How to achieve a Random Pattern with LVP

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Britinva

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So been looking at various LVP patterns...... by far I prefer a more random pattern than something that repeats.

But how do you come up with something that looks random as surely if you start a new row with off cuts from prior rows you run risk of a pattern emerging.

So any tips on getting that random look?
 

Tile Tom

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I usually start with 4-5 rows. Then I take the offcuts (starters) to the other side and look behind me and cut them so no lines match up.
It's not a hard thing to do. Just keep looking behind you before you set your piece to avoid matching up lines. PXL_20220609_140433727.jpg
 

Incognito

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Basic rules; no adjacent seams should be within the width of a plank. 7" plank/ 7" minimum stagger
no seams should align in the next row either........

My crews generally have difficulties with "random" in direct correlation to their IQs. It's difficult for a person of below (and certainly WELL below) average IQ to follow basic rules (as with in life)......and by definition they lack "common" sense.

So the rules are pretty simple for random wood-look planks. Here's what I wind up DRILLING into the apprentices in training. Random is the 100% opposite of a PATTERN. When I step into the room and glance at the floor NO PATTERN WHATSOEVER should strike my attention. So dealing with hundreds of journeyman and apprentice installers I can tell you that most guys "get it" when I use that explanation and give them the two hard rules.

As simple as it may seem to an average person I can tell you there is something inherent in human behavior that drives us to make patterns out of the world. I've seen it all---------3/4 times and frankly it drives me to drink.

Most all guys like to use the system described in the prior response. When I first start I just cut up a bunch of random sizes for the starter rows. Generally, for speed and efficiency I'm going to run about 4 or five feet wide of rows to the wall where they need cutting. All those balance pieces go back to the beginning and I'm trying to use them up right away with the appropriate minimum stagger.

Even some of the good guys will revert to a pattern--------so long as it's not blatantly jumping out at you I can allow it. What gets me annoyed is out of sheer laziness they start with the full plank way too frequently. Saves them a little cutting, they finish a little quicker with a very marginal deficiency no customer ever notices.
 

Don Monfils

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What works well for me is full plank, 1/2 plank, 3/4 plank, 1/4 to start (with 4 ‘ planks 1st row 4’, 2nd row 2’, 3rd row 3’, 4th row 1’.)
And what you cut off the one end can be used for a starter. If they line up with any of the previous end joints , trim some off.
 

Incognito

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Here's some random installs I've done with colors. I know it's not the question asked about the stagger but I'm in the mood to share. This is where I have real trouble with the Special help as far as keeping it "random". If you skew the "pattern" and throw off the..........ratio once it's in the glue you can't fix that. I've come up where they call out a 3/1 ratio and near the end you're at 50/50 because the knuckleheads can't work out the system.
 

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Incognito

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Oh, and on one of those above colored patterns I had 5 crews at five different schools-----same tile, same colors. They all managed to have their own twist on "random". For example, one foreman directed his installers NEVER allow two of the same color to touch. The next guy at the next school had guys putting 2/3/4 tiles together and it looked so...........impossibly NOT random I made the knucklehead who did it correct it in half a dozen areas. Then there's the guys who stack the dollies NONRANDOMLY and then pull them off with the same flow.........creating an obvious pattern. So it's not the same as the basic plank stagger system but it's kinda the same issue with communications/explaining what exactly RANDOM means.
 

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JPfloor

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I’ve done a few of those random color jobs with VCT and with carpet tile where it was 25% each of two colors and 50% of a third color. If I wasn’t doing it myself I would only hand out 4 boxes at a time (two, one, and one) then inspect before handing out another 4 boxes. You do need to stick two or three of the same 25% tiles together occasionally. That’s part of being random…🥸

The 10% jobs can get confusing. 9 boxes to one, gotta keep track or You’re gonna run out of one color or another…😎
 

Incognito

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I’ve done a few of those random color jobs with VCT and with carpet tile where it was 25% each of two colors and 50% of a third color. If I wasn’t doing it myself I would only hand out 4 boxes at a time (two, one, and one) then inspect before handing out another 4 boxes. You do need to stick two or three of the same 25% tiles together occasionally. That’s part of being random…🥸

The 10% jobs can get confusing. 9 boxes to one, gotta keep track or You’re gonna run out of one color or another…😎
Ralph's Supermarkets out here in SoCal used to do something like 93% solid White, 5% red, 2% green feature tiles and the whole store was laid on a 45 degree angle.

I had the dumbass apprentices open 93 ctn/ 5 ctn/ 2 ctn and spend half a day shuffling them in like a Blackjack deck at Vegas. They pretty much never satisfied my needs so I'd spend an hour or three re-shuffling the deck as needed.

I think it would have been faster if I just did the whole store by myself. We did at least half a dozen of those before they changed the colors/pattern.
 

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