Luxury Vinyl Tile Joins Elegance with Economy
30th August 2017
Luxury Vinyl Tile, or LVT as it is known in the flooring industry, is a flooring product relatively new to the market. While vinyl flooring itself has been around since the 1920s, LVT has only recently become available, and it has many benefits over earlier types sheet and tile vinyl flooring, as well as providing the economy and ease of maintenance vinyl flooring is famous for.
LVT is a high-quality tile using 3D photographic printing and other methods for adding an extra element of depth and ultra-realistic visual quality to the surface of the flooring tiles or planks. Planks are a type of vinyl tile formed in shapes and sizes resembling genuine hardwood floor boards, resulting in LVT’s ability to successfully imitate the look of hardwood flooring.
LVT also has a layer of extra wear-resistant polyurethane coating on top of the tiles, making them even more resistant than vinyl flooring products of the past to scratching, scuffing, fading, and other damage.
Buying and Installing LVT Flooring in Virginia
Vinyl flooring is graded and categorized by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) into two flooring product types:
- Solid Vinyl Tile (SVT)
- Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT)
Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is not placed in its own category by ASTM standards, however, it is still a meaningful name for describing specific types of solid vinyl flooring tiles and planks, known for their exceptional resistance to wearing and attractive surface qualities.
Solid vinyl tiles are required by ASTM standards to have at least 34 percent vinyl and binders, while vinyl composition tiles (VCT) have under 34 percent of these ingredients, making them more susceptible to wear and scratching.
LVT and other solid vinyl flooring come in three subcategories:
- Monolithic, Class I which have the tile color impregnated completely through the depth of the tile,
- Surface Decorated, Class II which have a pattern inlaid into the tile surface,
- Printed Film Vinyl which has the thinnest image layer made by photographic processes on the tile surface.
The designation of ‘Type A’ in vinyl flooring refers to a tile with a smooth surface, and ‘Type B’ refers to an embossed pattern.
LVT flooring can be installed by using an adhesive to bond the flooring to the subfloor, or they can be installed as floating floors where interlocking tiles are set on the floor without the use of adhesive and the entire floor is held in place by fitting against each other and the walls. Floating floors make changing the design of a room easy and less expensive.
VCT flooring installations use a different type of adhesive than LVT and other SVT products. VCT adhesives have long working times, allowing a larger area of the floor to be worked on at one time. SVT adhesives usually have a working time of only two hours, compared to 24 hours for VCT adhesives. This makes placement of LVT flooring a more precision installation job.
Some LVT tiles which imitate slate, marble, granite, and other stone come with a grooved edge for applying grout, making the final installation virtually indistinguishable from actual stone flooring materials. Grout type LVT is available for both floating and adhesive applications.
In rooms with a large amount of heavy traffic or rolling loads on the floor, gluing the flooring in place prevents slippage and buckling. Floating installations have more flexibility if there are greater temperature fluctuations in the room. Floating floors should also be installed after cabinets are set in place, or buckling of the flooring can occur.
Installing a floating LVT floor still requires a good deal of subfloor preparation. All staples and nails must be removed or set below the surface, and the surface must be thoroughly clean and dry before laying the new flooring. Dents and holes in the subfloor must be patched and sanded. LVT tiles can also be installed with special membranes underneath for reducing sound transfer through the floor into rooms below.
LVT products are the newest in vinyl flooring technology, providing astonishingly realistic surfaces resembling hardwood, tile, slate, marble, granite, as well as decorative designs.
Accent on Floors in Hopewell, Virginia is specialist in LVT flooring installation in the Tri-City area. Contact us for more information on installing LVT flooring in your home or business.