What Exactly Is LVT Flooring, and Is It Suitable for Your Property?
Installing a floor in your home is a significant investment, and you want to do it right. There are many options you can consider, but let’s not forget the financial situation. If you’re on a tight budget and plan flooring costs accordingly, luxury vinyl tiles are something to think about.
Among many floor types, LVT flooring might not be the first thing that comes to your mind. It can spruce up the look of your rooms for a fraction of the cost of other flooring types. Still, its affordability and beauty don’t always make it the best choice, so it’s good to know the ins and outs of LVT before making a final decision.
How Is LVT Made?
Modern luxury vinyl floors contain multiple layers of PVC materials compressed together using heat and pressure, making different LVT flooring types. Underlayment and clear wear layers were added to the “original” vinyl floor to provide durability and underfoot comfort.
But what makes a difference is an HD photographic layer, which brings many great designs to the surface.
Is LVT a Popular Flooring Option?
Yes, LVT flooring is a common choice for many homeowners who want to achieve the elegant look of their rooms without breaking the budget. This flooring is also a popular and cost-effective option for commercial buildings, where it can stand high foot traffic and still look great.
What Are the Various LVT Flooring Types?
There are two types of luxury vinyl flooring on the market, namely LVT and LVP. There’s no disparity in their quality and making procedure; they only differ in shape. LVT are square tiles, while LVP are planks that resemble hardwood or laminate planks.
Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) Flooring
Tile-like luxury vinyl flooring is an excellent choice for moist rooms and busy areas, as it’s durable, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to maintain.
- LVT flooring resists water penetration, which makes it suitable for bathrooms, hallways, and kitchens.
- Maintenance is a breeze, with daily sweeping and weekly mopping.
- You don’t have to hire professional fitters, as LVT installation is an easy DIY project.
- Tile arrangement is a matter of free choice, so you can create unusual and unique designs.
- LVT can be hard to remove, so if a single tile is damaged, you’d likely have to replace the entire section.
- Tiles are prone to discolouration when exposed to direct sunlight.
Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) Flooring
Luxury vinyl planks look like costly wooden floors, thanks to their plank shape. They’re an excellent choice for spaces where you want to achieve a modern and elegant look, like living rooms or bedrooms.
- A variety of great designs and effects make LVP look elegant and expensive.
- Both material and installation costs are lower than hardwood, yet you achieve the same effect.
- Vinyl planks can be laid over existing floors, enhancing the look of your room in a short time.
- LVP is easy to maintain and restore/repair.
- Repairing luxury vinyl planks isn’t a hard job, but it can be time-consuming since the adhesive makes planks tricky to remove.
What Are the Potential Uses of LVT Flooring?
Thanks to its ability to retain water on the surface, LVT flooring is an excellent choice for all rooms with moisture. Unlike wood, luxury vinyl tiles can withstand excess dampness and, with proper maintenance, still look as good as new. You’ll find this flooring in:
- Business premises
LVT Flooring for Your Home
Thanks to its functionality and patterns that mimic wood, ceramics, and natural stone, LVT flooring is a choice for many homeowners on a budget. It’ll suit any interior and give a refined touch to any room.
For the bathroom, you can choose timeless ceramic-like designs. In the kitchen and living room, luxury vinyl planks bring effortless elegance. LVT is also an excellent choice for bedrooms, as it’s quiet and warm underfoot and has an anti-bacterial layer that repels mites and allergens.
LVT Flooring for Business Use
Luxury vinyl tiles can suit any commercial space that needs aesthetically pleasing flooring with low maintenance and low installation costs. LVT flooring comes in commercial grade, meaning it’s thicker and more durable to withstand high foot traffic.
Due to its many designs, durability, and ability to withstand moisture, LVT works well for businesses like hair and beauty salons. It can also be installed in retails, offices, hallways, and entrances, as it can stand heavy traffic.
What Are the Advantages of LVT Flooring?
|LVT Flooring Advantages
|Luxury vinyl tiles can repel water, dust, and mites. It also can withstand heavy traffic and isn’t prone to wear and tear.
|Variety of Designs
|LVT comes in versatile designs, so it can fit any interior.
|Compared to most other flooring solutions, LVT is more affordable and provides great value for money.
|Ease of Maintenance
|Daily sweeping and mopping from time to time is all the maintenance your LVT floor needs.
|Ease of Installation
|Installing LVT flooring is an easy and fun DIY project, as you don’t need any particular skills or tools.
What Are the Disadvantages of LVT Flooring?
|LVT Flooring Disadvantages
|Prolonged sun exposure can make LVT fade and change colour.
|If you glued down LVT, removing it will be hard, and you can’t re-use those tiles since the back layer will be ripped off.
|LVT is made of PVC, which emits VOCs and can pollute the air.
What Are the Various LVT Flooring Designs and Effects?
LVT flooring gives you the freedom to create unique patterns and achieve different effects (like wood or stone grain) in any room you want. Vinyl tiles and planks come in a variety of designs, so their combinations are numerous and depend solely on your creativity.
Which Colours Are Available for LVT Flooring?
LVT flooring comes in a wide range of colours, each of them with many variations depending on the tile or plank pattern and texture. The most popular ones are:
- Grey: Classic floor colour that works well in business premises and rooms with a modern and minimalistic interior.
- Beige/Sand/Gold: A touch of neutral colour will make every room warm and inviting, especially when combined with other neutrals.
- White: It reflects light and makes any space brighter, so it’s a good choice for smaller rooms.
- Brown/Coffee: It’s the best choice to achieve the ultimate hardwood look with vinyl tiles or planks.
- Black: A colour of elegance is an excellent option when you feel bold and eager to experiment with contemporary interior designs.
- Bright Colours: Blue, green, red, coral, and other bright shades will be a perfect option for kids’ rooms and commercial areas where they can reflect a particular business or brand.
What Kind of Finishes Are Available for LVT Flooring?
The finish on luxury vinyl tiles or planks is the outer layer you step on. It doesn’t just look good but also ensures LVT durability and wear resistance. There are three types of this coating:
- No-Wax: This finish looks great, but it’s the least durable, so this flooring is recommended for low-traffic areas.
- Urethane: This compound adds up to LVT durability but also reduces flooring maintenance needs, which is why it’s suitable for medium-traffic spaces.
- Enhanced Urethane: The strongest of all LVT finishes, enhanced urethane looks polished and provides excellent wear, scratch, and stain resistance, making it an excellent option for busy commercial areas.
What Designs Are Available for LVT Flooring?
LVT flooring comes with prefabricated designs, which you can combine any way you want to create unique patterns. These are:
- Wood-Like: Classic, trendy design most homeowners opt for. It looks great in living rooms and bedrooms.
- Ceramic or Marble-Like: It has a slightly uneven texture resembling natural stone, which makes this LVT slip-resistant and an excellent choice for bathrooms and large business premises and hallways.
- Stone-Like: An excellent option for commercial premises like retails, but it can also work well in museums and other cultural or historical places.
- Herringbone: This is a classic design, but if you make it with two or three colours, you can install this LVT floor anywhere that needs to catch the eye.
- Geometric Print: Because of the corners and edges printed on luxury vinyl tiles or planks, these might work well in educational institutions.
- Different Offset Pattern: It’s an excellent option for gathering areas and common spaces as they bring vibrancy and make any room inviting.
Which LVT Flooring Is the Best?
With so many designs, textures, and colours available, it’s not easy to say which LVT flooring is the best. It all comes down to the room where it’ll be installed and your personal style, preferences, and budget.
What Are the Various LVT Flooring Brands?
Due to an increased demand for luxury vinyl tiles and planks, many brands introduce these products into their offers. When looking for high-quality LVT flooring in the UK, there’s a high chance you’ll run into some of these brands:
What Is the Price of LVT Flooring?
The overall cost of LVT flooring will depend on the room size, flooring type, and chosen brand, but in general, it’ll cost you anywhere from £10 to £60 per square metre of material.
Is It Possible to Find Low-Cost LVT Flooring?
Yes, you can buy LVT flooring for as low as £10 per square metre but don’t expect top-notch quality. These tiles and planks usually don’t feature attractive designs and textures, although they’re still durable and functional.
Is It Possible to Purchase Pricey LVT Flooring?
Yes, if you want to pay more for high-quality LVT flooring, you can find brands that make tiles and planks that look costly and provide excellent functionality. These are usually commercial-grade floors with enhanced features and textures that make them robust and damage-resistant.
How Much Does It Cost to Install LVT Flooring?
When budgeting the LVT flooring costs, factor in materials and add the costs of subfloor preparation (up to £13 per square metre) and installation (from £5 to £15 per square metre). These price ranges depend on the room size, installation complexity, and how much preparation it takes before LVT installation.
Is LVT Flooring Going to Boost or Diminish the Value of Your Home?
LVT flooring solely won’t affect your property value much, but it depends on other factors. This floor type provides a fast return on investment, making it a good option for renovation on a budget before selling your home.
How Do You Install LVT Flooring?
DIY installation of LVT flooring shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours per room. Here are the steps you should follow:
- Acclimation: Before you start, allow the LVT to adapt to normal room conditions. That way, you’ll prevent curling and excessive tile movements.
- Preparation: Remove the furniture and clean the subfloor. If the surface is uneven, fill in the holes, wait until it’s completely dry, and sand it down. In case of adding a new concrete layer, you should wait at least three months before LVT flooring installation. Add underlayment if you install clickable tiles or planks.
- Layout: Decide on the LVT flooring pattern and plan the LVT layout, considering the placement of seams and cuts. Don’t forget to leave expansion gaps. Lay the tiles with no adhesive to check the angles and edges.
- Installation: Lay the tiles in sections, starting from the room centre and working outward. Use a roller to ensure they’re bonded firmly to the surface.
- Cutting: When you lay most tiles down, you need to cut the rest to fit the gaps. Use a vinyl tile cutter or a utility knife.
- Final Seaming: Install threshold bars, beading, and transition strips to hide the expansion gaps and create a finished look.
- Cleaning: As you install section by section, remove glue residues (if any) with a damp cloth. Once all tiles are laid down, leave them to air dry for at least two days. Finally, clean the LVT flooring and get the furniture back.
What Are the Various Methods for Installing LVT Flooring?
Note that some LVT installation steps may vary based on the specific product and manufacturer’s guidelines. After determining the tile position, apply glue in a thin layer if you use glue-down LVT. In the case of peel-and-stick tiles and planks, just remove the backing.
There are also clickable (floating) LVT and LVP floors with a locking mechanism that makes installation easy. These tiles and planks go over the underlayment to ensure proper subfloor adhesion.
Is Underlayment Required With LVT Flooring?
No, most luxury vinyl floors don’t require underlayment since they already have a base layer for proper adhesion. But you can add this layer if you want, as it provides better sound and movement insulation.
Is It Necessary to Hire a Professional to Install LVT Flooring, or Can You Do It Yourself?
No, you don’t have to call professionals to lay LVT flooring in your house. You can do both subfloor preparation and LVT installation with your DIY tools and some basic cutting skills. The only tricky part can be levelling the subfloor with a new layer of concrete.
How Do You Care for LVT Flooring?
LVT flooring is durable, but it still needs proper maintenance to be in good shape for a long time. Cleaning this floor isn’t too demanding as long as you follow these tips:
- Daily Sweeping: Dirt and dust can appear on the floor in no time, so ensure to regularly remove them from LVT flooring with a soft-bristle brush or a vacuum cleaner.
- Mopping: Going over the floor with a damp cloth will help you remove dust deposits and more stubborn dirt. You can do these every two to three days.
- Regular Stain and Spill Removal: LVT flooring is waterproof, but you shouldn’t leave spills and stains there. Clean them as soon as possible with a damp cloth or a sponge to avoid curling and warping.
- Add Mats: The best way to maintain your LVT flooring is by preventing scratches and damage. A good way is to add mats to the outer entrance (in and out) where the outside dirt will fall off before stepping on the luxury vinyl.
- Protect From Scratching: Insulate furniture legs to prevent scratches and avoid moving them all around the room with LVT flooring.
How Should LVT Flooring Be Cleaned?
Regular LVT floor washing will prevent staining and discolouration, and all it takes is warm water and mild detergent. If necessary, use LVT-friendly cleaning solutions that don’t contain ammonia, acids, and abrasives. For deep cleaning, follow these steps:
- Prepare Cleaning Solution: Add a few drops of a detergent to water or use cleaning agents as stated by the manufacturer.
- Dampen the Cloth: It must be damp, not wet. Too much moisture can get under luxury vinyl tiles or planks and cause mould and allergens to develop and spread.
- Remove Stubborn Stains: You can remove trickier stains and marks with a soft brush.
- Buff the Floor: Use a dry microfibre cloth to give the final touch to your LVT flooring. The cloth will pick up the excess moisture, allowing LVT to dry out faster.
Can LVT Flooring Be Repaired?
Yes, you can repair minor lVT floor damage with these quick fixes. For scratches, you can use liquid resin to fill in the holes. It’s a colourless liquid, but if you have to match the colour of your LVT flooring, use acrylic paint to achieve the desired shade.
How Long Can LVT Flooring Be Expected to Last?
With proper maintenance, luxury vinyl tiles are expected to last around 25 to 30 years. Although relatively cheap, LVT flooring can withstand the test of time, although its lifespan can depend on material quality, usage, and room conditions.
What Is the Efficiency of LVT Flooring?
Despite being a cost-effective flooring solution, LVT flooring has great performance regarding durability, flexibility, and widespread use. It’s a desirable flooring solution in both residential and commercial properties due to its many benefits.
Is LVT Flooring Environmentally Friendly?
No, vinyl isn’t biodegradable since it’s made of PVC. Its environmental impact is one of the few cons of LVT flooring, as it’s not recyclable and VOCs in it can be potentially dangerous to human health.
Is LVT Flooring Good?
Yes, LVT flooring is a good option for any room in your house when you need a budget-friendly solution that looks and performs well. It might have some downsides, which manufacturers solve by making non-toxic vinyl flooring using modern technologies and materials.
Is LVT Flooring Suitable for Pets?
Yes, LVT is a waterproof floor suitable for pets. Also, some tiles and planks have a texture that’ll ensure a non-slippery surface for your furry buddies to walk and play around.
Is LVT Flooring Suitable for Children?
Yes, LVT is suitable and safe for children, provided you choose low-VOC vinyl tiles and planks. This flooring is quite robust and easy to maintain, so it’s a good choice for kids’ rooms and play areas.
Is LVT Flooring Appropriate for High-Traffic Areas?
Yes, LVT flooring is a good choice for busy areas as it performs well when exposed to heavy foot traffic. It’s easy to care for and replace in case of irreparable scratch, making it a cost-effective flooring for commercial areas.
Is LVT Flooring Suitable for Moist or Wet Areas?
Yes, LVT flooring can be installed in moist rooms since water retention is one of its main advantages. It can keep the spills and condensation for a while, making it a good choice for bathrooms and kitchens.
Is LVT Flooring Water-Resistant or Waterproof?
LVT flooring can retain water on its surface to some point, but it’s not entirely resistant to water damage. Over time, vinyl can suffer due to prolonged moisture exposure, which is why it warps and buckles after some time. Plus, the water can enter under the tiles if not properly installed and cause even more damage.
LVT flooring offers many benefits that make it an excellent choice for any space. Its durability, versatility, variety of designs, and low-maintenance nature come in handy for use in high-traffic areas and busy homes. You can achieve the look of natural material floors at a fraction of their cost.
After weighing all pros and cons of luxury vinyl, you can make a well-informed decision. And if you think about other flooring options, our expert team is at your service.