Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) flooring is a unique alternative to ceramic or porcelain tile. It falls into the luxury class of flooring for a variety of reasons. LVT is elegantly designed, long-lasting, and easy to preserve, even in high-foot-traffic areas. It's the perfect product for creating an authentic, natural look for commercial environments.
If you've been looking for flooring in recent years, you've likely come in contact with tile, hardwood, and vinyl flooring on more than one occasion. These are your more standard types of flooring. LVT flooring is a significant upgrade over the common vinyl tile, making it an ideal material for many home and business owners.
Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) Flooring In-Depth
Although it's been around for decades, you may still wonder "what is LVT flooring?" You wouldn't be alone in your query. LVT is often commonly confused with other vinyl tile types and tends to be less popular than luxury vinyl planks (LVP).
LVT flooring is synthetic flooring created from polyvinyl chloride bound together by heat and pressure with plasticizers, stabilizers, and other chemicals. LVT is a PVC-based product making it non-eco-friendly. However, thanks to its construction, it is resistant to rot, mold, and mildew.
Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring is a multi-layered product that undergoes a similar construction process to engineered flooring. The process creates flooring using different layers: backing, core, image, and wear.
Materials and techniques during construction will differ between builders. However, every tile begins with the bottom-most (backing) layer.
Pros of LVT
Instead of comparing LVT flooring to other types of flooring, we'll simply list a few advantages to using LVT.
Many flooring products are labeled as waterproof; however, some cheaper tiles may actually be water-resistant. LVT flooring is ideal for rooms in need of water resistance. Spaces such as bathrooms and kitchens, where liquid spills are commonplace, would benefit most from LVT.
In comparison to the likes of hardwood or stone, LVT is highly maintainable. LVT requires no special cleaning agents and is naturally resistant to stains and scuffs, making clean-up a breeze. A decent broom, mop, or vacuum cleaner should do the trick.
Though not as "hard" as hardwood or stone, LVT still remains quite durable and resilient. Scratches mean nothing to LVT with a decent wear layer, and stains are mostly an afterthought. Also, LVT is built to last for a very long time making it more sustainable than some other flooring options.
Certainly not the cheapest type of flooring on the market, LVT still remains a cost-effective option. Compared to other alternatives, LVT looks relatively inexpensive for what you receive in return. In addition, the various designs, colors, and patterns provide you with an amazing finished product for a minimal cost.
Cons of LVT
Everything has its downside, and LVT is no different. We couldn't talk about the pros without providing the cons. Thankfully, luxury vinyl tiles have very few drawbacks.
Sizing could be a minor concern as most floor tiles are commonly square. LVT follows this trend. Generally speaking, this usually doesn't present much of an issue so long as the design is consistent.
Although LVT offers a large variety of designs, it's common for some designs to have very few variations. One of these designs happens to be stone. Manufacturers will typically only stick to a few stone styles making it challenging to find something unique.
LVT is a PVC-made product making it not eco-friendly. Those who are conscious of their environmental impact may find it challenging to accept that LVT is difficult to recycle.
Q: Are all vinyl floor planks waterproof?
A: No. However, most are water-resistant. The difference comes down to the brand and what they offer.
Q: How is Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) installed?
A: You can place LVT over most surfaces. However, they are less forgiving on uneven surfaces that other flooring may work better on. LVT with a solid backing layer can be installed over concrete, plywood, hardwood, and tile.
Installation will vary by manufacturer. Most provide a floating flooring option, such as click-lock, to keep your tiles in place. Grip strips are another common option that some manufacturers prefer. Most individuals should find it easy to install LVT on their own. However, in the case of uneven flooring, it may require the help of a professional.
Q: Is it safe to use a rug over LVT?
A: It can be safe, but you'll want to ensure that you stick to a woven mat or a rug with a safe vinyl layering to avoid discoloration over time.