What is Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Luxury vinyl plank flooring, commonly referred to be LVT (luxury vinyl tile) and LVP (luxury vinyl plank), is the most common type of clicking vinyl on the market. A luxury vinyl tile or plank is a waterproof floor that is easy to install and maintain. A luxury vinyl tile is usually affordable and the perfect option for budget projects, rental properties and residential projects.
Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Construction
Traditional luxury vinyl plank flooring, both LVT and LVP floors, are made with a synthetic material that is formed by mixing and melting polyvinyl chloride resins (PVC), white pigments, calcium carbonate, plasticizers, fungicide and UV stabilizers. These compounds are combined by using heat and pressure. The vinyl compound is then added to a backing layer.
Most SPC and WPC rigid core floors will have a layer of this vinyl attached to their specialized cores.
A traditional luxury vinyl is created using 4 main layers.
- Wear Layer – The wear layer is a transparent top coating that helps prevent against scratches, stains and fading.
- Decorative Image – The decorative image give the appearance of the planks. It is a thin digital image that is adhered to the vinyl core.
- Vinyl Core – The vinyl PVC material is the main component of an LVT or LVP floor. This core is flexible and 100% waterproof.
- Backing Layer – This is a vinyl finishing layer that is waterproof and prevents mold and mildew.
Benefits of Traditional Vinyl Plank Flooring
Traditional luxury vinyl plank flooring is a popular flooring choice for homes and businesses for several main reasons.
Waterproof: Vinyl flooring is a 100% waterproof material that can be installed in wet prone areas, such as a kitchen, foyer, bathroom, basement or cafe.
Application: Traditional vinyl plank flooring can be installed below, above or on grade. It can be installed virtually anywhere in your home or business.
Appearance: Today’s digital printing technology is better than ever. You can find beautiful LVT and LVP planks in a variety of looks, colors and styles. Textures are also popular with this type of flooring.
DIY Installation: You can find traditional vinyl in glue down or click lock installations. Both installations are DIY friendly, however, a click lock vinyl will be the easiest option. Traditional click lock vinyl does not require many tools or skills!
Non-Slip – Vinyl flooring is anti-static and slip resistant. It is the perfect option for bathrooms!
Comfort – LVT and LVP flooring will be softer and more comfortable under foot than other waterproof counter parts, such as ceramic or porcelain tile. A thin vinyl, however, will be effected by the subfloor. If you’re installing a thin vinyl over a concrete subfloor, it will take on a harder feel than a plywood subfloor.
Affordability: Vinyl flooring is one of the most affordable flooring options on the market, especially if you’re looking for a waterproof option. Glue down vinyl floors tend to be less expensive than click lock vinyls.
Easy Maintenance and Cleaning: An LVT or LVP vinyl is very easy to maintain. Regular sweeping and occasional deep cleaning is all that is necessary.
Cons of Traditional Vinyl Plank Flooring
Dents – Vinyl is a soft material. Although this material is durable, it can dent easily under heavy objects. You should always use padding under your furniture.
Stains – Vinyl is generally stain resistant, but it is susceptible to stains when it comes in contact with some chemicals. Always choose mats without a rubber backing, as it can discolor vinyl.
Fading – Fading is very common with vinyl flooring in high sunlight areas. It is recommended to use blinds, rugs and move furniture often to avoid fading issues.
Recycling – Vinyl is a synthetic material that is non-biodegradable and hard to recycle. There are a few programs from manufacturers to recycle vinyl flooring, but it is not common. Most vinyl flooring will end up in landfills.
As you can see, traditional luxury vinyl plank flooring has many advantages. A traditional vinyl is a great option for budget projects, rental properties, homes and businesses. When looking for a waterproof floor, do not discount vinyl flooring!