LVT flooring is one of the most popular types of flooring available today. But what exactly is it? LVT or Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring is a synthetic flooring product that is made to resemble real wood or stone floors. It is a highly durable and versatile product that can be laid to create truly original looks in your home.
What is luxury vinyl tile made of?
LVT is made from multiple layers of materials such as PVC vinyl and resin compounded with plasticisers and stabilisers.
The top layers are known as the wear layers. This gives the product its durability and can provide anti-slip properties. Depending on the brand or type of flooring the wear layers are coated with an extra protective film to increase durability and prevent wear and tear.
Underneath the wear layers will be the pattern layer. This will be a recreation of a natural wood, stone, slate, marble or concrete floor.
The final backing layers are added to give the tile or plank it’s foundation and stability, and depending on the type of LVT can help it adhere to the subfloor without the need of adhesive. The stability layers help give the flooring its strength but are also flexible enough to be cut with a knife.
Many brands of luxury vinyl flooring are relatively sustainable. Most are now made with phthalate free materials. While low exposures to phthalates are harmless, there has been recent research suggesting the potentially negative impacts a high exposure of phthalates can have on our health.
Due to the durability and lifespan of vinyl flooring being so long it doesn’t need to be replaced as often as more traditional types of flooring such as carpet.
Different formats of luxury Vinyl flooring
Vinyl flooring is a highly versatile flooring product. There are a number of formats available which will suit any home or budget.
Most brands will offer the following types of vinyl flooring:
Glue down ranges
This is exactly as the name suggests, you will need to glue this down to keep it in place. Glue down ranges are generally the most common type of LVT available today. Due to its popularity glue down ranges of LVT come in a huge selection of styles so there will be something to suit any style.
Loose lay vinyl is similar to glue down in style and format but no adhesive is needed. Usually the base layer will provide the grip through friction and the weight of the tile or plank to prevent the flooring from slipping sideways or lifting up. One of the main benefits of a looselay floor is if you get any damage to the floor it is quick and simple to replace only the damaged areas. This is also good for access to any utility that may be under the floor. Loose lay ranges are also easy to install so perfect for a DIY project.
Click flooring ranges
Click ranges such as Karndean’s Korlok, Amtico’s click smart collection and Forbo’s Allura Click Pro range are similar to laminate flooring. Like the looselay ranges no adhesive is needed however, the individual planks lock together to form the floor. This makes them easy to install and there’s no mess as no adhesive is needed. Many click flooring ranges are suitable for laying over underfloor heating, they have good nose reduction qualities so are ideal for upstairs rooms and some can even be installed over existing floors such as tiles.
Why is LVT so popular?
One of the biggest benefits of LVT is the choice of style, designs and patterns available. There are almost endless possibilities of designs that can be created. You can recreate the look of a real wood or parquet floor or a marble floor or even recreate a retro Victorian style tiled floor or your own mosaic designs. There are also many design accessories available so you can create your own unique borders and even recreate a grouted tiled floor with design strips.
Most types of LVT are water resistant, so this makes it ideal for kitchens and bathrooms and families with young children or pets. Spillages and other kinds of liquids could stain or damage more traditional types of flooring, LVT will just wipe clean.
Traditional stone or hardwood floors can be cold, vinyl flooring is far warmer under foot due to the materials it is made from, this makes it ideal for bedrooms and living rooms. LVT is far more durable than real wood, stone or ceramic tiled floors, so can easily withstand the general wear and tear of daily life. It is also easy to clean and stain resistant so if you choose a high quality luxury vinyl floor for your home you will be able to enjoy it for many years.
So if you are looking for a unique, stylish and practical flooring solution for your home LVT is the flooring for you. At Mercian carpets we stock both vinyl planks and vinyl tiles as well as the full range of Karndean cleaning products. We are also an approved Karndean Dealer and carry their full range of products, so if you want a long lasting luxury floor for your home get in touch today.
LVT is already warmer underfoot than real wood or stone, but if you’re looking for extra warmth, LVT is suitable for use with underfloor heating systems. Team its practical benefits with the realistic effects and endless design capabilities and it’s easy to see why LVT is so popular in today’s flooring market.