If you’re looking for a truly tough and hardwearing flooring, luxury vinyl flooring is the one for you! LVT is known as the toughest floor in the business, but just because it’s tough doesn’t mean it can’t also be stylish!
First things first, LVT stands for Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring, but we’ll refer to it as LVT, luxury vinyl flooring, or luxury vinyl in this guide. LVT can often be confused for a more hard wearing laminate flooring, and they do perform in very similar ways, but luxury vinyl is a whole other kind of flooring made from entirely different materials.
LVT is constructed from PVC as its primary component instead of the layers of laminate flooring, making it extremely stable yet flexible enough to be durable. The PVC core of luxury vinyl flooring also means that it’s entirely waterproof and won’t warp or buckle like wood-centred laminate flooring.
LVT is often known as a ‘hot pressed tile’ which in some part explains how luxury vinyl is constructed. LVT is stabilising high performance backing layer of vinyl, on top of which is a PVC core, then a HD photographic layer that replicates natural wood flooring is placed on top of that layer, and finally the LVT is finished with a scratch resistant layer (often referred to as the wear layer) made from polyurethane and reinforced with either ceramic bead, silica bead or aluminium oxide to make sure it stays in good condition. All of these layers are fused together under heat and pressure to form your LVT tiles.
Aside from being tough, luxury vinyl flooring offers benefits such as being 100% waterproof and is suitable for using with underfloor heating. LVT is also incredibly easy to install as it’s available in tiles instead of sheets, making it easier to achieve more adventurous design projects.
Because of this plastic feel, many wrongly assume that LVT is visually very flat with little to no texture or depth to the design. Print technology for flooring nowadays is such that LVT is able to produce an authentic looking wood-effect vinyl tile that won’t wear over time thanks to its protective layer.
If you’re considering choosing LVT over laminate, you’ll need to consider what you prefer in terms of feel. LVT is made from vinyl and therefore has a plastic feel to it rather than feeling like wood.