Although Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) has been around since the 70’s you may not know much about it. LVT has become increasingly popular in recent years as more people discover its benefits and advantages. According to industry reports, the global luxury vinyl tile market is expected to continue to grow over the next few years due to factors such as increasing construction activities, growing urbanization, and rising demand for cost-effective and low-maintenance flooring solutions.
Learning more about luxury vinyl tile flooring can help you understand its many advantages and determine if it is the right option for your needs. LVT flooring is a versatile, cost-effective, and wear resistant option that can mimic the style of natural wood and stone materials while being easy to install and maintain. Additionally, some products are made from recycled materials, making them an eco-friendly choice. By learning more about luxury vinyl tile, you can make an informed decision about your flooring options and choose the best fit for your style, budget, and lifestyle.
Why was there a need for Luxury Vinyl Tile?
Luxury vinyl tile was invented as a response to the limitations of traditional vinyl flooring. Also known as sheet vinyl, this was a popular flooring option for many years due to its affordability and durability. However, this vinyl had some drawbacks. For example, it was often seen as a less aesthetically pleasing style than other options, as it was typically plain and lacked texture.
Luxury Vinyl Tile was developed as a way to overcome these limitations and provide a more realistic and appealing flooring option. It was designed to mimic the look and feel of natural materials while still retaining the durability and affordability of a traditional vinyl floor.
In addition, LVT was developed to be more versatile and easier to install than other, flooring type options. It can be cut into a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be installed using a variety of methods, including adhesive, interlocking systems, or loose lay, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
How is Luxury Vinyl Tile made?
Luxury vinyl flooring is made through a process that involves several layers of materials being fused together. The backing layer provides stability and a moisture barrier, the rigid core layer provides strength and stability, the printed design layer creates the pattern or design of the vinyl flooring, and the clear surface layer protects it from everyday wear and will also prevent scratches. Once the layers are fused together, the product is cut into individual tiles or planks and can be installed using a variety of methods. This process creates a durable, realistic, and easy-to-maintain flooring option that is suitable for a wide range of residential and commercial applications.
What are the benefits of Luxury Vinyl Tile?
There are several reasons why someone might choose to buy luxury vinyl flooring, including:
Looks Like The Real Thing:
Luxury vinyl flooring can mimic the look and feel of natural materials such as hardwood, stone, and ceramic tile, making it a versatile flooring option that can work well in a variety of design styles and settings.
Luxury vinyl flooring can withstand heavy foot traffic, making it an ideal choice for most floors in both residential and commercial settings. It is also resistant to dings, stains, and water damage, making it easy to maintain.
Luxury vinyl flooring is often less expensive than natural materials such as hardwood, marble and stone, making it a cost-effective flooring option for those on a budget.
Easy to install:
Luxury vinyl flooring can be installed using a variety of methods, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations. This makes it relatively easy to to install luxury vinyl tile floors, compared to other options.
Comfortable and quiet:
Luxury vinyl flooring can be softer and more comfortable underfoot than some other hard flooring options, and it can also help the space to absorb sound, making it a good choice for apartments and other shared living spaces.
Pets with long nails or claws can scratch or damage certain types of vinyl flooring, but Luxury Vinyl Tile is typically resistant to such damage. This vinyl is also waterproof, which can be beneficial for pets that have accidents.
Some luxury vinyl flooring products are made from recycled materials, making them an eco-friendly install for those who are concerned about sustainability.
Where is Luxury Vinyl Tile the best Fit?
Luxury vinyl tile can be a good flooring option for a variety of homes, particularly those that experience heavy foot traffic or require a high level of durability. It can also work well in homes with pets, children, or areas that are prone to spills or moisture, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms. Additionally, LVT is often chosen for homes with an open floor plan or transitional spaces where it can be used to create a seamless look throughout the home.
LVT can also be a good option for homes with specific design needs, such as those with a contemporary or modern aesthetic. LVT is available in a wide range of design options, including wood-look, slate, stone-look, and even unique patterns and designs. This makes it a versatile option that can fit into many different design styles.
Luxury vinyl tile can also provide commercial spaces with a number of benefits. With its high resistance to wear and tear, LVT can be an ideal choice for high-traffic areas, such as retail stores, hospitals, or restaurants. Its low maintenance requirements can also save businesses time and money on cleaning and upkeep. Additionally, LVT is available in a wide range of design options, from wood-look to stone-look, which can help businesses create a cohesive design aesthetic. LVT can also be slip-resistant, providing a safer flooring option for commercial spaces. Finally, LVT can be a cost-effective option for businesses that require a large amount of flooring, and its easy installation can help reduce downtime during the installation process.
What are the differences between LVT and LVP flooring?
The main difference between luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and luxury vinyl plank (LVP) is their shape and installation method.
LVT is a flooring option that comes in tile form. LVT can also come in rectangular shapes, but the tiles are still relatively small in size. LVT is typically installed using an adhesive, although some manufacturers also offer a floating installation option.
LVP, on the other hand, is an option that comes in plank form. These planks are designed to look like hardwood flooring and are installed in a similar way to hardwood flooring, using a click-and-lock or tongue-and-groove installation method.
Luxury vinyl tile may be a better choice than a luxury vinyl plank flooring in several situations. LVT is typically available in smaller tile sizes, which can make it a more practical option in smaller rooms or areas that require more intricate cutting and fitting around corners or obstacles. Additionally, LVT can offer more design flexibility than LVP, including options like stone-look, concrete-look, and unique patterns and designs. If a single tile becomes damaged or worn out, it can be easily replaced without needing to remove and replace an entire plank, making LVT a more practical option in high-traffic or commercial settings. Lastly, LVT is often less expensive than LVP, which makes it a more budget-friendly option for those who want the benefits of luxury vinyl flooring but need to stick to a lower budget. Ultimately, the choice between LVT and LVP will depend on the specific needs, budget, and design preferences of the individual.
How Does the Price of LVT Compare?
It’s important to note that while luxury vinyl tile may be more expensive than other types of vinyl options, it is still generally less expensive than other types of hard flooring materials, such as hardwood or natural stone.
Are There Any Cons to Luxury Vinyl Tile?
While luxury vinyl tile has many benefits, there are some potential downsides to consider:
- Hardness: While LVT is generally more comfortable to walk on than harder flooring materials like natural stone or ceramic tile, it can still feel harder underfoot than softer flooring options like carpet or cork.
- Limited repair options: While LVT is durable and resistant to many types of damage, if it does become damaged, the only real option for repair is to replace the affected tile(s). This can be more difficult and time-consuming than repairing other types of flooring materials.
- Fading: Some lower-quality LVT options may be prone to fading over time, especially if exposed to direct sunlight or high levels of heat.
- Initial cost: While LVT is generally less expensive than other types of hard flooring materials, it may still be more expensive than other types of vinyl or other budget flooring options.
Overall, while there are some potential downsides to luxury vinyl tile, many homeowners and business owners find that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
What Should You Expect With Maintenance?
To keep luxury vinyl tile looking its best, homeowners should follow these basic maintenance steps:
Dirt and debris can scratch and dull the surface of LVT, so regular sweeping or vacuuming is important to keep it clean.
Clean up spills promptly:
LVT is water-resistant, but it’s still important to clean up spills as soon as possible to prevent any potential damage. Use a damp cloth or mop to clean up spills and avoid using harsh chemicals.
Use the right cleaning products:
When cleaning LVT, avoid using abrasive cleaners, as these can scratch the surface. Instead, use a mild detergent or specially formulated LVT cleaner.
Avoid heavy furniture:
While LVT is durable, heavy furniture can still leave dents or scratches in the wood flooring. Use furniture pads or felt protectors to help distribute the weight of heavy items.
Protect against direct sunlight:
Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause fading or discoloration in LVT. Consider using blinds or curtains to protect the wall or flooring from direct sunlight.
Use rugs or mats:
Place rugs or mats in high-traffic areas or near exterior entrances to help trap dirt and protect the LVT surface.