Tile-Look Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Why Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring?

Luxury vinyl tile (LVT or LVP) has exploded onto the market and has taken a huge market share of over 50% of all hard surfaces (almost everything other than carpet and rugs) in the USA and worldwide floor covering market.
Don’t be confused by the general category moniker of Luxury Vinyl Tile. Well over 90% of all LVT made and sold is in plank form (also called LVP) and is designed to visually emulate hardwood flooring.
 
There are a great many things to recommend LVT. It can be so beautiful as to make it difficult to discern it from real hardwood, it is waterproof, it is easy to maintain, easy to install, and can be extremely scratch and indentation resistant. As in almost all floor covering categories, there is a great range of quality and price within the category.
 
LVT products either can be glued direct to a subfloor or floated via a locking mechanism or specialized backing. Many can be properly installed in more than one way. Most glue down LVT is either the very least expensive products in the category to cut cost, or more costly to achieve maximum performance - usually in a heavy commercial environment where extremely high traffic or heavy rolling loads are a consideration.
Tile Look Vinyl in Bathroom
Tile Look Vinyl in Bathroom

Luxury Vinyl Tile & Your Home

LVT products either can be glued direct to a subfloor or floated via a locking mechanism or specialized backing. Many can be properly installed in more than one way. Most glue down LVT is either the very least expensive products in the category to cut cost, or more costly to achieve maximum performance - usually in a heavy commercial environment where extremely high traffic or heavy rolling loads are a consideration.
 
The vast majority of all LVT in a residential application is installed via a floating installation. These products have a locking mechanism so that they click together and the large majority of them have an attached back. Most LVT, from top to bottom, has a scratch-resistant top layer, a printed or layered decorative layer, a core layer that also contains a locking mechanism, and an attached cushioning bottom layer. Each of these layers has a range of qualities that can affect one or more of the following: visual beauty, moisture resistance, indentation resistance, ease of installation, the effective bridging of subfloor irregularities, and comfort underfoot. The beauty and performance of the product selected can vary strongly and generally will be reflected in the price of the product.

 
It is important to understand that the vulnerability of most LVT products to moisture is largely from some form of flooding that gets under the floor, not from penetration through the joints of planks not on the perimeter of the floor. Almost all warranties exclude actual “flooding” from their moisture warranties. Steps can be taken to help prevent water from getting under the floor at the perimeters but none are 100% effective under any circumstances.
 
The vast majority of LVT is manufactured in China. Despite the fact that some domestic manufacturing do exist, and there are a number of very large LVT manufacturing facilities currently under construction, it will be a number of years before even half the LVT used in the United States is made here.

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