LVT is an abbreviation for Luxury Vinyl Tiles. Here we explain more about this popular flooring option.
LVT flooring is available is a variety of different designs, including wood and stone effect. Whilst stylish in design, it also offers many practical benefits. It’s produced in shapes of tiles or planks. Luxury Vinyl Tiles are a relatively new product and one of the fastest growing products within the flooring market. It can often be chosen over laminate flooring especially in areas where water is present.
What is the product made of?
Luxury vinyl tiles are made from multiple layers of PVC vinyl. The PVC is mixed with various compounds to effects the hardness. These multiple sheets of PVC vinyl are carefully compressed by a rolling process, suspended in a liquid. This is then dried through an application of heat and air to produce tough sheets of vinyl. The top layer can also feature an embossed finish, with manufacturers being able to add realism to the top layer by adding a layer of depth to help mimic the grooves found in stone or wood.
LVT floors also have a clear vinyl and urethane coating applied at the end of manufacturing to add further protection and comfort to the finished product. They are compressed together and a decorative printed vinyl layer is bonded to the surface to add enhanced comfort and warmth. Rigid LVT boards are often thicker and will usually have a click system to make DIY installation easier.
Why are LVT floors so thin?
LVT flooring can be anywhere between 2mm and 6mm thick. They often have different top layers too, ranging from 0.1mm up to 0.6mm. Its doesn’t sound like much, especially when compared to laminate floors which are commonly 7mm to 12mm in thickness.
The reason luxury vinyl tiles are so thin is due to their high density and strength. 4mm of compressed vinyl is much stronger than 8mm of HDF wood, so there really is no need to make them any thicker. They are already more than strong enough to use in heavy traffic commercial installations and are commonly used for this. And of course, a thinner profile ensures less disruption to existing fixtures such as skirting and shower trays etc.
What are the key five benefits of LVT?
- Due to its PVC structure, LVT is completely waterproof
- The product is incredibly durable
- LVT is warmer than tiles and laminate
- In comparison to tiles and laminate, LVT provides a softer under foot experience
- Huge variety of different colours, patterns and designs available
- It’s perfectly suited to both commercial and residential installations
Whereabouts can LVT be used?
As the product is waterproof, LVT is a popular option for bathrooms, kitchens or for even for commercial use such as hair salons and yoga studios. Anywhere that moisture could be an issue, LVT is an ideal substitute to wooden floors. The multiple layers also offer stability to ensure that the product lays flat on the ground without absorbing moisture or expanding due to water.
How is LVT installed?
Another huge benefit of LVT is its easy installation. There are two main ways to install an LVT floor. There is a loose lay click system, similar to laminate flooring installation, requiring a specialist LVT underlay and there are glue down systems requiring specialist LVT glues.
Both installation types require a completely level sub-floor. If you are still unsure as to whether LVT is suitable for your requirement, contact us for free advice today.