Alterna Installation Easier Than Ceramic Tile
We installed Alterna luxury vinyl tile in our kitchen and mudroom, and I just want to say: you really have to see and feel Alterna to know what a great product it is! And I’m happy to say that my husband agrees with me – now, but it didn’t start out that way. In the beginning, he wasn’t too sure. Let me take you back….
Our big day for the Alterna installation was a Saturday in late August. Of course, we didn’t start prepping for the installation until the night before. To make sure we both understood how this was going to work, I read the instructions out loud to my husband. When I got to the line, “Do not install Alterna over OSB or plywood,” my husband said, “What did you just say? We have OSB.” I read it again. Then he took the paper and read it because, well, he’s male and therefore would not believe it until he saw it for himself in black and white.
The rest of that night we weighed our options. We briefly considered just installing Alterna anyway, but knew it wasn’t the right decision. So I looked on about every flooring forum imaginable, but none provided the definitive answer. Since we really wanted to complete the project that weekend, we didn’t want to take any chances. The next morning we called a local retailer and asked for his advice. The retailer told us that there was something in the installation adhesive that would cause our type of subfloor to swell or expand if we installed Alterna directly over top of it. He then said we would need to put down an underlayment first. So off to Lowe’s we went to purchase luan boards – a ¼” softwood that provides a smooth, level surface for flooring installations.
My husband was not too happy about this extra step in the installation process, but once we got the underlayment down and he began to work with Alterna, he did a complete 180-degree reversal. Alterna was easy to install! All we needed was a straight edge, tape measure, marker and an x-acto knife. No special saws or water or mess. Happily, installing Alterna was a lot easier than installing ceramic tile – even when we got to the grouting part!
Now I have a happy husband! We are both happy, and my husband says he wishes the whole house were done in Alterna. It’s very comfortable to walk on, and in the short time we’ve had it installed, we’ve already received a lot of compliments. It’s funny to watch people walk on it for the first time because it doesn’t feel like what they expect. Since we grouted our Alterna floor, visitors think they’re stepping on tile. Instead, they’re surprised by the soft, comfortable feel of Alterna. We even keep a sample in the kitchen to show guests just how flexible it is. We love our Armstrong Alterna floor – and we love showing it off to our friends and family!