Luxury Vinyl Tiles - what are they?
The word luxury and vinyl are historically not two words you would have put in the same sentence. Vinyl flooring was long seen as a cheap flooring option that came on sheet rolls rather than tiles, with designs that did not really resemble stone or wood flooring. That all changed with the introduction of luxury vinyl tiles to the market.
LVT stands for Luxury Vinyl Tile – a product that mimics real stone and wood flooring but offers more practical benefits. Available in a range of sizes, shapes and designs, LVT gives you the opportunity to create an authentic looking flooring, without the disadvantages of natural products.
Slate, stone and wood have long been used as materials to create flooring. And while all these materials look great they all have disadvantages. Slate is expensive and feels hard, stone is cold underfoot while wood can be expensive and scratch easily. Luxury vinyl tiles have no such problems. Easy to install, comfortable underfoot and simple to maintain, LVT does not compromise on style.
With print and production processes constantly evolving it means LVT’s can to offer a wide selection of wood, ceramic and stone designs. Some manufacturers are also offering other options too. The designs are created using a high definition photograph on the surface layer which imitates natural materials to very high standards. Or in the case of Forbo’s Abstract range reflect bright bold colours, textile weaves or brushed metals.
LVT flooring is made from PVC based materials which means it’s very tough and far more durable than real stone or wood. This means it is capable of standing up to the general daily wear and tear more effectively and is easy to clean and maintain. LVT is great at resisting scratches due to the tough wear layer which comes in a variety of thickness depending on which design you chose. Waterproof and warmer underfoot compared to natural materials, LVT can also be used with underfloor heating.
Another key feature that characterises LVT is the format it comes in. Rather than large rolls, these tiles come in squares or planks. These come in different sizes, depending on style chosen giving you plenty of design options. Forbo’s Allura Flex Tack and Stick Wood ranges also have the choice of Hungarian Point planks. This allows you to create herringbone and chevron patterns giving you further design options. Feature strips are also an option which helps create a grouting effect for a realistic finishing touch.
There are three main types of LVT which make a difference as to how they are installed. Dry back tiles which are glued down onto a smooth subfloor with permanent adhesive to create a perfect finish. Another option is loose lay tiles which are designed to remain flat without totally relying on adhesives. Forbo’s Allura Flex Tack is an example of these tiles. These use tackifier rather than glue and allow for post-use removal and faster installation. Or Interfaces’ LVT’s can be installed using their TacTiles. The third option is Click vinyl tiles. These use an innovative click system meaning the tiles lock together creating a floating floor without the need for adhesives.
A smart and stylish product with many great features, luxury vinyl tiles are a very practical option for either the home or a commercial setting.