Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) is a relatively new type of flooring that boasts numerous benefits.
Over the last 10 to 15 years, it’s surged in popularity with homeowners and interior designers. For those unfamiliar with LVT, they are similar to laminate floors in that they’re designed to mimic the appearance of natural materials (such as wood, marble, stone). However, there is an added layer on top that adds waterproofing properties and enhances durability.
In this article, we’ll take a look at LVT Flooring in further detail and discuss how it compares to other flooring choices.
Why choose LVTs over hardwood flooring?
When renovating a home or designing an interior space, people typically choose their flooring after answering these questions:
- Is it durable? Will it last?
- Does it look good? Does it match my theme/colour scheme?
- Is it within budget? Can I afford it / justify the price?
Hardwood and LVT flooring will last for years – decades even. However, hardwood flooring requires a lot of maintenance and upkeep. As hardwood is porous, it’s not recommended for use in high-traffic areas or rooms that are prone to moisture (such as kitchens or bathrooms). In contrast, LVTs require little-to-no upkeep. Their non-porous nature makes them perfect for all applications.
Both types of flooring look beautiful and have a timeless appeal. Plus, thanks to advances in technology, it is difficult for the layperson to recognise the difference between hardwood and wood effect LVTs in many cases.
However, there’s a big difference in cost. LVT flooring is the most affordable solution by far. In most cases, LVTs can provide a very similar look to hardwood flooring for a fraction of the price.
Why choose LVTs over laminate flooring?
To the layperson, there are no differences between LVT and laminate flooring:
- Both types of flooring look very similar to the untrained eye.
- They also cost similar amounts too (though premium LVTs may cost slightly more than standard laminate flooring, but it will be more durable and hardwearing, making it still very good value for money).
- Both types of flooring replicate the look and style of natural materials like wood and stone.
- Both cost a fraction of the price of hardwood, ceramic or stone flooring.
- Both are easy to clean.
However, there are numerous differences too:
- Laminate flooring is not waterproof while LVTs are water resistant.
- Over mopping can cause problems for laminate flooring, causing it to warp.
- Laminate is hard underfoot while LVT flooring is a little softer.
- LVTs are less noisy. Install underlay to further reduce the noise from walking too.
- Both types of flooring are made from completely different materials. LVTs are made from PVC, a resin-based plastic. The plastic is manufactured to look like natural materials. On the other hand, laminate flooring is manufactured from fibreboard (which is highly compressed wood fibres) and resin. The design is printed onto a paper layer, which is then coated with a clear polymer.
What are the benefits of LVTs? What are they suitable for?
As we mentioned above, luxury vinyl flooring tiles are moisture-resistant and waterproof. This is a huge selling point for the product. This makes it desirable compared to both hardwood and laminate flooring.
LVTs are very durable and offer increased stability, the flooring stands the test of time. This gives customers peace of mind, knowing they can use the flooring throughout their property without having to worry about dirt, stains, scratches or water damage. For families with young children, this is a relief. Similarly, the owners of hotel chains, office buildings, schools and other commercial properties get a hardwearing solution that is brilliant value for money.
Further, LVT flooring can be used throughout a property to give it a continuous and consistent feel. This is particularly useful in commercial properties such as hotels where the interior designer wishes to create a particular type of atmosphere throughout the building. The material can be purchased on mass in your chosen shade or style. Because it’s a manmade product there are a wealth of colour and style options to choose from. This makes it perfect for interior designers of restaurant or supermarket chains that want to ensure each of their buildings has the same look and feel.
LVT’s noise reduction properties also make it the obvious choice for apartment buildings and commercial properties with multiple levels, so you can walk and talk without disturbing your neighbours or anyone relaxing next door.
Two of the big players in the flooring industry are BerryAlloc and Quick Step.
Here’s a little information about each company:
BerryAlloc specialises in premium quality LVTs which use the company’s own revolutionary technology for easy installation. In addition, their flooring are specifically designed to reduce noise. BerryAlloc’s LVT flooring come with a lifetime guarantee for residential use, which means you get a high quality product with peace of mind, and that is a very desirable offer for any homeowner.
Meanwhile, Quick Step is renowned for creating laminate flooring that resembles the natural look and feel of wood. They offer a wide range of colours, which will appeal to interior designers whose clients are very particular! Their patented click system ensures the floor can be installed quickly and with ease. Their flooring is protected by their ultra-effective Scratch Guard technology. Apparently, this makes their product up to ten times more scratch resistant. Last but not least Quick Step offers a fantastic 25-year warranty on all their laminated products which show great manufacturing confidence making it a brand you can trust.
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