PVC on tiles needs leveling and on-site suitability

The biggest challenge when laying PVC on tiles is to avoid piercing joints. There are several more or less elaborate ways to prevent it. The same applies to structured tile surfaces and their suitability as a substrate. It is also important to keep in mind the respiratory and diffusible properties or possible moisture development.

Elastic and stable floor coverings

If you want to lay PVC, you can choose from thin material of about one centimeter thickness to products with inherent stability at the border to laminate. All elastic plastic floors, which also include the foamed versions, will sooner or later absorb unevenness in the course of use. Apart from the visual impairment, sunken areas always involve the risk of breaking the PVC.

For PVC with a thickness of more than two centimeters, joint, profile and texture depths of up to two millimeters are tolerable. If stable planks are laid out of PVC, the placement can form a kind of bridging effect. It depends crucially on the type of PVC goods. When in doubt, bumps must always be compensated.

Tile types and absorbency

Two approaches are common for balancing the joints. The joints are specifically refilled and adjusted or a complete leveling or leveling compound is applied. With this method, however, the increasing height must be taken into account, which can block doors, for example. When selecting the appropriate jointing or leveling compound, the condition and absorbency of the tiles must be taken into account:

  • Ceramic tiles with glaze
  • Unglazed ceramic tiles
  • Porous natural rocks such as terracotta

Apart from the choice of the appropriate leveling product with regard to the type of tile, the intended method of attachment also plays a role. With spot or strip fixation, for example with double-sided adhesive tape, the splices can be placed on the "bare" tile surfaces in the case of pure joint filling. For a complete leveling, the intended bonding method must fit the cured leveling compound.

Diffusion and condensation

When laying PVC flooring on tiles, the thermal situation of the floor must be considered and taken into account. Since PVC creates a kind of breathing barrier on tiles and does not permit diffusion, some structural conditions are not suitable for this hermetic finish. Typical examples are:

  • Tiles on floor slabs without basement
  • Tiles in rooms with large and rapid temperature changes
  • Damaged tile beds and screed distortions
  • Not completely dried joint or leveling compound in advance
  • For PVC tiles or sheets leaking joints that allow moisture to penetrate

Since a PVC floor usually forms a continuous airtight skin over the tiles, no moisture can escape. Condensation remains trapped and decomposed, except for unhygienic mold, the tile bed.

Tips & Tricks

Before laying the PVC coating, ensure that the temperature of all the materials involved is approximately the same. It is best to leave the PVC in the appropriate room at least 24 hours before installation.

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