Our flooring is the TrafficMASTER Allure 6”x36” resilient vinyl planks. At around $1.40 per square foot it is an economical choice. At 4 Millimeters thick it is a low profile option which means it is much lighter than many flooring options and does not bite into our head height under the loft. It seemed to be a very simple installation process and the easily achieved tight bond between planks creates a nearly waterproof floor.
We actually purchased this flooring nearly 6 months ago when we found it on sale and stored it in the barn until last weekend. I think acquiring items before you need them and when you have funds is a great idea and lets you be flexible in the future when you want to accomplish that particular task. Be forewarned though, as certain materials or portions of assemblies can be sensitive to prolonged exposure to moisture, heat, cold, etc… as we found out while reading the installations and care directions for our flooring a couple days ago. “don’t let it get too cold, don’t let it get too hot, only stack three high, allow 4” around the boxes for air flow, install between 60-80 degrees, so on and so forth. We tried to make up for our lack of proper storage technique with a flawless “by-the-book” installation and the floor came together great and looks just as anticipated so it appears as though no harm was done.
While this was probably a few weeks earlier than we expected to install the flooring, we are stalled out a bit with the electrical followed by the wall and ceiling paneling so this seemed like as good a time as any to complete the flooring and keep moving forward with the build.
We decided to lay the flooring down as one large continuous sheet underneath all of the “built ins” like stairs, cabinets, etc.. for a few reasons.
- Simplified installation with significantly less notching around built-ins which allows for a cleaner, potentially trim-less meeting between the floor and vertical elements.
- A better continuous layer of sealed protection against water and air penetration.
- You do not throw off your standard cabinet height by having them sit on the lower subfloor. (this is not so much a problem with our very thin finish floor material but is something to consider).
One of the main points against this type of installation is that you will have a hard time in the future pulling up a peace of the flooring and replacing it if it is partially under a built-in but after trying to pull apart two planks after an installation misalignment I can tell you that this flooring is not meant to, or able to be partially disassembled later on…plus, how can anything harm a flooring material with the words “trafficMASTER” and “resilient” in the name!?
It is installed as a floating floor (without adhesive) to allow for subtle expansion and contraction and did not require a subsurface material or padding so it mimics the firm nature of actual wood flooring under your feet. Because we still have 2+ months of construction to do following the floor installation we laid down a protective layer of “Builder Board” and taped all of the edges to keep the flooring looking new (hopefully).
We chalk up a successful and efficient floor installation to the use of matching coveralls during the process, regardless of the confused and inquisitive nature of the general public during our pre and post installation stops at Starbucks, Home Depot, and the local Brewery.