IN one of our recent survey questions, we asked readers to rank their favourite flooring subject (or the flooring topic they most wanted to read about). We provided 13 options – and luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) was the firm favourite with 31% of respondents. In fact, it was twice as popular as the second-placed adhesives (15%).
The popularity of LVT is no secret. As an alternative to wood or laminate flooring, it’s described as extremely robust, waterproof, and available in beautiful and authentic designs. Its versatility means it can be used in many locations.
Flooring distributor Europine outlined some reasons for this. The first reason, it said, is the aesthetics. ‘Despite a slight market preference for wood-style LVT floors, the reality is that all the different visual styles of LVT are in-demand,’ it says. ‘The reason is because there is such a wide range of available designs and styles. Many kinds of clients are drawn to LVT, each of them asking for their preferences.
Aside from the more traditional looks of wood and stone, there is an enormous array of abstract designs available. You can elect to go with a non-traditional pattern or even ask for your own personalised/custom design printed on your LVT floor!’
Another reason is durability. Each tile or plank is made of carefully combined layers, the distributor points out. ‘The nature of these layers and the order they’re placed in determine many aspects of how a particular LVT product will behave, but the one thing they all share in common is how strong and durable these floors are.’
Then there’s ease of maintenance. Europine says: ‘With the aforementioned top layers hard at work to keep surface damage at bay, there’s another benefit to the way LVT is engineered and designed; it’s extremely easy to clean and maintain. Some clients benefit from this because they simply don’t want to ruin their professional ambiance with noisy or distracting cleaning crews while other clients benefit because they’re on tight budgets and cannot commit to expensive upkeep practices like constant waxing and detail cleaning.’
Finally, there’s ergonomics. ‘LVT floors not only preserve the joints in your feet and legs with its soft underfoot, but it also reduces the noise pollution found in a commercial space. Peer-reviewed journal articles have published studies that show that noise levels in a commercial space are directly correlated with stress levels found in employees as well as customers. Scientific data such as this is one of the driving forces behind why many companies are switching from harder surface floors to LVT floors. LVTs address many ergonomic issues found in other types of flooring without sacrificing any of the firmness, stability, or long-term integrity of the floor.’
The company concludes: ‘Offices and other commercial spaces, particularly hospitals, are able to achieve their desired aesthetics while simultaneously upgrading the quality of life for their employees while working.’
Interestingly, the next three most popular topics weren’t related to floorcoverings: adhesives (15%); subfloors and screeds (11%); and smoothing underlayments (11%). This indicates that the bits of flooring that you can’t see – but which can make or break an installation – are of particular interest to our readers.
Safety flooring ranked highly, a sign that it remains a crucial component of some locations such as industrial areas and hospitals.
CFJ has two LVT features a year. These have proved so popular in recent years that we now produce supplements to showcase the amount of new products, case studies, advice columns and news-related items that are sent in by readers and clients.