When you hear the term “luxury vinyl plank tile,” what usually comes to mind? Is it the old-school linoleum flooring you remember from grandma’s house back in the day? Well, luxury vinyl plank tile may be made of the same basic material, but it’s definitely not your grandma’s flooring anymore. These days LVP is used in both commercial and residential projects, and styles (and their associated costs) run the gamut from the extremely affordable to the expensive and luxurious.
If you’ve heard about luxury vinyl plank flooring and are wondering if you should consider it for your next flooring project, here’s a quick primer on everything important you need to know about it.
What exactly is luxury vinyl plank?
One of the most common questions flooring installers get is what exactly is luxury vinyl plank flooring? It’s a durable, easy to maintain, waterproof flooring made out of a rubbery plastic that has the look of hardwood or stone, but at a fraction of the price. Luxury vinyl plank, also known as LVP, is constructed of multiple layers that add to its design, durability and ease of maintenance:
- The polyurethane coating
- The protective clear layer known as the “wear layer”
- The print film layer
- The vinyl core
- The tile backing
There will always be both pros and cons to any type of flooring based on your lifestyle and family needs, but luxury vinyl tile flooring is a great option for all types of families and lifestyles.
Let’s start with the pros.
LVP is Durable
As mentioned, luxury vinyl plank flooring is comprised of multiple layers in which there’s a clear top layer over the design that protects the floor from scratches, stains and fading. So it’s safe to say that luxury vinyl plank is built to endure that busiest homes.
LVP has nearly infinite design options
With today’s innovative manufacturing technology, luxury vinyl plank is available in a wide variety of colors and can mimic the look of natural materials, like stone and wood. Embossing the grain pattern into the tile, as is done on some of the more high-end options, gives LVP a realistic look and feel.
LVP is affordable
Luxury vinyl plank is typically a good value because it’s not only long-lasting, but less expensive to install than ceramic tile or hardwood flooring, even though it can create a very similar look. So, for those on a tighter budget, luxury vinyl tiles are a smart choice.
LVP is quick to install
Whether your installer chooses to glue it down or float it, installation of luxury vinyl plank takes less time than laying true hardwood and about half the time or less of a typical ceramic tile installation. If you don’t want your busy life interrupted by a flooring instalation job that goes on for days or even weeks, your installer can get most rooms laid with LVP in one workday.
LVP is easy to maintain
The natural materials that luxury vinyl tile can be designed to look like, such as hardwood and stone, require tons of maintenance to help prevent them from becoming or appearing damaged. Fortunately, with luxury vinyl plank, clean-up and maintenance are easy. All you need to do is regularly vacuum and use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe away scuff marks and spills.
Nothing in life is perfect, and that includes luxury vinyl plank flooring. Here are some of the ways in which it’s less desirable than the competition.
LVP is non-biodegradable
Unfortunately, luxury vinyl plank is not biodegradable. When disposed of, it remains in garbage dumps and can’t be recycled. So, if keeping green is a critical factor in your decision-making process with your next project, this is a disadvantage to consider.
LVP can suffer damage from the subfloor
Successful installation of luxury vinyl plank requires proper subfloor preparation, as the tiles will adapt to the surface they’re applied to. So, if there are any irregularities on the subfloor, they will definitely show through the vinyl tile, will create an uneven appearance and possibly even cause gaps.
LVP can have a slippery surface
Accidental water spillages are always bounf to happen on any floor, and luxury vinyl plank flooring is no different. When it gets wet, LVP can become particularly slick. This may cause slips and falls when someone steps on the wet floor.
All in all, most installers would agree that the advantages of luxury vinyl plank flooring outweigh the disadvantages, but at the end of the day, as the homeowner, the decision is ultimately yours. If longevity, durability, ease of maintenance and affordability are among your top concerns, you should give LVP some serious consideration.
If, however, you prefer to support more eco-friendly products, there are greener options available, such as cork and bamboo. If you’re dead-set on paying top dollar for the best tile you can buy, there’s plenty of natural stone to go around. But there’s a reason so many people are choosing luxury vinyl plank flooring these days: there’s a pattern available to fit almost everyone’s budget and style.
Think luxury vinyl plank flooring might be right for your home? Call or email Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers today for a free consultation. We know you only want the best in flooring. That’s why it’s important to hire the best in the business, and at Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers, we can guarantee you that’s us. Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers have been flooring and remodeling Kentuckiana for over 30 years. Our certified installers have the ingenuity and know-how to assist you in choosing the perfect floors for your home. Don’t take matters into your own hands—let us guide your next project.