Secrets About Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring

What You Don't Know About Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring

By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; Chair Holder, CMG

Armstrong luxury vinyl tile flooringThere is a segment of the floor covering market that hasn’t received the full attention it deserves.  Commercial designers/specifiers 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 flooring (also referred to as LVT) 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.

Shaw luxury vinyl tile flooringCan 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.  I have been invited to visit some of the top design firms in metropolitan Los Angeles and Orange County, California, and amazingly, what I have seen are beautiful office suites with elegant luxury vinyl “wood” planking or vinyl “slate” adorning those office floors.  These top designers can have any flooring material they want, yet so many of them chose luxury vinyl tile flooring.

Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring Construction

Armitco luxury vinyl tile flooringThe 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 color layer, a photographic film layer, and a urethane or aluminum oxide top layer. The protective top layer (also called the wearlayer 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 Flooring

Below are some of the key features and benefits for luxury vinyl tile and plank flooring

Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring Features

Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring Benefits

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 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 in 12 x 12”, 18 x 18”, 12 x 24” sizes, and planks in standard (3 x 36” 4.5 x 36) and extra-large widths (7 or 9’ widths).
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; some offer up to a 40 mil layer).  Then the floors are coated with urethane to enhance durability
Cost effective Economics factor favorably into the specification of Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring for both commercial and residential applications, giving the look and feel of rich, natural materials at a lower cost
Exceptional durability Since most luxury vinyl tile flooring is also constructed to withstand commercial wear and tear, it’s 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 20-25 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 flooring as well as a resilient backing as the foundation, LVT 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.
Amazing aesthetics

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

Mannington vinyl tile flooringLuxury vinyl tile 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.

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Overall Rating: 4.5 stars - 43 reviews

By:
Date: April 15, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Informative. Precise.
By:
Date: April 9, 2014
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
I bought LVT Free Fit flooring. Its surface scratches very, very easy. A rolling office chair leaves marks. Anyone know of any way to make this stuff more durable?
By:
Date: April 2, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Great info.
By:
Date: March 29, 2014
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
Appreciate the chart. Looking for more on installation specifically for LVT.
By:
Date: March 22, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Good article, but what are the limitations and drawbacks? I want to know what temperature range is right for installation.
By:
Date: March 12, 2014
Page Rating: (1.0/5)
Comments:
Very lame article. Expected more details.
By:
Date: March 8, 2014
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
Still wanted to know what home designers think. Does it add value to a home like hardwoods?
By:
Date: February 15, 2014
Page Rating: (3.5/5)
Comments:
Good general information. Expected more depth. What are the disadvantages.
By:
Date: February 6, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
very good info very helpful
By:
Date: January 30, 2014
Page Rating: (2.0/5)
Comments:
Dont believe you are honest about LVG (which is poly/plastic) and Vinyl Plank, that is fiber (wood) based product. You treat them the same, probably because of the plastic/poly industry.

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