What is LVT?
LVT, or Luxury Vinyl Tile, is a premium quality product available as either a plank or a tile and a variety of design/colour options.
What is it made of?
LVT is made up of, typically 4, layers of different materials;
- Base – This will be either stuck to the floor (known as dry back) or floated on an underlay system, similar to laminate, (known as click).
- Core – This provides the rigidity and structural strength to the tile.
- Image – Typically a stone or wood effect although other designs are available.
- Wear Layer – Arguably the most important layer, this is measured in mm and both adds protection and slip resistance to the floor.
Whilst the wear layer (a clear layer coated with polyurethane, sometimes with silica, ceramic or aluminum oxide additives) and image are usually the same from one product to another, the base and core can vary. Lower cost options use high density fibreboard or a composite material, while more premium products use pressed layers of vinyl.
Why is the wear layer so important?
The wear layer is the top most layer of the floor and therefore the part that takes all the foot traffic and daily use. This layer adds protection against scratches, scuffs as well as being slip resistant and can be UV resistant to prevent fading.
When looking at LVT (and in fact sheet vinyl and laminates) always check the wear layer as the thicker this is the longer your floor will stay looking good and the less time you will need to spend dealing with minor marks.
At Grimley Flooring we recommend looking for a wear layer of 0.50mm or more for the best in wear protection on LVT.
How is it fitted?
LVT can either be fully stuck to your subfloor or installed using a click system with underlay. Some systems allow for the underlay to be used with a stuck down product and this can be an option for floors that are near perfect and can’t be levelled for various reasons.
What are the advantages of LVT?
LVT is an extremely versatile product and excels in a number of ways:
- Harder wearing than other vinyl products
- Scratch resistant
- Scuff resistant
- Stain resistant
- Water resistant, ideal for kitchens and bathrooms
- Softer than other hard flooring products
- Warmer than other hard flooring products
- Better acoustic resistance than other hard flooring products
- Easy to clean
- No need to create breaks in doorways even with different effects in different areas.
(Please check the LVT product you are looking at has the features you require before purchase.)
What are the disadvantages of LVT?
There are few disadvantages to LVT. When compared to sheet vinyl or laminate, LVT generally is a more expensive product, however it is also a more durable product and will look better for longer as well. As with all hard floors, the subfloor does need to meet certain criteria and be in a good condition.
At Grimley Flooring we have a range of wood and tile effect LVT floors available and can help guide you to the perfect finish for your home.