Does Vinyl Flooring Need To Settle: What You Need To Know

If you’re considering a new vinyl floor for your home, you might have been told that it needs to settle before it can be used. But what does that mean, and why is it necessary? Let’s examine why vinyl flooring needs to settle and what you need to look out for.

Like other floorings, Vinyl Flooring also needs to settle. It can take from 24 hours to several days, depending on the size and the humidity conditions within the house. Not letting your Vinyl Flooring settle might result in future cracks, gaps, or uneven flooring.

When we hear settling, it doesn’t only mean that you need to wait. It means you cannot proceed with other installations, which might need to be done as soon as possible. This can be particularly a hassle for homeowners who want to finish renovations as quickly as possible.

Does Vinyl Flooring need to Acclimate?

Similar to acclimating your Laminate flooring, vinyl flooring must go through the same process before you can begin its installation. Acclimation is the process where vinyl flooring is stored for a period in the areas it will be installed to become “one” with the area and its conditions. 

Vinyl planks are made from porous materials, and thus air can travel between these spaces, which is one of the concerns that acclimation addresses. If these spaces are filled with moist air, they will expand, and if they are filled with dry air, they will contract. These situations will cause breakage in case no acclimation has taken place, thus rendering the new installation unreliable. 

Vinyl flooring acclimation allows the items to interact with the environment they will be installed in, and if it’s humid or dry, they will adjust before you install them. These home conditions are extremely different from those in the warehouse, thus speaking to the importance of acclimation. 

Skipping vinyl flooring acclimation is common, especially for new installers. It has heavy consequences on the final results from your installation, and the biggest of these is an expansion or contraction of these materials. Additionally, without acclimation, you won’t know the number of gaps to leave for expansion, and the vinyl flooring will likely break once they do. 

Letting vinyl flooring acclimate also plays a huge role in letting the new installation settle. If this process is missed, the settling process will most likely not work.

Does Vinyl Flooring need to Settle?

Letting Vinyl flooring settle is as equally important as acclimation, as this ensures it is accurate and that the vinyl flooring remains firmly in place. The settling process takes a few days, depending on the size of the areas installed and the type of adhesive used

The importance of letting vinyl flooring settle stems from how they are created. They will expand or contract depending on the moisture content in their installed areas. It will capture the temperature changes throughout the year. 

Additionally, letting vinyl flooring settle allows air bubbles trapped within the installation to escape, thus making it stronger and more durable. Furthermore, it builds on the waterproof properties of adhesives and vinyl flooring, making it reliable and eliminating reliance on regular replacement. 

Here is a brief process on how to let your vinyl flooring settle;

#1. Create enough room for the vinyl flooring

Before purchasing your flooring, create enough room in the area you intend to install it. This ensures every plank has enough expansion and contraction room and thus making the settling process easier. 

Importantly, if you use a thermostat, ensure it is set within the everyday temperature range in your house before you can begin the settling process. Additionally, ensure it remains below 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

#2. Ensure it is protected from direct sunlight

In normal conditions, vinyl flooring is not exposed to direct sunlight unless installed outdoors. Ensure the vinyl flooring is protected from direct sunlight throughout the settling process. 

#3. Evenly distribute the vinyl flooring 

The final process in the settling process is evenly distributing the vinyl flooring within the area it will be installed. Indeed, it ensures they are all exposed to similar moisture levels and will thus remain even throughout the installation process. Importantly, let the planks rest for about 48 hours before installation.

What happens if you don’t let your Vinyl Floor Settle?

If you get installation services from a professional such as Lowe’s, they will take you through the many benefits of letting your vinyl flooring settle. Additionally, they will help you understand the amount of time needed for settling depending on the conditions in your house. 

Skipping out on letting your vinyl flooring rest attracts multiple negative effects, and these are common nuisances for people without prior exposure to the installation process. Here are some effects of not letting your vinyl settle;

#1. It causes cracks on the flooring

Vinyl flooring is designed with air spaces to cater for installation across multiple regions with different conditions. These gaps often arise when the vinyl is installed in humid areas; thus, the air spaces are filled with moist air. 

Their expansion makes them tighter than intended and thus causing cracks after long exposure. It makes the installed flooring unreliable and beats the intended purpose of making the installed areas look better. You will thus have to purchase and reinstall vinyl floors. 

#2. Gaps around the floor

Have you noticed gaps within the floor that expose lower vinyl flooring layers? This is often from these vinyl flooring contracting and thus creating undecided spaces within them. Indeed, it comes from how this flooring is designed and the air spaces therein. 

This is a common problem in colder regions, and the pulling apart requires a new installation. Although you won’t have to buy new vinyl flooring, it is time and resource-consuming to reinstall them multiple times. 

#3. An unevenness of the vinyl flooring

If the vinyl flooring is not left to settle, it causes buckling that makes the surface uneven. It thus makes it less comfortable to walk on and takes from its intended purpose. Additionally, the spaces allow water to sip between the gaps, further damaging the vinyl flooring. 

It will require a new vinyl flooring purchase and an installation process. It will be time-consuming and more money will be needed for this. 

#4. Additional repair and replacement costs

Once this vinyl flooring is installed incorrectly, the only remedy is to reinstall them. It is time-consuming and will need new vinyl flooring in some cases. You will thus incur additional costs that could easily be way above your budget. 

How Long Does It Take for Vinyl Flooring to Settle?

The settling process ranges from 24 hours to several days, depending on the humidity conditions within the house. The settling will take longer if you live in a highly humid or dry area. It is thus advisable to have your dehumidifier and thermostat on and at a constant level to make the process faster and easier. 

You can ask for professional guidance before you begin the settling process. Furthermore, consultations from most vinyl floor installers are often free, and thus you don’t have to worry about incurring more expenses. 


Do vinyl planks expand and contract?

Vinyl planks contain air spaces that make them contract or expand depending on the conditions in which they are installed. It’s also among the reasons to let it settle before installation. 

When can I walk on the vinyl floor after installation?

Vinyl flooring takes about 24 hours for the adhesive to sit well; thus, you can walk on it after this period. It is, however, advisable to give it a long time to prevent the planks from slipping out of place. 

Why is my vinyl floor bouncy?

This can be from the trapped air spaces within the vinyl planks; it takes some time before they can settle and escape. Once it fully settles, the bouncy feeling will disappear and go back to normal. 

Does luxury vinyl plank need to acclimate?

Every type of vinyl flooring needs settling, especially with luxury vinyl planks. Dagames will require replacement, which will take you way off budget, especially with luxury vinyl, and letting it acclimate ensures it works as intended. 

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