Luxury vinyl floors offer the perfect balance of style, moisture resistance, durability, and affordability. They are an improvement over the first-generation “standard” vinyl flooring in terms of style and performance. Here, we’ll quickly cover the key features and benefits of luxury vinyl tile and plank (LVT/LVP).
Rigid Core Flooring
Luxury vinyl floors had a rocky start when they first hit the market. Some were easy to gouge, developed gaps, and faded in harsh sunlight.
Rigid core flooring is a vastly improved version of first generation LVF. It’s more stable and is less likely to show indentation marks — a problem with some of the LVT category’s earlier products. Rigid core floors feature a core composed of solid PVC, a stone-plastic composite or even stone in the case of the Magnesium Oxide (MGO) core.
WPC luxury vinyl flooring is another improvement to the first generation LVT. Its core contains wood and plastic (Wood-Plastic Composite). Some also include a cork backing which aids in cushioning and sound absorption. Like rigid core, it is waterproof, can be installed over slightly imperfect subfloors, and is dimensionally-stable. Because it’s slightly softer than its rigid core or SPC counterpart, it can be more deeply embossed with wood grains, etc.
Worried about an uneven subfloor? One benefit of rigid core is that it doesn’t telegraph minor subfloor imperfections, making it easier to install over imperfect subfloors. Just be careful with wavy floors because the locking mechanism may not perform well in this scenario.
While many luxury vinyl floors use glue-down installation, the click method is gaining popularity. As the name implies, clicked floors are snapped into place like a puzzle. These floors can be floated, meaning they can often be installed over your existing hard surface floors.
LVT and LVP floors are covered by a wear layer. This protects the surface from scuffs and scratches. It also prevents damage to the photographic layer and aids the core in protecting against dents.
Luxury vinyl floors are dimensionally stable. Unlike its hardwood counterpart, it will not expand or contract during changes in temperature or humidity. This also means that environmental changes will never separate or create a ridge where the planks come together. It also eliminates cupping and warping. Direct sunlight is never a problem and no acclimation period is needed before or after installation. Use it anywhere – kitchens, bathrooms, or basements!
Another feature of WPC as well as rigid core is the easy maintenance of sweeping, vacuuming and damp mopping. Simply vacuum a few times per week and mop once per week. That’s it! Just remember to use a cleaner approved for luxury vinyl when mopping.
LVT and LVP are designed to match stone and hardwood flooring, respectfully. A photographic layer captures the surface visuals of stone and hardwood in perfect detail. These visuals of these floors continue to improve with high definition printing. New luxury vinyl floors even mimic the textures of their natural counterparts.
These floors are still a great option, especially for the price-conscious homeowner. It costs less to manufacture luxury vinyl flooring, and those savings are passed on to the consumer. But the savings don’t stop there.
We’ve already discussed how waterproof vinyl is. However, the installation process itself is also waterproof. This means that spills will never seep into the subfloor, even if they aren’t cleaned right away. This quickly eliminates one of the most common sources of mold and mildew.
Many of our luxury vinyl floors are protected by lifetime warranties. These warranties often cover wear and stains. Many are also protected by up to 10 year light commercial warranties.