What Is LVT Flooring?
LVT, or luxury vinyl tile, is an upgraded variation of composite vinyl sheets. It is manufactured using premium processes so that it has unique benefits. In addition, it is available in tiles rather than sheets. This alters the installation process and the finished look of the flooring. Keep in mind that luxury vinyl planks are also available as an alternative.
How Luxury Vinyl Tile Is Made
LVT is made from the same material that composite vinyl sheets are made out of. This includes durable PVC resins combined with calcium carbonate. The material is heated and squeezed into the desired thickness. In many cases, luxury vinyl tile is thicker than composite vinyl sheets. Once the vinyl is the desired thickness, it is cooled. The lamination process is the next step. Through the lamination process, four layers are heated and pressed together to give the tiles their durability. These are the backing layer, the fill layer, the print layer and the wear layer.
One of the unique qualities of luxury vinyl tile is in the print layer. Through advancements, the tiles can be manufactured to mimic the look of high-end materials. This includes stone tiles, ceramic tiles and more. If you choose to install luxury vinyl planks rather than tiles, you can select wood-like vinyl planks.
After the layers are heated and pressed, the tiles are embossed to give them an authentic finish. Various techniques can be used to create different textures. The wear layer that is added at the end of the manufacturing process ensures long-lasting use of the luxury vinyl tiles.
The Benefits of Luxury Vinyl Tile
LVT is often selected over other materials because it can mimic the look of various high-end materials while providing other exciting benefits. What are these benefits?
A Comfortable Surface
While stone and ceramic tiles are beautiful, they are very firm under your feet. This makes them relatively uncomfortable to stand on for longer periods of time. In addition, any sounds in the space may be magnified because of how hard the stone or ceramic tiles are. This impacts ambiance in the home. On the other hand, luxury vinyl tiles are engineered with multiple layers that are both durable and moderately buffering. This means that they are comfortable to walk on. They can also reduce sounds in the space to enhance ambiance.
Ease of LVT Installation
Installing stone or ceramic tiles is an arduous process that requires multiple steps. For example, the mortar must set before the grout is applied. Because of the lengthy installation process for stone and ceramic tiles, the installation cost may be higher. In comparison, LVT can be installed with glue or with a loose-lay style. Both of these methods save time and are associated with cost savings.
LVT Flooring Durability
You understandably want your new flooring to look amazing in your home for many years. Ceramic and stone tiles are known for their durability, but they can also chip or crack relatively easily when things are dropped on them or when the foundation of the home settles. These are not concerns with LVT. Because the luxury vinyl tile has a wear layer, it will also resist damage related to heavy foot traffic.
One of the most significant reasons why homeowners are drawn to luxury vinyl tile over the alternatives is cost. In many cases, the material itself is more affordable than stone and ceramic tile. In addition, labor expense associated with installation is more affordable.
Is LVT Right for Your Home
As you explore the flooring possibilities for your home, compare luxury vinyl tiles against other materials that you may be drawn to. The benefits of LVT will be evident, and you can more easily make a flooring selection that you will enjoy for years to come.