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Old 08-29-2015, 07:40 PM   #1
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Luxury Vinyl Planking - underlayment prep


I am installing Coretec luxury vinyl planks 5"W X 48"L. I have two rectangular areas of my floor that are each about 8' long X 24" wide. Both areas run along walls. These areas are flat with the rest of the floor 24" out from the wall but then dip to 1/2" lower at the edge of the wall.

One of these areas runs parallel to the length of the planks (once installed) and the other area runs parallel with the end of the planks.

I was considering using troweled flooring cement to fill-in these areas but am concerned, due to the size of these areas and my lack of masonry skills, that I might not be able to achieve the required "accuracy of geometry" I need with a troweled product. I have been advised against using true self-leveling cement due to my luan ply underlayment.

I have experimented with a couple of planks clicked and locked together (this is a floating floor) and because they are so flexible it seems that the dip in the contour of the floor in these two areas isn't a problem. The planks seem to conform to the contour of the floor perfectly. I should add that the two areas I am talking about are not areas where people stand or walk. They are visible however.

Any comments for or against the idea of installing planks without first leveling these two areas? Any ideas would be appreciated.
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:14 PM   #2
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Try self leveling compound. It will mix up like pancake batter. You pour it in the low areas. It will set up in about 30 minutes.
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Last edited by Ron6519; 08-29-2015 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:42 PM   #3
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Ron6519, thanks! I'm aware of SLC but was advised previously by JazzMan, a frequent contributor to DIYChat, that it shouldn't be applied to luan ply. I believe the concern is risk of delamination of the luan caused by the water in the compound. Have you had any experience applying SLC to luan or anything other than concrete or exterior grade plywood? I be interested in knowing the outcomes.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:26 PM   #4
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I've had a similar issue when doing my basement floor with laminate flooring. What you don't mention is the thickness of material.
My dips we mid floor. The planks were 1/2" thick and spanned with no flex. I also used high end under padding.
You can always use multi purpose floor mix to level the floor. But requires troweling. Self levelling may seem the best option for you but it's not cheap.
Are you slab on grade construction? Why install Luan Mahog unless the LVT is being glued, which isn't the case. Can you use a vapour barrier (6mil poly) or underpad with built it VB?



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Old 08-30-2015, 02:08 PM   #5
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Boltonben, thanks for your reply. The vinyl planking is about 5/16 inches thick (8mm). It consists of a cork bottom, bamboo center, and vinyl top. Because of the cork bottom it does not require a vapor barrier. I am installing it on a 3/4" plywood sub-floor topped with 3/16" luan ply underlayment. The underlayment is 52 years old (house built in "63) but it was installed well and is still in excellent condition. Nice and flat, no splitting, no damage, etc. Even the areas I've described appear nice and flat. But an 8' straight edge revealed that they are not flat with rest of the floor.

The LVP I'm using is high-quality LVP from a large national manufacturer. Each 48" plank is very flexible i.e. if you hold it in the center the ends droop down about 2 1/2 to 3".
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:25 PM   #6
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Boltonben, a correction to my reply to you. If you hold a plank in the center of its length the ends droop down 2" from center. There is virtually no flexibility across each planks width however.
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:20 PM   #7
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Where did the slab idea come from, and this thread is about vinyl not wood.

Scout, you just don't wanna remove that luaun do you? What makes you think another type of floor leveler will be recommended over your underlayment?

Instructions for products usually say something like this; DO NOT bond to particle board, luan, Masonite® or hardwood surfaces or Do not bond directly to hardwood, Luan plywood, particle board, parquet, cushion or sponge-back vinyl flooring, metal, fiberglass or
plastic. Contact CUSTOM technical services for recommendations.


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