Here is our detailed explanation of LVT luxury vinyl tile flooringWritten by: Yarl Christie
Published on: August 02, 2023
What is LVT Flooring?
LVT, or Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring, combines the visual beauty of wood and stone, with the practical elements of vinyl. They are designed to be easy to install and care for, and they come at a budget-friendly cost.
In this brief guide, we will reveal what LVT flooring is, how it differs from traditional vinyl, and the pros and cons it delivers.
LVT flooring is made up of several layers and made to look like real wood or stone. Thanks to its layered construction, it provides a feel similar to laminate flooring underfoot.
The surface features a protective layer that helps to protect the floor from damage. Underneath this is a wear and tear layer, which sits above a photographic layer. There is a lightweight core which helps to keep the floor stable, followed by an acoustic layer.
The actual design of LVT floors may differ, with some featuring more layers than others. For example, some floors come with a built-in rubber underlay which provides a more cushioned feel underfoot. Cushioned LVT flooring is an ideal choice for family homes, alongside rooms where comfort is a priority.
There are hundreds of designs to choose from, and the realistic wood and stone effects are remarkable. No matter what style you are hoping to achieve, you will find an LVT floor to match it.
Is LVT Different From Sheet Vinyl Lino?
Both LVT and traditional vinyl floors are made up of several layers. They are also mostly created from vinyl. So, what are the differences between them?
There are two main differences to be aware of, which are the depth and the installation. LVT floors are much thicker than traditional sheet vinyl floors. The majority of traditional vinyl floors measure just 1mm thick. LVT floors on the other hand, measure an average of 5mm thick, though this will vary between collections.
In terms of installing LVT floors, both traditional and LVT floors mostly need to be glued down. However, some LVT floors do come with a click-system for a faster and easier fit.
You will also notice that LVT floors look a lot more realistic than traditional vinyl floors. There is no question that they are better in terms of performance and looks. However, they do come at a higher cost than traditional vinyl.
What are the Benefits of LVT Flooring?
LVT flooring offers a lot of benefits compared to other flooring types. Just some of the benefits that make it so popular include:
- It provides a real wood or stone effect at a budget-friendly price
- Easy maintenance
- Naturally water resistant
- Easy to install
- Excellent lifespan and durability
- Quieter underfoot
The fact that LVT floors provide a realistic wood or stone effect at a low-price tag, makes them extremely popular in family homes. The photographic layer used in the floors design makes it difficult to tell them apart from the real thing. This makes them popular with those seeking a wood effect floor on a budget.
They are also one of the easiest floors to maintain. As they are naturally water resistant, you can mop them when needed to prevent a build-up of dirt. Keep in mind that although they are water-resistant, they are not waterproof. You can purchase waterproof LVT, but it is not a feature that comes as standard.
LVT floors either require Glue Down or click system installation. Both are easy enough to do by yourself but click system floors are slightly easier to install. As you won’t need to call in the professionals for either method, it also saves you a lot of money on the cost of installation.
Considering it is offered at such great value, LVT flooring has a fantastic lifespan. Its layered design gives it a robust and durable finish. While exact durability will depend upon the quality and depth of the floor, you can expect LVT flooring to last for many years.
Finally, another benefit of LVT is that it is quieter underfoot than wood or stone flooring. This makes it a great choice for upstairs rooms, as well as high-traffic areas. We have an in-depth article about the benefits of LVT here.
The Different LVT Edge Profiles
One thing you might not have considered is the type of edge profile they feature. As the tiles are made to look like real wood or stone, they come with the same type of edging as authentic tiles and planks.
Here, you will discover a brief overview of the two main edge profiles you have to choose from. You can also check out our guide on the different LVT effects available to help you make the right choice.
Bevelled Edge LVT
If you want to achieve a more natural look, you will want to choose an LVT (luxury vinyl tile) floor with a bevelled edge. They feature small grooves between the tiles to create a realistic wood or tile effect. Once installed, this gives them a very authentic look.
Square Edge LVT
Our range of square-edge luxury vinyl tiles fit together perfectly for a smooth and professional looking finish. You won’t be able to see any gaps once the floor has been installed. One benefit of this type of edging over the bevelled edge floors is that they tend to be easier to keep clean due to the lack of gaps in their design.
The type of edge you choose can influence how the floor is fitted. For example, you may want or need to install LVT designer strips. This help to produce a professional finish, expertly covering up gaps between the tiles. Designer strips also give a look of grout for the stone effect LVT.
The Different Effects of LVT
Luxury vinyl tile floors come in a huge choice of designs. Thanks to a clever photographic layer, they benefit from a very realistic effect; mimicking stone, tile and wood flooring. Whatever look you are hoping to achieve, you will find a luxury vinyl tile floor that achieves it.
Wood Effect LVT
The majority of our luxury vinyl tile floors boast a stunningly realistic wood effect. However, unlike real wood, they are water resistant, easy to maintain and much more durable. This makes them a great choice for areas of the home where wood flooring wouldn’t be suitable such as the bathroom or kitchen.
Another benefit of wood effect LVT is that it is easier to install than real or engineered wood flooring. Check out the different joining methods to see just how easy it is.
Tile & Stone Effect LVT
You will also find some luxury vinyl tile floors come with a stone or tile effect. Like the wooden effect floors, these look just like the real thing. However, due to their vinyl construction, these floors are much warmer and easier to fit than real stone or tiles.
Whichever type of effect you choose, pay attention to the edge profile. This will influence how the floor looks. A bevelled edge offers a more natural appearance, while a square edge produces a more uniform look.
Abstract Effect LVT
If you love patterns and funky designs, abstract effect LVT tiles are an ideal option. These effects make a real statement in the home, giving the space a more decorative look. Abstract LVT designs look especially stylish in the kitchen, hallway, or utility room.