May 21, 2021
Luxury Vinyl flooring is the fastest growing flooring option on the market thanks to its versatility, durability, and affordability.
Once associated with your grandmother’s plastic-looking kitchen floors, vinyl flooring has advanced into an innovative and attractive alternative to laminate, tiles, and even hardwood flooring.
Luxury Vinyl and old vinyl flooring as we know it does have some similarities, such as the number of layers and materials used.
However, the Luxury Vinyl Flooring is about 5 times thicker, has higher quality, and thanks to advanced printing technology and texture embossing its resemblance to natural hardwood or stone is unmatched.
Luxury Vinyl Tile or LVT belongs to the Luxury Vinyl Flooring family and it imitates the look of ceramic or stone tiles, without complicated and expensive installations and with the benefits of low maintenance and durability.
The authentic appearance is achieved with a highly realistic digital image, combined with textures that reproduce the look of organic materials.
Underneath the print, highly developed layers create the body of thickness, softness, and endurance, marrying the natural look with advanced flooring technology.
Compared to hardwood, Luxury Vinyl is softer, shock and sound absorbent, resulting in a comfortable and pleasant surface to walk on.
Materials and Structure
Both LVT and LVP floors are made with a synthetic material that is formed by mixing and melting polyvinyl chloride resins (PVC), white pigments, calcium carbonate, plasticizers, fungicide, and UV stabilizers.
These compounds are combined by using heat and pressure. The vinyl compound is then added to a backing layer. The Luxury Vinyl Tile is structured from four main layers:
The Wear Layer is a transparent top coating that prevents wear and tear, it has superior stain resistance and does not harbour allergens. It also allows for easy cleaning.
The Printed Vinyl Layer is a durable and super thin digital image adhered to the vinyl core. The digital print gives a highly realistic appearance of the wood plank on the top surface.
Vinyl Core– The vinyl PVC material is the main component of an LVT or LVP floor. This core is flexible and 100% waterproof.
The Backing Layer is a vinyl finishing layer that is water-resistant and prevents mould and mildew.
What is the difference between LVT and LVP?
The difference between Luxury Vinyl Tiles and Luxury Vinyl Planks are in their appearance and method of installation. The construction and the quality are the same and depend on the thickness of the product.
Luxury Vinyl Tiles and Planks range in thickness from 2 mm for lower quality products to 8 mm or more for higher quality products.
When it comes to installation, some Luxury Vinyl Tiles are fixed to the ground with glue or self-adhesive, which requires up to two days of a wait after the installing for the glue to cure.
And some LVPs, as well as some types of LVTs, are installed by interlocking method, or loose lay vinyl flooring method, which do not require gluing and can be used immediately after installation.
The type of vinyl and the method of installation will be determined by the needs and the amount of traffic in the environment.
There are four different types of LVT and LVP flooring based on Installation:
Self-adhesive Vinyl Tiles And Planks
Self-adhesive vinyl planks and tiles feature a pressure-sensitive adhesive layer on their back and do not require extra glue. They are installed by removing the protective film and pressing down the plank or tile in the desired position.
Glue-down vinyl flooring is installed by gluing Luxury Vinyl to the floor surface by using special vinyl glue. The glue is applied to the ground, and the LVTs or LVPs are fixed to the adhesive layer.
Interlocking Vinyl Planks And Tiles
Interlocking vinyl planks and tiles feature tongues and grooves on the edges that allow them to click together in place. This is a similar technique to click systems found on parquet and laminate flooring.
Loose Lay Vinyl Planks
Loose lay vinyl planks and tiles adhere to the ground due to the high friction of the bottom layer and get an extremely strong grip on the subfloor.
They are easily removable and reusable without leaving any residue. This is why loose lay planks are one of the most versatile and economically efficient design options, even for short-term renovations.
However, it is important to point out that the success of this installation depends on a good floor prep, as the ground beneath the planks needs to be smooth and levelled out.
Where to Use LVT?
Within the same range of Luxury vinyl tiles or planks, there are products suitable only for domestic use, as well the products suitable for commercial use.
Product specifications will reveal which planks are best suitable for traffic amounts in your residential or commercial space.
Thanks to its durability and water resistance, Luxury Vinyl Tiles make a perfect flooring option in any area of the home including kitchens and wet areas.
Besides moisture resistance, LVTs are scratch and stain resistant ensuring longevity and easy maintenance. Furthermore, Luxury Vinyl Tiles provide softness, warmth, and acoustic properties, creating warm and cosy living environments.
Moreover, because of the softness of LVT, things dropped to the floor, like glass, are less likely to break and shatter to pieces, which is a great benefit when it comes to households with small children.
Like any other flooring option, when used for commercial applications, Luxury Vinyl Tiles must be commercially graded.
Commercial Luxury Vinyl Tiles are practical and durable floor coverings, suitable for the high demands of any busy work environments.
Highly resistant, with anti-static, anti-slip and anti-bacterial properties commercial LVT floorings meet the demands of the most challenging business and public spaces, from healthcare, hospitality, office and retail to educational facilities.
Additionally, commercial LVT flooring provides long-lasting performance with low maintenance, which are invaluable assets in heavy-foot traffic spaces.
Equally important, the availability of an extensive variety of colours, designs, and patterns, make Luxury Vinyl Tiles a functional design option that allows for custom applications and spatial tailoring in commercial design and fit-outs.