WRITER | RICK WALKER
This isn’t the multicolor flecked vinyl squares in the church basement or the groovy harvest gold sheet vinyl from the Brady Bunch Mid-Century family room. And it isn’t the “clicky” Pergo laminate oak floor from your mom’s country kitchen, either. Vinyl flooring has grown up and become luxury vinyl tile (LVT), luxury vinyl plank (LVP), or wood vinyl plank (WVP).
The look, feel, and quality of vinyl has gotten so impressive that we see LVT installed everywhere. Available in a large range of sizes, colors, and prices, it’s suitable for installations both in fine luxury homes and in high-traffic commercial buildings.
So what’s so great about this product? Well, it is the most versatile flooring product on the market and can be installed over almost any existing hard-surface floor.
LVT is unique in that it has more than one construction option: glue down, loose lay, or rigid solid core that clicks to lock in place. Each of these options offer different installation solutions. For example, the rigid core system can hide subfloor imperfections, but all options include a surface protection layer, a wear layer, a stability layer, a high-definition design layer, an acoustic layer, and a waterproof layer.
A variety of realistic LVT wood and stone looks is available. These options simulate various wood species in terms of color, graining, texture, finish techniques, and plank sizes as well as slate, travertine, and concrete in several paver sizes. It can even be installed in patterns or with borders, making it easy to add a unique design element to even the most simple of spaces.
So why not just use real wood or stone? The answer is that LVT has several useful properties in addition to its versatility and good looks.
For starters, LVT is very stable. It is not affected by weather, moisture, or dryness – it can even be installed over a heated floor.
Water will not damage this product, either. When your snowy boots leave a puddle or the kids spill a pitcher of juice…no problem. The liquid sits right on top of the waterproof surface until you’re ready to wipe it up. The seams are so tight that liquid won’t get below the surface. On the off chance that anything slips through, the backing allows for airflow underneath for drying purposes. Of course, your floors will get wet, but LVT is guaranteed not to be ruined by it.
Many consumers appreciate LVT because it is easy to install. Simply select the proper construction for your situation and away you go. Click-together and loose-lay installations don’t even require adhesive.
LVT is quiet underfoot, actually reducing noise transfer.
Caring for LVT is simple: just dust and mop occasionally. There is no sanding, waxing, or refinishing – ever – guaranteed.
Consumers also appreciate that LVT is reasonably priced. Its durable nature means that this is a wise investment for years to come.
Chances are that you’ve already walked all over LVT installations and didn’t even realize they weren’t real wood. That’s what happens when a product has been around for a while – quality and practicality enhancements make something good even better.