There is a segment of the floor covering market that hasn’t received the full attention it deserves. Commercial designers/quantifiers are HUGE fans of this, but what they know hasn’t filtered down to be shared with many consumers at large. Well it’s time to share the features and benefits of luxury vinyl tile/plank flooring (also referred to as LVT or LVP) and separate these unique products from the mix of other vinyl goods. Luxury vinyl tile couldn’t be more different, not only in how it’s manufactured, but in the total aesthetic and applications.
Can you have the look, graining, and character of real hardwood in vinyl tile flooring? Yes! Today’s state-of-the-art manufacturing processes can create amazing vinyl “wood” planks and textured “stone” tiles that rival the real thing admirably. Many different options, designs and styles can be found in store.
Luxury Vinyl Tile/Plank Flooring Construction
The ability to replicate real hardwoods and stones using advanced photographic technologies is the foundation of luxury vinyl flooring systems. There are four distinct layers fused together to produce the final product: a resilient vinyl backing, a vinyl colour layer, a photographic film layer, and a urethane or aluminium oxide top layer. The protective top layer (also called the wear layer or mil layer) is very important to the durability of the product. Quality products will have as high as a 40 mil layer. Commercial applications can successfully utilize 20 mil or above. Lower mil layers are available, but should be specified only for light traffic applications.
Features & Benefits of Luxury Vinyl Tile/Plank Flooring
Below are some of the key features and benefits for luxury vinyl tile and plank flooring.
Luxury Vinyl Tile/Plank
Luxury Vinyl Tile/Plank
Incredibly realistic photo replication
of natural materials (photogravure process)
The look and feel of nature’s best materials at a lower cost are a reality of Luxury Vinyl Tile/Plank flooring manufacturing
Brands that offer 100% vinyl material
Vinyl flooring satisfies Green building standards and earns LEED points in commercial applications.
Inherent safety features
Meets requirements of commercial flammability codes, slip resistant requirements…and a menu of other safety codes
Ease of maintenance
Simple damp mopping is the recommended cleaning procedure for LVT floors
Excellent selection of sizes, shapes
The size options vary by manufacturer, but many styles are available
Naturally water resistant
LVT floors are inherently water resistant (and fairly impervious to wet spills from above). It’s important to install over flat, dry, approved substrates so that no water seepage occurs beneath the floor.
Scratch, stain, dent and scuff resistant
Specialized wear layers (most common are 20 mil layer; some offer up to a 40 mil layer). Then the floors are coated with urethane to enhance durability
Economics factor favourably into the specification of Luxury Vinyl Tile/Plank Flooring for both commercial and residential applications, giving the look and feel of rich, natural materials at a lower cost
Since most luxury vinyl tile flooring is also constructed to withstand commercial wear and tear, it is ideal for residential high-traffic areas as well as other areas of the home. Warranties vary by manufacturer, but it’s not unusual to see 15-25 year warranties on brand name luxury vinyl tile flooring.
More resilient than other hard surface floors
Because there are multi-layers of vinyl in luxury vinyl tile/plank flooring as well as a resilient backing as the foundation, LVT/LVP tiles and planks have more resilience underfoot. It’s easier to stand on for long periods of time AND as an added benefit, it tends to be warmer underfoot than ceramic.
There has been a stunning transformation in the design aesthetics of Luxury vinyl tile flooring in the last five years. If you are linking it to “industrial” looking floors, this is where you need to throw away your misconceptions and do some research. This may be the one biggest factor that has caused interior designers to stand up and take note of the new brand of LVT. The realism of the total look, INCLUDING distressed wood finishes, stone and slate tactile surface textures, and even woven textiles imbedded in the wear layers, are grabbing attention.
Exceptional realism and Durability
Luxury vinyl tile/plank floors are designed to capture the timeless look of natural stone tile flooring, wood planks and ceramic tile floors, while providing an extremely durable and comfortable surface for everyday living. Luxury vinyl tile flooring comes in many extremely fashionable designs ranging from contemporary to rustic and many feature deep embossing for stunning realism. Many of the luxury vinyl tile designs can be installed with grout or without grout, for a true stone or ceramic tile appearance.
Many options are available to view in store now. Our knowledgeable consultants will help you review what would suit your project best.
Disclaimer: This column is offered as advice only. All care has been taken to ensure that information is correct at time of publishing.