyl planks only after getting an assurance about the quality of the plank. It will always help you to avoid re-work after running a DIY fix to restore the faulty flooring.

Other Causes For Vinyl Plank Floors To Separate From Next Block

The vinyl plank floors are usually separated when they get loose, leading to multiple shortfalls shared above. However, there are a few other reasons also responsible for the vinyl plank floors to separate from the existing flooring pattern. Exploring some of those reasons.

Adverse Weather

Weather can be a big reason for the floors to separate from the existing planks. If the weather outside your house is quickly becoming warm from cold, then it may separate your plank floors.

If the room is freezing, it is pretty obvious that you will notice separation. When the factors are constant, they will keep on separating.

Keep Reading: Ways To Fix Separating Laminate Flooring

Shifting To A New Home

The subfloor of a new home is always glossy and shiny. It is important for you to understand that vinyl floor planks may need some time to settle down with the brand new marble or stone base subfloor.

Before laying vinyl flooring on one such floor, it is important to be careful about the quality of the marble or the tiles used on the subfloor.

Generally, stone marble flooring can be too slippery at times. Before installing vinyl flooring on the sub-floor, you should spend some time deciding which type of vinyl flooring suits the sub-floor pattern of your newly shifted home.

If your ground-up research work is good, initially, it may take time for the vinyl planks to settle down; however, with time, they will suitably sit rigidly on the subfloors of your newly bought home.

Keep Reading: Installation Of Vinyl Plank Flooring On Staircase

Is It Compulsory To Put An Underlay Beneath The Planks?

Although underlays are important while installing vinyl planks, however, there is no hard and fast rule that is mandatory.

The design vinyl flooring planks are manufactured in a way that you will not require the additional underlay to go out beyond. The base layer of vinyl planks is quite impressive. You might also love to read about the complete layers of the floor guide.

So, if you are willing to curb your flooring expenses, you do not have to spend a single dollar on the underlay. On the other hand, underlay might be useful if you are using click vinyl flooring on a concrete subfloor.

The concrete subfloor requires an underlay so that it can act as a vapor barrier. However, scanning the internet and browsing the videos is always recommended before installing an underlay vinyl plank. It will ensure a flawless installation of underlay beneath the vinyl planks.

Final Verdict

Vinyl flooring plank renovation is indeed a challenging task for sure. However, the comprehensive guidelines on your query “vinyl plank flooring not laying flat” that has been shared above will always help you to run a flawless DIY remedy for restoring the faulty vinyl planks installed on your subfloor. It will always ensure your safety while installing DIY vinyl flooring restoration work.

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Shelley Stevenson

Shelly Stevenson is the full-time editor responsible for painting, flooring, bathrooms & home climate coverage at StyDomIo. She is a home improvement expert with an eye for design and the skills to get the work done. She knows what turns a house into a home and has the advice and ideas to make upgrades easy and fun.

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