Everything You Need to Know about Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Luxury Vinyl Flooring has become increasingly popular among homeowners and professionals alike. We love recommending this material to clients because of its versatility, ease of maintenance, and durability. Similar to other products, not all brands of Luxury Vinyl Flooring are created equal, keep that in mind as we explain what this flooring is, where you can use it, and why we like recommending it to clients.

What is Luxury Vinyl Flooring?

Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and luxury vinyl plank (LVP) mimics an array of natural surfaces such as wood, concrete, slate, marble, and other stone. Each tile or plank come in a wide variety of sizes depending on the manufacturer. They are constructed with multiple layers of plastic and padding, which vary in thickness, and affect the quiet, comfort, and durability of your floor.

Let’s break down this flooring layer by layer. The outer layer of your LVT/LVP Is called the wear layer. This is what you see when the product is installed and what will receive the most wear (get it?!) over the years, so the thickness of this layer is important!

This wear layer is measured in mils, 1 mil is one-thousandth of an inch. That’s hard to imagine, something that’s easier to visualize is 40 mils equals 1 millimeter. The thicker the wear layer, the more durable and long-lasting your tile or plank will be. It’s also worth mentioning that the wear layer is coated with a urethane or acrylic finish to further protect your flooring.

Under the wear layer there is a design layer that provides your LVT/LVP with the realistic texture of wood, stone, or whatever product your floor is meant to imitate.

The next layer down is known as the core. The core gives your planks stability, so they won’t warp or buckle over time. Under the core of high quality LVT/LVP you will find the underlayment, which is usually made of cork or foam. Our preferred product uses cork which is naturally waterproof, helps block out noise and cool drafts, and provides cushioning to make the floor more comfortable.

Some tiles and planks are manufactured with rigid-core vinyl. Products made with rigid-core vinyl have a reinforced engineered wood or stone core, known as WPC (wood plastic composite) or SPC (stone plastic composite). Products with these cores are considered more durable and dent-proof than products make entirely of vinyl, making them an excellent product choice for families with children or pets. These products can also usually be installed on top of existing floors.

Care and Maintenance Recommendations

We’ve found the easiest way to care for our LVT flooring is to sweep or vacuum and mop with a mild soapy water. As always, we recommend you follow the cleaning guidelines from the manufacturer of your product.

Unlike hardwood and some stone tiles floors that require refinishing or resealing over time, LVT requires next to no maintenance outside of regular cleaning!

Where Can you Use Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Luxury vinyl flooring is an excellent choice for wherever there are spills, kids, or pets, as the product is usually waterproof or moisture-friendly! We highly recommend LVP/LVT for kitchens, entryways, mudrooms, other high traffic areas, and even bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements. To be frank, a high quality LVP/LVT would be an amazing option throughout an entire home because of its versatility and durability!

Not your Grandma’s Vinyl

Luxury Vinyl Tile, or LVT – is designed to replicate hard surface flooring materials such as stone, wood, or ceramic tile and is available in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and effects. When people hear the word “vinyl” it reminds them of vinyl records or grandma’s old floors – and only one is standing the test of time (hint: it’s the records). Today’s LVT has become one of the most popular floor covering options in both residential and commercial projects because it is extremely resistant to dents, moisture damage, and heat, and they don’t contain harmful chemicals that will affect the air quality.

Here’s 5 more reasons to install LVT in your home:

  1. Easy Install: Because LVT is made of layers of PVC vinyl, it is very stable and flexible. This helps with installation and overall wear and tear on the floor. If you have basic DIY knowledge, you may be able to lay the product yourself! Depending on your tool collection, you may not even need to buy extra tools. If this is outside of your skill set, never fear! Contact our office for help.
  2. Comfort: LVT if slightly warmer on the feet and more comfortable than other flooring options.
    You can also add underfloor heating!
  3. Affordability: Because of the easier install, upgrading your flooring to LVT is usually less expensive than tile or hardwood. The installation time is really where you will save in cost.
  4. Resistant: Because LVT is made from PVC you can install it in areas that have moisture. Straight over basement floors, the bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, and even the garage.
  5. Easy to Repair: LVT comes in planks or tiles that do not need to be nailed or grout in place. If one should ever be damaged and need replaced it’s much easier to do! Cool, huh?

Common Questions about LVT:

Do you have it in your home?
Yes, we do!

Would you put it in again?
Absolutely! As a matter of fact, we have. We added LVT to our basement storage room and then decided to replace the carpet in our bedrooms with with LVT as well. We love it! LVT is so easy to clean and has no maintenance!

How has it held up?
In short, really well! Our basement has the oldest LVT and has served our family as a movie room and is now home to our office. Our basement sees a lot of traffic! The only wear on the basement LVT flooring is once small spot with dog scratches. One day, a lab lost a toy under the couch and no one was home to rescue the toy for her. She worked really hard to get that toy back – scratching at the couch and rug so hard that she ended up moving both of them to reach her precious toy. To this day, only the family has noticed the scratches, they really are that unnoticeable! The rest of our LVT is in perfect shape. We love this flooring material so much!

Not all brands of Luxury Vinyl Flooring are created equal, but we can guide you to the right brand. When you’re ready to update the flooring in your home, give us a call. We’d love to help you transform your home!