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SCLVT can be a great DIY product choice for your home flooring due to its ease of installation and acoustic benefits. However, we’ve found it to be problematic in commercial or multifamily spaces when compared to glue-down LVT.  SCLVT products have very specific installation requirements that must be carefully reviewed and followed to a T.  These instructions often vary from product to product, so there is no “one size fits all” approach, but below are the key points of concern. 

  • Temperature Sensitivity: SCLVT has very specific acclimation requirements for both the product and the space it’s being installed. All LVT can expand or contract with fluctuations in temperature and relative humidity, particularly in environments with poor climate control, but this is especially true for SCLVT.  These products require greater expansion space (typically ¼” to ⅜”) between any vertical surfaces, such as walls, door jambs, islands and intersecting corridors. Some products even require expansion joints over large-span areas. Without the appropriate amount of expansion space and/or joints, you risk planks gapping or buckling, which can compromise the installation. Exposure to direct sunlight can exacerbate these issues. Again, this is more common with SCLVT because it doesn’t utilize adhesive, which acts as an additional safeguard. 

  • Stability: Floor flatness is critical, as SCLVT products will bridge high and low spots in the sub-floor, causing the floor to pop when you walk across it. Expansion joints can additionally impact stability in high-traffic zones, like multifamily apartments, where tenants are constantly moving in and out, resulting in significant wear and tear causing the joints to inevitably break. Additionally, the click-system mechanism itself is fragile, so rolling heavy loads or carts over the SCLVT can cause this mechanism to snap compromising the floor’s integrity.  

  • Maintenance: SCLVT makes future repairs very difficult.  Instead of simply pulling up a damaged glue-down plank and replacing it with a new one, SCLVT requires the surrounding area to be dismantled as well. For example, if the damaged plank is in the middle of the room, you must first dismantle a plank at the nearest wall and undo each individual click-system puzzle piece from the wall to that damaged plank.  Once you replace the damaged plank, then you need to re-click all those planks back together.  

Choosing the right flooring for your commercial space involves considering various factors. We’re here to provide you with the information and assistance you need to make an informed decision.