Discover what LVT flooring is, how it differs from traditional vinyl, and the pros and cons it delivers.Written by: Yarl Christie
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.
What is LVT flooring?
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.
How does it differ from traditional vinyl?
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.
LVT flooring benefits
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.