If you’ve been shopping around for flooring recently, you’ve probably heard about luxury vinyl flooring, and you may be wondering if it really is a quality flooring product.
Luxury Vinyl Flooring, is also called LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) or LVP (Luxury Vinyl Planks) and is the fastest-growing flooring category in today’s market. At Olson Rug & Flooring offer a variety of stunning designs in 100% waterproof flooring, which is ideal for families with kids and pets.
Surprisingly, very few consumers know much about this innovative alternative to natural stone, woods, and ceramic tile. So we’ve put together some information to help you decide if luxury vinyl tile is right for your flooring needs.
One of the main reasons LVT is gaining popularity is that it does such a good job at recreating the high-end look and textures of popular luxury flooring, including ceramic tiles, limestone, marble, slate, parquet, travertine, and hardwood. In fact, many of the high-quality waterproof flooring products on the market today do such an impressive job at capturing the colors, textures, and grains of the natural stones and woods they replicate, they are practically indistinguishable from the real thing.
With luxury vinyl waterproof flooring the design options are abundant. Most luxury vinyl floors include beveled edges and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Wood planks can be three to four feet long, and tiles are available in very large squares. Tiles can be laid with grout, for a more authentic stone or tile look, or without grout for a sleeker, seamless look. Wood looks include rich colors, finishes, and textures, such as hand-scraping, for more realism. Many manufacturers also offer design strips and borders for even more customization in creating truly unique designer looks.
To produce these authentic looks, luxury vinyl flooring uses an advanced 3D imaging technology in which the manufacturer takes a photograph of the natural materials being replicated and transfers these images directly to the core material. Each plank is then uniquely embossed to match the appropriate texture. The final product, which is approximately 1/8 inch thick, is made of several layers, including a protective top layer (called the wear layer) and often a urethane layer for added durability.
Essentially, luxury vinyl tiles and luxury vinyl planks combine the best of design and technology to create realistic-looking products that are much easier to maintain and often much less expensive than the natural materials they replicate. Here are just a few more of the benefits.
Looking for flooring that will hold up in high-traffic areas? Concerned about possible damage from pets or young children? Luxury Vinyl Flooring is one of the most resilient flooring options available. The specialized wear layer makes these planks exceptionally resistant to scratches, scuffs, indentations, and stains. Unlike many natural surfaces, LVT LVP flooring won’t chip, warp, or yellow. It is also naturally water-resistant, making it a great option for kitchens and bathrooms. Another advantage of using luxury vinyl flooring in bathrooms is that it is much softer and warmer under bare feet than ceramic tile or stone.
Luxury vinyl plank’s durability and dimensional stability make it a perfect choice for high-use rooms in the home. In fact, LVT has long been used in commercial applications for this very reason. Some high-end luxury vinyl flooring collections are designed for commercial use include a slip-resistant layer – combining style and safety.
High-quality luxury vinyl flooring may have mil layers as high as 40 mils. But commonly, planks with wear layers of 20 mil or more are recommended for high-use areas in the home, as well as for commercial applications. Anything less than 20 mil should be considered for use in light-traffic areas only.
Many top vinyl flooring manufactures are so confident in their products’ durability that they back their LVP or LVT flooring with residential and commercial warranties of up to 20 years.
Perhaps one of the biggest perks – luxury vinyl flooring is easy to maintain. To keep it looking great, just damp mop it weekly with water and a pH neutral cleaner. Design strips generally offer the same stain resistance as the tiles and won’t discolor like grout can.
Luxury vinyl flooring can be glued down or floated. And because luxury vinyl flooring is typically thinner than hardwood planks, stone, or ceramic tiles, it can be installed over most existing flooring – a great advantage for use in remodeling projects. It’s important to install LVT over flat, dry surfaces so that no water seepage occurs beneath the floor.
While installation can be relatively easy, especially for experienced DIYers, professional installations are recommended, particularly for custom designs. Also, keep in mind that many manufacturers will require professional installations to validate their warranties.
There’s no doubt that when it comes to appearance, quality, durability, and style, luxury vinyl tile is truly luxury underfoot. And with more realistic-looking options than ever before, the design possibilities are limited only by your imagination.