A Guide to Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)
Luxury vinyl tile (commonly known as LVT) has become the fastest growing sector of the flooring industry in recent years. Not to be confused with vinyl rolls that are often used as cheaper options for covering bathroom or kitchen floors. Those who are more familiar with the brands than the type of flooring itself often mistakenly refer to LVT as Karndean or Amtico.
Today, there are dozens of manufacturers offering this type of flooring, from very affordable, basic options from companies like Lifestyle Floors, which offers excellent value for money, plus hard-wearing, hard-wearing tiles, to Polyflor, which has excellent range for domestic use and also specialized in commercial applications. Karndean, and even more so Amtico, sit at the higher end of the luxury vinyl tile market with some great products, while Moduleo is one of the fastest growing brands in the fastest growing sector of the industry.
Luxury vinyl tile is available in both a stone tile and wood plank effect, providing the natural beauty of wood and stone flooring without the drawbacks. LVT is warm underfoot, suitable for underfloor heating; the tiles are waterproof and wear resistant, making them ideal for kitchens and bathrooms alike. Most provide slip-resistant properties, are easy to clean, and require little or no maintenance. The wear layer of LVT is a general indication of the quality or expected service life, ranging from around 0.2mm for general household use to 1mm for heavy commercial or even industrial use. Many manufacturers offer wear resistance warranties of up to 25 years.
In recent years, technological advances have made the manufacture of this type of flooring more environmentally friendly, with many companies now offering realistic textures such as Moduleo ‘Registered Emboss’ technology that follows the knots, scars and grooves in the wood. patterned to come as close as possible to the look, feel and texture of real hardwood, while offering all the benefits of LVT flooring.
Luxury vinyl tiles are lightweight making them easy to maneuver and transport for larger projects, new developments have enabled a new click system similar to laminate, while the traditional glued method is still preferred for some applications such as in solariums and winter gardens. . LVT can be installed by those skilled at DIY, although a solid, smooth subfloor is required and is key to a successful and long-lasting installation.
LVT generally falls between good quality laminate and real stone or hardwood flooring in terms of cost, however the nature of the product means that it has several benefits over all the alternatives with very few drawbacks. An ideal flooring solution for those looking for a high-quality flooring that is hard-wearing, water-resistant and easy to maintain.