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What is LVT Flooring?

Updated 13/11/23

LVT flooring is extremely popular and can be found in a wide variety of spaces, including hotel lobbies, schools, hospitals, homes, and more. It’s become very popular in commercial settings. However, many people are confused about what LVT flooring is, what it’s made of, and more.

So, in this article, we’ve created a short guide about LVT flooring that answers the most common questions we hear from customers. Let’s get started!

 

What is LVT Flooring?

LVT stands for “luxury vinyl tile” flooring. It’s available in planks or tiles and can resemble hardwood floors, tiles (such as ceramic or stone), and more. So, you can have the look of natural materials without the cost and maintenance that go with them. LVT is made to last for years and only requires minimal maintenance and care.

 

How is LVT Flooring Made?

Luxury vinyl tiles are made from several layers of PVC vinyl. The PVC is mixed with different compounds that make the material harder and more durable. The layers of PVC are compressed by a rolling press, then suspended in a liquid.

The PVC layers include the following:

  • Backing: may be up to three layers stacked and rotated to create a stronger floor. After this, the material is fused together with a hot press method to create the base of the LVT flooring.
  • Print design layer: this is a photograph design that is vibrant and textured to look like real wood, tile, stone, and more. The printed design is added to each LVT plank or tile.
  • Wear layer: this layer is added to increase the LVT’s durability and to protect the flooring’s design.

The next step involves drying the material with heat and air to create strong sheets of vinyl. The top layer can be embossed, and it’s possible to add grooves to mimic wood or stone. It all depends on the pattern and appearance of the flooring.

Finally, the LVT planks and tiles are topped with a clear vinyl and urethane coating once the manufacturing process is finished.

 

Types of LVT Flooring

These types of LVT flooring are available for your project:

 

Glue Down Vinyl Flooring

Glue down vinyl flooring is LVT that uses a glue down process to adhere to the subfloor or underlayment for increased stability and durability.

Loose Lay Vinyl Flooring

Also called floating vinyl flooring, loose-lay vinyl flooring is flooring that “floats” on the subfloor. The planks are not glued or attached to the subflooring in any way. Instead, they’re held in place with friction.

Rigid Core Vinyl Flooring

Rigid core vinyl flooring is an engineered vinyl floor that includes a rigid core to maintain stability. This flooring consists of a solid plank that’s not pliable, so it feels more sturdy underfoot.

Click Vinyl Flooring

Click vinyl flooring is a type of LVT that locks together. It’s easy to install, even as a DIY project.

 

Why are LVT Floors So Thin?

LVT flooring can be made between 2mm and 8 mm thick. In addition, the planks or tiles can also have different top layers that range from 0.1 mm to 0.6 mm. Vinyl floors are thinner because they are dense and strong.

Consider that 4mm of compressed vinyl is stronger than 8 mm of hardwood flooring. For this reason, it’s not necessary to make LVT tiles or planks thicker.

 

Where Can LVT Be Used?

LVT floors can be used in bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas of the home. They’re also great candidates for commercial applications, such as hair salons, yoga studios, and more. LVT flooring is a great choice in areas where moisture is a problem; these floors can also make a beautiful substitute for hardwood floors.

The flooring is made with multiple layers that make LVT more stable than other types of flooring. In addition, the planks and tiles also stay flat even when absorbing moisture or expanding due to water.

 

What are the Benefits of LVT Flooring?

Luxury vinyl tile flooring comes with several benefits, including:

 

Easy Installation

LVT is easy to install as a DIY project or by professional flooring installers. In addition, LVT usually doesn’t require much surface preparation. Installation and maintenance costs are also slow.

Comfort

LVT is much softer than other flooring materials, including stone or wood. That makes LVT more comfortable underfoot. It also works to reduce sound in a space.

Beautiful Designs

LVT flooring comes in a wide variety of designs and patterns, including woodgrains, different colours, patterns, and more. It’s versatile flooring that can fit in with almost any décor.

Durability

LVT is also extremely durable. It can last for years, making this a cost-effective flooring choice.

Easy to Maintain

Finally, LVT flooring is easy to maintain. The flooring is stain and scuff resistant. And it only takes a little bit of soap and warm water to keep it clean and in beautiful condition for years.

Pet-Friendly

LVT flooring is also pet-friendly, more so than wood or laminate floors. These surfaces are easy to scratch, and pets’ paws can leave marks on these kinds of floors.

On the other hand, LVT is scratch-resistant and has anti-slip properties that makes the flooring more pet-friendly.

Waterproof

Luxury vinyl tile is also waterproof or water-resistant (depending on the manufacturer), making this flooring ideal for almost any room, including those where moisture can be a problem (bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and more).

 

The Most Common Myths About LVT Flooring

You may have heard several myths about LVT flooring, but many of these came from the past when sheet laminate was used. These myths continue to persist, so we’ll address a couple of the most common myths about this beautiful flooring.

 

1. LVT Wears Down Easily

This myth actually refers to laminate flooring that was made with cheap, low-quality processes. That flooring did not wear well.

Today, however, LVT is made to be strong and durable. With proper care and maintenance, luxury vinyl tiles can last for many years.

 

2. LVT is Difficult to Care For

Many people believe that LVT flooring requires buffing, polishing, and waxing. But this is far from the truth. LVT vinyl is scuff, stain, and water-resistant. It’s also easy to keep clean with mild soap and warm water.

 

3. LVT is Toxic

In the past, laminate flooring was made with poor materials that contained lead, cadmium, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

However, these days, LVT flooring is non-toxic. All LVT must meet certain air quality and other requirements to ensure it’s safe and non-toxic.

 

Summing It Up

Luxury vinyl tile flooring can mimic the look of real wood, stone, tile, and more. And it comes in a wide range of patterns, textures, and colours. In addition, LVT is easy to care for and maintain; the flooring is durable and strong. It’s made to resist scuffs, scratches, and moisture.

If you’re looking for cost-effective, beautiful flooring for your home or business, LVT may be the right choice for you!

FAQs

Can LVT be Installed Over Existing Flooring?
Yes, in most cases, LVT can be installed over existing flooring, provided the surface is smooth and free of imperfections.

How Long Does LVT Flooring Last?
With proper care, LVT flooring can last 15-20 years or more, making it a durable and long-lasting option.

Is LVT Suitable for DIY Installation?
Many LVT products are designed for DIY installation, offering a user-friendly click-and-lock system for ease of assembly.

Can LVT Withstand Heavy Foot Traffic?
LVT’s durability makes it suitable for heavy foot traffic areas, including commercial spaces and busy households.

Are There Health Concerns with LVT?
LVT is generally considered safe, with low-VOC options available for those concerned about indoor air quality.

What Styles and Colors are Available in LVT?
LVT comes in a wide range of styles and colors, mimicking various natural materials and catering to diverse design preferences.

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