Every homeowner would want classic hardwood flooring for their rooms and luxurious home. But maintenance problems may arise from certain conditions, like consistent spillage or scratches. That’s why it can be risky to use hardwood flooring when you have kids or pets in the house. But as technology advances, so does the home renovation industry which means more flooring options.
The industry has been able to develop products that are scratch-resistant and water-resistant. Some flooring options are even waterproof and soundproof with a heating feature installed. At the same time, the products can mimic the appearance of real wood or ceramic tiles depending on your choice.
And luxury vinyl tiles are one such option that can solve most of your concerns. Hence, we will talk about them here and see if they fit your home. We’ll also talk about different types of luxury vinyl flooring and how to install them after you’ve made your decision.
What is Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) Flooring?
You’ll find luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) in a wide array of designs and sizes from different manufacturers. They’re made to mimic different natural surfaces, like hardwood, concrete, and marble. Each tile is composed of multiple layers of plastic and padding which differ in thickness. There is also a core layer whose composition also differs depending on the type of LVT. The layers and core layer affect the durability and how comfortable your floor will be when you walk on it.
The LVT flooring’s outer surface is called the “wear layer” which is exactly what the name suggests. It wears under foot traffic and moving furniture, so it’s important for it to be a thick layer. The thicker it is, the more durable and long-lasting the vinyl tile will be for your home. For example, most vinyl tile wear layers can range from 8 to 12 mils thick.
Beneath the wear layer is a high-def photographic layer consisting of digitally imprinted paper. This is what gives the tile its natural look of stone or wood, making it an aesthetic choice for luxurious houses.
Below the photographic layer is the core which is made with thick vinyl mixed with plasticizer or fiberglass. This gives the tile stability and cushioning to make the floor comfortable to walk on for your feet. The overall thickness of LVT is measured in millimeters which means thicker is better. The higher-quality LVTs are at least 8 millimeters thick and should be thicker if they’re clicked together for installation.
How Do You Know When LVT Flooring Fits Your Home?
LVT flooring is well known for its resistance to moisture, scratches, and scuffs. This means they’re an ideal choice for high-traffic areas, like living rooms and kitchens. Luxury vinyl tiles have also become wear-proof, stain-proof, and weather-proof upon further development. This makes the tile a wonderful choice beyond the living room as well. You can install it in the mudroom, playroom, and entryways of your home.
If you live somewhere that has a winter season, a heating feature can be installed in your LVT flooring. This makes the cold more bearable when you gather in a room with your family, with hot cocoa in hand. Not only will your roof be winter-proof, but your floors as well!
If you intend to use LVT for your bedroom, sound block technology can be incorporated to absorb sound. Then you can have the tile in cool color tones for a calming effect on your personal space.
Different Types of Luxury Vinyl Flooring and Installation
- Luxury Vinyl Tile
LVT is a middle ground between wanting any natural wood or stone tile and having a low-maintenance one. It looks just as fancy as natural tiles, but it’s more advanced technologically.
It’s also a type of flooring that’s ideal for small spaces because they’re easy to cut-to-fit. They’re very easy to handle, hence the preference to use them in bathrooms and basements.
But that’s also what makes it a very DIY option for homeowners who want to renovate. Homeowners can choose to glue it down or float it because it’s not that hard to install. And the time it takes to do so is half the time it takes to install standard ceramic tiles.
- Luxury Vinyl Plank
LVP is designed to look and mimic hardwood floors so they’re a more affordable and low-maintenance version. The luxury vinyl planks are thicker and more rigid than sheet vinyl. They come in individual planks that almost look like blocks of wood that can fool you at first glance.
Luxury vinyl planks are suitable and used in a wide range of commercial and residential areas. If they’re installed properly, it can perfectly replicate the appearance of authentic wood. Hence, if you intend to sell the house one day, LVP is a good investment to raise its value.
When installing it, make sure to sand the high spots and fill the low spots for an even space. The walls should also have an expansion gap of about ¼ to ⅜ inches. And then, you snap the planks in place, locking them end to end. If it gets a bit tricky, twisting and bending the plank can help it snap into place.
- Engineered Vinyl Plank
This type of flooring is a hybrid between engineered hardwood, laminate, and LVPs. It’s built using a five-layer design that enhances its beauty and protection. But the most significant feature that differentiates it from other vinyl floor types is that it’s waterproof. It’s also much thicker than the usual glue-down vinyl tile, allowing it to withstand even heavier foot traffic.
Home renovation has taken off in terms of innovation and technological advancements. There used to be very limited flooring options from ceramic to hardwood, but it’s vastly different now. The industry has identified the weakness of certain flooring options and used them to create something better.
The luxury vinyl tile is just one of their advanced creations that address issues like durability and water resistance. At the same time, it’s not as expensive as stone tiles nor is it difficult to maintain. It satisfies that sweet spot for an affordable, practical, and aesthetic flooring option. It’s also very easy to install by yourself, though having a professional will still be a big help. Hence, it’s become a greatly popular option among homeowners to renovate using LVT or any vinyl flooring.